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Racing with reigning champions Adrenalin Motorsport, she will pilot a BMW M240i Racing Cup car on the infamous Nordschleife at the Nürburgring – dubbed ‘The Green Hell’ by former F1 champion Jackie Stewart.
The 2020 season will also mark her 24-hour racing debut in the 24 Hours Nürburgring – a significant step towards her aim of becoming the first transgender competitor in the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Charlie Martin said: “I am excited to be heading to the Nürburgring. So much work has gone into finding the right opportunity for hard racing in a competitive championship and VLN has everything I am looking for. I have completed two test days so far and I’m enjoying adapting to the M240i, coming from a prototype with downforce you have to really hustle this car and drive right on the edge to get the most out of the mechanical grip.
“I’m proud to be racing with Adrenalin who have a proven record in this championship, and it has been a great fit from the start. I see them as the perfect partners for my first 24-hour endurance outing and a big step towards my goal of competing at Le Mans.”
NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd is a long-term sponsor of Charlie, who is proud to be supported by the ignition specialist.
She said: “I’m really excited to once again have NGK on board. This will be coming up to the sixth year we have worked together and I’m so proud to have them as a sponsor. It is such a well-recognised brand and it is great to work together once more.
“We are using NGK racing plugs in the car and, as we are all competing in the same cars in the championship, we are always looking for a competitive advantage.”
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “We are delighted to once again be sponsoring Charlie. She is a role model and true ambassador for the sport and I’m sure everyone who loves motorsport will be thrilled that she is competing in such a prestigious championship this year.”
Despite confirmation that the opening two rounds of the VLN championship are cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Charlie remains upbeat ahead of the start of the season.
“Of course, I am disappointed that the first races have been cancelled but it is the right decision,” she said. “Safety is always the first priority and I hope that these precautions mean we will get back to racing soon all the sooner.”
Martin began her racing career in European Hillclimb before returning to circuit racing in the UK in 2017. Following a season in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge, she graduated to prototype racing in the Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2019.
Matthias Unger, Team Principal of Adrenalin Motorsport, said: “Charlie has already shown her speed and has adapted very quickly to the new car during testing, and we are looking forward to a successful season together.”
Charlie, who is a representative of Racing Pride and a Stonewall Sports Champion, has led efforts to increase diversity in motorsport, including making headlines during PRIDE month 2018, where she was responsible for the entire field of British GT championship cars carrying rainbow stickers to mark the event.
Unger added: “For us, Charlie is the whole package and we’re proud to have a LGBT+ woman representing our team both off and on the track in the year ahead. We are making history together and are excited to be alongside her during her first 24-hour endurance race.”
About NGK SPARK PLUG:
Worldwide: NGK Spark Plug is one of the leading automotive and technical ceramics suppliers, with its corporate headquarters in Nagoya, Japan and sales organisations and production facilities all over the world. The automotive side of the company specialises in the fields of ignition and sensor technology, supplying Original Equipment and Aftermarket customers across the globe. Its product portfolio for the Aftermarket comprises spark plugs, glow plugs, ignition coils and leads under the NGK Ignition Parts brand, whilst oxygen and temperature sensors, NOx sensors, mass air flow (MAF) and manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensors operate under the brand NTK Vehicle Electronics. With more than 14,500 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.1 billion Euros worldwide. NGK Spark Plug is represented on all continents and has 41 group companies, 24 production plants and five technical centres.
Aftermarket EMEA: NGK Spark Plug has seen significant growth across the Aftermarket since expanding beyond motorcycle parts into the automotive sector in the 1970s. With an outstanding commitment to quality, technology and research & development the company has become the world’s number one in spark plugs and oxygen sensors, and a leading provider of glow plugs, ignition coils and leads as well as further sensor technology. Organisationally NGK Spark Plug’s regional headquarters in Ratingen, Germany serves the Aftermarket across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In the EMEA region – which currently represents 32% of NGK´s global turnover – the company has ten group companies and more than 800 employees, as well as two production plants in France and South Africa and a technical centre in Germany.
For more information please visit: www.ngk-europe.com
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