WORCESTER international racing driver Tim Matthews was press-ganged into racing the Anglo American AAR2 in the final race of the 2009 UK Sports 2000 Championship at Brands Hatch.

The seat in the car had been vacated by the team’s regular driver Gary Francis after the series organisers expressed concern that the inexperienced man would suffer under the enormous strain of the final race of the year.

Despite losing over a stone the previous week with a debilitating virus, Matthews agreed to take over the drive only to ensure the team had a presence on the grid.

In qualifying, Matthews managed just five laps in the Nuffield Health and Fit4WorkFit4Life-sponsored car before feeling too weak to continue and only a massive amount of fluid enabled the driver to climb into the car for the following day’s race.

“I believe in finishing every race I start,” said Matthews. “Although I’ve not been competing regularly in the championship this year, I was determined to prove that the car was quick and, despite being ill, the other drivers were not going to get away from me.

“I’ve only recently picked up the Nuffield sponsorship and it has really helped me improve my stamina and agility.

“In addition, the Tina Blake book Fit4Work Fit4Life has really helped me focus on the best way of mentally training for each race.

“The bug I had really knocked me for six, but I was still able to finish eighth in class with a reasonable lap time. We are already talking to a number of sponsors for next year, who see the value in supporting us, and the whole team are really excited about the prospects for the new season.”

With the arrival of a new driver and the possibility of two new cars, the team is already planning to make 2010 one of the best. Despite his years and the addition of a grand-daughter to his family, Matthews is more enthusiastic than ever about 2010.

He has already been offered some long-distance races in Europe and is keen to race quicker than ever.

“Racing has been in my blood since I was 15 and although I had some success while we were raising a family, the responsibility was always in the back of my mind.

“Now they have all flown the nest it reduces the stress. I feel fully recovered from my heart scare and I know I can get very much fitter in the next five months.

“We’ve introduced a lot of drivers to motorsport over the last 10 years through our TV shows and we will continue to help talented drivers progress and new drivers into the sport. Our door is always open to help anyone with an interest in racing or in trying the sport.”