Irish racing driver, Matt Griffin, will travel to the Chang International Circuit in Burriram, Thailand this week for round 4 of the Asian Le Mans Series.
Griffin joins teammates Mok Weng Sun and Kieta Sawa piloting the number 61 Ferrari 488 GT3 entered by Asia’s most successful Ferrari team, Clearwater Racing. The trio are currently in 4th place in the championship coming into this weekend after a very strong start to the championship.
“I am really looking forward to this weekends race, the Chang International track is fantastic circuit with great facilities; I raced there last year in the GT Asia series so I know the circuit quite well, I am also feeling confident as so far in the championship we have been very fast. We finished a very close 2nd in Rd 1, in the last round at Fuji we were a bit unlucky with our strategy and so finished 7th however we were very fast so I am sure we can challenge for the podium again this weekend” explained Matt.
One of the revelations of the season has been the pace of Griffins teammate Mok Weng Sun. The former double GT Asia Champion has been among the fastest of the non-professional drivers and his 1st stint at Rd 1 in Zhuhai gave the opportunity to fight for the win.
“Weng (Mok Weng Sun) has been amazing so far in the championship, he has been one of, if not the, fastest non-professional drivers and actually been quicker then some of the Pro’s. I am lucky to have two great teammates and I think together we make a great team which has shown this year.”
The Cork based Ferrari GT driver finished off a busy 2016 season with podiums in the final two rounds of the European Le Mans Series and the 1st round of the Asian Le Mans series. Along with this Griffin, together with teammates Rob Barff and Nic Minassian, finished a fighting 2nd place in the Gulf 12h in Abu Dhabi where he was driving for Dubai based Ferrari team Dragon Racing.
Matt continues “Overall 2016 was a great season for me, I did over 25 races all over the world, made my 5th start at the Le Mans 24h and my 7th start at the Spa 24h and Dubai 24h respectively. To finish the season so strong with podiums in four out of my last five races definitely gives me a springboard to 2017. I have a had a good winter break and I am coming into this weekend race ready to go maximum attack”
This weekends race see an entry of 27 cars overall for the 4h race which is sure to be demanding with air temperature at the Thai track due to be well in excess of 30 degrees C, causing cockpit temperature’s for drivers to creep to over 50 degrees C.
“One of the most demanding things about racing in Asia is the climate, I am expecting temps in the car to be more the 50 degrees C, this is something I am used and have trained for however. Depending on strategy I will do 2h out of the 4h race so will loose approx 5kg of fluid. With the help of USN sports nutrition I have this covered so will be well hydrated and fueled throughout the race.”
Official Free practice kicks off on Friday. Qualifying is due to take place on Saturday with the 4h race scheduled for Sunday.