Written by Tanishka Vashee, Edited by Esmée Koppius
Charlie Martin (she/her), knew from the time she watched “Top Gun” that she loved speed. She loved the thrill of going fast, her dreams of becoming a fighter pilot were short lived because her grades in Maths and Physics said otherwise.
But do remember, people who are destined to make history go on to defy the odds anyway! She entered the world of motorsport with no backing of any sort and started racing at the age of nineteen. Not at tracks but something far more challenging- hill climbs.
She progressed through the single seaters and competed at hill climb championships all over Europe. She’s not only fast but super skilled! Hill climb requires driving uphill on steep, narrow asphalt trails against very gusty winds.
Charlie knew from the young age of 7 that she was a woman and growing up only made her question if the path she was on was right. In 2012, she decided to start her journey to transition to her true self. She recorded the whole journey and shared it on her Youtube which has been an inspiration to so many other young people.
On her YouTube channel she talked about how she had to take a break from her passion of racing, because she was afraid people would not accept her. She was afraid that the paddock that gave her such a big sense of belonging would no longer accept her.
In 2018, Charlie made a return to racing, competing full time in the Ginetta GT5 racing. During the season she also finished her first LMP3 endurance racing machinery test at the Circuit de Chambley.
She marked her debut in Prototype racing in 2019 by competing in the 2019 Michelin Le Mans cup. She and her team of Gary and David Hauser finished her series debut in fourth place.
On the 18th March 2020, she announced that she would be competing in the German VLN Championship. Which meant she would be doing her first 24-hour race, at the much admired 24 hours of Nurburgring. She represented Adrenalin Motorsport and drove a BMW M240i.
History was made, she became the first transgender person to compete in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and even secured an impressive fourth place finish in her class!
Charlie Martin is a much needed representation for the LGBTQ+ community in the world of motorsports. Her journey to endurance racing and finding herself are beyond inspiring. She stood up for herself, for her values and has paved the way for generations of young people to be able to compete in motorsports without their gender identity being a limitation.
She spoke about how people were actually more supportive of her than she previously thought, and as always there’s got to be some who won’t make it easy for you. Some drivers pulled off some really dangerous maneuvers just to ensure they wouldn’t finish behind a Trans woman.
Charlie continues to inspire us with her actions and words. She’s an ambassador for Athlete’s Ally, Racing pride and continues to advocate for trans rights through her vlogs and blog.
Despite doing so much for the community, she remains humble and says that she is simply standing up for her values and making her way through life.
We wish her more success for the future and thank her for bringing in much needed representation for the community. MORE POWER TO YOU CHARLIE MARTIN!