Cork racer Matt Griffin joins up with the Singapore-based Clearwater Racing team that also includes Mok Weng Sun and Kieta Sawa to contest round three of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the iconic Nurburgring circuit in Germany on Sunday.
A former Motorsport Ireland International Racing Driver of the Year award winner, Griffin has little time on his hands, given his 32-race programme this season.
Sunday’s 6 Hours of Nurburgring is the final round of the European leg of the WEC before it heads across the globe to Mexico, USA, Japan, and China prior to the final round in Bahrain.
Griffin and his team-mates in their No. 61 Ferrari 488 GTE head the LMGTE category courtesy of taking maximum and double points in Le Mans.
Despite the whirlwind nature of his season, Griffin is enjoying the experience.
“Going to great tracks like Nurburgring is one of the best parts of being involved in the WEC,” he said.
“Obviously Le Mans is the jewel in the crown of the championship but each race really is a huge event. So far, apart from Le Mans, all the tracks have been new for my team-mates and Nurburgring is no different. In saying that both Weng (Mok Weng Sun) and Kieta (Sawa) have done amazingly well getting up to speed.”
Their Le Mans achievement rocketed the trio to the top of the standings. Earlier in the season they were third in round two in Spa and won the opening round in Silverstone.
Last week, in the British GT double round at Spa-Francorchamps, Griffin and his team-mate Duncan Cameron failed to start the race after Cameron crashed in the first free practice (FP1) session.
It was an unexpected weekend off for the Ballincollig- based driver, who will now have consecutive races in Austria, Spa, and Brands Hatch following Sunday’s encounter.
There are two free practice sessions today. Qualifying is at 2.55pm tomorrow with the six-hour race starts at 1pm on Sunday.
Meanwhile, it’s a relatively quiet weekend on the domestic scene with just two events — the Clare Autocross at Toormore near Ruane at 11.30am and the Kerry Autosolo at the Tralee Racecourse at noon, both on Sunday.
The Clare event is round five of the Naas Driving Academy National Autocross Championship.
Organisers of the Gowran Festival of Speed are expecting some 10,000 spectators to pass through the turnstiles of the Kilkenny racing circuit this weekend. Special guest Ari Vatanen will give a demonstration drive on Sunday.
Former Irish Tarmac and National rally champion Donagh Kelly will drive a Metro 6R4.
The cancellation of the Clonmel-based Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally that was due to take place on August 13 was based on falling entry numbers for recent events, particularly the ALMC Rally in Trim, that attracted less than 50 crews. A spokesperson for the Tipperary club said it would not be financially viable and they could not afford a financial hit.
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