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  • Writer's pictureIGOR LAERTE

Bia Martins takes her second podium of the season in the HB20 Racing Cup

In a weekend with hectic battles in Interlagos, Bia Martins overcame brake problems to climb once again to the podium of the Brazilian touring car series HB20 Racing Cup based on the Hyundai HB20 machine.

Bia Martins; HB20 Racing Cup
Photo credits: Jackson de Souza

After a long break of just over 2 months since the opening round, the Brazilian touring car series HB20 Racing Cup has finally returned to action for the 2024 season. And the only woman present on the grid - Bia Martins, had another memorable weekend at Interlagos. In addition to recording good results throughout the sessions, she also achieved her second podium of the year - the third in her career in the series.

On Friday, free practice sessions and classification for race 1 took place, where Bia Martins recorded the 7th fastest time overall - P3 in the Super class.

“We started very well! The goal for the weekend is to maintain consistency in the championship and secure podiums in both races", she said about her expectations for the second round of the HB20 Racing Cup. "I'm confident that we will do a good job!”

In race 1, held on Saturday morning, 29 cars took to the track and despite losing a position in the first corners of the Interlagos Circuit, Bia Martins quickly recovered to 7th place. With tough fights for positions in the middle of the pack, Martins survived the several incidents occurring on track and kept her Hyundai HB20 #55 car unscratched, despite being under pressure from Thomaz Tescaro on lap 2.

While Felipe Malinowsk and André Bragantini pulled away at the front of the field, the fights remained hectic just behind: on lap 8 Bia Martins was overtaken by Tescaro and Bruno Massa, and would also have to defend from Thiago Arns.

Despite the problems that had arisen with her car's brakes during the race, she continued her efforts on track and recovered one position, crossing the finish line in P9 - 4th place in the Super class. Which ensured her second climb to the podium, out of 3 races held so far in the 2024 season. Bragantini was the winner.

Bia Martins; HB20 Racing Cup
Photo credits: HB20 Racing Cup

On the morning of the following day, the drivers returned to the track for the last time of the weekend and Bia Martins lined up 9th overall on the starting grid. At the end of the first lap, the winner of race 1 - André Bragantini, had climbed the order to take the lead. A little further back, Martins gained two positions, moving up to P7.

In the following laps, Bia was overtaken by some competitors, dropping to 10th position. On lap 6, a crash occurred involving three cars, and the safety car was deployed to retrieve the stricken vehicles, neutralizing the action for three laps.

After the restart, Bia Martins - who was in 10th - was caught by Túlio Patto and Bruno Caravaggi. When defending herself from overtaking attempts, she ended up braking a little late in turn 1, losing her apex and being overtaken by her opponents.

With just 4 laps remaining, André Bragantini and Felipe Malinowsk were in a duel for victory, followed by Dudu Petrelli, and opening a gap to the rest of the pack. Bragantini came out on top, securing his second victory in the round. There was still time for Bia Martins to regain a position, so she crossed the finish line in 11th position overall - P7 in her class.

Bia Martins shared with us her impressions of the weekend in Interlagos: "We started the weekend well, always in top 7/8 overall and competing for P2/P3 in the class. We had an excellent car in practice, but on Saturday I had a brake problem and in the race I did what I could to hold on."

Bia Martins; HB20 Racing Cup
Photo credits: Jackson de Souza

She continued: "I was in P2 for more than half the time, but I ended up overtaking 2 times and ended up in P4. On Sunday I was also managing to maintain P5 for the most part, but with the restart after the safety car, 2 ended up overtaking and I finished in P7."

"Overall it was positive, because we showed progress and came out of the second round with fourth place in the championship. We still have 3 more to go to get the title and we're going for it!" - she concluded.

The HB20 Racing Cup will have another break until the 3rd round and will return to action on July 20th and 21st, once again in Interlagos.



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