By Liam Redford
Patrik Matthiesen aiming for silverware at Silverstone
Danish racing star Patrik Matthiesen will be resuming his British GT championship challenge at Silverstone this weekend. It has been an encouraging start to the season for the series debutant who currently leads the GT4 standings alongside Callum Pointon. The HHC Motorsport Ginetta has been strong all season, with the duo collecting points at every race to date, a feat only achieved by their nearest championship rivals. Silverstone will pose a unique challenge to the drivers, with a three-hour race on the Grand Prix layout and additional entries meaning consistency will be vital to success.
The previous meeting at Snetterton provided the team with extra challenges after they carried the maximum pit-stop success penalty into the first race of the weekend. A strong qualifying effort led to Callum starting from the front-row of the grid, however an unfortunate safety car period ensured the advantage they had built up over the first stint was negated. Despite this setback, the HHC Motorsport team finished in eighth with some mature driving from Patrik in the second half of the race. Race two was started by Patrik who skilfully avoided a first lap incident to hand the car over to Callum just outside the top-10 from 15th on the grid. Callum did a superb job to negotiate slower cars at a tough circuit to overtake, resulting in a top-5 finish which would ensure their championship lead was maintained.
Silverstone poses the most unique and rewarding challenge for the British GT drivers over the course of the season due to its layout and race length. Driving on the Grand Prix layout will be a thrill to the drivers, even more so with the race being three hours in length. This means an extra pit stop will be required and strategy can play an even bigger part in determining the outcome. Track position will still play a vital role in the race, with an expanded entry list featuring teams and drivers from the GT4 European Series ensuring the level of competition is even higher than before. Ascertaining a consistent and stable race setup will be the focus for the team across the free practice sessions, with Silverstone a comparably easier circuit to overtake at than the previous meeting at Snetterton.
Patrik will be relishing the chance to drive at Silverstone, a circuit which he has had considerable success at in the past. In 2015, he claimed his first victory in the Ginetta Junior Championship at the track, albeit on the national layout, with a fantastic performance. A year later he followed this up with three race finishes in British F4, gaining further track time in a highly competitive series. However, the biggest advantage for the Danish driver will be the fact he competed on the Grand Prix layout while driving a Ginetta G55 last year in the 24H Series for CWS, collecting a podium in class. The knowledge of driving in an endurance race at Silverstone will give him the best chance to succeed this weekend.
With no pit-stop success penalties to carry forward into Silverstone, Patrik and Callum will be optimistic of extending their championship lead heading into the weekend. Holding a slender advantage of just half a point over the #4 Tolman Motorsport McLaren, the title battle couldn’t be closer and the HHC Motorsport pair will hope to show the speed they produced in the first endurance-style race of the season at Rockingham. Matthiesen will be hoping his Silverstone experience will prove beneficial as the team search for their second victory of the season.