The Campos Racing driver achieved his sixth podium so far in the Spanish F4 after finishing second in Saturday's event, despite running on used tires, unlike most rivals. In the two races on Sunday, the Barcelona driver made up for two problems at the start by climbing a total of 29 positions on track (15 and 14, respectively), and has achieved the fastest lap in one of them.
"We had the best pace on the grid this weekend, but luck was not on our side on Sunday."
Pepe Martí has closed the fifth meeting of the Spanish Formula 4 at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Cheste with a second position in Saturday's race and the two biggest comebacks on the grid on Sunday meetings, where he finished in 11th and 7th place, respectively. In this last run he also achieved fastest lap, which only confirmed his great pace throughout the event, leaving the young Barcelonian eager to continue in the battle for the main positions in the championship in the Jerez circuit next October 2 and 3. Martí arrived in his team's home track, Campos Racing, a team that has the support of Auser, dealer and official workshop of Renault and Dacia of the Movento group, to promote young talent, with good prospects and an optimistic setup to begin with. Sensations that were transferred to the results on track since the free practice sessions, which he closed as the leader and with the best lap of the weekend up to that moment.
The Catalan driver started the first race of the weekend from fifth place on the grid, which, unlike a good part of his rivals, he faced with used tires, a significant handicap, especially in the last laps. However, an excellent start to the test catapulted him to second place, which he was able to maintain impeccably. The second day of activity in Cheste started with the mandatory qualifying session, held on a cold and slightly rubbery asphalt, and whose classification arranged the grid for the third race: “We have chosen to wait two minutes in the pit lane before entering the track, a strategy that we believe was the most successful. However, the traffic did not allow us to complete more than a clean lap. The remaining time in the session would have given us two more opportunities, which were unfortunately affected by a rival's spin and, later on, by a red flag”. Pepe had to settle for a new fifth place in the session that would later transform into a fourth position due to a third-party penalty.
Prior to this last meeting of the weekend, the short race would be held as scheduled for a duration of 18 minutes plus a turn. Despite starting from the third starting position, Pepe preferred to save the set of new tires for the evening event, which, like the one on Saturday, awards the highest score. Martí stalled the car at the start, falling from third to 26th position: “Despite this setback, we showed our pace lap after lap. We have been setting the same times as the race leaders driving in traffic and fighting for positions. In the end we finished in 11th place, recovering 15 places. It was a shame, because we had the pace to be at the front”.
A few hours later, Pepe Martí mounted four new tires on his Campos Racing car to face the last appointment of the program, scheduled for 25 minutes plus one lap: "Unfortunately, we stalled the car again at the start, making this mornings story happen once again. Equally we had to work through the middle section to fight for the top 10 and save a few points. In the end, we recovered 14 positions to enter the finish line in 7th place with the fastest lap, and riding faster than the first three classified”. It should be noted that this recovery has been very clean and without incurring in abuses of the track limits, one of the aspects that has capitalized the attention of the weekend and has cost many rivals many sanctions in the form of seconds added to the time final.
Pepe Martí closed the meeting with bittersweet feelings: “We had the pace to repeat the Motorland results, but luck was not on our side on Sunday. In short, it has been a very difficult weekend, because we weren't able to turn the best pace on grid into results”. Fortunately, the Barcelona driver will not have to wait too long to redeem the sensations of Cheste, since the sixth event of the year will arrive in just two weeks, on October 2nd and 3rd, at the Jerez track. This is the penultimate meeting of the year, which Martí still faces with full options to fight for a place on the final podium of the championship.