Matt Griffin reporting on North Island Enduro Taupo
MATT GRIFFIN MOTORSPORT (PASSRITE IS PROUD TO BE ONE OF MATT'S SPONSORS)
Eneos North Island Endurance Series Round 2 report
24th June 2017 Hampton Downs
After the success at round 1 the Matt Griffin Motorsport team headed for round 2 of the Eneos North Island Endurance series with high expectations of getting a good result and continue the great year Matt has been having. The Mortimer Motorsport E46 had been given a front to rear check over by the team and also a few extra’s had been added to help the car perform even better as Matt was aiming to be on the top step of the podium for round 2.
Round 2 was being held at Hampton Downs Motorsport Track on Saturday June 24th with practise on the Friday and wouldn’t you know it the weather gods had brought rain again for the meeting. So on arrivals at Hampton on Friday the Matt Griffin Motorsport team had to unload the car and spares in the rain and then get down to changing the practise set up as it wasn’t meant to be wet and the car was set up for a dry track. After the car was ready to go it was decided to go out and do some laps on the rain tyres that had been used at round 1 in Taupo and make sure everything was working and the changes made were going to do what was hoped they would do. But after a few laps Matt reported that he was having some braking issues in the front so he brought the car in and the team set about trying to find what was causing the braking issue. After a few checks and changes Matt returned to the track and the issue was a little better but not totally fixed. Maybe some different rain tyres could solve the problem but the answer to that was a big “NO” as these tyres were only good for a rubbish pile. Back into the garage and it was decided as the rain wasn’t helping things the decision was made to do the pre- race preparation and check over and hope Saturday would bring some better weather.
Saturday arrived and it wasn’t raining when everybody arrived at the track but rain was on the rain radar and due around midday. After all the drivers had their pre-race drivers briefing it was out onto the track for a 20 minute qualifying session and with no rain and a drying track Matt set about doing a good time and get as close as possible to the front of the grid. With some nice new tyres on Matt’s plan was to get everything warm and then do some flying laps and set a good time. The plan worked and Matt finished with a great time and was going to start the race on grid 4.
So at 11am the flag dropped and the race was on and Matt made a great start and settled into a good pace and in a great battle with a 911 Porsche cup car and a V8 Commodore. Matt’s plan was to do about 15 minutes and then come in for his compulsory pit stop and hope there were no safety cars that could spoil the plan. After Matt had done 13 laps he came in and the team performed a great pit stop and Matt was able to get back onto the track ahead of the Porsche and Commodore and set some fast laps and make the gap too big for them to catch him and then drive to a plan that would allow him to turn it up if he needed to but the Porsche and Commodore couldn’t close the gap. After 45mins the rain came and it was so bad that the organizers decided that it was too dangerous to continue and they red flagged the race.
So Matt finished the race in 3rd place overall and 1st in his class, job done, the plan was executed perfectly and the whole team were so excited for Matt as the car didn’t miss a beat and everything was set up for a great final round in July.
Now everything has settled down we now turn our attention to Pukekohe on July 22nd and the final round of the series. As the report is written the points haven’t been finalized but provisionally Matt is leading his class and running 5th overall in the 1 hour race section.
Finally thanks to all the sponsors and supporters who have made it possible for Matt to be doing so well and we hope we can see you all at Pukekohe for the final round. Bring it on.
Matt's proud sponsors
Mason Tool and Engineering
PassRite Driving Academy
And finally say hello to the newest member of Matt Griffin Motorsport. Brock Alan Griffin born June 18th
Congratulation Matt and Kirsty we are all so proud of you both
North Island Endurance Series Round 1 report.
May the 19th 2017
May 19th arrived and it was an early start for Matt and the team as they headed down to Taupo for the first round of the Eneos sponsored series and the weather looked as it wasn’t going to come to the party and rain was predicted on Saturday for the race.
Arriving at the track early allowed the team to help with the set up in the Garages and start to get the car prepared and ready for the 10am start of testing and rain was coming so we couldn’t do the set up until just before testing started. There were 33 cars entered for the 1 hour race with 4 different classes within the race ranging from fire breathing Porsches to BMW E30’s so the speed difference was great so caution was also part of the race plan.
When testing started the plan for Matt was to get out and do a few laps to check everything was all good on the car after a long and major pre event preparation and see how the changes made to car worked without really pushing the car too hard to early. After the team had checked everything and some changes made Matt hit the track again and pushed the car along for some hard laps and Matt was happy everything was working well and he was happy with how the car was performing. It was decided not to put the new tyres on for testing so after a few more practise laps and rain predicted the team went thought some driver change practise and considering this was the 1st time both Matt and the team had done driver changes, things went well and everybody was happy and looking forward to Saturday. There were a few things to change and set up on the car for Saturday and with rain predicted the final set couldn’t be decided until Saturday morning.
Rain and cold temperature’s greeted all the teams when they arrived at the race track on Saturday morning. After Friday Matt and the team were happy with how things were looking for the 1 hour race so for qualifying it was decided to go out and do some laps and get a time and save the rain tyres. So Matt went out and did 4 laps and set a time which placed him in 20th place on the grid, Matt said he could have gone faster but by doing that he would have worn the rain tyres out and with rain set to be around for the 1 hour race Matt drove the car into the garage.
When the start time for the race arrived Matt was confident that he could get a good result even if he was starting from 20th. After 2 formation laps the race started at 11-30am and everybody charged at the 1st corner and amazingly there was no major drama’s and the race was underway. Matt moved pass some cars on the first lap and set about moving forward towards the front of the field. Then after about 5 laps the front windscreen on Matt’s car started to fog up and Matt was finding it very hard to see the race track and some of the cars that he had passed move back passed Matt as he couldn’t come into the pits till after 10 minutes of the race. When Matt did come into the pits after 10minutes of the race for his compulsory pitstop the team quickly set about cleaning the inside of the front screen and doing a quite modification to get more air into the car and stop the screen fogging up. As Matt re-joined the race he had a lot of work to do to get up the front of the race and he started the charge forward from the first lap out and as he had done his Pit stop early and with his tyres in good condition it was all on for a great result. Matt was driving very fast in the rain, something he is very good at, and he was passing a lot of cars and he was setting some very fast times and making many of the top teams taking a lot of interest in his performance and informing their drivers. When the flag came out at the 1 hour Matt had driven the car to a great finish place of 9th overall and 3rd in class, well that’s what the official results said. A great result in Matt’s first endurance race in the Mortimer Motorsport V8 BMW.
BUT WAIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After doing some post event checking the team believes that Matt had in their opinion finished in a higher overall position and they are currently talking to the event Organizers so watch this space as Matt’s final placing could be about to change.
Roll on Round 2 of the series at Hampton Raceway on June 24th.
On behalf of Matt and the team from Matt Griffin Motorsport we would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters who have made it possible for Matt to get out there and show everybody that he has great change to win the series 2 rounds to run in the series.
Mason Tool & Engineering. BNT Manukau. Express Hydraulics. Wired Auto Electrical. Excell Chemicals.
PassRite Driving Academy. Mortimer Motorsport. Gull Fuel
Matt working the tools Matt at full noise in the wet at Taupo 19th May 2017