Matthew races to first points of season
Stamfordham-based British GT driver Matthew Graham secured his first points of the 2016 season on Sunday, after he and team mate Jack Mitchell battled to a sixth place finish at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
Racing in the GT4 category of the UK’s top sports car championship, the pairing overcame power steering problems in their Aston Martin Vantage to take a valuable 12 points from the two-hour race, around the Northamptonshire circuit.
In a series where drivers share the car over the course of a race, the steering problem developed after 20 minutes, while Mitchell was running fifth and battling hard with eventual winners Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert.
It saw Graham take over the car for a gruelling 65- minute stint, during which he impressed by lapping the circuit with times within half a second of the leading GT4 cars and battled throughout in an effort to keep seventh place.
It was a battle that he lost to Robert Barrable four laps from home, but following post-race penalties to crews ahead, Graham and Mitchell were elevated to sixth place and a result that delivered a degree of satisfaction after what Graham described as the “hardest race of his life”.
He said; “When I got Jack out of the car at the driver change, I could see how red his face was and how hard he had been working and knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy hour for me.
“I went out of the pits after the stop, which the mechanics got absolutely spot on, and went into the first corner, which let me know just what a challenge my stint was going to be without the power
“As the race went on I just kept pushing myself as I was battling with Robert to keep our place on track, and kept saying to myself how we needed the points. He passed me quite close to the end, but all I was thinking about at that point was getting to the line and getting the points.
“They weren’t the easiest to get, but they are on the board now and hopefully we can push on from here. There is a bit to find in both the car and in Jack and I, but we learned quite a bit here and we are both very competitive over the long race distances .”