By Liam Redford
Sensational comeback for Patrik Matthiesen at Silverstone
Patrik Matthiesen claimed a fantastic fourth place result in the latest round of British GT with an excellent performance at Silverstone. It was set to be a challenging race for Patrik and teammate Callum Pointon after the pair qualified in 13th, failing to trouble the leading teams with single lap pace. However, the race was always going to be the strength for the HHC Motorsport duo who drove smartly across the three-hour event. Strong stints from Callum and Patrik moved the Ginetta G55 into the top-10, but Matthiesen rose to the occasion in the final stages, moving from fifth to third in the final two laps, before a post-race penalty resulted in a fourth-place finish.
The first track action at Silverstone came on Friday afternoon where the HHC Motorsport Ginetta was able to complete 17 laps in testing. More productive running was done in the opening practice session on Saturday with both Patrik and Callum able to enjoy a good succession of laps, ending the session 18th fastest, but just one second away from second in GT4. The team were hoping to improve on their position in the second session, however a tyre issue mid-way through practice curtailed their running, with the pair setting the 15th fastest time ahead of qualifying.
Qualifying would give the team a better indication of their pace ahead of three-hour event on Sunday. Patrik drove in the first session and set his best lap of the weekend so far, placing inside the top-10 with a time over two seconds faster than the closest Ginetta. The second ten-minute session was driven by Callum who set an almost identical time to that of Matthiesen, setting the 19th fastest time. With the grid set by the combined times of both drivers, this meant the HHC Motorsport Ginetta lined up 13th ahead of the three-hour endurance event.
Callum took the start for HHC Motorsport and immediately gained a position on the opening lap, before passing Nick Jones for 11th on lap three. Pointon broke inside the top-10 shortly after following a problem for a competitor, before a move on Graham Johnson’s McLaren moved the Ginetta into 9th. The opening pitstop was taken on lap 25 with Patrik taking over the car in eighth position following the completion of the first round of stops, an extra position gained crucially by a retirement for their closest championship rivals.
Immediately, Patrik set the fastest lap for the car and set about chasing the pack of cars in front, completing the halfway point in eighth place. A consistent stint ended with Patrik holding position before handing over to Callum. A further place was gained shortly after when the leading #10 McLaren retired with mechanical issues, with Callum subsequently beating the fastest race lap set by Patrik on lap 61.
Handing over to Patrik for the final stint of the race, the Danish driver re-joined in fifth after the retirement of the #61 Aston Martin. Matthiesen was closer to the drivers ahead following their pitstop success penalties, however the gap to the podium places was still sizeable. Despite this challenge, Patrik was determined to move forward and set successive fastest laps as the tyres reached their optimum condition. With two laps remaining, Matthiesen overtook Ben Tuck’s BMW and set about bridging the one second gap to the Aston Martin ahead. A sensational final lap saw Patrik claim the final podium place across the line in an epic three-hour race at Silverstone. However, a post-race penalty led to the HHC Motorsport Ginetta being relegated into fourth position. With no safety car periods it made the quest for a strong finish even tougher, but Patrik and Callum proved they have the racecraft to overcome adversity.
Once again the HHC Motosport duo showed brilliant pace over an endurance event, with the Ginetta G55 running faultlessly across the three-hours. Overcoming the single lap deficit to their competitors, Patrik and Callum proved their consistency during the race with smart driving to avoid any incidents and deal with the traffic successfully. Patrik will be thrilled with his final stint where he set the fastest lap for the car, in addition to making up a large amount of ground on his rivals. The next round of the championship will take place on the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit at the end of July where Patrik will aim to continue his success.