Perfect weekend for Nerea Martí at Aragon in Spanish Endurance Championship
Spanish racing star Nerea Marti claimed two victories and two pole positions at Motorland Aragon, at the third round of the Spanish Endurance Championship. The BMW España Motorsport driver is now leading the standings.
Valencian 20-year old racing driver Nerea Martí is contesting her first season in touring cars, as she combines a double-program alongside her sophomore W Series campaign. Martí joined José Manuel de los Milagros behind the wheel of the #81 BMW M2 CS Racing operated by BMW España Motorsport, in a works effort for the Spanish branch of the German manufacturer aimed at tackling the GT-CER championship - the Spanish Endurance Championship. After a remarkable debut in the all-female F3 championship W Series, Nerea Martí is exploring opportunities in the world of motor racing and made her debut in closed-wheel cars in this year's GT Winter Series, where she turned her first laps in the BMW M2 challenger and prepared for her first season in GT racing. With podiums and victories at debut, Martí and de los Milagros were second in the overall standings, as they battled for the title up until the final round at Barcelona. In a rainy Valencia, Martí brought home a win and a second place in the opening round of GT-CER, before adding one more class victory at the second race meeting at Portimao. An unfortunate technical issue meant that they could not take the start of Race 2 in Algarve, but the strong driver pairing was back in full form at Motorland Aragon, where they scored the perfect weekend. Martí and de los Milagros topped every single session, including free practice on Saturday. They swept the competition by claiming pole positions for the two Sunday races, where they had the chance to prove their dominant pace. "We arrived at MotorLand with a lot of enthusiasm, it's been a long time since I competed on this track and we hope to take the victory and get good points for the championship", siad Nerea before the races. José Manuel de los Milagros took the start of Race 1 from class pole, P14 overall. He would quickly climb to P11 overall, always retaining the lead in the D1 class, ahead of the #10 Audi Audi RS3 LMS of Jorge Pereira Da Costa Silva. De los Milagros was able to put a couple of cars in between the class rival, as he made it back to the pits for the driver change 20 minutes into the race. Nerea Martí held the lead and was back out on track in P11 overall. She extended the gap and brought home a dominant class win, finishing 23 seconds ahead of the #10 Audi and in the overall top-ten. The #126 Porsche of Francisco Abreau and Francisco Mora got ahead of the #111 Porsche driven by Daniel Carretero Ortega and Pablo Yeregui Ybarra after the pit stop and took the overall win, while pole sitter Cor Euser retired after 10 laps. In the afternoon race, Nerea Martí took the start from pole and led the early stages, preceding the #26 Cupra of Harriet Arruabarrena Rubio and the #10 Audi of Pedro Pereira Da Silva. The young Valencian gained a few places in the overall classify and advanced to P9, always keeping the D1 class leader a few seconds behind. Martí pitted at around the mid-race mark, handing over to José Manuel de los Milagros. On lap 10, though, a Safety Car would mix up the order, as the #26 Cupra of Vicente Dasi Martinez de Vallejo leapfrogged both the BMW driven by de los Milagros and the Audi of Pereira Da Costa Silva. With outstanding pace, though, de los Milagros gained over 7 seconds per lap to overtake the Cupra with two minutes to go on lap 17 - and secured a second impressive victory for the BMW España Motorsport duo. With two victories at Aragon, Nerea Martí and José Manuel de los Milagros now lead the class championship standings, at the midpoint of the season. “We return home with a perfect weekend" - Nerea said. "We are very happy with the result at MotorLand as we have dominated all the sessions from start to finish."
The next round of the Spanish Endurance Championship will be held on September 17-18 at Jerez. But the young Spanish star will return behind the wheel this weekend, at the W Series British GP at Silverstone. Martí currently sits fifth in the points' standings, having scored a podium at Miami.