Ferrari GT driver, Matt Griffin, has triumphed in Pro Am class of the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series Championship despite a disappointing final round in Nurburgring, Germany at the weekend.
Griffin and team mate Duncan Cameron went in to the 5th and final round of the series feeling positive; however Griffin was pushed off the track into the barrier in the pre-qualifying session by the number 78 Team Russia by Barwell entry, driven by Leo Matchitski, causing huge damage to the car.
“The weekend started out well as we were 6th fastest in free practice. We were working through our program as normal. Unfortunately in pre-qualifying the BMW hit me square in the back bumper under braking for turn 1 and I went straight off the track and made heavy contact with the Armco barriers. I was lucky to be unhurt, it was a fairly large error by Matchiski”.
The crack AF Corse squad now faced a race against time to repair the car for the race the following day. Proving that they are one of the best race teams in the world, the car was ready for qualifying the next morning after the engineers and mechanics spent all night working on the car.
The Cork based driver qualified in 9th position for the three hour race and the duo ended up 15th in class when the chequered flag fell, after being unlucky in both of the safety car periods.
“Qualifying was more of a shakedown as the car had to almost be totally rebuilt. The guys did a really amazing job getting the car back together. In the race itself the 2 safety cars didn’t work for us, we were out of position both times and ended up losing time.”
Fortunately the teammates went in to the weekend with an unbeatable lead and their race misfortunes did not impact on their championship win which saw them finish the year with 88 points, a fantastic 25 point lead on the second place drivers.
“Even though Nurburgring was tough we have had an amazing season and to win this championship feels very special. It has been a pleasure to drive with Duncan, who has been fantastic all season, and as always my AF Corse team were amazing at every race” concluded Griffin.
The Irishman now heads off to China for Rd 8 & 9 of the GT Asia Series held at Shanghai International Circuit. Griffin will rejoin the Clearwater Racing team alongside Richie Wee racing the Ferrari 458 GT3.
In his last race for the Singapore based team, Griffin, with team mate Wee, finished 3rdand 4th respectively at Fuji Speedway in Japan, and hopes to improve these results at the Shanghai Grand Prix circuit.
“It’s always great to join Clearwater Racing. After grabbing a podium last time out, hopefully we can get to the top of the podium this weekend.”
About Matt Griffin
The 32-year-old, 2013 European Le Mans Series Champion, has made quite an impact on international GT racing in the last couple of years, competing successfully in championships ranging from the FIA World Endurance Championship to International GT Open as well as racing closer to home in the British GT Championship. In the last five years he’s never competed in less than 24 races, all in a Ferrari, and in 2014 raced in 8 different series.
In all of these he has been behind the wheel of a Ferrari, and has worked closely in testing and developments with the Italian marque’s GT development partner and constructor, Michelotto Automobili.