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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 no.72
Former teamsJDR (Jack Dex Racing), JHR Developments, Richardsons Racing
Starts62
Wins2
Poles2
Fastest laps2
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

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Matthew Luff (born 27 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.[2]

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.[3] 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[edit]

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, Essex, 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 Sargent 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[4] in recognition of sporting excellence.[5] 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.[6]

Early career[edit]

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 Jenson 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.[7] 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.[8][9] 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 [10][11] 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.[12] During 2016 Luff also competed in the HKRC Junior TKM Championship, finishing the 2016 season vice-champion following on from a 3rd place finish in the East Anglian Cup just a few months prior.[13]

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.[14] 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 [15] and offered drives with three top Ginetta race teams.[16][17][18]

Luff's rookie season in the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship[19] supporting the British Touring Car Championship on ITV4,[20] 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 [21] after transferring from the JHR Developments race team to Richardson's Racing after round 7.[22][23] Luff competed in the first half of the Ginetta Junior season of 2018 [24] before quitting to concentrate on his A level year at school and to complete his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. [25]

In 2019 Luff made his debut in senior car racing when he competed in selective rounds of the Mazda MX5 Championship[26] as it fitted around his A level exams and D of E expeditions. Achieving a win in round 2 at Pembrey[27] and 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.[28]

Community and charity[edit]

As well as forming major sponsorship deals with global brands such as Tetris,[29] 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' Car Fest 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[30] [31] 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[32] when Luff was competing in the Ginetta Junior Championship as part of the TOCA support package, to help build memories for the family [33]

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.[34]

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[edit]

  1. "BRSCC Mazda MX5 Driver Profile". BRSCC. March 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  2. "One to Watch: Introducing Matt Luff (part one)". Downforce Radio. September 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  3. "Luff's Senior Racing Debut". Romford Recorder. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  4. "Brentwood School karting champ Matt Luff named Havering Junior Sports Competitor of the Year". Brentwood Live. 9 February 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  5. "Matt Luff Havering Sports Competitor of the Year". Bedrock Radio. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  6. "Matt Luff Linkedin Profile". Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  7. "Romford schoolboy Matt makes his mark". Romford Recorder. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  8. "Pupil Crowned World Karting Champion". Pressburst News. July 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  9. "Pupil Crowned World Karting Champion". isbi News. July 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  10. "Matt Luff retains World title". Karting Magazine. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  11. "Pupil crowned world karting champion…again!". independant Schools Council. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  12. "2015 SODI WORLD FINALS - THE GREAT FESTIVAL OF WORLD KARTING AT PARIS". SODI. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  13. "Motorsport: Matt Luff and Bobby Thompson on track for success". Romford Recorder. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  14. "Romford's Matthew Luff takes top honours at British Schools' Karting Championships at the Whilton Mill track". Romford Recorder. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  15. "Motorsport: Romford racer Matt Luff misses out on Ginetta Junior Championship scholarship". Romford Recorder. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  16. "Scholarship Finalist Matt Luff Joins Ginetta Junior Grid". Ginetta. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  17. "JHR UP TO FOUR WITH GINETTA JUNIOR DEBUTANT LUFF". The Chequered FLag. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  18. "Scholarship Finalist Matt Luff Joins Ginetta Junior Grid". Attain Education. 24 February 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  19. "Motor Sport: Romford teenager Matt Luff to compete in Ginnetta Junior Championship". Romford Recorder. 21 February 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  20. "Matt Luff Joins Ginetta Junior Grid". Boarding Schools Association. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  21. "Romford youngster Luff endures frustrating finish to Ginetta Junior Series". Romford Recorder. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  22. "Romford teenager Matt Luff signs for Richardson Racing team". Romford Recorder. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  23. "Luff and Green confirm new ginetta junior teams". The Checkered Flag. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  24. "Matt Luff Ginetta Driver Profile 2018". Ginetta. March 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  25. "Luff Looking for better luck at Snetterton". Romford Recorder. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  26. "Romford Racer Matt Luff Makes Senior Debut". Romford Recorder. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  27. "Motorsport: Luff claims win in Wales". Romford Recorder. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  28. "Romford racer Luff returns with stunning display". Romford Recorder. 9 October 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  29. "Racing With Tetris - Matt Luff Interview". Tetris. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  30. "Brentwood karting champion treats boy with rare eye condition to day on the track". Chelmsford and Mid Essex Times. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  31. "Brentwood's Luff proves champion with act of kindness". Romford Recorder. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  32. "Romford racer Luff ensures top day out at Silverstone is Tailor-made for young Ethan". Romford Recorder. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  33. "Cheshunt boy facing blindness, 9, races with world champion". Hertfordshire Mercury. 5 September 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  34. "Luff leads way at Endurance Karting event, as Recorder find taking part counts too!". Romford Recorder. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2020.

External links[edit]


Category:2001 births Category:English racing drivers Category:British racing drivers Category:Athletes


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