By Liam Redford
Matthiesen continues points-scoring streak at Brands Hatch
Patrik Matthiesen has continued his progress in the British GT Championship with a sixth-place result at Brands Hatch. Driving on the historic Grand Prix circuit, Matthiesen and teammate Callum Pointon enjoyed a solid weekend where they gained ground on their nearest championship rivals. After showing good speed in practice, the HHC Motorsport pair qualified in sixth with Patrik setting the fifth fastest time in his group. Despite dropping down to tenth in the opening stages of the race, both drivers showed excellent pace during the two-hour endurance race to finish in sixth.
Arriving into the weekend aiming to regain the championship lead, Patrik and Callum made a good start at Brands Hatch by placing fourth in the opening practice session, just half a second away from the fastest time. More progress was expected in the second session prior to qualifying, however a mechanical issue and a late red flag meant the HHC Motorsport team completed just 13 laps, ending the session in ninth with a faster time than was set earlier in the day.
Qualifying was set to be a crucial session with the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit proving historically tough for overtaking. Patrik drove in the first session in a change from Spa-Francorchamps, shaving almost a second off the team’s best lap of the day to place fifth in the opening group. Callum drove in the second session and manage to beat Matthiesen’s time by one tenth of a second, once again showing the healthy competition within the team. This lap time was 11th fastest in the second group, with the combined times placing the HHC Motorsport pairing sixth on the grid for the two-hour event.
Starting from the third row of the grid, it was a challenging start for Patrik who dropped down to tenth on the opening lap. Despite the setback, he was immediately able to pass Nick Jones on lap two, before setting his sights on the #5 McLaren. A patient approach proved to be beneficial as Matthiesen was able to find a way through on lap 10 following a spell of pressure. Two safety car periods shortly followed, with the second lasting six laps and extinguishing any chance of victory with the silver cup cars receiving 30 seconds extra on their minimum pit-stop time. Once racing resumed, Patrik moved up to seventh overtaking Richard Williams Toyota with the pit-stop window opening shortly after.
Patrik stayed out the longest of all the GT4 cars as the team hoped to catch a third safety car period in which to make their stop. Without this materialising, Callum took over the Ginetta G55 and re-joined the race in eighth, crucially ahead of championship rival Jack Mitchell. Setting the cars fastest lap, Callum began to set about catching Jan Jonck’s Aston Martin, before benefiting from Jonck and Sennan Fielding receiving stop-and-go penalties. This promoted Pointon to sixth, a position which held for the remainder of the race with relatively large gaps both ahead and behind him. It was another consistent result for the HHC Motorsport team who narrowly closed the gap to their championship rivals.
Although the podium eluded Patrik at Brands Hatch, he should be encouraged by the pace shown over the course of the race where he was able to match the leaders. A series of safety car periods during the opening half of the race put pay to any chance of victory, however Matthiesen and Pointon finished as the second highest silver cup finisher, cutting the gap to championship leader Jack Mitchell to 13.5 points with up to four teams in realistic contention for the GT4 title. The season will conclude at Donington Park on 22nd/23rd September where Patrik will be aiming to capture the title.