Spa Preview

The formidable Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium’s Ardennes forest is the venue for Matty’s racing this weekend, as he joins a bumper 40 car field for the second round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup.

A throw back to grand prix racing’s halcyon days, the Francorchamps circuit of today is a four and a quarter mile monster that takes in some of the most challenging features of the 15km original.

From the legendary uphill blast that is Eau Rouge and Raidillon, to the fearsome flat out left hand sweeper of Blanchimont and the blisteringly fast double apex left hander of Pouhon, the circuit is one that tests drivers to ability to the limit.

Marking his first visit to the circuit, this weekend’s meeting is very much one of learning for Matty, with the main aim being to acclimatise to the track, the car and understand what he needs to do to extract the maximum from his FR2.0/13 car, ahead of the Belgian round of the Northern European Cup in July.

With that set as the aim, Friday’s first two practice sessions were incredibly productive for Matty as he set about maximising his track time, turning in 20 laps in the morning followed by 19 in the afternoon.

Pleasingly, Matty also showed great improvements in pace throughout the day and as his knowledge of Spa increased, with his afternoon benchmark, 1.3 seconds faster than his best morning effort.

His best time of the afternoon was also half a second closer to the leading time of the session than in the morning, suggesting a further improvements may be seen on Saturday.

Matty said “For my first time around here, I am quite pleased with where I am at after the first two sessions. There is still plenty of time to be unlocked in both the car and myself, but I’ve gotten faster with every lap put in, so I’m fairly hopeful of making up more time and getting higher up the order.”

With no previous experience of the track, Matty’s first encounter with Spa has already left a mark, with the 18 year old quickly finding his favourite part of the circuits.

Matty said “There are so many corners around here, with it being such a long lap, but the big ones certainly stick into your mind.  Eau Rouge and Raidillon are a serious challenge with the exit being blind at the top of the hill while Pouhon is one of those that you know is coming and when you get it right, feels pretty special.”

Tomorrows action gets under way for Matty at 08:35 with qualifying for race 1, followed by the 25 minute event at 13:05.

The meeting then culminates on Sunday with qualifying at 08:20 and race 2 at 11:25, which will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport 1. (all times UK BST)