By Liam Redford 28.03-2018
Matthiesen set to make British GT debut at Oulton Park
Patrik Matthiesen will make his debut in the highly competitive British GT championship at Oulton Park this weekend. The former Ginetta Junior rookie champion will partner Callum Pointon in a HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 with the pair hoping their previous Ginetta experience will help them make a fast start. Oulton Park marks the start of a nine round calendar, featuring races at seven different circuits including a trip to Spa-Francorchamps and a three hour event on the Silverstone GP circuit.
The opening meeting at Oulton Park will take place over three days with testing on Friday, followed by practice and qualifying on Saturday, before a break until the two races on Easter Monday. Along with Snetterton, Oulton Park features two one-hour races instead of a two-hour race which means qualifying is of even greater importance with each driver qualifying for the respective race they will start. A driver change will still take place in both races, with Patrik starting one race and Callum the other before handing over to their partner around the halfway mark. This should be a good introduction to the championship for both drivers as they will have opportunity to maximise their speed without having too much concern for strategy.
Patrik will be also competing in the silver cup aspect of British GT4 which is a category for a pair of young drivers aiming to make a career in motorsport, with the drivers scoring silver cup points in addition to points for the main championship. British GT is experiencing a rise with manufactures such as Jaguar and BMW entering the GT4 category this season, ensuring the competition will be strong throughout the field. Nonetheless, Matthiesen will be encouraged by the fact the Ginetta G55 GT4 has been the championship winning car over the past two season with Ginetta claiming the GT4 title seven times out of the ten years the series has been contested.
Heading into the weekend, Patrik will hope to draw on his past experiences of Oulton Park after competing there in both 2015 and 2016. The circuit features a number of high speed corners and chicanes which should suit the characteristics of the Ginetta with the British manufacture winning three of the last four GT4 races at Oulton Park. Matthiesen will also be encouraged that his teammate, Callum Pointon, also has fond memories of Oulton Park after claiming two podium finishes at his home track competing in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup last season which will boost the team’s confidence ahead of the season opener.
Donington Park played host to British GT Media Day at the beginning of the month with Patrik and Callum taking part in the scheduled test sessions in mixed conditions. Throughout the day, the team showed consistently good speed within the GT4 class, setting the fastest time by a Ginetta. This positive experience will give Patrik confidence heading into the opening round knowing they will be the team to beat, in addition to HHC Motorsport defending the GT4 title.
After a successful year of endurance racing under his belt in 2017, Patrik is ready to take on the challenge of British GT. It is set to be Matthiesen’s toughest year to date, but he is relishing the opportunity of competing against a plethora of talented drivers with an illustrious list of past winners. The opening race will take place on Monday 2nd April with the coverage streamed live on the British GT Facebook page for viewers around the world.