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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

NGK-backed Charlie Martin to compete in 2019 Michelin Le Mans Cup

Date: 15-Mar-2019

British racing driver Charlie Martin – who is sponsored by ignition specialist NGK – has announced that she will compete in the Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2019, making her prototype racing debut with the Racing Experience team – an important step on her mission to become the first transgender competitor in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

She will compete in a 5-litre 420bhp Norma M30 LMP3 car, partnering Luxembourgian brothers Gary and David Hauser in the six-round championship.

Five rounds of the series take place on the same weekend as European Le Mans Series events, at such iconic circuits as Monza, Paul Ricard, Spa and Barcelona. 

The flagship “Road to Le Mans” round of the championship will also take place ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans at La Sarthe – where Martin has already stood on the podium, having achieved third place alongside Nicolas Schatz in the 2017 Trophee Tourisme Endurance on her debut at the world-famous track.

Charlie Martin said: “It feels very special to be announcing this next stage in my racing career. This move into the Le Mans Cup racing brings me one important step closer to my dream of racing in the24 Hours of Le Mans, making history as the first transgender competitor to do so.

“I was lucky to be invited to test the Racing Experience LMP3 car in France last year and from my first taste of the car, I was hooked. I have great partners in Gary and David Hauser, who are very experienced in this sort of machinery. I can’t wait to get testing miles under my belt and show what I can do in the season ahead.”

NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, the leading supplier of original equipment (OE) spark plugs, glow plugs and NTK Lambda and other engine management sensors, has been a long-time supporter of Charlie.

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “It is fantastic that Charlie is to compete in the Michelin Le Mans Cup in 2019. As a company we are delighted to help support her in her bid to fulfil her ambition of competing the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

Charlie will get her first taste of the Racing Experience Norma M30 LMP3 car during a team test at Paul Ricard on March 17 before making her endurance race debut at the circuit one month later.

Martin was recently appointed a Sports Champion by Europe’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality Stonewall.

Stonewall Sports Champions is a new role model programme for athletes and sports professionals who as LGBT and who are willing to share their experiences to help secure equality in sport.

As well speaking to the media, Sports Champions make a commitment to visit schools and sports clubs to speak to young people about the importance of LGBT inclusion in sport.

For more information about NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd and its products and services please visit 

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