Dogged determination saw Matty take a fine third place in the opening GT4 European Series Northern Cup race at Brands Hatch on Sunday morning in a drive filled with decisive overtakes and stubborn defence.

The 20-year-old took over the Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4 with half an hour of the race to run, following a solid opening stint from Csaba Mor, and battled his way forward into the last podium position.

Starting fourth on the grid following a strong Saturday around the Kent circuit, Csaba Mor took the green flag and in a bizarre moment, looked set to jump the start as he hit the power early in a bid to take a huge amount of momentum through Paddock Hill bend.

He managed to arrest his surge before the line and drop back into position, but the correction instead cost him go forward and dropped Mor down to fifth.

The Hungarian driver however regained his composure and remained part of a gaggle of cars contesting third place and moved up into fourth following a mistake from Alain Ferte on the quarter of an hour mark.

Pitting from third, a slow pit-stop dropped Matty all the way down to tenth and the last of the points paying positions, however, a safety car deployment with 25 minutes to go bunched up the field and allowed Matty to go on the attack.

He was up to seventh immediately after the restart, getting a good run out of the final corner and slipstreaming past a sluggish Porsche and was quickly onto the back of the squabble over fourth as he stormed around the grand prix loop.

Contact between the two Porsches in that battle allowed Matty to carry speed out of Stirling and out-drag that in fifth on the run down to Clearways.

The momentum of that run, carried its way over the start/finish line, through Paddock Hill and into the breaking zone for the Druids hairpin where the next place was taken.

While Matty was surging forward, fellow McLaren driver Joe Osbourne was doing the same with even greater urgency and after both passed the Maserati in third place, Matty’s focus switched from the road ahead to his mirrors in order to defend his well-earned podium position.

The gap was closing when a safety car with eight minutes remaining left both nose to tail and from the way the 2009 GT4 European Cup champion had performed following the previous restart, it looked certain that Matty would have to settle for fourth.

The 2011 U18 World Karting champion though, has other ideas and over the course of the remaining four minutes of the race, was able to keep the driver with vastly more experience in GT racing just out of range and take the reward of a podium visit from his battling stint.

The number 10 McLaren crew have it all to do again this afternoon, in the second GT4 European Series Northern Cup one hour race at 14:25, which can be watched live at www.gt4series.com/live