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Charlie Martin

Races in:
  • 2018 GT5 Challenge

Current url param:

Charlie Martin
Charlie Martin car
  • Team Richardson Racing
  • Age 37
  • Home Midlands

Do you have any hobbies outside of motorsport?

Running is my favourite way to exercise and destress, and I spend a lot of time training (3-4 times a week). I also love surfing and try to get away as often as I can, and snowboarding too as I adore being in the mountains. I did my degree in graphic design so I enjoy working on projects either for my own communication or for others - I’m currently doing a big rebrand for a race team that’s about to launch. France is a big passion of mine too, the language, the people, the country and food - having raced there for 3 years I’m in love with the place and I try to spend time there whenever possible.

Do you have any pre-race rituals?

You may laugh but I picked up a good tip from a lady called Squash Falconer (mountain climber), who says that if you’re wearing comfortable underwear then everything else will go fine - so that’s always a priority on race weekends! I always have green tea first thing in the morning, drink a lot of water too, and make sure I take in some quiet time to focus without any distractions. Last year I trained at Formula Medicine in Italy and they gave me some great techniques too, but I can't tell you what they are...!

What are your motorsport career highlights?

Obviously 3rd place in my first full endurance race at Le Mans is high on the list, but taking fastest lady & 3rd in class in 2016 at the German round of the FIA European Hillclimb Championship (Glasbach) 4 weeks after a 100mph crash into a mountain is something I’m very proud of. I had to drive the race truck across France & 650km into Germany on my own and it was physically & psychologically very tough going, but Timo Bernhard was parked opposite me in a GT3 Cup car in the paddock (super nice guy) and gave me some great encouragement. A few months later I drove a Norma in the penultimate round of the Swiss Hillclimb Championship (Gurnigel) and won a diamond watch which was nice! Also my first ever hillclimb in France in 2014, I turned up as a complete unknown, took 1st in class & broke the class record by 2 secs in doing so - that was mega!!

What is your championship goal this season ?

I realise that coming into the GT5 Challenge with limited circuit experience will be a tough place to start my first full season of racing in the UK, but nonetheless I tend to place high expectations on myself. I want to be realistic, but I’ll also be pushing hard and physically I’m in the best shape I’ve ever known, so I’ll be aiming for the podium and a top 10 finish by the end of the year.

What makes your driving stand out from the crowd?

I’m much more than just a driver for one! I’ve done a significant amount of work for TV over the last few years (Motors TV, ITV Ninja Warrior UK, BBC3) and am keen to build up this side of my brand. I enjoy vlogging too and being in front of the camera, unlike most people I know, so I feel that combining presenting alongside racing gives me an interesting USP. I’m female too, which of course puts me in a minority of drivers, so I believe that it’s important to stand out (in a good way) and be visible as a woman in motorsport.

What's your favorite circuit and why?

Probably Le Mans for the significance of this legendary venue to me. To compete at the 24hr is my ultimate ambition, so although it was not the full La Sarthe, to walk into the circuit & garages, and drive under the Dunlop Bridge in a prototype felt incredible. This circuit will always have special meaning to me - it’s a huge source of my inspiration & motivation to drive there one day!

Where did you race and what were your results last season?

I raced for my 3rd season in the Championnat de France de la Montagne (French Hillclimb Championship) in a Norma M20FC (CN2) prototype. I had a fantastic year, finishing in the top 10 at every race, fastest lady 4 times including the French round of the FIA European Hillclimb Championship at Mont-Dore. I also started circuit racing at Knockhill in August in the Celtic Speed Mini Cooper Cup with PerformanceTek (final 3 rounds), before entering the Race of Remembrance at Anglesey where I came 2nd in the Citroen C1 class. Finally I competed at Le Mans (Bugatti Circuit) in November, driving in a 3hr endurance race for the Trophée Tourisme d’Endurance. I shared with Nicolas Schatz (LMP3 ELMS) and we took a solid 3rd place finish to round off an excellent year.