Former International Racing Driver of the Year award winner Matt Griffin, who has racked up some 300 races in a Ferrari GT, has accepted a new role outside of his continuing competitive career that will see him race at 23 events this season.
The 37-year-old Corkman will become the senior development officer for CJJ Motorsports, a race team established by another Cork native John Campion, now living in Florida.
CJJ Motorsports, who also support Craig Breen, was developed with the aim of developing and supporting young Irish racing talent.
On the track, Griffin will contest the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) for a ninth consecutive year and is hoping to add to his tally of 23 ELMS podiums whilst continuing his relationship with the iconic AF Corse Ferrari GT team for a 13th year.
In addition to the ELMS, he will race in the International GT Open Series with his usual teammate, Duncan Cameron with the pair vying for the Pro-Am category of the 14-race pan European series.
Meanwhile, Craig Breen, who got an unexpected call up from Hyundai Motorsport to drive in next week’s Rally Sweden, the second round of the World Rally Championship, is to return to the European Rally Championship.
While a full seat in the WRC remains his ultimate goal, he has joined forces with BRC Racing Team to tackle the eight-event ERC in a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing-supported Hyundai i20 R5 that will run under the Team MRF Tyres banner.
Breen, who will continue to be co-driven by Killarney’s Paul Nagle said, “I am really happy to start this adventure with MRF Tyres.
“We worked together last year placing emphasis on tyre development.
The new partnership will begin their ERC campaign on the Azores Rallye on March 26-28.
The British Rally Championship begins tomorrow with the Llandudno based Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally with Welshman Matt Edwards in the state of the art M-Sport Fiesta R5 seeking an unprecedented third straight championship win.
There are several Irish drivers in both the main event and the Junior category that carries an overall prize worth €60,000.
Those trying to stop Edwards, who will be on home ground, include Tom Cave (Hyundai i20 R5), Billy Coleman award winner Josh McErlean, and Welsh ace Osian Pryce, also in Hyundai i20 R5’s. The latter has Killarney’s Noel O’Sullivan on the notes.
Others include Rhys Yates and the Irish contingent of Cathan McCourt, Niall Henry and Conor McCourt, all in Fiesta R5’s. In the Junior series, Irish hopes rest with Down’s William Creighton, Donegal’s David Kelly and Meath’s Brian Brady. The seven-stage event gets underway at 9am.
The president of Motorsport Ireland John Naylor has extended an invitation to the chairpersons and secretaries of all MI affiliated clubs to attend a meeting at their headquarters in Dawson St., Dublin on Thursday night next.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and explore very important options that they (clubs) may choose to activate in relation to the sport.