Image credit: Matt Griffin Racing.
GT ace, Matt Griffin, had an extremely successful start to his championship season this weekend, coming home with two trophies from two different championships, held in two different countries!
The hectic weekend started with the first round of the European Le Mans Series Championship at Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire. Griffin, with teammates Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott were racing the number 55, AF Corse entered Ferrari 458 in the GTE class.
Qualifying saw some tyre issues and Aaron Scott started the race in 7th position; however the teammates were soon running at the front and fighting for the lead. An unfortunate timed safety car put the boys in 3rd position, so strategy became even more important. Irishman Matt took over the car in the final hour of the race and whilst trying to save on fuel, also set the fastest lap of the race and bought the car home in a decent 3rd position.
“We were right at the front throughout the race. The safety car hampered us but we worked hard and some great strategy from my AF Corse team got us back into the race. With me setting the fastest race lap shows we had the speed so gives us confidence for the rest of the season” enthused Matt.
The Cork based driver and teammate, Duncan Cameron, headed straight from Silverstone to Monza, Italy for the first round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, the other full championship the duo will be competing in this year.
Heading straight in to qualifying on Sunday morning without any practice, Griffin qualified the number 51, Ferrari 458 Italia in 7th Position out of the 66 car field.
“To arrive at a track like Monza and go straight into qualifying is a big ask, but as usual, AF Corse gave me a great car and I was able to qualify in 7th out of the 66 cars that started. I was happy with that as I knew we would be even stronger in the race” explained Matt.
Amateur driver, Cameron, started the race and handed it back to Griffin in 15th position; the stellar driver immediately started to push forward through the pack and handed the car back to Cameron for the final stint in 2ndposition where Cameron held it and bought the car home 2nd in class and 3rd overall.
“It has been an almost perfect race. We were super fast throughout and Duncan did a fantastic job. Blancpain in numbers of entries is the most competitive championship in the world, so to come here and finish on the podium, especially at Monza is great. When you put that with the result we had in Silverstone it’s been a dream weekend and a great start to the season”.
Griffin will now spend the next two weeks training before the next race which is the International GT Open to be held at Paul Ricard Circuit, France on 25th/26th April 2015.