International GT Open Podium in Nurburgring for Griffin
May 5, 2014 by Leo Nulty
Matt Griffin secured a second place podium in this weekend’s first round of the International GT Open Championship at Nurburgring, Germany, his second podium of the new racing season after taking the win at round 1 of the European Le Mans series 2 weeks ago in Silverstone.
The busy Northamptonshire based driver spent the weekend racing the AF Corse run Ferrari 458 GT3 in the GTS class of the competitive championship with team-mate, Duncan Cameron.
Saturday saw Duncan Cameron qualify in 10th place for race 1. Cameron started the race and after a long safety car pitted for the driver change with 46 minutes of the 70-minute race left to run. Griffin took over in 8th place and quickly began to catch the cars ahead, in the end finishing 2nd in class, 6 seconds off the winning number 61 SMP Ferrari.
Sunday morning, Irishman Griffin qualified 3rd in class, only 0.2 from pole position, Matt held on to his 3rd place through the 35 minute stint. International GT open operates a handicap system which sees the podium finishers receive a time penalty for the next race. By finishing 2nd the day before, the team mates endured a 10 second handicap, taken during the pitstop.
After rejoining in 8th place Cameron managed to claw back three places to complete the race, 5th in GTS class.
“Overall it was a good weekend. We were very strong in race 1 and were quite close to winning. The International GT Open is a very competitive championship, so to come away with a podium and 5th place in the first weekend is good. The key to this championship is to be consistent due to the handicap system, so hopefully we can keep this going on to the next round” Griffin explained.
The pair are currently lying 2nd place in the Championship.
Matt’s next race will be Rd 2 of the European Le Mans Championship, held on the 17th/18th May at the famous Imola circuit in Italy.
About Matt Griffin:
The 31-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.