LEXINGTON, Ohio – Anthony Martin enjoyed a picture perfect Sunday morning under a glorious blue sky at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as he sped to an uncontested victory for Cape Motorsports during Pro Mazda Championship competition.
The 22-year-old from Perth, Australia, led every inch of the way after starting on the pole and added the fastest lap for good measure.
Martin’s fifth win of the season vaulted him ahead of title rival Victor Franzoni in their tussle for a Mazda scholarship, worth almost $800,000 to assist in the progression to Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires in 2018.
Franzoni finished a distant second for Juncos Racing, following a duel throughout the 30-minute contest with Brazilian countryman Carlos Cunha.
After being denied victory on Saturday due to an incident with a slower car, Martin took off at the start this time with winning in mind.
He established a torrid pace and extended his lead with virtually every lap before finally crossing the finish line a commanding 13.9957 seconds clear of Franzoni, who had overtaken front row qualifier Cunha under braking for turn two on the opening lap but was never able to shake off his pursuer.
“I knew I had one job to do and that was to win the race,” said Martin. “I was a little ticked off from yesterday so I might have had a little more aggression today, but I had to put what happened yesterday out of my mind – racing is racing and those things happen. I didn’t look behind me until the back straight, when the team told me that Victor was in second and that I needed to go. From there, it was head down.”
“The Cape boys gave me a great car all weekend and it was almost a 100 percent successful weekend. It was great to see we could do it and that helps with three races to go. Pressure motivates me to do better and I think being on top makes me go faster so I’m confident going forward.”
The trio of distinctive yellow Team Pelfrey cars ran in close formation for the first lap or so, before T.J. Fischer managed to find a way past Nikita Lastochkin. Fischer settled into a relatively lonely fourth place until the closing stages, when the youngest driver in the field, 15-year-old Sting Ray Robb, began to loom larger in his mirrors.
Robb, who started sixth, overtook Lastochkin after seven laps, then reduced a deficit to Fischer of more than four seconds to just a few car lengths at the checkered flag.
Martin now unofficially leads Franzoni by four points heading to Gateway Motorsports Park on Aug. 26, the only oval race of the Pro Mazda season.
Under the direction of series officials, the cars of Martin, Franzoni and Fischer have been impounded for further evaluation in Indianapolis this week, marking an extension of the current inspection process.
When completed, the procedure and outcome will be published, with the results from Sunday’s race remaining unofficial until that point.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…