Matty in his strongest drive of the season to date

Matty in his strongest drive of the season to date

After a difficult Friday and a satisfactory Saturday, Matty rounded out the Silverstone NEC meeting in fine style on Sunday, with a drive filled with ambition and control that delivered a well deserved fourth place finish, his best of the season to date.

Earning himself 17 points for his morning’s work, Matty now sits in seventh place in the standings and well poised to play himself into championship contention as the season progresses.

After two days of mixed weather conditions, it was a welcome relief for the drivers to be greeted by a breezy, sunny morning as they lined up for the start and were able to prepare for the 25 lap race with a degree of certainty about what they would be facing.

Starting from ninth on the grid as in race one, Matty made a good getaway and immediately began battling with Aurelian Panis over eighth place.

Harrying his rival throughout the opening tour, Matty crossed the line only 0.3 seconds behind the Frenchman, and was able to pass him as they exited the Becketts complex on lap two, just before the son of former F1 driver Olivier retired with mechanical problems.

Setting personal best times with each passing lap, Matty moved up to seventh when fellow Brit Ben Barnicoat was pitched off the circuit by a puncture on lap three and was soon onto the back of the battle between Ukyo Sasahara and Louis Deletraz for fifth and sixth.

After getting a run down the pit straight, Matty found himself all over the gearbox of Sasahara as they exited Copse corner and very nearly emulated Lewis Hamilton’s epic GP2 pass on the entry into Maggots, with only canny positioning by the Japanese racer keeping Matty behind.

The respite was only temporary though and continued pressure from Matty forced a mistake from Sasahara on the exit of the final corner of the lap, enabling the North Eastern driver to assume sixth.

A mistake from American driver Ryan Tveter on Lap 7, promoted Matty to fifth, two seconds down the road from Deletraz in fourth. With the pair lapping within a few tenths of each other it seemed that fifth would be the height of Matty’s progress.

Midway through lap 9, a problem for the Swiss driver saw most of that two second advantage evaporate and put fourth place squarely into Matty’s sights.

Setting himself up nicely on the run towards Club corner, the contest was settled in favour of the AVF driver as a mechanical failure forced Delatraz into retirement.

Well down the road from the top three, and with only four laps to go, Matty proceeded to focus on consolidating his well-earned position and preserved his 1.2 second lead over fifth placed Jake Hughes to the flag.

Matty said: “That was a fun morning and a really good way to finish the weekend, particularly after all the niggling little problems we had throughout Friday and Saturday.  I was really pleased with my pace through the race and that I was able to deal with what was a fairly slippery track.”

“I am starting to get to grips with the car and understand how it behaves and what I need to do to get the most out of it.  I am not where I want or need to be at the moment, as my qualifying is leaving me with a lot to do in the races, but I will be working on that and looking to kick on as soon as possible.”