Sportscar star John Martin will move into touring car racing after landing a TCR Australia Series drive with Wall Racing.
The experienced Queenslander will pilot one of two Honda Civic Type-R TCR cars fielded by the Sydney squad with the other to be raced by Shell V-Power Racing Supercars enduro driver Tony D’Alberto.
Martin has proven to be a versatile racer having progressed through single seater ranks to race in the now defunct A1GP and Superleague Formula before switching to international sportscar racing, competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
After returning home in 2015, the 34-year-old has been racing in Carrera Cup Australia and Australian GT in recent seasons before now electing to race touring cars.
“It’s going to be different, but I’m really looking forward to the new challenge,” said Martin, who is the sixth driver confirmed for the inaugural TCR Australia Series.
“Up until TCR got announced in Australia, I didn’t really picture myself racing in touring cars, but the more I spoke to people and the more hype that has been building, it now seems like the obvious next career choice.
“The category is massive in Europe. I was over there when it first started and I’ve watched a fair bit of the racing. It’s very exciting, door to door battles and that’s what people want to see.
“The other lure for me is that it’s an international class. There’s nothing stopping us from going to Asia or Europe and racing these exact same cars on some of the world’s best circuits. That definitely played a part in my decision.
“I’ve had some dealings with David Wall and his team of late and they are a great team. There is no fuss with their racing. They enjoy it and they are good at it. I’m really looking forward to the season kicking off in Sydney.”
Team owner David Wall believes Martin’s experience will be crucial in helping the squad hit the ground running at the opening meeting of the seven round series at Sydney Motorsport Park next month.
“John is hugely experienced and he has proven his ability in a variety of different cars – you name it, he has done it,” said Wall.
“His experience is definitely going to help our team get on the pace quickly, and he is really going to complement Tony (D’Alberto) in our other car.
“To have two very good professional drivers in our Hondas is a massive benefit. These cars are quite a bit different to what they are familiar with, but I feel that they will be able to get their heads around it really quickly.
“The Winton test is going to be an important day. It will be their only chance to drive the cars prior to Sydney Motorsport Park, so we’ll be looking to maximise every moment to ensure we are competitive straight out of the box.”
Martin will test the Honda at Winton on April 30 ahead of the opening round at Sydney Motorsport Park on May 17-19.
Entry list: Round 1, Sydney Motorsport Park
|Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi||TBA|
|Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagen||TBA|
|Wall Racing||Honda||Tony D’Alberto|
|Wall Racing||Honda||John Martin|
|HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai||Nathan Morcom|
|HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai||TBA|
|Team Tradie||Volkswagen||Jason Bright|
|Garth Walden Motorsport||Hyundai||TBA|
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo||Jimmy Vernon|
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo||TBA|
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault||Chris Pither|
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault||TBA|