Pre Race Presrelease by Liam Redford
Matthiesen prepared for Spa-Francorchamps thrill
Patrik Matthiesen will be aiming to continue his superb form as the British GT championship heads to Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. The Danish driver currently sits atop the GT4 standings alongside teammate Callum Pointon aboard their HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55, scoring points at every race on the calendar. This feat is particularly impressive for two debutants in the series who enter British GT at the most competitive time with a host of manufacturers competing for the title. Competing at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit will be an added incentive for Patrik who will be aiming to extend his championship lead.
Following an extensive summer break, Patrik will be intending to build on his impressive performance at the Silverstone 500 where the team finished in fourth. Perseverance and determination were highlighted throughout the weekend as the Ginetta G55 lacked the single lap speed of its rivals, with Patrik and Callum qualifying in 13th. However, a brilliant performance in the race saw Callum move inside the top-10 during the first half of the race, before Matthiesen showed his talent by rising up through the field in the closing stages, only being denied a podium by a post-race penalty. This performance should give the team great confidence heading into Spa-Francorchamps, another endurance-style race which will prove a challenge for both car and driver.
Patrik and Callum will believe Spa-Francorchamps will give them a perfect opportunity to extend their championship lead with the pair performing exceptionally in the longer races, in addition to the fact they will not face any additional pit-stop penalty time. The Spa-Francorchamps circuit will pose a range of challenges to the drivers, with half the circuit featuring long straights and the other half with technical corner, leading to decisions being made over the best race setup. Patrik has been testing at Spa-Francorchamps over the past few weeks which should help the team feel more prepared heading into the weekend.
Unlike most drivers, this will not be Patrik’s first experience of Spa in a GT4 car. Matthiesen will hope to draw on his experience from last year where he competed in a CWS Ginetta G55 during the Creventic 24H Series event at the circuit. Although that was an event featuring cold and wet conditions, the mileage gained in a near-identical car will serve him well. Running alongside British GT at Spa-Francorchamps will be the GT4 European Series, featuring the championship leading HHC Motorsport Ginetta. This could enable the team to share data and setup information, proving invaluable to the quartet of drivers who are chasing the title in their respective series.
With a useful championship lead of 8.5 points heading into the weekend, Patrik and Callum are in a great position with just three rounds of the season remaining. Their two closest championship rivals will also serve additional pit-stop success penalties in Belgium which could prove vital at a circuit where the safety car is often deployed. Tyre management has been a vital strength of the duo this season and with warm temperatures expected at the weekend, this could play into the hands of the HHC Motorsport pairing in the closing stages of the race. As always, the race will be streamed live on the British GT Facebook page with competitive racing expected as Patrik searches for his second victory of the season.