Irish GT star Matt Griffin heads to Spa Francorchamps in Belgium this weekend after being involved in an exciting and incident packed Blancpain Endurance Series race at the Nurburgring last Sunday.
After setting the 7th fastest lap overall (P2 in class) in qualifying out of 54 cars the Ferrari driver was feeling confident for a good result on the famous German racetrack.
“The weekend started very well and we were improving my No 52 Ferrari 488 every session. Qualifying on a damp track on slicks proved to be very challenging. I crossed the line and was P2 but as the track was improving every second, the cars behind had an advantage so I ended up 7th which I was still happy with” explained Griffin.
The Cork based drivers’ teammate, Duncan Cameron, started the 3hr race and unfortunately had contact at the 1st corner, which dropped the No 52 Ferrari to 50th position. At 1hr into the race Griffin took over and with the car in 42nd position, quickly focused on a comeback drive. Using the speed of the AF Corse run Ferrari 488GT3, the Irishman was able to pull the car into 4th position overall and 2nd in class by the time he pitted to hand the car back over to Duncan Cameron who proceeded to finish the race. Unfortunately a full course yellow flag just after Cameron exited gave a big advantage to their competitors and Cameron bought the car home to finish 4th in class.
“It was an action packed race for us, obviously to finish 4th is disappointing as a podium was definitely a strong possibility, however with the issue at the start and then getting unlucky with the full course caution, to finish 4th was a great result” said Matt.
Spa Francorchamps will host the 4th round of the European Le Mans series where along with teammates Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott the experienced GT driver will pilot the number 55 Ferrari 458 GTE. While this years European Le Mans Series has not gone totally to plan, Griffin is confident ahead of the weekend.
Matt continues, “We have been very unlucky so far this year in the ELMS. In Rd 3 at Paul Ricard, France we were very fast all weekend and probably the fastest GT car, but a few issues robbed us of a podium. The main thing is that we try to bring that speed to Spa this weekend and hopefully convert it into a good result.”
The weekend kicks off on Friday 23rd September 2016 with free practice. Qualifying takes place on Saturday 13.25 CET with the 4hr endurance race due to start 14.00 CET on Sunday.
As usual with the European Le Mans series you can watch the race live on Motors TV, live streaming and timing are available at www.europeanlemansseries.com. You can also find live commentary available at www.radiolemans.com.
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 2012 raced in 8 different series.
He has also broadened his experience in the last two years, taking part successfully in endurance races in Australia, Malaysia and Dubai.
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.