Gamma Racing Day 2014

Matty endured another Saturday to forget at the Most Autodrom in the Czech Republic as a combination of bad weather and careless competitors, conspired to restrict the positive momentum gained earlier in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC meeting on Thursday and Friday.

After making solid progress throughout Thursday’s testing and Friday practice on his ability to unlock the lap time in fresh slick tyres, a sudden downpour on the brink of qualifying rendered that new found ability redundant, as the field had to quickly switch to wet weather Michelins.

Running five cars this weekend, Matty’s AV Formula team were compromised by the sudden change in the weather, with the time required to service all the cars meaning all were still in the pits being serviced when track conditions were at their best.

Running a dry weather set up on a soaking wet track, Matty could only manage 15th place on the race one grid while in session to decide the race two grid, 18th was the best he could manage after struggling to find a gap in the traffic to put in a clean lap.

Starting towards the tail of the field is always a danger and, in a repeat of the championship’s last triple header at Hockenheim in May, Matty’s race was effectively over before the first corner after he was hit from behind by team mate Jules Gounon.

Tipped into a spin and then stuck in an escape road, Matty eventually re-joined the track over a minute behind the other runners, however a deployed safety car enabled the 18 year old to coast up to the tail of the field in time for the restart.

When racing resumed, Matty was his usual self, judging the conditions well to race strongly and make up places either through well-judged overtakes, or by capitalising on others mistakes and would eventually charge back from 24th up to a 13th place finish.

With two more races tomorrow, both being started from the midfield, Matty will be hoping to avoid on any first lap incidents and end the weekend on a high.

Speaking after race one, Matty said: “I was hoping for better this weekend after practice but again, a nightmare qualifying has left me with loads to do in the races and on a track of this nature that was always going to be hard.”

“The start was a disaster with one of my team mates pitching me into a spin at the first corner, it was then made worse when I got stuck in the barriers in the escape road and had to wait for the marshalls to push me back out.”

“I caught a bit of a break with the safety car being out as it enabled me to get back onto the field so I was able to make up some places and though I’ve got to be pleased that I managed to do that, particularly on a track that’s difficult to pass on, when the guy you start next to on the grid ends up eighth, you have to wonder what a bit of brain fade from a team mate has cost you.”

“We’ve got two races tomorrow though and if the weather is the same as today, hopefully I can put on a bit of a show and entertain the guys in the crowd by making up some places.”