Matt Luff (Racing Driver)

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Matt Luff
  
NationalityBritish
Born (2001-07-27) 27 July 2001 (age 20)
Romford, Essex
Mazda MX5 Championship career
Debut season2019
Current teamAB Motorsport
Car number72
Former teamsJDR (Jack Dex Racing), JHR Developments, Richardsons Racing
Starts62
Wins2
Poles0
Fastest laps2
Best finish1st in 2019 British Racing and Sports Car Club Mazda MX5 Championship Round 8, Silverstone
Previous series
2017-2018
2014-2017
2015-2016
2015-2019
{{Ginetta Junior Championship
TKM (karting)
British Schools Karting Championship
SODI World Karting Championship}}
Championship titles
2015, 2016SODI World Karting Champion
Awards
London Borough of Havering Junior Sports Personality

Matthew 'Matt' Luff (born 27th July 2001) is a British racing driver who currently competes in the British Racing and Sports Car Club (BRSCC) Mazda MX5 Championship.[1] A two-time World karting champion, he is regarded as an up and coming driver in the sport. Having won countless karting championships, including two consecutive karting World titles in Paris in 2015 and 2016, he made the move to car racing in 2017.

Born and raised in Romford, Essex, Luff has enjoyed a successful ascent up the motorsport ladder, moving to cars following his Vice-Champion success in the Ginetta Junior Scholarship in 2017.[2] Luff was awarded entry into the scholarship event as a result of winning all three categories in the 2016 British Schools Karting Championship: overall Champion, Fastest Lap and Best Performing Driver - a result that has not been achieved by any other driver in the annual event which has run since 2003.

Early Life and Education

Luff attended his local primary school in Gidea Park, Romford. Attending a classmate's 10th birthday karting party in June 2011, at the Brentwood Raceway in Warley, Essex, gave Luff his first taste of racing. Luff was educated at The Brentwood School, one of the UK's leading co-educational independent schools founded in 1557, leaving in the Summer of 2019 with 11 GCSEs and 3 A levels. Whilst at school Luff played chess for his school team and for his County of Essex and achieved many notable accolades including Head of House, Senior Prae and a Sergeant in the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers (REME). His school awarded Distinction Colours for his commitment and achievements in sport which was also acknowledged by his local Borough when Luff was awarded the title of London Borough of Havering Junior Sports Personality of the Year in 2017 in recognition of sporting excellence.[3] In September 2019 Luff embarked on a Marketing degree course at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) in Egham, Surrey, where he is the captain of the motorsports team.[4]

Early Career

Luff is arguably one of the most successful drivers to graduate from the Brentwood Raceway having won, several times over, everything there is to win at the circuit including the Senior Race League, All-Star Cup, Race of Champions. Moving on to compete at the Buckmore Park circuit in Kent (where Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button started their careers) Luff once again dominated the results winning the Junior and Senior Race leagues as well as the Man of Steel championship and both the 3-hour and 6-hour Endurance Championships as part of the UK's top-ranking Endurance team Brentwood Banter.[5] Consistent success in the SODI SWS World Karting qualifiers at Buckmore Park saw Luff make the journey to Paris in July 2015 as National Champion where he dominated the event and easily won the 2015 SODI World Karting Championship.[6] Luff returned to the legendary Kart de Comeilles circuit in Paris in June 2016 where he astounded event organisers by defying the odds and winning the World title for a second consecutive year despite an obvious weight and height disadvantage, and which resulted in a change to the race categories making future events fairer with the obvious differences in the size of young drivers.[7]

In 2015 Luff brought the British Schools' Karting Championship to The Brentwood School by convincing the Director of Sport to enter a school team. In that first year of competing The Brentwood School team, captained by Luff, were made local and regional champions and were made Vice Champions following a controversial result at the finals held at Whilton Mill in July 2015. The team returned to the Championship the following year when they won the British Schools' Karting Championship title, with Luff winning all three prize categories including entry into the 2017 Ginetta Junior Scholarship at Blyton Park in October 2016. A closely fought competition over 3 days saw over 60 of the UK’s most talented young drivers compete in categories assessing driving, media and fitness skills, with Luff being named Vice-Champion and offered drives with three top Ginetta race teams.[8] Luff's rookie season in the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship supporting the British Touring Car Championship on ITV4,[9] gave him multi podium results but also brought an unprecedented amount of bad luck and a horrific smash, caused by an inexperienced driver, which wrote off his car in the last round of the Championship at Brands Hatch in October 2017 after transferring from the JHR Developments race team to Richardson's Racing after round 7.[10] Luff competed in the first half of the Ginetta Junior season of 2018 before quitting to concentrate on his A level year at school and to complete his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.[11]

In 2019 Luff made his debut in senior car racing when he competed in selective rounds of the Mazda MX5 Championship[12] as it fitted around his A level exams and D of E expeditions. Achieving a fourth-place result and fastest lap at Cadwell Park, in only his third ever senior race meeting in May 2019, and dominating the results at Silverstone with a win and two-second place podium victories in October 2019, have placed Luff as a top Championship contender.

Community and Charity

Luff is a firm believer in always trying to give something back. In 2016 a one-hour master class driving tuition session was a top prize in Chris Evans' CarFest raffle, helping to raise over £5 million for the BBC's Children in Need charity.

In 2017 having seen a news report on ITV's London Tonight about a young 8-year-old karting fan who was losing his sight to the degenerate Stargardt disease, Luff tracked down the boy's family and invited him to a private afternoon's karting and then invited the boy and his family to a VIP day out as his guests at the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) round at Silverstone in September 2017, when Luff was competing in the Ginetta Junior Championship as part of the TOCA support package, to help build memories for the family.[13]

Luff takes a special interest in UK charity The Lennox Children's Cancer Fund which is based in his home town of Romford. Luff raised almost £200 organising a raffle at his own karting event in October 2018 and took part in the charity's annual Fun Run in May 2019 to help raise further funds.

For the 2020 race season, Luff has formed a partnership with the charity Cardiac Research in the Young (CRY) to help build awareness of the life-threatening heart condition that affects young adults, particularly young athletes.

References

  1. "BRSCC Mazda MX5 Driver Profile". BRSCC. March 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  2. "Luff's Senior Racing Debut". Romford Recorder. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  3. "Matt Luff Havering Sports Competitor of the Year". Bedrock Radio. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  4. "Matt Luff Linkedin Profile". Retrieved 28 June 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  5. "Luff makes his mark in the SODI World Endurance Championship". Romford Recorder. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  6. "Pupil Crowned World Karting Champion". Pressburst News. July 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  7. "2015 SODI WORLD FINALS - THE GREAT FESTIVAL OF WORLD KARTING AT PARIS". SODI. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  8. "Scholarship Finalist Matt Luff Joins Ginetta Junior Grid". Ginetta. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  9. "Matt Luff Joins Ginetta Junior Grid". Boarding Schools Association. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2020. {{cite web}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  10. "Luff and Green confirm new ginetta junior teams". The Checkered Flag. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2020. {{cite news}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  11. "Luff Looking for better luck at Snetterton". Romford Recorder. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2020. {{cite news}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  12. "Romford Racer Matt Luff Makes Senior Debut". Romford Recorder. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2020. {{cite news}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  13. "Cheshunt boy facing blindness, 9, races with world champion". Hertfordshire Mercury. 5 September 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2020. {{cite news}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)

External links

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