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Oz: Martin doubles up at Indy
1 January 1901
John Martin has followed up his race one win with a second victory of the weekend at the Nikon Indy 300 F3 Challenge at Surfers Paradise.
The race couldn't have been easier for the Piccola Scuderia driver, who took a lights to flag victory on the tight street circuit in his Dallara F307 Mercedes Benz.
“I nailed the start – yesterday I didn't want to stall so I didn't get a good getaway but today was much better and I was able to establish a good buffer in the opening lap,” he said. “From there it was a matter of setting a good pace in front and hold a good margin.”
The 24-year-old was able to blitz the field at the start, reversing the situation that occurred in race one when James Winslow passed him before the first corner.
Instead Martin led all of the way, followed by Winslow's Team BRM Dallara F307 that – though significantly closer - had no answer for the young Australian.
While a battle for first didn't happen, the huge crowd was treated to a final lap tussle for second and third.
Chris Alajajian and Leanne Tander swapped places on the final lap when Alajajian attempted a pass on Winslow but ran wide, giving Tander the inside run and third position.
It was a fitting for the spoils of third to be shared between Tander and Alajajian, who go into the final race level on points for the weekend.
“We are moving forward, even if it is a bit late in the weekend with just a race to go – but the car was a lot better that time around,” Tander said. “I'm getting more comfortable in the car and it's certainly faster so tomorrow should be a good finish to the weekend and the season.”
Nathan Caratti again snuck in to finish in fifth for Team BRM, with team-mate Zahir Ali sixth. Mat Sofi finished in seventh for Astuti Motorsport after starting the race in 15th because of a crash in yesterday's race.
Despite yesterday's antics, Sofi came very close to finding himself in a world of trouble when he launched off the curbs at the XXXX Gold Chicanes and got an incredible amount of air under the car.
“I had some oversteer at the chicane and the car got sideways,” he explained. “I felt that if I corrected it I may have ended up in the wall so in the end I aimed straight for the kerb and the car went skywards.
“It was a huge jump. My back is a bit sore from the landing but I was able to finish, so as long as the footage looked spectacular I guess it's all good!”
Carlos Huertas had a fine race yesterday on his F3 debut to be the best National Class runner of the day, but suffered mechanical problems in race two and was stuck on the grid when the lights went out.
The field were lucky not to suffer a safety car intervention as officials decided to continue racing while marshals cleared Huertas by pushing him down the length of the straight.
Instead, Chris Gilmour picked up the honour of first National Class competitor with his eighth position, and Jesse Wakeman was the best Trophy Class finisher with a tenth place finish.
Once again John Martin set the lap record, which only stood for a day, this time by almost an entire second to record a 1m 47.9630s lap around the 4.47-kilometre track.
“I pushed on a little but in the end if you don't give anything away you won't get passed so I didn't want to throw the race away from the lead,” he said. “I pressed on during the final lap and was able to re-set the lap record which was a great way to end it.”
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