race 2

Matty Graham and Marcus Hoggarth took a highly impressive second place in British GT 4 on Easter Monday’s second British GT race at Oulton Park, with a superb drive that also yielded a class win in the Pro/Am category.

As at the same track twelve months prior, Matty was in a mindset to attack and over the course of his half hour at the wheel of the number 29 In2Racing McLaren 570S made up 10 places from his grid slot.

Starting from a lowly 12th on the GT4 grid following a difficult qualifying session on Saturday, Matty made progress up the order almost immediately.

Using a wider line, he managed to pass five squabbling rivals on the run from turn one, Old Hall corner to turn two, Cascades in a punchy opening to the hour long race.

The frenetic pace continued over the course of the opening laps and with just seven minutes gone on the clock Matty was up to fifth, as an optimistic lunge from Porsche driver Scott Malvern on the damaged Ginetta of Mike Simpson, as the former attempted to take second, sent the both off the circuit at Cascades.

The collision created a gap between the GT4 leader and the chasing pack, but the fight for second saw Matty and the three cars ahead circulating almost nose to tail, with the reigning GT4 champion Mike Johnson the first needing to be overcome.

After getting the move done mid-way through his sixth lap, a number of personal best laps and making use of GT3 cars lapping their way through the field allowed Matty to close up to the battling David Pittard and Adam McKay and continue his forward momentum.

With the flowing, narrow nature of Oulton Park making overtaking difficult in prolonged duels, the trio circulated within a second of each other but were unable to make any changes to the order.

When Pittard elected to pit in order to get himself into clear air, Matty was given the opportunity to have a run at McKay himself, which he duly took, passing the Track-Club McLaren to take second on the road just ahead of handing the number 29 car over to team mate Hoggarth.

Following another clean pitstop, it came as a surprise that number 29 was down to fourth place, having been passed by the Garage 59 McLaren of Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell and Macmillan Racing Aston Martin of William Phillips and Jan Jonck.

It would transpire that both crews came up short on their minimum pitstop times, meaning penalties would eventually restore the order.

Hoggarth however, was running well and was more than happy to go about passing the two cars on track, closing them down and seemingly finding the car as racy and responsive as Matty.

A massive accident between two GT3 runners saw the Saftey Car deployed and with the field bunching up behind it there was a distinct possibility that Hoggarth and the cars ahead would be involved in a thrilling late race shoot out for the win.

That failed to materialise though, as the accident had caused substantial damage to the safety barriers and with not enough time remaining to effect repairs, the chequered flag was thrown five minutes early.

Taking it in fourth, the penalties added to the race time of the Garage 59 and Macmillan Racing cars moved the In2Racing crew up into a hugely satisfying second place to end the weekend on a high.