After a sunny start in the skies and on the track for Charlie Martin in the Britcar Endurance Championship in the opening round at Silverstone, traditional English early-Spring rains came into play in round two at Snetterton.
The fickle finger of racing fate also showed up in the second race of the series doubleheader.
An incident on the course brought out the safety car 18 minutes into the scheduled 60-minute race. Martin had carefully negotiated the wet conditions to move the Praga R1 up from sixth to third in class as the entire field dove into pits as the pit window for the race opened.
Martin handed the car off to teammate Jack Fabby. As Fabby prepared to head into the race and the rain, chaos ensued just behind him.
Britain’s Jonathan Beeson was clipped by another car leaving their pit box. His Class 4 Volkswagen was spun into the back end of Fabby and Martin’s Praga that was sitting still in their pit box. Each driver walked away, but the Powerhouse Performance Praga suffered its first DNF of the season.
“Everyone dove into the pits to make their stops under the safety car which meant it got very busy, very quickly,” Martin said after the race. “We were simply doing our own thing when we got collected and caught up in the incident behind us which is a real shame as we looked good for another podium.”
The incident put a damper on a day that started as another boost from from the team’s impressive effort on April 24, where they ran first and second in the doubleheader at Silverstone. The first race last weekend started in a gloomy sheet of rain around the Snetterton Circuit. Prior to this weekend, Martin had never driven this track, and the rough weather made for a rough baptism.
“Heading out on track in qualifying, I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced weather quite like it,” Martin said later. “It was still treacherous out there so it was simply a case of keeping it on the track and getting Jack in as good a position as possible for the remainder of the race.”
Fabby took over just short of halfway in the race, and used a combination of his speed through the conditions and taking advantage of missteps in front of him to race to a second place effort. Despite the pit row incident in race 2, the team ended the weekend in second in the overall season standings as the series heads to the third round at Oulton Park Circuit June 12.
Martin, however, will be racing again this coming weekend. She will team up alongside Dutch driver Sandra Van Der Sloot in the ADAC GT4 Germany series opener Saturday at Oschersleben, Germany.