2013 European Le Mans Series Champion, Matt Griffin, came away from the 1st round of the 2016 European Le Mans series (LMGTE) with a 4th place finish and valuable points but rues what could have been.
— Matt Griffin (@MGriffinRacing) April 16, 2016
The Irishman put the car in 4th spot on the grid in a very wet and cold qualifying session on Saturday morning. The weather conditions improved considerably for the race a few hours later, however only a few laps in to the race, team mate Duncan Cameron was pushed off track by an LMP3 car, losing the team over 1 minute.
Cameron handed the car over to Aaron Scott in 8th place, who proceeded with a solid stint. Griffin took control of the number 55 Ferrari 458 in 6th place for the final hour of the race and fought well to eventually finish 4th in the LMGTE class, but an opportunity was lost and 2nd place could have been possible.
‘Coming away from Silverstone with 4th place is good in points for the championship and an overall good start to the season. I feel that we missed an opportunity due to our bad luck, after the third lap we were last and well over a minute behind. The AF Corse team did a great job all day and we were one of the fastest cars on track, we managed to bring the car back to 5th place and later 4th, after a post race exclusion of JMW car’ explained Griffin.
The Cork based driver will now head to Monza, Italy for the 1st round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, where he and team mate Duncan Cameron will be defending their 2015 championship title in the Pro-Am class.
The duo were 2nd at the same race in 2015 and are looking for another podium, but competition will be fierce with a huge entry of 57 cars in total on the grid.
‘After positive weekend at Silverstone I am very eager to get to Monza, which is one of my favourite tracks. The aim is to fight for the win but I expect the competition to be ferocious.’
This year Griffin and Cameron will race the brand new, number 52 AF Corse entered, Ferrari 488 GT3, which has replaced the super successful Ferrari 458 GT3 used in recent years. Griffin has been heavily involved with the development of the new car with Michelotto Autoomobil and is feeling comfortable for the season ahead.
‘I am super excited to be racing the new Ferrari 488 GT3. I know from the testing we have completed, that car has huge potential. It has big shoes to fill as its predecessor; the Ferrari 458 was a great car. As with all new race cars it is a work in progress, so we need to see where we are compared to the rest, but I expect it to be extremely competitive’.
The weekend kicks off with free practice on Saturday 23rd April 2016. Qualifying will take place on Sunday at 9.00 CET with the 3 hour race commencing at 15.00 CET on Sunday. There will be live TV coverage on Motors TV starting at 14.30 CET. More information and live timing of the race can be found at http://www.blancpain-gt-series.com