Matt Griffin drives for the iconic Italian car company Ferrari at LeMans but would be just as happy driving his Peugeot up Molls Gap.
What are you currently driving?
I race for Ferrari and this year I am racing in two different championships driving two different models — the Ferrari 488 GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the Ferrari 458 GTE at the Le Mans 24 hour and the European Le Mans Series.
Love at first sight, or just a means to get from A to B?
I think definitely love at first sight. I have raced since I was 11 and have always been a huge fan of Ferrari so to be in a position to drive for the Ferrari official racing team is a dream come true. I must admit seeing the Ferrari logo gives me goosebumps. You can really feel the passion of the brand. In saying that it’s also a way to get from A to B— at 320kph that is!
What’s under the bonnet?
Basically a lot of horse-power. The Ferrari 488 GT3 I race in the Blancpain Endurance series has a 3900cc twin turbo engine with approx 700bhp the car weighs around 1,200kg. The Ferrari 458 GTE car I will race at the Le Mans 24h has a 4500cc normally aspirated V8 with approx 650bhp and weighs approx 1050kg. The top speed for both is 320kph plus.
Petrolhead or Sunday driver?
I am definitely a petrol- head. I love cars and car racing and when my helmet goes on I drive completely at the limit of the race car. However, on the road I don’t drive fast at all. I’m usually sat back with my road car on cruise control listening to music. I find normal road driving relaxing.
What was your first car?
I had a few cars that should have been scrapped (the NCT didn’t exist) but my first proper car was an Alfa Romeo, so Italian cars are definitely in my blood. My Dad is very much in to cars so he came back one day with blue Alfa with a great 1600cc engine
What else do/did you own?
My normal road car is a diesel Audi so not particularly exciting. I do however own a 1989 Peugeot 205 GTI which I have totally restored to as new condition which I love. I also own a Ford Racing Puma which is number FMC04 out of 500 made.
Dream drive in dream location?
That’s an easy one, it would be a drive up Molls Gap in Killarney in my 205 GTI on a nice clear day.
Passenger you’d most like on a long journey?
Another easy one, it would be my 6-year-old daughter Aoife, she would keep me talking the whole time.
Passenger you’d least like?
Its a tough one as I don’t particularly dislike many people but it would probably be Donald Trump. The first few miles might be entertaining, but I think I would be pulling my hair out after a short period.
What’s on your playlist?
In the race car my playlist is usually my race engineer asking me for various information. In everyday life, I have a wide taste in music but I think for a trip in a great car on a great road it would have to be a bit of Johnny Cash.
Matt Griffin will race for Ferrari at Le Mans later this month. From Cork, he is the only Irishman to stand on the Le Mans 24h podium.
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