CORK racer Matt Griffin and his Spirit of Race team mates net second place in the LMGTE category of the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring in Austria

CORK racer Matt Griffin and his Spirit of Race team mates net second place in the LMGTE category of the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring in Austria

The Spirit of Race team (pictured left and left to right) of David Perel, Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron finished second in the LMGTE category of the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring (Austria) round two of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). The race was won the the AF Corse team (centre) with the Iron Lynx outfit (right) finishing third. Picture courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography.

CORK racer Matt Griffin and his Spirit of Race team mates Duncan Cameron and David Perel netted second place in the LMGTE category of the 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring in Austria this afternoon.

It was their second podium of the season having finished third in the opening round of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) in Barcelona some four weeks ago.

With an impressive record at the circuit, Griffin was aiming for a strong qualifying position, however, he had to be content with P7 of the LMGTE drivers. 

“Qualifying was a disaster really, it (weather) started off damp and I was ballistic even on slick tyres, I was easily quickest but when it dried up and for some reason that I don’t know, I didn’t have the pace.

"I am confident we will be there in the race but just on the single lap we didn’t have the speed."

Griffin and his team mates had the extra burden of success ballast from the opening round in Barcelona.

British driver Duncan Cameron drove the opening stint and within the opening thirty minutes he had hauled the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo into third spot behind the similar cars of the Matteo Cressoni (Iron Lynx) and Francois Perrodo (AF Corse). 

Soon after Perrodo received a drive through penalty for exceeding track limits and his misdemeanour promoted Cameron into second place. Cameron stayed out for just a minute short of two hours, Perrodo reclaimed second spot by the time Cameron pitted for Griffin to take to the wheel. 

After about thirty minutes of his stint Griffin had to cope with extremely heavy rain and it came as no surprise when the safety car was deployed after an incident at Turn 7 that involved several cars. 

Griffin’s team made some pit stops during the fifteen minute period behind the safety car. 

“It was a wild race. It was difficult picking the right strategy for the team, my maximum time in the car is an hour and fifteen minutes.

“We were strong from the start, Duncan (Cameron) was great and in the final stint, David (Perel) drove very well too. 

"During my stint, I set the fastest lap of the race. It was good to get P2 and possibly, were it not for the safety car, it (result) could have been better.” 

The Proton Competition team that included Hollywood star Michael Fassbender finished fourth. 

Meanwhile, the LMP2 outfit Racing Team Turkey featuring Belfasts’s Charlie Eastwood took their first ever ELMS pole but had to be content with finishing fourth overall. 

The next round of the ELMS is the 4 Hours of Le Castellet in France at the beginning of June.

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