Monza 1

Matty bounced back from a difficult start, to take a well-deserved sixth place in the weekend’s second NEC race, after a mature drive on Sunday morning (April 13th) at Monza.

Demonstrating excellent race craft throughout, the 17 year old kept his head to avoid a host of incidents ahead of him, before making two well-judged overtaking moves to ensure he ended his first weekend on a high after a hard Saturday.

Lining up eight on the grid for race 2, Graham was hopeful of repeating his lightning start in race one, which saw him make up four places on the run down to the first turn, and avoid the inevitable incidents that ruined his Saturday.

Starting on the dirty side of the grid, Matty struggled to make a clean getaway and quickly found himself swallowed up by the pack as the field approached the Rettifilo.

Whereas on Saturday, this spelled danger and damage, Matty showed great maturity to defend his position without compromising the pressure he was placing on the runners ahead.

Running 12th and emerging unscathed from the Variante Roggio, Matty’s recovery drive began and was almost immediately up to 11th after contact at the Ascari chicane, put Japanese driver Ukyo Sasahara out of the race.

Continuing to push, he was soon up to ninth after problems for Levin Amweg and Alex Albon saw them drop down the field.

Further progress came on the back of two classic Monza slipstream moves, which saw the Co Durham racer overhaul Gregor Ramsey and Seb Morris for eighth and then seventh.

Having to keep a close eye on the counter attacking Morris, Matty was unable to make an impression on the gap to sixth placed Raoul Owens, as he defended against attacks from the Welsh driver.

Assisted by Gregor Ramsey attacking Morris from behind, Matty was able to successfully fend off his old Formula 4 rival and crossed the line one place better than his starting spot.

After the race, seventh became sixth as Owens was deemed to have gained an advantage by cutting the chicane at the start, with the subsequent five second penalty added to his race time being enough to provide Matty with an additional reward for pushing throughout the 25 minute race.

Summarising the race, Matty said: “It was a fairly intense with lots going on, but I’m very happy to finish the weekend in a good points paying position.”

“After yesterday, I was anxious to just finish the race and get some points onto the board, so I was probably a little over cautious and lost a a few positions as a result. I kept my head though, got stuck into it and raced back to seventh, which became sixth after Owens was penalised for cutting the chicane.” he added.

Sitting 14th in the overall standings, Matty now heads to Silverstone for round 2 of the NEC, looking to build on his solid start to the year around his “home” circuit over the weekend of May 24/25.