Brilliant podium keeps Martin Kodric in Championship lead after thrilling weekend at Red Bull Ring in International GT Open

July 2019
RedBull Ring
Martin Kodric
A superb podium and a fourth-place finish at the Red Bull Ring ensured Martin Kodric remained in the International GT Open title hunt this weekend (July 13-14).

The Teo Martin McLaren racer was at his pacy best to take the fastest lap on his way to third place in the first race.

The Croatian driver then brought the No.59 720S GT3 home in fourth in Race 2 – a brilliant effort when carrying over 20-seconds of success penalties from previous races.

While Martin and teammate Henrique Chaves lost the overall lead after the first race, it saw them come back with a bang to finish up sharing the top spot as they left Austrian soil.

The ADD Management racer said: “It was a strong weekend, especially with the number of penalty points we carried over.

“We lost the Championship lead after the first race but are now equal on points, so it was a great effort.

“We showed again that we are fighting for the title. It’s going to be a tough fight, but hopefully we will have enough to do it.”

A double podium last time out at Spa-Francorchamps had left the duo top of the leadership table.

And Martin hit the ground running again, finishing P3 and P4 in free practice as he adapted to a track he had not competed at for many years.

Martin took P2 in the first qualifying session – missing pole by one-hundredth – to leave them in a great position for the first race.

He lost a few positions when it got underway, moving back into P4 before battling well with the car in front. When he got clear there was no stopping his progress, with consistently-fast times including the quickest lap of the race.

They were in such a good position when Henrique came out for his stint, that despite a 15-second penalty carried over from Spa, he could bring the car home in third.

The second qualifying session was another close affair, with Henrique driving well again for the team, to finish P2.

“We showed again that we are fighting for the title. It’s going to be a tough fight, but hopefully we will have enough to do it.”

He started Race 2 in the same fashion, keeping his position - but with a 20-second success penalty carried over, Martin would take over in P10.

However, the young racer was in top form, making some excellent overtakes and putting in quick laps to take an excellent P4 at the end.

It leaves the team joint top on 70 points in the overall standings, with three races to go and Silverstone up next.

He added: “We have a double penalty again at Silverstone, 10 seconds for the first race and five the next, so it won’t be easy.

“But we are expecting to get the maximum points we can and will concentrate on it race by race and so are trying not to think too much about the title just yet.”