Ferrari GT ace Matt Griffin will have a busy 2016 season in endurance racing with AF Corse. The Irish driver will compete in the European Le Mans Series targeting the GTE crown as well trying to defend his 2015 Pro-Am Cup title in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Ahead of the 2016 European Le Mans Series season, GT Le Mans spoke to Matt Griffin about his expectations and the level of competition in the series' GTE class.
You will race again for AF Corse and Ferrari in European Le Mans Series, what are your targets for this year's competition?
The ELMS looks very competitive this year but I feel that we will be very strong. Our aim is to fight for the Championship and I think that is a realistic aim.
You will be sharing the #55 Ferrari 458 Italia with Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott, how is the work split between the three of you during race weekends?
It is great that we can go into 2016 with the same driver line up as last year I think that will help us start the season on the right foot. During the weekend we try to give Duncan more time in practise then as the gold driver I will do qualifying and as the rules dictate that. Then during the race it changes depending on strategy, sometimes Duncan will start other times Aaron will start but I will usually finish the race.
The 2016 ELMS GTE class looks more competitive compared to last year, do you agree with that?
It definitely looks super competitive and on paper every car in the class has team and driver line up capable of fighting for the championship. However in a championship like the ELMS which is one of the biggest championships on the world the competition stays consistently high year to year.
The European Le Mans Series will have a large number of LMP3 cars, how challenging is it for GTE drivers?
That is going to be very difficult as there is only a small differance in the speed of a GTE car and a LMP3 car and there are a lot of drivers in the LMP3 with not much experience of this mixed class racing. I expect fireworks especially if the fight at the front of GTE is tight going into the final few laps.
What are your thoughts about the new generation of GTE cars?
You know it's another profession. The cars are getting faster all the time. The issue with development is the cost also increases. So I hope GTE doesn't go the way of GT1. In saying that the cars look great.
Photos: Ferrari Media