CIRENCESTER racing driver Matt Ryder made an encouraging start to his 2014 Formula Jedi series with a runner-up position in one of the two opening races at Silverstone.

The former karting champion finished sixth overall in the 2013 series – his first year racing cars – and he looks like being even more competitive this season.

Good lap times at a recent test day at Oulton Park provided confidence for the first round of the championship and that confidence was not misplaced.

In the first race at Silverstone's new international circuit Matt had already moved from fifth place on the grid to third by turn three when his involvement was prematurely halted by being hit from behind and put out of the race.

For the second race, Matt qualified third in the wet but he made a sluggish start and dropped to fifth.

However, he found some pace in the greasy conditions and moved up to second position, closing to within a second of Andrew Dunn the leader.

Dunn responded and the lap times were very close for the rest of the race. Although unable to take victory, Matt did post the fastest lap.

Despite his 'did not finish' (DNF) in the first race Matt has taken eighth place in the standings after in the first round of the 14-race championship, which moves on to the Rockingham circuit on May 17-18.