By Liam Redford
Matthiesen claims maiden British GT victory at Rockingham.
Patrik Matthiesen claimed his first ever British GT victory with a dominant performance alongside Callum Pointon at Rockingham. After showing promising pace in two wet practice sessions, the HHC Motorsport pair qualified in fourth as the highest placed Ginetta runner. A short shower prior to the race led to challenging conditions with drivers starting on slick tyres, nonetheless Patrik drove an excellent stint with Callum continuing this speed as the pair claimed their first victory in the series.
Qualifying allowed each driver to set a time in their respective session, with the times combined to set the grid for the two-hour race. Patrik drove in the first session with conditions still wet and treacherous, meaning lap times would continue to improve throughout the session. A great effort from Matthiesen saw him set the fourth fastest time. Callum took to the track in the second session and found further time, resulting in the HHC Motorsport car lining up fourth, unable to match the speed of the Mclaren’s over a single lap.
The two-hour race was set to begin with dry conditions, before a short shower led to the race being declared wet prior to the start. Patrik began the race on slick tyres and immediately made progress, climbing to third on the first green flag lap before gaining a further place on lap three. Matthiesen then set about catching the lead McLaren of Charlie Fagg, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Two safety car periods allowed the field to bunch up during Patrik’s stint, with the Danish driver pushing hard to find a way past the lead McLaren. As the pit window opened, the HHC Motorsport team allowed Patrik to stay out until the last opportunity now he was free of the McLaren and had a clear track to gain time on his rival.
A superb pit-stop, combined with a series of fast laps prior to the stop, allowed Patrik to hand over the car to Callum in the lead of GT4. Two further safety cars heightened the challenge, but Callum extended the lead in the closing stages ahead of the Nissan 370Z of Jesse Anttila. Callum’s pace was unrivalled and the HHC Motorsport team claiming the victory, after a great team performance in the first two-hour race of the season. Patrik’s fastest lap from earlier in the race was also the fastest lap in GT4, an incredible eight tenths faster than any other driver with Matthiesen holding the fastest two laps from the race.
Patrik and Callum will be thrilled with the pace shown over the course of the weekend, especially during the race where they were the class of the field. Patrik’s drive in the first stint was especially impressive, considering the changeable conditions in the opening laps and his ability to deal with multiple safety car restarts. Tyre management was crucial to the team’s success, with the drivers extending the gaps over their rivals during the final portion of their respective stints. The next round of the British GT Championship will take place at Snetterton with two, one-hour races taking place on the 26th/27th May.