Irish sportscar ace Matt Griffin has confirmed his 2008 plans which will see him contest his first International race of the new season, the famous Toyo Tires Dubai 24Hours race next weekend. The Cork-born racer, who last raced a 24 hours race at...
Irish sportscar ace Matt Griffin has confirmed his 2008 plans which will see him contest his first International race of the new season, the famous Toyo Tires Dubai 24Hours race next weekend. The Cork-born racer, who last raced a 24 hours race at Silverstone in 2006 finishing third in class, makes his Dubai debut at the wheel of an RPM Porsche 997 and heads to the event looking for a strong finish.
"I love endurance racing and although it's my first time out there, the team has competed there before and contested three 24 hour races in total, finishing all of them," said Matt "That in itself is an achievement and I intend to continue that trend and be up at the front when the event finishes next Saturday.
"It's not just a case of setting fast laps it's a whole different approach to racing over 24 hours. The break between stints in the car means that it never feels the same when you get back into it, so it takes a lap or so to get back into the rhythm and to acclimatise with how the car may then handle. But that's all part of the challenge. Plus when you add to that the number of cars on the track there'll be around 90 cars out there and the track is very fast, I can't wait!
Matt has spent several months under a strict fitness regime to ensure he is at peak fitness ready for the race, which starts at 2pm next Friday. With the physical demands on the body experienced by travelling at some 170mph for hours at a time, fitness is a crucial factor. "I've always had a good fitness programme, in sports car and endurance races in particular you need to. Now though I've spent a while working on specific areas with my fitness trainers to ensure I'm fit and healthy, which includes ensuring I eat correctly not just on-event but now, in the build-up to the race so that I'm ready for the demands."
With a campaign on the Avon Tyres British GT Championship in a Ferrari 430 with Chad Racing already announced 2008 looks like being a busy time for the 2003 British GT Cup Champion as he prepares to announce an additional programme in two weeks time.
"Next weekend kicks off my 2008 season and I couldn't get more far removed from Dubai than the opening round of the British series at Oulton Park in April. It's going to be a very busy year for me; we have not just the British championship, but some other fairly major events coming up, which I will be announcing after Dubai."
Matt will be joined in Dubai by his regular co-driver Peter Bamford, with whom he will contest the British series, together with Daniel Welch and Jim Getty.
The event gets underway with scrutineering on Thursday and Friday prior to free practice session on Thursday at 11.45 and qualifying at 15.00. Night practice at 18.00 On Thursday gives drivers the first chance to experience the Dubai track in the dark before the race starts at 14.00 on Friday afternoon.