Eighty One at Brands Hatch

Matty’s wait for Porsche Carrera Cup GB silverware was extended to at least another round following the second race at Brands Hatch on Sunday afternoon, after a challenging 17 lap contest.

It was a race that promised much after the Eighty-One Powerdrink backed driver was drawn on pole position following his fourth placed finish in the morning’s run, but one  that ultimately provided a huge amount of frustration.

Making a good start from his first pole since his BRDC F4 days, the clear air he had managed to put between Team Parker drivers Josh Webster and Harry King was almost instantly wiped out after another early safety car deployment.

While the front runners made good getaways from the grid, it was messy further back with a number of cars spinning and running into the gravel at turn one.

As in the morning, it was Lucky Khera that came off worst as he was this time left stranded on racing line as he found himself on the sidelines after just one corner.

Making a good re-start, Matty again opened a gap to the Team Parker duo, but it was now King who was his pursuer after the Porsche GB junior got ahead of former champion Webster.

Further behind, an incident involving Matty’s team-mate Dorian Mansilla and Will Martin necessitated a second safety car deployment and saw the lead surrender to King, as he edged ahead on the start finish straight, after Matty checked up for an earlier marshals board displaying it’s safety car warning.

At the next restart, King began pulling away from the otherwise evenly matched field with ease, but Matty acquitted himself well defending from 2014 and ten-time race winner Webster as the race began to settle down.

It remained a close fight with Graham showing no signs of  2020 being his first season of racing for almost three years, but it was events out of the Northumbrian’s control that would rob him of that second place.

A big crash for Mark Kimber following a coming together with pro-am runner Esme Hawkey saw a huge amount of debris left on the edge of the track, but with his car coming to rest well away from the track, it was the first incident of the weekend not to require a safety car.

That would be something that Matty would be left to rue the following lap as he clipped one of the errant pieces of car and was forced of the road as he re-gathered his car.

With the field closely packed, it saw the Northumbrian drop to fifth and forced to wonder what might have been when he took the chequered flag, though a post-post race disqualification of In2Racing’s Ross Wylie pushed Matty up to fourth for the third race in a row.

Despite the disappointment, it was ultimately a productive weekend as Matty assumed the lead of the rookie drivers’ championship, moved to third in the overall standings and gained further valuable racing miles in the Team Redline Racing car.

He will look to bounce back in a fortnight when the Porsche Carrera Cup GB heads to Cheshire’s Oulton Park on the weekend of August 22/23