Racing driver hopeful's journey ends

A DRIVING enthusiast from Suffolk today told of his disappointment at narrowly missing out on the chance to compete in a renowned 24-hour race.

A DRIVING enthusiast from Suffolk today told of his disappointment at narrowly missing out on the chance to compete in a renowned 24-hour race.

Matthew Gordon came agonisingly close to winning a place at the Dubai 24hr endurance event after his skills on a PlayStation won him a coveted place at a four-day Silverstone training camp.

The 25-year-old took part in an online Playstation competition to complete a circuit in the quickest possible time on the Gran Turismo game.

Finishing in the top 20 in the UK, he was invited to the finals at the Motor Show in London where he scooped first place - and a spot at the Silverstone training camp.

Matthew, from Barham, and the two other UK qualifiers were pitted against 21 fellow competitors from across Europe, racing high-powered cars, and undergoing physical, mental and medical tests.

He made it to the final eight - 25,000 entered the initial competition - but that was where his dramatic journey ended.

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The lawn care worker said: “I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed to go out just before the final stage, but this has been an awesome experience.

“It was way more than I had expected. It really was very hard work, but the perfect way to assess ability is to push people to the limit and I think I rose to the challenge.

“I'm very proud because I competed really well against people who had a lot more experience and I improved with each session.”

Former racing driver Johnny Herbert, who oversaw the training camp, was full of praise for Matthew.

“Matt emerged as a very good competitor and was very close, but in the end it was a step too far,” he said.

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