Charlie Martin took her first pole position of the season in Lamborghini Super Trofeo and led throughout her stint of the first race in dominant fashion - but her car unfortunately didn't make the finish line, in an extremely challenging weekend at Spa.
Charlie Martin and teammate Jason Keats endured a difficult weekend at Spa Francorchamps, home of the second round of the European Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
The British racer scored pole position and was utterly dominant in her stint of the first race of the weekend; unfortunately, a DNF and red flagged second race meant that her pace went unrewarded.
Martin is contesting her first Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe season, following a very positive debut in the North American series in 2022. Teaming up again with Canadian Jason Keats, the duo is sharing the #54 Brutal Fish Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo2 in the LC Cup class; Martin was looking forward to build upon a great start of the season at Paul Ricard, when she secured a class podium.
"We've showed some great pace in the opening round of the season at Paul Ricard, and we are feeling confident, so myself and Jason will be looking to challenge at the front again", Martin said before the weekend.
The weekend - in support of the 2023 Crowdstrike 24 Hours of Spa - was off to a great start for Martin, as she secured her first pole position of the season with a time of 2:25.928 despite heavy traffic. Martin was 0.078 faster than Balthasar (Oregon Team), a Pro entry, and seven tenths quicker than Gerard Van der Horst, the second placed car in LC Cup.
In Q2, Jason Keats - at his second ever season in motor racing - was fifth fastest in class.
In a dry race 1 on Friday, Martin took the start from pole and was unchallenged throughout her stint - preceding Van der Horst and Petar Matic, with several cars from different cars in between. Charlie gained a few spots in the overall classification and, by far the fastest driver in class, she led comfortably until the driver change midway through the race. She would pit towards the end of the pit window and handed over the #54 machine to Jason Keats.
Keats dropped to third in class, having been passed by Van der Horst and Paolo Biglieri in the opening stages of his stint before a safety car neutralized the action. The Safety Car had erased all the advantage that Martin had built over her stint, but Keats had a good restart and kept third in LC Cup, albeit the Canadian was under pressure from Hernandez Ortega.
Unfortunately, he would not take the chequered flag, as an incident meant he was unable to continue.
Saturday's race was even more challenging - as it got underway in heavy wet conditions.
The race started behind the safety car, but several cars spun behind the pace car in treacherous visibility. Unfortunately, Jason Keat went off and hit the barriers at Raidillon, which meant that the race was eventually red flagged and not restarted for the unsafe conditions.
"A difficult weekend at Spa on all fronts", Martin commented. "I did my absolute best, securing pole position and holding P1 in class for my whole stint in race one, but the racing gods intervened and sadly our car didn't make the finish line."
"Race two brought heavy wet conditions, I was primed to jump in and start my stint but our car suffered damage from an impact that saw the race red flagged," she continued.
"A massive thank you to the team at Brutal Fish Racing and my teammate Jason for all your hard work, we go again at the Nürburgring at the end of July!"
With the result going back to lap 3 before the red flag, Martin and Keats were classified in fifth place. Half points were awarded, as the race distance was over two laps but less than 75%. The next round will take place at the Nürburgring, Germany, on the 28-30 July.