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A new team, a new series, and a strong start for Charlie Martin

Along with teammate Jack Fabby, the pioneering endurance racer ran first and second in the Britcar Endurance Series opener at Silverstone.

Jack Fabby, left, and Charlie Martin hold their trophies.
Jack Fabby, left and Charlie Martin hold their trophies after their victory at Silverstone.
Charlie Martin

The 2021 racing season finds out trans endurance racer Charlie Martin on a new team, learning a new car and making a debut in the Britcar Endurance Series at perhaps British motorsport’s most iconic home track — Silverstone.

On April 24, that fresh new start ended in success. Martin and teammate Jack Fabby piloted their Powerhouse Performance Praga R1 to a class win in the new-for-2021 Praga Category in the first of two 1-hour races on the day. They were also second place overall. They followed up in race two by finishing second in-class and fourth overall.

Race 1 opened up with Martin taking at the wheel of the stint and starting fourth. In the controlled chaos of a rolling start she dropped back from fourth to seventh early on, but regained a place and stayed in striking distance of the class leaders and avoid troubles that found others in the early going. “A bit of a collision happened ahead but I was focused on spotting a gap and driving through it,” she told BARC-TV. “I just got my head down and pulled a gap to the cars behind and hand to Jack in the best position I could.”

An incident that brought out the safety car in the race’s 10th minute, a full-course caution that lasted into the opening pit window near the 20th minute of the race. Fabby noted that the team had a strategy for the situation and that Martin’s effort put them in a good position to take advantage. “Mega stint from Charlie to perform and she put us in the window we wanted to be in,” he told BARC-TV. “We kind of planned that there would be a safety car. Unfortunately it happened, but in a sense it was good.”

The team was third in-class when Martin handed the car off to Fabby. The pit window reshuffle combined with a fierce stint by Fabby found him running second in-class in the final minutes, but closing the gap on then-leader Chris Wesemael. With 7 minutes left, Fabby snatched first place and motored away to a Praga Category win and a front row position in Race 2 later in the day.

Martin talked about their victory on her Instagram. Click here to watch!

In the second race, Martin again took the opening stint. A crash in first two corners brought out the safety car and a full-course caution for nearly 20 minutes. When the course went green, a rough restart saw her fall back to 7th place overall and 3rd in class and a gap developed between herself and the second place car driven by defending Britcar series champion Jem Hepworth as the race reached the midpoint.

Martin, shown here in the day’s second race, recovered from an early stumble to put her and teammate Jack Fabby in position to finish 2nd in class, enroute to a successful season opener.
BARC

Martin regrouped, mounted a charge and, in the 26th minute of the race, mixed patience and power to scoot past Hepworth in a corner before handing the car off to Fabby. “I was trying to put her under pressure for a few laps,” Martin told Outsports. “I planned the move and felt quite happy about it.”

Fabby again closed the show with another strong stint. He retained their second place in-class and completed a strong race weekend to start the season.

At this time last year, Martin was waiting out the pandemic toward a season in a VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series, and spoke to Sports Media LGBT+ about being pansexual.

This season opened with more hardware for her trophy case, but also more work ahead toward the next race May 9 at Snetterton. It’ll be a next new challenge in a new-look season.

“I’ve not been to Snetterton before so I’ll be training on my home sim before the practice on Friday,” she told Outsports. “It’s a huge asset to have a proper rig that I can practice on any time. I built it last year during lockdown with help from Thrustmaster, Republic of Gamers, Overclockers UK and Trak Racer — it’s the next best thing to driving the car in the build up to race week!”