Vroom recognised the talent of this young French driver since his first win in Portimao. It couldn't be a win by chance, it was a clear sweep. So we interviewed him and we presented him to you on September's issue, and now this interview is more actual than ever because that unkwnown driver now is the OK Junior World Champion, after another consistent performance in Bahrain. Winning in never by chance. Well done Victor.
Everyone in the CIK-FIA paddock in Portimao was asking “who’s that guy?” So, we decided to find out who Victor Martins actually is.
Victor Martins is a 15-year-old from Varennes-jarcy, Ile de France, he was a champion gymnast and started racing in 2014: from 2015 he is under the watchful eyes of the FFSA who spotted him when he was racing in France. From scratch to the European championship podium in just three years… In 2016, Victor started the season with 20th in the WSK Super Master Series, some good results in the Iame X30 Challenge Europe and after he took a win in the DKM and two wins in the European championship, successes that took him close to the European title.
What has happened to Victor Martins since Portimao? What has changed?
“I changed my approach since the 2nd round of the European Championship in Adria with Julien Abelli (SIMUMOTION) and VDK Racing, we changed my preparation and my recovery time. And it worked out properly!”
How do you feel after this amazing European championship?
“I'm happy with the end of the European Championship because I won two consecutive races, in Portimao and in Genk. But I’m also very disappointed with the beginning of my season because due to two stupid mistakes we lost points.”
After being so close to the European championship, the next step is to win the World title in November, isn’t it?
“I'm in the right mood, but the race is still too far from now, so I'm going to work very hard for Bahrain.”
OK, let’s go back to the beginnings: why karting? Where does your passion come from?
“It comes from my admiration for F.1 drivers. Before I was French gymnastic champion. Three years ago one of my father's friends made me try karting and it started from there. I started karting in 2013 and racing in 2014. I finished 3rd in the cadet class at the French Championship in 2015 and 4th in the French Cup. Then, this year I started in OK-J with VDK Racing.”
Any plans for the future?
“My aim is to show the junior team that I have a professional approach so that they’ll give me a chance to pass to car racing.”
Is there anyone outside your family who is important for your racing career? A mentor, a manager’ or simply a person who gives you advice on your racing career?
“Yes, outside the VDK team, there is one person who is very important for my career, and who really tries to get the best out of me, his name is Julien Abelli whose company is "Simumotion", where there are different experts: mental, physics and diet. All his professional experts help with my training.”
Can you tell us who Victor Martins is when he is not on the track? Have you got any hobbies or interests?
“Off the track I’m a normal lad who goes to school and see my friends. I like skiing and simulator. But I also have to follow my physical preparation 3 to 4 times a week.”