Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2022 Rd1 Matty Graham

Matty made a superb start to the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season on Sunday afternoon, as he left Donington Park with the early championship lead following races one and two around the Leicestershire venue.

Returning to the series with Stockton-based Redline Racing, the team with which he secured third overall and rookie championship honours in 2020, the Stamfordham-based racer was targeting a competitive weekend at the wheel of his “Type 992” 911 GT3 Cup car.

After going quickest in a pre-event test on the Thursday prior to the meeting, Matty headed into the action hopeful his relative lack of pre-season running in the new-for-2022 car would be a minimal disadvantage.

In Saturday’s 30-minute qualifying session, that proved to be the case as he lapped the two-mile national circuit just 0.2 seconds off the ultimate pole position time, qualifying sixth on the grid for Sunday’s first race.

Pushing hard to advance further up the order, his fastest lap of the session would have been good enough for a second-row starting spot in third, but over-eagerness in the final sector saw the lap deleted for exceeding track limits.

Under sunny skies on Sunday morning Matty made a lightning-fast start to race one, as he vaulted through the pack up to third by the time the 25-car field entered turn one.

Storming down the middle of the track Matty was almost squeezed out as cars ahead jockeyed for position into the first corner, but was able to force his way safely through and set off after the cars ahead.

After a compromised run through the Craner Curves allowed Theo Edgerton to get past on lap two, Matty set about a race long dual with the JTR team driver which saw the pair exchange comparable lap times with the gap separating the pair ebbing between two-tenths and nine-tenths of a second.

With the positions seemingly settled, both drivers took advantage of a mistake from erstwhile leader Gus Burton on the penultimate tour to move up a position and complete the podium.

Having made a barnstorming start to the first race from sixth, hopes of a win in race two were significantly heightened when the reverse grid draw handed Matty a front row start from second.

The response to the lights going out was even more impressive from the Northumbrian than in the morning, as Matty timed his launch to perfection and rocketed away into the lead.

Such was the accuracy, Matty was a car-length in front by the time he reached the end of the pit wall, but he stayed well to the left and took a wider line through Redgate corner to counter from any lunges from the field behind.

Eking out a four-tenths advantage by the end of the first lap, Matty steadily built his margin over Burton in second as he worked his way to a 1.8 second lead by lap 12.

Problems for the number 57 car that ended in its‘ retirement on lap 14 saw race-one quarry Edgerton assume the chase of the leader, with some quick laps reducing the arrears from 3.5 seconds to 2.3 with five laps to go.

Matty though was managing his pace and responded to reassert his advantage, taking the chequered flag three seconds clear.

Taking 18 points from the meeting, Matty sits atop of the standings by virtue of his double-podium performance ahead of a trip to the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in mid-May, for rounds three and four of the season.