It’s a long climb to the top, yet Anthony Martin’s first move up the ladder towards an IndyCar career wasn’t too shabby.
Martin, 20, just finished his first season in the Mazda Road to Indy in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda by collecting every reward not labeled with “championship.”
The native of Kalgoorlie, Australia ended his 2015 season with John Cummiskey Racing fourth in the points standings with no wins, but after finishing in the top five in every race but two on the 16-race schedule.
As a result, the driver who views Ayrton Senna and Daniel Ricciardo as his racing heroes was named rookie of the year, and was given the USF2000 Spirit award.
Martin’s season concluded at Mazda Raceway Laguna with a second-place finish in Race 1 after starting fourth behind Nico Jamin, Aaron Telitz and Jake Edison. He would finish fourth in Race 2.
“I got a really good run on Aaron (Telitz) in his slipstream,” Martin told MotorSportsTalk following the first race. “Stuck really close in behind him. Jake (Eidson) was inside. I didn’t want to give up a spot to Jake. So I just thought let’s try the outside. It went very well. I was able to come out side by side and inside for Turn 3. Inside always wins. It went very well on the start.”
His second-place finish was the best result in a rookie season where he earned five podium finishes, including two other runners-up. Martin said he loved Turn 6 at Mazda Raceway.
“I love the blind corners. The danger factor is so great,” Martin explained. “You don’t know what’s over the hills. Throw it in there, hope for the best. Trust your driving instinct and throw it into the apex. I love Turn 6. Fast corner, drop off a little bit. It’s an awesome corner.”
We’ll look forward to seeing what’s next for Martin in 2016 and beyond.