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Charlie Martin returns to the podium in Lamborghini ST at the Nürburgring

Charlie Martin charged through the field in the third round of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe at the Nürburgring, narrowly missing out on her second pole position in class and then storming from eighth to third in class in the second race.

Photo by: Andrea Sciarra

British racer Charlie Martin returned to the podium in her first Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe season, as the driver of the #54 Brutal Fish Racing Huracan continued a strong campaign in the LC class. Martin, who shares the wheel with teammate Jason Keats, bounced back from a challenging weekend at Spa, where she scored her first pole position in the series and was the protagonist of a very solid stint, but the duo was eventually unable to capitalize in the wet races. At the third round of the season - which also marks the mid-way point of the 2023 Super Trofeo Europe championship - Martin and Keats tackled the Nürburgring GP circuit, in yet another tricky weekend with typical mixed-weather in the Eifel. Martin built upon her strong start of the season, which also saw the British driver securing a last lap pass for second in class at Le Castellet, first round of her rookie campaign. Martin and Keats - who already shared a Super Trofeo Evo2 in the North American series last year - were confident coming into the German round, having shown good speed in class across all four previous races. "I'm coming into this feeling ready after the short break, it didn't quite go our way in the previous round at Spa, so to be back behind the wheel at yet another iconic circuit is a great feeling!", Charlie said before the weekend. "Myself and Jason are raring to go and hit the track and ready to give it everything to be back fighting at the front of the class for victories and podiums. We've got some great pace so we just need to go out there and show it!" And the speed was evident since practice at the Nürburgring, with the duo setting the third fastest time in class in FP2, before battling for pole position in the first qualifying session on Saturday morning. Charlie narrowly missed out on yet another pole when she had to avoid two competitors making contact ahead; her qualifying lap was still good enough for second in class in Q1, before Keats jumped behind the wheel for Q2. The Canadian driver was eighth in class for the grid of Race 2. In a highly competitive 45-car field, the lights went out for the first race of the weekend in a sunny Nürburgring; from second on the grid in LC Cup, Charlie Martin fell to third on the first lap, right behind second-placed #65 Leipert Huracan of Jurgen Krebs. The two pulled away from Gerard van der Horst, fourth in class, while Paolo Biglieri had checked out in front and was mingling with the Am cars. Martin battled in the top three for the whole first stint also climbing over 10 positions in the overall classification. When the pit window opened, Charlie extended her stint and moved up to second during the pit cycle, as also Biglieri stayed out as much as possible. Martin eventually pitting from 15th overall and second in LC cup with 22 minutes to go. Jason Keats took over the reins of the #54 Brutal Fish Racing Lambo, which rejoined in third in class after Biglieri pitted one lap later as the window closed. Now in the LC Cup lead, Biglieri's teammate Petar Matic was being caught by Krebs. Jason Keats dropped down the class order, falling behind Privitelio, van der Horst and Hernandez. He would settle for sixth in LC Cup. Petar Matic eventually held on and took victory in LC Cup by 2 tenths of a second ahead of Jurgen Krebs, as Iron Lynx's Donovan Privitelio took the final podium spot. An unfortunate second stint dropped the #54 Brutal Fish Racing Huracan to sixth in class after the first race of the weekend.

Photo by: Andrea Sciarra

Race 2 got underway after a very wet GT World Challenge qualifying; while rain had stopped, the mixed conditions made for a particularly challenging situation for the Lamborghini Super Trofeo drivers and the race was therefore started behind the safety car. Amaury Bonduel led Loris Spinelli and Dan Arrow when the clock started ticking down.

A second safety car halted the action soon after, when an accident between Ibrahim Badawy and Nigel Schoonderwoerd required another neutralization and forced the delay of the pit window.

From eighth on the grid in LC Cup, Keats followed Doms and Wagner through the opening stages, helped by the safety cars. Keats took advantage of the pit window timing and handed over the #54 machine to Charlie Martin well within the pack.

After the pit cycle, Paolo Biglieri and Jurgen Krebs were back in the top positions of LC Cup, with Charlie Martin lapping very competitively.

She attempted one of her trademark charges through the field and successfully overtook Doms, Dvoracek, Am entry Valkre as well as Privitelio over the course of the following laps, then hunted down Van der Horst and Hernandez Ortega: Martin was on a mission and, showcasing stellar pace, she grabbed the final podium position in yet another brilliant performance.

"It was a weekend that threw everything at us, but to be back on the podium is a fantastic feeling and testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved!" - Martin commented.

"It was frustrating to miss out on pole when two cars almost crashed ahead of me at the penultimate corner - it had to be on my fastest and final lap, but that is racing", she added.

"I had to push hard to claim that podium in race two, but those are the moments that make it all worth it! Up next Valencia, let's keep pushing!"

The fourth round of the 2023 Lamborghini ST European campaign is in fact set to be hosted at Valencia circuito RIcardo Tormo, on the 15-17 September weekend, where Charlie Martin will be determined to carry momentum after the summer break.

Photo by: Andrea Sciarra



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