Matty on his way to ninth in Race One

Matty on his way to ninth in Race One

A difficult Formula Renault NEC meeting continued for Matty at Silverstone this afternoon, as damp track conditions and an intermittent air restrictor problem stunted his progress in race one, forcing him to settle for his ninth place starting position at the chequered flag.

It was a frustrating development that negated the improvements he and his team had made to the handling of the car and combined with tricky track conditions off the racing line, prevented Matty from mounting a sustained challenge on the cars ahead.

Whilst frustrating, the result has added a valuable 12 points to his championship total and places him into the overall top ten.

After enjoying improved handling and performance from his AVF car in Friday’s rain affected second qualifying session, the heavy band of rain that soaked the circuit throughout the morning was very much what Matty was hoping for.

Continuing the theme for the weekend however, by the time the cars lined up on the grid, conditions had improved enough to ensure the race would be ran as dry.

Making a clean getaway from the start, Matty lost ninth to O’Keefe exiting out of the first turn, as the first occurrence of the air restrictor problem raised it head, resulting in a loss of power so great, Matty was convinced his race was over.

As it was, a lift of the throttle cleared the problem but further power losses on laps three and five combined with damp, slippery conditions off line, meant the prospects of regaining his lost ninth place ebbed away as the race went on.

The consistent pace that is fast becoming a hallmark of Matty’s drives however, meant that a steady gap was maintained to Ukyo Sasahara back in eleventh and gave hope that a top ten finish remained possible.

Possible became probable on lap seven, when contact between Ben Barnicoat and Seb Morris as they battled over fifth through Village corner, span the Welshman on the exit of the turn enabling everyone up to thirteenth to improve by a place.

Back into his starting position, Matty gave a good account of himself chasing down those in front, but with the further losses of power through his air restrictor problems continuing, ninth was as high as he would climb.

Matty said: “I got a good start off the line but the car pretty much died through the first corner which allowed Callan to get through but I thought I was going to have to park up so for the car to come back and for me to finish where I started wasn’t a bad result.”

He added: “While it’s always nicer to improve and get more points, I’m ok with continuing to score points, but I want to get further up the order as soon as is possible. I’m going to give things a real go tomorrow and see what we can get.”

The second Formula Renault NEC race of the weekend takes place tomorrow morning at  10:20 and can be viewed live via the NEC Youtube channel by clicking here