Martin Takes Second at gateway

MADISON, Ill. – Cape Motorsports and Anthony Martin entered the penultimate event of the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at the 1.25-mile Gateway Motorsports Park oval with a slim four-point lead, and the Australian was on his game all weekend, qualifying on pole before finishing second in the 55-lap race.

As the only oval event of the season for the Pro Mazda drivers, Martin needed to draw on his speedway experience he gained with Cape Motorsports in winning at Lucas Oil Raceway last year en route to the 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda crown. Anthony was quick out of the gate in practice and qualifying and despite not being able to score the win at Gateway, he will be ready to race for the Pro Mazda title at Watkins Glen International this coming weekend. 

“It was another great performance by the boys, Anthony delivered another impressive drive with solid points, and the car was quick all weekend,” offered Dominic and Nicholas Cape, Team Owners. “The championship was always going to come down to the final two races at the Glen; what a circuit for a full-on knock-down drag-out fight. Better load your six shooters, this is war!” 

Martin and his Cape Motorsports team used their 45-minute practice session on Friday to get their Mazda Scholarship-backed machine dialed in for the unique oval track, which was recently repaved. Each end of the track as a different corner radius and banking level that presents a challenge, but the team had the car’s set-up nailed as Anthony posted an series-leading average lap speed of 140.964 mph. 

In single-car qualifying, which were run in much different conditions early Saturday afternoon, Martin turned laps of 33.2273 and 33.0581 seconds for a two-lap average speed of 140.001 mph to earn the pole position for the 55-lap main event. 

Martin’s year-long battle with Juncos Racing’s Victor Franzoni for the Pro Mazda Championship continued at Gateway, as Anthony leveraged his pole position to get the jump at the start.  Franzoni started second and tucked in behind Martin’s Soul Red #8 Pro Mazda, and while Anthony led for the first 18 laps, Franzoni eventually slipped around the outside to take the lead.  Martin then remained focused on running hard laps and was rewarded with a second-place finish.  The result has placed him in second in the championship standings, just two points back of Franzoni with a total of 66 points on the table at the season finale doubleheader this coming weekend. 

The final weekend of the year kicks off on Friday at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York.  Martin will hit the 3.37-mile, 11-turn track for a 9:30 am EDT practice session on Friday, September 1 ahead of qualifying for Race 1 at 2:30 pm.  The first of two races will be run at 11:30 am on Saturday, while qualifying for Race 2 will take place at 5:30 pm. The second race of the doubleheader, which will wrap up the season, is set for 7:55 am on Sunday. 

Anthony Martin:  “The weekend was great for us! The Cape Motorsport crew gave me a great car all weekend, one that was fast and comfortable to drive. We were fast through practice and qualifying and as the track changed a little, it was not in our favor. The championship was always going to come down Watkins Glen, so coming in second at Gateway is great points and I am only two points behind. Bringing the car home with good points and intact was the goal, and we achieved that. Now it’s onto to preparing for this weekend where it will come down to the races!

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