Alex Martin: “I want to get stuck in!”
Alex Martin will be a new face in the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Driving a Ford Focus under the Dextra Racing banner, the former GT racer has made the switch to the all-action BTCC, and following his first major test in the car last week btcc.net caught up with the 27-year-old to get his reactions and predictions for the coming year:
This will be your first season racing in the BTCC, can you give us some background on your career so far?
“My racing career actually started on two wheels in motocross – I was doing that as far back as I can remember! Unfortunately I had quite a serious accident that resulted in injuries that stopped me riding, but I didn’t want to stop racing all together. It wasn’t long before I was racing an old Porsche 996 – I showed quite a lot of promise so it was pretty much straight into a 997 in the Carrera Cup.
“That was the first time I got to really experience the TOCA package and the BTCC in particular, and right away I knew that I wanted to be racing here. This was way back in 2009 I think, and we’ve been working so hard ever since to get to where we are today. To finally pull it off is such a special feeling.”
What was it about the championship that appealed to you the most?
“For me it’s all about the excitement of racing, and nowhere is more exciting than the BTCC. I love how close and aggressive it is – it was a bit like that in the Ferrari Challenge although it was a lot more expensive to keep replacing those wing mirrors! With such massive grids in the BTCC there’s good racing to be had no matter where you are, and I want to get stuck in!”
You’ve recently been testing in at Brands Hatch – how did it go?
“I got my first running in the car at the end of last year, but the test at Brands last week was the first proper test of the car I’ve had. The car looks and feels great. I’m not going out there to try and be a hero, at this level it takes time and commitment to improve and from now on it’s about working hard to hit our target lap times at every circuit. We’re going to be at the Thruxton test this week, and then it’s not long until the Season Launch!”
Have you set yourself any long term goals, or are you going to be taking it as it comes?
“This is a long term plan for us, not just one season. I’m going to be taking every opportunity that’s put in front of me – there’s no question about that – but I don’t expect to be beating the guys at the front in my first race! My only pressure is from myself – I want to succeed in this championship but I fully respect that I’m going to be racing against some of the best drivers in the world.
“With that in mind I’m not going to be rushing anything. It’s the first time I’ll have raced a front-wheel-drive car, in fact I don’t think I’ve even ever had one as a road car, so it’ll take a bit of getting used to! I’m just elated to be here in this position and can’t wait for the season to start.”