Pukekohe's Matthew Griffin has tackled the first round of the
North Island Endurance Series, and now has his eyes set on the
Hampton Downs leg of the race.
Arriving at the Taupo track early on Friday 19 May allowed the team at Matthew Griffin Motorsport prepare the car ahead of the race, which saw 33 competitors entered. Matthew was up against 'fire breathing' Porsche's to BMW E30’s, which saw a huge difference in speed. Caution was dedicated as part of the race plan.
Rain and cold temperature’s greeted all the teams when they arrived at the race track on the morning of Saturday 20 May. The qualifying round set Matthew in 20th place on the grid. Matt said he could have gone faster, but by doing so he would have 'worn the rain tyres out.'
When the start time for the race arrived, Matthew was confident that he could get a good result, even if he was starting from 20th.
After two formation laps, the race started at 11.30am and everybody charged at the first corner. Matthew passed several competitors on the first lap and set about moving forward towards the front of the field.
However, after five laps the front windscreen on Matthew’s car started to fog up and he was finding it very hard to see the race track. This saw several cars he had lapped moved forward again, and Matthew wasn't able to return to the pits until he had completed ten minutes of racing.
Pulling in for his compulsory pitstop, the team quickly set about cleaning the inside of the front screen and doing a quick modification to get more air into the car and stop the screen fogging up.
As Matthew re-joined the race he had a lot of work to do to make his way back upfront. He started the charge forward from the first lap out.
Matthew was driving very fast in the rain, which his team say is a skill he is very good at. This saw the Pukekohe driver set some very fast times, and made many of the top teams take an interest in his performance.
When the flag came out at the one hour round, Matthew had driven the car to a great finish place of ninth overall and third in class. This team were stoked with Matthew's result in his first endurance race, driving the Mortimer Motorsport V8 BMW.
The next round of the North Island Endurance Series will be held at the Hampton Downs Raceway on Tuesday 20 June.
CAPTION: Matthew Griffin enjoys racing in the rain, and skill has paid off, as he is currently third in his class in the North Island Endurance Series.