Luxe Laps: Matthew Graham

A highly regarded talent, he was the 2011 Under 18 World Karting Champion, with his record in that discipline eclipsing both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. After two impressive years junior single-seater racing, including winning the BRDC F4 Winter Series, spiralling costs took the higher echelons of that side of the sport further and further out of his reach and saw him switch to sports car racing for 2016. 

He currently races in the GT4 category of the prestigious British GT championship, in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage for the Macmillan Racing team. When not at the wheel, Matty helps out at the family owned Plough Inn in Stamfordham.

Childhood car crush >>

The Bentley Exp Speed 8. I remember seeing that car and loving it. It was a bit different from the other Le Mans cars about that time and as a kid, I didn’t really care about the facts and figures. It was all about the looks and if it sounded nice and won races… it did all that.


Still my first car, a mark IV Renault Clio. I wanted something a little different and it had just come out so it stood out a little bit from your Corsas and the like. It was a decent first car and it’s done me well.

If you could own any car >>

I think you need a car for every occasion so I’d need a garage full! I always quite liked the Nissan GTR but if I had to choose one, it would be the Aston Martin Rapide. It looks amazing, is quick and is very luxurious as you’d expect but it has a practicality by being a four door car. It’s definitely the sort of car I’d like to do the school run with in the future!

Captain slow or Jeremy >>

Jeremy. He’s very funny and speaks his mind, though I don’t think he’s that much better a driver than James!

Who should present Top Gear? >>

It would never happen, but Sebastien Vettel along with Clarkson would be really good. Vettel has a bit of humour, is obviously a very talented driver and I think they would be quite a good combination.

Tracks of your tyres >>

It depends on where I’m going. A long journey to a race, it would be more chilled out music or some sing-alongs. Going into town for a night out, it would be something a bit more bouncy. I like to think I’ve got a wide selection of music on my phone

Dream road trip >>

Route 66 in a big American motorhome and doing it properly! Stopping off places, exploring, having barbecues at the side of the road. It’s a famous journey and some of the things you’d see there, you wouldn’t see anywhere else.

Who with >>

Would have to be with my friends. Get a big group together, share the driving and just have a bit of an adventure.

Memorable car moments >>

Visiting Japan when I was racing in karts. It’s such a different culture, even something as universal as motor racing, there are big differences in how it is done over there. I enjoy new experiences and that really was new!

In a car, taking pole position for a BRDC F4 winter series race at Snetterton in 2013. It was my first year of racing cars and we hadn’t had much wet weather driving in the main series, where I finished fourth.

It was November, and it was tipping down but I ended up taking pole position by about three seconds. Normally in those kinds of car, the gap is few tenths of a second, but the rain really let me show what I could do.

What’s in the glove box? >>

Very little! The manual, paddock passes for race weekends and that’s about it! There’s not a massive amount of room in there!

How clean is your car? >>

It’s immaculate! I like to keep it clean both inside and out.  The only thing that might be in there that’s not part of it would be the odd water bottle.

Scary moments? >>

Starting a single seater race mid grid and in the rain! You need a dose of brave pills before that! You can’t see anything but a wall of spray in front of you so you’re driving on sound and the marker boards at the side of the track and just hoping nobody’s had a moment.

Special thanks for the use of venue to Aston Martin Newcastle