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NGK-sponsored Charlie Martin makes dream race debut

British racing driver Charlie Martin – who is sponsored by ignition specialist NGK – has made a fantastic start to the 2019 Michelin Le Mans Cup season.

Martin, who was making her prototype racing debut with the Racing Experience team, guided her 5-litre 420bhp Norma M30 LMP3 car to fourth place in the first round of the championship at Le Castellet, France.

She said: “There was a lot to learn in the preparation for this first race and I’m pleased with how the whole team worked together to give us this good start to the season. My focus was on getting this first race under my belt and get to grips with this championship in race conditions, but I’m also pleased I could qualify the car in a good position for our team. I’m looking forward to hitting the track in Monza and putting what I learned into practice.“

She added: “The team ran like clockwork all week; we did one of the quickest pit stops and didn’t put a foot wrong (easier said than done when you look at all the regs first time round). I also ran fourth quickest in heavy rain (0.02 off P3) which was good as it’s the first time I’ve driven the car in the wet. So, a very successful first race against seasoned opposition.”

NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, the leading supplier of original equipment (OE) spark plugs, glow plugs and NTK Lambda and other engine management sensors, has been a long-time supporter of Martin.

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “It was an amazing performance by Charlie and the team. I’m sure all our customers who follow Charlie and the championship cannot wait to see her compete in the next round at Monza on May 16.”

The Michelin Le Mans Cup is an important step on Charlie Martin’s mission to become the first transgender competitor in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.