In action on Thursday - Photo copywrite of Evers Media

In action on Thursday – Photo copywrite of Evers Media

Matty ended day one of the Spa Francorchamps Formula Renault 2.0 NEC meeting in a positive frame of mind, ending the day as the third fastest driver around the legendary Belgian circuit.

After announcing a new partnership with clothing brand Fineside ahead of first practice, the day got off to an inauspicious start as Matty lost the entirety of the morning session, following a technical problem with his FR2.0/13 race car.

Less than a quarter of the way around the 4.3 mile lap, the car lost power and while Matty attempted to nurse it back to the pits, his efforts were not enough and he was forced to sit on the side-lines as his rivals pumped in the laps and fine-tuned their setups.

After a thorough investigation, the issue was traced to a broken fuel pump and with the unit replaced, Matty was out to make up for lost time.

In the second practice session, the North East racer wasted no time in getting down to business and ran in the top ten throughout the session.

Improving regularly across the 45 minutes of practice, Graham ultimately ended a highly impressive third on the time sheets, 0.3 seconds of the top spot with a time of 2mins 21.859 seconds.

After a trying season to date, Matty was happy with his performance and is hopeful of a strong weekend, however is well aware there is still a huge amount of work to do.

Matty said “Third overall in practice is a great place to start the weekend from, but there are no points for practice, so I’m hoping the team and I can keep this level of performance going and that we can have a strong performance in qualifying and then look to build some strong finishes in the two races.”

“I was hoping we would be quick around here and if the rest of the weekend goes like second practice, then it was definitely a worthwhile exercise coming hear back in May for the Eurocup round.  This is a fantastic race track and I am enjoying it more each time I lap around.”

Running a day earlier than normal as a result of supporting the prestigious Blancpain Endurance Series’ 24hrs of Spa, Friday will see two qualifying sessions in the morning, followed by race one in the afternoon.

For a full event timetable, click here. For live timing streams of the sessions, click here and to watch live streams of the races on Saturday morning, click here