MacMillan's Matty Graham's Rockingham viewpoint

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Matty secured his first points in British GT on Sunday afternoon, after he and team mate Jack Mitchell battled to a sixth place finish at Rockingham Motor Speedway.

In a race that Graham described as the hardest physical thing he had ever done, the pairing overcame a power steering problem in their Aston Martin Vantage to take a valuable twelve points from the two hour race.

And while Matty lamented not being able to finish higher up the order, just completing the full race distance was an achievement for the whole team, after Generation AMR Macmillan Racing won their own race against time to be on the grid at all.

In a remarkable effort, the team and Aston Martin Racing pulled out all the stops to get the number 42 back into race shape, after it sustained significant damage in the huge crash that put it out of the race at Brands Hatch two weeks earlier.

After that incident robbed Mitchell of the chance to run in the car, it was he who took charge of the first stint on Sunday afternoon, and made an immediate move up the order from the rolling start.

Getting a good run past the green lights, Mitchell dove to the bottom of the banked turn one to get past the Ginetta G55 of William Phillips and quickly found himself part of the lead group.

Running fifth and pressuring eventual winners Jack Bartholomew and Jordan Albert, the steering problem arose with only 20 minutes ran, changing the complexion of the team’s race and costing Mitchell five places.

Pushing on as well as he could, Mitchell came into the pits to hand over to Matty on 55 minutes, giving him the car for what would be a gruelling 65 minute stint.

Following an exceptionally slick pit stop, Graham set about getting accustomed to the car he was driving and finding its potential and while it was not at its peak performance levels, Matty was able to coax lap times within half a second of the leading GT4 cars out of it.

It was an important turn of pace to extract too, as Matty and Ginetta driver Robert Barrable engaged in a race long battle for what would be seventh on track, after mechanical problems affected the sister Generation AMR car.

It was a gap that was never comfortable, growing only as much as two and a half seconds and at times being less than two tenths, but it was one that Matty was managing.

Four laps from home however, with fatigue starting to set in and with the Aston developing a long break peddle, Barrable was able to take the position with a well-judged and disappear up the road.

It saw Matty cross the line eighth, with post-race penalties to crews ahead for overtaking under yellow flags improving that position by two places.

Matty and the rest of the British GT championship have a four week gap until they are next in action, with rounds three and four taking place around Oulton Park in Cheshire on May 28 and 30.

Source material - Matthew Graham PR
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