While Walter Smith and his Rangers squad went head-to-head in the final of the Emirates Cup, the team tasted their first major success on four wheels in the football club-backed Superleague Formula.
Driven by Aussie 25-year-old John Martin, the Rangers car — bedecked in the team’s famous colours — bagged the 100,000 euro prize for winning the main race at the British round at Donington Park.
Having been denied his first win of the season in today’s opening race when he was inexplicably held up by a backmarker, eventually finishing second behind the FC Basel of German Max Wissel, Martin delivered the goods in the final shoot-out.
Driving his Alan Docking Racing-prepared car — which had been miraculously rebuilt after a shunt with the AC Milan car of Giorgio Pantano in the day’s second race — Martin hounded down race leader and polesitter Wissel before storming past the Basel car.
“This is exactly what I dreamed of this weekend,” an ecstatic Martin said afterwards. “I was angry we didn’t win the first race today because I was held up by Dominick Muermans in the PSV Eindhoven car when I was well in the lead. He screwed my race.
“Then I had the shunt with Giorgio in the second race and I can’t praise the guys enough for the way they rebuilt the car in half the time it should really have taken. It wasn’t perfect, but it did the business.
“But hey, it’s worked out fantastically in the end. We knew coming into the weekend we had a fast car, and it was great to be competitive right from the start. Winning in front of the British fans is the best thing I could ever have dreamed of.
“Now I want to make sure I get my invitation to watch Rangers play at Ibrox. I’ve never seen a match in Glasgow and it would be great to go there and let the fans see the car before a match. It would be brilliant.”
Martin, once clear of Wissel — who recovered to finish third — controlled the remainder of the race to finish a comfortable 3.750-seconds ahead Tottenham Hotspurs’ Craig Dolby to claim his first race win of the year and the 100,000 euro cheque.