Irish GT racing driver, Matt Griffin is in the Algarve ready for this weekend’s final round of the 2017 European Le Mans Series being held at Portimao Circuit. Griffin rejoins his regular teammates; Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott in their Iconic British Racing Green Ferrari 488 Gte, entered by Spirit of Race at the track that saw him take the win in the International GT Open in 2013. So far the ELMS season has been going well for the Cork based driver having already won two out of the previous five races along with qualifying on pole twice as well.
“ The ELMS is a great championship and so far we have been really strong winning more races then any other team. We have been fast at every track so I’m confident we can bring that speed to Portimao” explained Griffin.
The trio are currently lying 3rd in the Championship, 11 points off the top after not having much luck in the previous race at Spa Francorchamps. Although initially looking good to fight for the win, a wrong position on track when the safety car was dispatched cost them a lap, despite setting fastest lap, a 4th place finish was the race outcome which really hurt the teamates for the Championship.
Matt continues “Earlier in the season we had a technical problem that caused us to retire from Monza when it looked like we had a very good chance to take the win, that really hurt us as the way the points are staggered a DNF puts you really behind as we lost 25 points. Since then we have been very strong and now find ourselves 11 points behind, heading into the last round. From my side I am just focused to try to get pole position and to win the race. Our fate is out of our hands so that all we can really focus on is maximum attack.”
Griffin has just returned from Fuji, Japan after competing in the World Endurance Championship race where he and WEC teammates, Keita Sawa and Mok Weng Sun finished 2nd and retook the lead on the world championship, with only two more rounds of the WEC to go, Griffin and his Clearwater racing teammates are in a good position.
“My season on the whole has been very good and in the WEC we have been very strong with Clearwater racing and now find ourselves leading the championship with 2 rounds to go. This is we will certainly fight hard to win the WEC but for now my focus is firmly in Portugal and the ELMS.”
This weekend kicks off with a free practice session at 17.00 on Friday 20th October 2017, a 2nd free practice session will commence at 09.50 on Saturday 21st October, followed by qualifying at 14.40. Sunday sees the final 4-hour race of the 2017 season starting at 13.00. Live coverage can be found at www.europeanlemansseries.com.
About Matt Griffin
The 35-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.