Griffin Blancpain podium success ahead of GT Asia Series
Esteemed GT driver, Matt Griffin will head to Okayama circuit, Japan this week after a successful Blancpain Endurance 1000km race at the weekend.
The 3rd round of in the Blancpain Endurance Series took place at Paul Ricard in the south of France with an impressive 64 cars on the starting grid for the only 1000km/6 hour race in the series.
Griffin was joined by his usual team mate Duncan Cameron; they were both teamed with bronze driver Fransisco Guedes in the number 51 Ferrari 458 racing in the ProAm class of the series.
A controversial start to the race and an unfortunately timed safety car in the 2nd hour put the trio a lap down on most of their rivals leaving them in 38th position overall and 15th in class. Because of this the team decided to change driver strategy in order to try and regain some places back.
Irishman, Griffin took over the car from 24th position overall and 11th in class with only two hours of the race left to go. With pure skill and determination the GT ace bought the car in to the top 10 overall and P3 in class whilst also setting the fastest lap in class and 4th fastest lap overall. Griffin and Cameron went in to the race leading the championship and leave the same.
“We were very unlucky early on and got caught out by the safety car. At this point it looked like our race was more or less over but some clever strategy by my AF Corse team and fantastic engineer Diego put us back into contention. Both Duncan and Fransisco had done a great job, but when I entered the car with 2hr 10min remaining in the race we had a mountain to climb. My Ferrari was rapid though and I just got my head down and gave it everything. In the end I was very happy to finish 3rd, it was a great comeback and a well deserved result for the whole team after the disappointment of having to retire in Le Mans 6 days previous.” admitted Griffin.
Griffin now heads straight to Okayama Circuit, Japan, for rounds 3&4 of the GT Asia Series where he will join the Clearwater Racing Ferrari team.
Matt has raced with Clearwater Racing a few times in the past years, once earlier in 2015 at the Bathurst 12hr, Australia. He will be teamed up with Richie Wee who he drove with last year in the Shanghai round of the GT Asia. This will be Matt’s debut race at Okayama circuit.
“I am really looking forward to joining the GT Asia series this weekend. It is a very well run and competitive championship and as always, it will be great to drive for Clearwater racing. While I have never driven in Okayama before I am feeling quite confident as Clearwater are one of the best Ferrari teams in the world so I know the car they will give me will be super fast. I am also really looking forward to being back in the car with Richie, the last time we raced together we won and Richie drove brilliantly, so I’m sure we will have a great weekend” Griffin said.
Matt will hit the track on Thursday with free practice.
Qualifying will commence on the morning of Saturday 27th June 2015 at 10.50 JST. This is followed by two 50 minute races, race 1 of the weekend at 15.10 JST on Saturday and race 2 will be held on Sunday at 13.00 JST.
On his return, the Cork based driver will head to Red Bull Ring, Austria for Rd 4 of the International GT Open with Duncan Cameron and team, AF Corse.