Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Graham on the Podium Again but Title Hope Is Over

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Graham on the Podium Again but Title Hope Is Over

Article excerpt

A SECOND consecutive podium finish was not enough to preserve North East British GT Championship driver Matty Graham's championship chances in 2016 following the two races at the series' penultimate meeting of the year at Norfolk's Snetterton circuit.

Durham-based Graham and team-mate Jack Mitchell needed two wins to maintain any interest in the GT4 Drivers and Silver titles at the season finale later this month.

However, they had to settle for third in the first race before retiring with a clutch failure from the second.

It was a frustrating way to finish what had been a solid weekend for both drivers and team as they continue to enhance their competitiveness with each outing.

After Mitchell had secured the team's best qualifying position of fourth in their inaugural season of racing, Graham made good on the solid foundations laid in his team-mate's driving stint to bring the car home in third.

Having led the class up to the driver change pit stops, the combination of a hard-charging Ecurie Eccose Mclaren and an additional five seconds on Macmillan's minimum pit stop time saw Graham emerge in second place and in the middle of what promised to be a thrilling fight for the win.

With the pursuing Ross Gunn having made his pit stop earlier in the race and with his car already back up to peak performance, Graham's first focus was on having to defend his position - a task he was performing admirably, making his car just wide enough to thwart Gunn's attempts to pass.

That was until lap 20, when the frustrations became too much for the 2015 champion and he launched a clumsy attack which resulted in contact with Graham, forcing the car off track and costing the No 42 car around five seconds.

The collision caused a great degree of frustration on Graham's part but was adjudged nothing more than a racing incident by the stewards. …

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