At an age when most are just learning to drive, 16-year old Matt McMurry entered the Guinness World Book of Records as the youngest driver ever to start and finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans this June. The inaugural Dyson Racing Junior Development driver first made Le Mans his ambition when he was twelve years old. For a seventh-grade class assignment on “What I Want to Accomplish Before Graduating from High School,” he stated that he wanted to be the youngest driver at Le Mans. That dream came true in June of 2014 at the 82nd running of the French classic in the #42 Greaves Motorsport LMP2 Caterham Zytek-Nissan that he co-drove with Chris Dyson and Tom Kimber-Smith.
The genesis of the story goes back to when he received a Power Wheel for his second birthday and he terrorized the household pets racing down the hallways of his home. He received his first go-kart when he was four and instead of watching Barney, Matt was watching Super Speedway, narrated by Mario Andretti, over and over again.
Age twelve was a turning point for Matt. He raced in the Florida Winter Tour – a go-kart competition with kids from thirteen countries. That is when he decided that racing was going to be his life and he became the youngest graduate of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance when he was twelve.
Since then, he has driven over 20,000 race miles, logged 200+ days at tracks around the world, and driven in more than 60 races. He methodically moved through the junior ranks of racing from Formula Skip Barber (2011-12) to Formula Mazda Bondurant (2012-13) to USF2000 (2013) to IMSA Lites (2013–now). In addition to competing in all of the 2014 European Le Mans Series races, Matt continued to compete domestically in the 2014 14-race IMSA Lites Series.
Matt tested a Le Mans prototype in late 2013 and in March of 2014 was named the first member of the Dyson Racing Junior Development Program. “What impresses me the most about Matt is not how good he is for a driver of his age, but just how flat good he is,” says Chris Dyson, Vice President and Sporting Director of Dyson Racing. “There is no limit to how much he can accomplish. He shows a great deal of maturity and we welcomed him to our Junior Development Program and will be excited to see him grow with us.”
Before making history at Le Mans in June, Matt raced with Dyson and Kimber-Smith in the opening rounds of the European Le Mans Series in the Greaves Motorsport LMP2 entry at Silverstone and Imola, taking home fourth place finishes in both events. He drove more than half of the four-hour Silverstone race and did a triple stint at Imola. Matt finished up the year with competitive runs at the remaininbg ELMS races at Red Bull Ring, Paul Ricard, and Estoril.
After the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Matt said, “I arrived with an eye on becoming the youngest driver ever at Le Mans and I’m now also the youngest finisher. It was a memorable day for Dyson Racing and Greaves Motorsport. Thanks to all the people over the years – and there were a lot of them – who made this possible for me.”