Charlie Martin: After Dinner Speakers
Charlie Martin is a racing driver aiming to make history as the first ever transgender competitor in the 24hrs of Le Mans. She started racing at the age of 23 and seven years later transitioned and subsequently gave up motorsports, unable to see a future for herself in a male dominated industry lacking in diversity.
Charlie Martin is a game changer in motorsport, her inspiring story has captured the imagination of people around the world, proving that she represents a paradigm shift in motor racing.
She started hill climbing at club level in a Peugeot 205 (in 2004), without any family history of motorsport. In 2014 she won her first race in France at St-Gouëno at the wheel of a Westfield SEiW, breaking the class record by 2 seconds! Hard work & determination enabled her to progress into single seaters & prototypes which she raced throughout Europe, competing in the Championnat de France de la Montagne & FIA European Hillclimb Championship. In 2017 she raced a Norma M20FC at Le Mans on the Bugatti circuit, finishing 3rd in her first ever endurance race!
Charlie has fought continuously to overcome adversity throughout her life, having lost both her parents at a young age. Entering motorsport without anyone supporting is hard enough, but she also realised she identified as transgender from as young as 7, transitioning to live as female midway through her career in 2012. She recorded her entire transition on her YouTube channel, helping to inspire 1,000’s of people all over the World to begin their own journey.
In 2018 she returned to the UK and begun a full season of circuit racing in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge, taking the brave step of coming out as transgender within motorsport on TDOV and aiming to improve LGBT visibility & acceptance within the sport she loves. 3 class podiums quickly followed, helping raise the profile for her campaigning alongside charity Stonewall with initiatives at Silverstone for PRIDE at the British GT Championship in June. She received a Motorsport Marketing Award in recognition for this World first and the 2019 Downforce People’s Champion Award. She now works as a Sports Champion for Stonewall (Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ charity), Patron for Mermaids, & Ambassador for Athlete Ally (USA).