Matty in action at Silverstone this afternoon.

Matty in action at Silverstone this afternoon.

Matty will line up in ninth place on the starting grids of both of this weekend’s Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup races, after a trying Friday at Silverstone.

The 18 year old struggled to find the confidence he needed to unlock the full performance of his car throughout the day, but will head into the weekends races in a positive frame of mind after his lap times consistently improved up until the rain affected second qualifying session.

After ending first free practice in ninth and a respectable 0.8secs off the benchmark set by Steijn Schothorst, Graham was expecting a tough second practice as he continued to run used tyres whilst others switched to fresh Michelin’s.

While 13th on the time-sheets confirmed these fears, Matty was able to find a full second on his time from the morning session and was hopeful of propelling himself to the sharp end of the order when he took on fresh tyres of his own.

However, in spite of finding a further second in performance, a persistent imbalance in the car meant he was unable to find the additional tenths that would have vaulted him to the second row of the grid and was forced to settle for ninth.

Heading into the second session, the skies above the Northamptonshire track carried out their day long threat and drenched the circuit as the cars left pit-lane.

Without a working radio, Matty was unable to be called into the pits to change over to wet weather tyres and after continuing for a lap longer than most of his rivals, was in a compromised position in terms of track position and remaining session time.

A valiant effort saw him cross the line and go sixth with his final timed lap, however a tentative first sector, as he established where the grip was on the circuit, ensured this would become ninth after others improved.

Matty said: “It was a frustrating day today, with all the small things that added up to a struggle to break into the leading times.  I was particularly gutted with second qualifying, I was having a huge amount of fun in the rain, building up the pace as I got used to the track conditions.”

“On my final timed lap, I was really tentative through the first sector, but found there was so much more grip than I expected and had I had enough time to get another lap in, then I think we’d have been looking at a third row starting spot.”

“Tomorrow is where the points are though and if the weather forecast is correct, it should be a fairly eventful afternoon and the chance to make up some positions should be there.

Tomorrows race takes place at 14:40 and can be seen live here