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Welsh teenager Matt Rees endures a trying weekend at Silverstone

Matthew Rees. Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Welsh teenager Matt Rees endured a trying weekend at the home of British motorsport, Silverstone, at the weekend (7/8 May) for rounds four, five, and six of the GB3 Championship Partnered by the BRDC.
The youngster entered the weekend in high spirits after having a positive test on Thursday, having been in the top three in every session, leaving him and the team optimistic ahead of qualifying. Unfortunately, Matt wasn’t quite able to bring in his Pirelli tyres in an optimal fashion during the session, meaning he lost performance in the closing stages as others improved their times.

Matthew Rees. Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Starting race one from the fourth row of the grid he lost ground as the lights went out, falling to 11th place on the first of ten scheduled laps. A handling issue became apparent in the opening laps with the car understeering heavily, but once he was able to regain his rhythm, he ran with the pack.
However, with competition so close, he was unable to make any forward progress until lap six when he moved ahead of Callum Voisin for tenth where he would cross the line, only to be classified 12th after a post-race penalty for track limits infringements caused by the understeer.
With a chance to make improvements to the setup overnight, race two was a much more successful event with Matt making up a place on the opening lap, before gaining another on lap four to take another points-paying position as he finished ninth.
Starting 14th for the fully reversed grid race three, the youngster started well and was fighting to get into the top ten on the opening lap, when a rival swept across him at the high-speed Abbey corner, causing damage to his front wing and suspension. Persevering for another few laps, he pulled into the pits and ultimately was forced to retire.
Despite the results there were plenty of positives to draw from the race weekend with both Matt and the team having a strong direction to move in and things to work on as they prepare for the next event at Donington Park over the weekend of May 28/29.

Matt Rees said:

“Testing was positive as we were P2, P1, P3 and always there or thereabouts. I may have made a few mistakes in qualifying, as we didn’t really bring the tyre in right. We ran a scrubbed set and the new tyres on the second run, but I went a bit too early, and it cost us quite a lot of time, which meant we finished P7 and P11 with the fastest and second fastest laps.
“The first race wasn’t particularly wonderful. It was my fault and a little bit of car setup. I finished P10 on the road but got a five second penalty for track limits, but I will hold my hands up for that as I just couldn’t bring in the tyres in right. We just seemed to have a lot of understeer from the car so I kept running wide.
“We figured out a better set up for Sunday and the car came on really nicely. We managed to make up a few places in race two, so I was quite happy with that. Especially as after two laps it’s quite hard to pass, so there were positives. I had a good start to race three and made up something like four positions. I went for a move, but I didn’t really get left any space, and I just got turned into. It’s unfortunate but we move on, and we just hope the next round is better than this.

“As shown in the first two races, we’ve made some improvements and our starts have been better, so we’re in the mix a bit more. I think it’s just about getting it right off the line and making sure you’re there or thereabouts. Both the team and I can do a lot better, the team not so much, but definitely for me. It’s just about moving on, getting better results, avoiding weekends like this, and we should be okay.”