Matty Graham (GBR) Douglas Motorsport BRDC F4

As the 2013 season comes to a close around the world, Matty Graham is able to reflect on a successful campaign after stepping up from karts to cars for the first time this year to contest the inaugural BRDC Formula Four championship.

Against a talented field containing some of the best up and coming racing talent from across the globe, the youngster delivered a series of impressive performances to finish an excellent fourth in the final standings.

Graham laid down a marker of intent over the three races of the series’ first meeting. Held on the same Silverstone grand prix circuit that hosts Formula One, Graham recorded a pole position, a fastest lap and a podium finish which exceeded his initial expectations.

Graham said: “I did not think a podium would really be possible on the first weekend after seeing how competitive it was in testing, so to be in the top three was amazing to be honest”

After enduring a trying middle part of the championship, the Ponteland Community High School pupil then tapped into a rich vein of form.

On visiting Brands Hatch in July and running on the old grand prix circuit, he built on a steady seventh in the first race to secure his first win of the year in the second.

Starting on the front row of the grid, Graham took the lead with a swashbuckling move on leader Raoul Hyman at the start of the third lap. He then withstood race long pressure from Hyman to win by two and a half seconds.

A final podium in the third race, capped an excellent weekend for Graham and his team and set them up strongly heading to Silverstone for the second time of the year.

After a storming qualifying performance secured pole position, Graham then delivered a faultless race to take a lights-to-flag win, before scoring strongly in race two with a podium in race three.

Such strong performances and results meant Graham found himself with a chance of securing the championship title ahead of the final round at Leicestershire’s Donington Park circuit.

“It was a good second half to the championship. I knew as we headed towards the end of the season I had to raise my game and I feel two wins and two more podiums in six races shows I did that.” said Graham.

While a final podium in the first race at Donington was not enough to win the championship, it did secure Graham a top four championship placing.

With his final score of 374 points ensuring he finished two places better than his own pre-season target, Graham is now looking forward to making another step towards Grand Prix stardom in 2014.

“All in all I’m delighted with my first season in cars, though I can’t believe how quickly the season has gone. I’ve enjoyed Formula Four and for next season, I’m hoping to make another step up the racing ladder and race in Formula Renault in Europe” said Graham.

He added: “We’re currently looking for partners to join our programme to help meet the increased budget for those championships, so I can showcase my racing and fly the flag for the region. I’d quite like to be the North East’s first F1 world champion!”