A solid sixth place finish rounded out a mixed Formula Renault 2.0 NEC meeting at Spa Francorchamps for Matty on Saturday (July 26) after a race disrupted by two safety car periods.

Deployed after two separate incidents left cars stranded in what the race director considered a dangerous position, the elongated lap time that resulted, meant that the second period ended as the race time of 25 minutes elapsed, resulting in only four laps being completed at full racing speed.

In those laps, Matty was in fine form, showing speed, consistency and an eye for a gap, making progress from the moment the lights went out.

Starting tenth after a low key qualifying, a clean getaway saw the driver from North East England pass AVF team mate Josef Zaruba on the run towards the first corner, before challenging Fortec driver Seb Morris for eighth through the La Source hairpin.

Forced wide, Matty managed to keep Zaruba behind on the long run through Eau Rouge and the Kemmel straight, before setting about chasing down the pack in front. With big fights taking place all throughout the top eight, his progress onto the back of the train of cars was rapid.

He was up to eighth place mid way through lap two following an incident between Callan O’Keeffe and Steijn Schothorst ahead, which forced the South African to drop back down the order and was lining up a challenge on Morris in 7th when the first safety car was put out.

An unassisted spin from Euronova driver Michele La Rosa saw his car come to rest on the outside of the Les Combes chicane and, with a recover vehicle on track, around eight minutes were lost as the officials decided against covering the incident with a double waved yellow flag zone.

On the resumption of the race, Matty was instantly back on the offensive. Positioning himself aggressively onto the rear of Morris’ car as they approached the start finish line.

Judging the gap between he and his rival perfectly, Matty gave himself enough room to run flat out down the hill from the first corner to Eau Rouge yet pick up a slipstream from Morris through Radillon and along the Kemmel straight.

While Morris attempted to defend his position, Matty’s nous and race craft in setting up the pass, meant the move was completed safely well before the breaking zone of Les Combes.

In clear air and with drivers ahead still locked into ding dong battles with each other, Matty was again able to make rapid progress and was within less than a second of sixth placed Ben Barnicoat in the space of a lap.

His charge was to be thwarted though when an incident between Morris and Burdett Motorsport’s Raoul Owens, again at Les Combes, saw the second safety car which would account for the rest of the allotted race time.

Matty did however pick up a further position after the chequered flag after a penalty was issued to original race winner Kevin Jorg following a jump start, which elevated the Fineside backed driver to sixth.

While the race may end as a case of what might have been, Matty will not have too long to wait to get back into action with the next round of the 2014 NEC series taking place at the TT Circuit in Assen, Netherlands on August 1/2/3.