North East Connected

Podium Reward after Spa-rkling British GT Performance

Matthew GrahamBritish GT driver Matthew Graham bounced back from a disappointing race at Silverstone, with a well-earned third place in last weekend’s two hour endurance race at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium.

The 20 year old revelled in the challenge presented by one of the world’s most demanding race tracks and along with team mate Jack Mitchell, drove a clean and controlled race to take the final step on the podium from 15 th on the grid.

It was a midfield position that was not reflective of the drivers pace, with Graham fourth fastest out of 41 entries in the combined GT4 class in his qualifying session, but one that developed as changeable weather conditions compromised Mitchell during his runs.

Starting the race, Mitchell avoided the inevitable first lap carnage and guided the Macmillan Racing Aston Martin Vantage to a strong fifth place as he headed for the pits and hand the car over to Graham.

Re-joining the race following a slick pit stop, .Graham continued the good work throughout his hour stint, making up two further positions as he made his way steadily up the GT4 field, chasing the leaders and pulling away from his pursuers.

The ultimately comfortable result closed the gap to Beechdeen Racing drivers Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert from 55 points to 38.5, giving a boost to Graham and Mitchell’s bid to not only take the Silver young driver’s title, in their first season in British GT, but also to their prospects of finishing as the best Aston Martin crew.

Speaking post-race, Matty said: “When I took over, I was in quite a lot of space but I soon began catching other GT4 cars, including quite a lot of the European cars.

“We were fastest of the Aston Martins, including the European ones – and I was really happy to bring the car home in third place. It was great to get good points for the team and it was a result I felt we really deserved. We’ve had a third and a second place now, so I hope we can get the win before the season ends.”

Team Principal David Macmillan said: “Seeing Jack and Matty on the podium – at Spa – will definitely rank among the great memories from our debut season as a team. A great result at a legendary circuit certainly gives you a glow and it’s a fantastic reward for the hard work that everyone puts in. I couldn’t be prouder of the whole team.”

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