Donington write up

It was a steady start to the 2023 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season for Matty at Donington Park, with his first races in eight months yielding a fourth and third-place finish.

Finalising a late deal to contest the season with Redline Racing, he headed into the opening rounds of the season short on seat time, with the official pre-event tests serving as his only opportunity to undertake running in work of his brand-new Porsche 911

It meant the weekend was always set to be one of maximising any opportunities but competitive pace in practice and qualifying suggested that solid foundations could be laid for the year ahead.

With all of his prior running coming in dry conditions, the greasy dampness that greeted the field for the opening race of Sunday was less than ideal and presented a tricky 24-laps.

Getting off the line well, Matty’s run from fifth on the grid was tempered as the field concertinaed whilst avoiding a stricken Theo Edgerton who bogged down off the start and saw him enter the Craner Curves a place down.

Lapping slightly slower than the early leaders, a tangle ahead between a battling James Kellet and Charles Rainford on the entry to Coppice curve saw the pair leave the circuit and leave Matty to sail serenely into fourth.

Whilst building a gap to the cars behind, Matty was losing time to the leading trio in the second and third sectors of the lap but was looking comfortably in control.

Keeping good life in his tyres, his lap times began to improve in the second half of the race and looked to be making serious inroads towards Gus Burton in third and taking multiple tenths of a second out of the deficit.

That progress was arrested with the deployment of the safety car in the closing stages, as the gap back to Hugo Ellis was erased and Matty had to look to defend rather than attack.

It was a frustrating turn of events, with the car that caused the caution period managing to get away unaided, resulting in just one neutralised lap.

Whilst race one was damp, race two was sodden, with a pre-race deluge engulfing the track adding further challenges as Matty started from second spot in the partial reverse grid race.

A steady start allowed Matty to overtake pole-sitter Ellis as he bogged down on the line, but a cautious approach to the first turn allowed a hard-charging Burton and Adam Smalley to sneak down the inside.

As in race one the leaders enjoyed a slight advantage in terms of pace, but clean lines allowed Matty to maintain his place in the last of the podium positions.

Highly rated Dutch teenaged Rob De Hann came the closest to dispossessing the Northumbrian of that spot, but an overly optimistic lunge on the entry to the Craner Curves saw him lose grip and slither wide.

It created a moment of concern for Matty as his rival slid downhill over the soaked grass and on a collision course with the rest of the field at the Old Hairpin but he was able to keep an eye on proceedings and alter his approach to avoid an accident and being passed from behind.

Whereas 12 months ago he left Donington with the early championship lead, fourth place and 12 points represents a satisfactory start with clear routes of progress identified.

Speaking post-race, Matty said: “It was a reasonable weekend.  We’ve scored some good points, kept the car in one piece and I’ve gotten rid of some of the rustiness you’d expect having been out of the car since August.

“It was always going to be a tricky race weekend and it certainly wasn’t helped by the conditions being totally different to what I’ve run this car in so far, but 12 points is a good haul and we’ll look to build on that going forward.

“Carrera Cup GB is a long championship and with 14 races still to go, I think there is a lot more to come for myself and the team and I can’t wait to be back out at Brands Hatch.”