Although she did not win this year’s Nürburgring 24-hours in Germany on September 24th, Charlie Martin made history by becoming the first transgender driver to compete in the race’s 50-year history piloting her BMW M240i for Adrenalin-Motorsport. She clinched a fourth-place finish in her class after her car completed a total of 70 laps with an average speed of 73.600 kph during the event. The race, run September 24th, was won by the team of Nick Catsburg, Nick Yelloly and Alexander Sims in their #99 ROWE Racing m6 GT3.
Born in Leicester, England in 1981, the 39-year old driver has been competing professionally since 2006, beginning with the Hillclimb Leaders Championship (part of the British Hill Climb Championship). She was behind the wheel of a Peugot 205, before going on to race in the European Hill Climb Championship in 2014. At the time she piloted a Formula Renault and prototype Norma Auto Concept M20DC.
Other career milestones for Martin include a third-place finish at the Trophee Tourisme Endurance in November 2017, alongside Nicolas Schatz of France. This was her debut endurance appearance at Bugatti Circuit before joining the Richardson Racing Team to compete in the 2017 Ginetta GT5 Challenge ( the official support category to the British GT Championship). Martin also completed her first test of LMP3 endurance racing equipment at Circuit de Chambley with the Racing Experience Team in a Ligier JSP3 car that same year. In addition to racing as part of the PT Sportscars team, she participated in the Race of Remembrance charity event and finished second in Class B as part of the PT Sportscars team.
Begun by Welsh air ambulance pilot Jon Earp, the Race of Remembrance raises funds for Mission Motorsport, which is dedicated to contributing support to injured British military vets. Their contributions help to make it possible for the vets to re-enter civilian life in a variety of services including rehabilitation and vocational training.
In July 2018, Charlie Martin was named a member of the Electric Production Car Series Drivers’ Club, a “zero-emission international auto racing championship,” in which all teams competing were to use a modified version of the Tesla Model S P100D, before it was delayed due to lack of funding. Martin did, however, make her prototype debut on February 28, 2019, driving a 5-liter 420 bhp Norma M30 LMP3, along with Gary and David Hauser in the Michelin LeMans Cup. The team finished 4th at Circuit Paul Richard near Marsailles.
This year, in addition to competing in the German VLN Championship, it was announced that Charlie Martin would participate in the FIA Formula E’s online press conference to announce the “Race at Home Challenge” eSports Championship. This particular race pits drivers from the all-electric series lining up in a competition against gamers to raise money for UNICEF.
In the meantime, Martin continues to use her racing career to inspire and support the LGBTQ community by serving as an ambassador for Racing Pride to promote gender diversification within the motorsport industry. She is also a trustee for Mermaids to help LGBTQ youth and their families in the United Kingdom.