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.
Wow, what a weekend !! P1 & P2 in the first two @BritcarNews races of the season— Charlie Martin (@GoCharlieM) April 24, 2021
Massive thanks to my awesome teammate @jackfabbyracing and all the team @praga_official - you’ve built an incredible racecar ! #winningInstinct #PowerhousePerformance pic.twitter.com/8XmVJQI8Eg
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.
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 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.
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!”