MATT ON POLE FOR PEMBREY
Last weekend, (6th – 8th May) saw the season opening event for the Quaife Mini Challenge, being held at Pembrey in South Wales. After putting in the fastest track time in the 15 minute qualifying session, Matt was in pole position on the grid for the first race.
Just after his flying lap, the qualifying session was stopped to recover a broken down car, and reopen with only 5 minuets left on the clock. With 30 competitors trying to get a final flying lap in the last moments of qualifying, Matt opted to stay in the pits, saving his tyres and hoping he had already done enough. in the end, he had, by under a tenth of a second, qualifying in 1m08:01.
Matt said, “We did quite well in testing as I’ve not been here before and managed to make room to get the lap in.”
“There were a few yellow flags and then the stoppage and I just decided to park it up as I thought we had done enough.”
“The start of the race will be fun but I just want to stay out of trouble. I didn’t really want to be stuck in the middle of the pack going down to turn one, so we’re in the best position.”
Unfortunately, as the race got underway, Matt was not able to hold onto the front spot, and dropped down to second. He stayed with the race leader however, as they pulled away from the pack, but not knowing the track that well, elected to bag the points and not risk an overtake on such a twisty track.
Starting from second spot on the grid for race 2 went well and Matt was alongside the leader and got his nose in front to take the lead briefly. Unfortunately he then had difficulty getting into second gear, which slowed the car, and by the time he had sorted the gears, he was halfway down the field. His bad luck was further added to when shortly after he was tapped on the rear end, which was enough to push him wide and onto the grass, eventually re-joining the field in last place.
Matt then had a massive fight to climb back up the order through the 30 strong pack. “I managed to get up into fourteenth place with multiple overtakes. Considering I had been at the back I was happy that I had moved up the pack and was able to stay out of any more trouble.”
Despite being around the middle of the grid, race 3 started well and Matt was able to overtake car after car and move quickly up the field. However, after a few laps, a racing incident caused a red flag which ultimately halted progress and Matt finished eighth, which was adjusted down to ninth after the results were taken from the previous lap.
“Thats racing!”, Matt reflected, ” but a positive point to finish on was that I bagged 6 more points for fastest lap”.
“I currently stand in fifth place in the Mini Challenge championship standings, and will be looking to improve at the next race at Thruxton on the 28th and 29th of this month.”
“This will be an exciting meet, as Thruxton will be televised on ITV4 supporting the BTCC package.”
Matt continued, “Thanks to Metric for the support in getting me back out on track for 2022 – without their help it would not have been possible!”
For more information about the MINI CHALLENGE please visit the website here >>>