Rookie Martin claims GT pole on return

October 4, 2013

Rookie Martin claims GT pole on return

October 4, 2013


Belgian Maxime Martin claimed his first American Le Mans Series GT pole position at the Oak Tree Grand Prix at the Virginia International Raceway Saturday. Martin missed the last round of the ALMS series at Circuit of The Americas, chasing the championship at the final round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at the Nurburgring in Germany.

He quickly reacquainted himself with the BMW Z4 GTE at VIR, lapping the 17-turn 3.27 mile circuit in 1 minute, 45.978 seconds.MaximeLR

Martin is partnered by veteran driver Bill Auberlen in the black BMW 55 Z4 GTE.

“I’m really happy for the team and working with my teammate Bill Auberlen. He’s teaching me a lot, and getting me to speed very quickly. Third pole of the team, third pole for the 55, third different driver,” Martin said.

“It feels good! It’s never easy for me [in ALMS] because I have to learn each track we visit, and we don’t get much free practice time at any of them.”

“This result shows that we’re working well together as a team and I’m very happy to have secured a pole here in the US. I’m really happy for the team.”

Martin was helped to pole when the Risi Competizione Ferrari suffered mechanical problems during the session. The 458 Italia, driven by Matteo Malucelli, ran onto the grass at Oak Tree corner.

Coming back onto track, the red Ferrari drove over the kerbing and slow motion camera replays showed fluid streaming out from the back of the car.

The next car to come through was that of Kuno Wittmer who promptly spun in the slick substance left behind by the Ferrari.

The car behind Wittmer was the Corvette of Tommy Milner and he was unable to drive on the compromised tarmac.

Milner drove into the tire barrier and eventually limped back to the pitlane with a damaged nose.

The crash prompted a red flag and with Martin logging his fast lap ahead of the incident, pole belonged to the rookie.

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