Romeo Ferraris driver Maxime Martin is targeting glory as the FIA ETCR eTouring Car World Cup heads to his home, Belgium, for the fourth round of the series, Race BE on July 8-10.
Martin currently sits in fourth place in the series standings and can look back on four wins across the battles waged so far this season. He won his Semi Final last time out in Jarama and finished the weekend with the fourth-most points in Spain as well as in second place in the Pool FURIOUS DHL Super Final.
Here’s what Martin hard to say looking to his home event.
What’s your outlook heading to your home event?
I’m looking forward to racing in my own country with FIA ETCR. The Circuit Zolder layout is completely different to what we have experienced until now so it will be very interesting to race in the Giulia ETCR by Romeo Ferraris. I can’t wait to see the Belgian fans experience our series.
What’s the character of Circuit Zolder?
Zolder is a very, very technical track with two very different parts. The first sector has quite high speed corners, where you need to keep momentum with fast and mid speed corners, so lots of focus on entry and exit. Then the rest of the track is more quite long straights and big braking for the slower corners, more like a stop and go type track.
This makes it a challenge to get the car right as it’s very technical. It’s not easy to optimise the car as the corner requirements are so different.
What do you need to be fast in Zolder?
The key areas to be fast – aside from a good basic package with the car – are the brakes and the ability to ride the kerbs. You need to have really good braking performance as you have very big braking zones. Also, you need to be able to run the kerbs quite aggressively as you need to use them to go fast in quite a few of the corners. Also, traction is important exiting the slow speed stuff.
Where can we expect the most action on track?
It’s got to be the two big braking zones as they are right after two decent straights. There will be quite a lot of overthinking of possibilities in the last chicane, which will be very interesting at the end of the last lap of each battle and especially in the DHL Super Final.
The straights will see a lot of use of the Power Up, and the track is quite wide so we could see some interesting lines. For sure, it’s going to be interesting racing with quite a few places where you can pass.
How’s your season so far?
I would say it’s been okay. We had up and downs for sure, but in general we have always been quite competitive, especially through the battles and through the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and DHL Super Finals.
We’ve lacked a bit of performance in qualifying since the beginning of the year. We still need to work on this to make sure we can fully use and take advantage of the 500 kilowatts. If we can extract the lap time with this, we will qualify better and it helps the weekend a lot to start nearer the front of the grid.
What are your targets at home?
The targets for Zolder are quite clear. It’s like every week, we go there to try to win and try to be the King of the Weekend and score maximum points.
The advantage of Zolder for me, compared to Pau or Jarama for example, is that I go there without having to learn the track as I know it well already. That is a great positive which means we can focus more on improving the car.
Certainly, I’m looking to get more points and to be on the podium would definitely be awesome. My family are coming and my kids have asked me to be on the podium so they can join me there, so I know what I have to do!”