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Greaves MotorsportGreaves Motorsport has completed a successful programme at the Official Test for the 2014 European Le Mans Series, held over the past two days at the Circuit Paul Ricard. Tom Kimber-Smith posted the second fastest time in the #41 car on day two with a lap time of 1:49.452. This bodes well for the season as traditionally the Le Castellet track is not favourable to the Nissan powered Zytek chassis that is run by the team. Joining Tom in the #41 entry was 2013 Greaves Motorsport driver and former ALMS Champion, Chris Dyson. Third seat in the car was occupied by fellow American, Matt McMurry, who was making his European sportscar debut. Matt also drove the #28 sister car to give him maximum seat time and his performance in both cars reflected his potential. An announcement about his possible future programme with the team will be made in due course.

Also making their first appearance with the team were 2012 Radical Endurance Champions, Tony Wells and James Littlejohn, and the pair turned in a competitive performance over the two days of testing. Assisting them in the #28 Zytek was leading GP2 driver, Jon Lancaster, who helped to set a baseline for the car’s setup.

The team open their 2014 race campaign at Silverstone in two weeks with the first round of the 2014 European Le Mans Series, further details of this will be announced in due course.

Team Manger, Jacob Greaves. “It has been a good couple of days here in France, we came with a programme to get both the drivers and the cars in the best possible shape for what promises to be a very competitive season. Tom’s lap time in the car reflects the progress that we have made over the winter. Add to that strong performances from Chris, James, Matt and Tony and we have reason to be optimistic about the year ahead.”

Kicking off their European pre-season programme, Greaves Motorsport will be at Circuit Paul Ricard for the Official Test of the 2014 European Le Mans Series, Tuesday and Wednesday (1st/2nd April). The team’s 2014 drivers, Tom Kimber-Smith and Chris Dyson will be leading the team’s extensive test programme. They will be joined at the Test in the #41 car by the young American, Matt McMurry, making his European motorsport debut. In the #28 entry will be ex-Radical SR8 Champions, Tony Wells and James Littlejohn, also making their first appearance in the LM P2 class of endurance racing.

A window of opportunity has arisen for a suitably qualified driver to join the team at the test and any interested parties should contact the Team Manager, Jacob Greaves, at either jacob.greaves@greavesmotorsport.com or +44 7817 645 408

In addition to the previously announced programmes at Le Mans and in the European Le Mans Series, the team is considering a further campaign in either the Asian Le Mans Series or the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. Any enquiries should be made to the above contact.

Matt McMurryYoung American driver Matt McMurry stepped into a prototype for the very first time this past weekend at the high speed Road America circuit, and despite his total unfamiliarity with the higher downforce cars and substantially higher top speeds, he finished an impressive 6th and 5th in the two races featuring 22 and 21 entries respectively.

“We were so impressed with Matt and how he methodically built speed. He was fast straight away in practice 1 with the eleventh best time, and by practice 3 was fourth fastest, just a second off the track record,” said Brent O’Neil, director of Performance Tech Racing, which runs teams in the Copper Tires Protoype Lites Championship and The American Le Mans Series.

The Amazing Flameless Candle-sponsored entry experienced a fuel pickup issue throughout qualifying, stunting possibilities and leaving McMurry seventh for the start of race 1. He would start fifth for race 2, based on second best qualifying time or best time from race 1.

“Qualifying was disappointing because we had the speed to be somewhere between third or fifth, and to be in a better position for a podium during the races. In a spec series like this one, qualifying position is critical,” said McMurry. “Even so, it was a good experience to have to fight for race positions and work my way forward. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot.”

The 30-minute race 1 was marred by repeated cautions, offering only about five green flag laps. McMurry was passed by an Antonio Downs during a restart, but managed a re-pass up the hill to turn 6, and then passed another competitor later. He made a valiant late brake try on the final corner for 5thplace. But the inside line didn’t provide grunt for the drag race to the checker, and he finished 6th.

In the longer 45-minute race 2, once McMurry shook the cars attacking from behind, he ran down Daniel Goldberg and Mikhail Goikhberg, reducing a 4-second gap to 0.7 at the finish, and putting on quite a show for what was the best battle on the track at the time.

“Most everybody in this series has 20 or more Protoype Lites races under their belts, not to mention experience in The American Le Mans Series and many other top level leagues. For Matt to come in here, run in a car that has much higher speed and downforce than what he’s used to, and to be an immediate podium contender was nothing short of amazing,” added Jonatan Jorge, driver coach for Performance Tech Racing. “He’s just 15 years old.”

McMurry is also competing in his first season of the Cooper Tires U.S. F2000 Championship powered by Mazda, which is part of the Mazda Road to Indy program. He scored his first top 10 finish in the ultra-competitive open wheel series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course two weekends ago, amidst a field where the average age of drivers is 18 years old. In 2012, he participated in Formula Skip Barber as a 14-year-old and had eight podiums, again against older competition.

Photo by Richard Prince.