The SMU Racing Team returned to the 2016 Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro one year after the horrific crash that almost ended with fatal consequences. Full of anticipation, given the events of 2015, the team were hopeful of a good result that could launch them into 2017.
With literally a brand new car after a ground up rebuild including a new power plant, the Ford Eco-boost V6 twin turbo Shane Wilson Competition Engine, the team took to the rain affected track for Prologue on Saturday.
Matthew Salt was navigator for the weekend and at the end of prologue, the team found themselves in 4th place as they navigated the mud stacked course. With the remainder of Saturday cancelled due to weather, the team prepared for starting from the second last row of the reverse grid for Sunday.
Sunday panned out to be a really nice race for the team. After a slower (somewhat tentative!) first lap, Matt Hanson and Matthew Salt started to find their groove and the car and new engine started to deliver on the glimpses of potential shown to date. Some bad luck for Jack Rhodes in the last heat paved the way for a SMU Racing victory one year on, managing to pull clear from Raana Horan and Mark Burrows who both had great races.
A fantastic reward for Tim Collard who has put an enormous amount of time into this car and for the car to not have one issue all weekend, would have been personally very satisfying for what has been a long road after last year.
Again a huge thank you to the organising committee of this great race from Murray Rogers and the Millicent Sand Buggy Club to Teagle Excavations, ARB and all the sponsors and volunteers that make this iconic race what it is.
A massive thank you to everybody for their well wishes before and after the race and the special people that we got to share the win with. After a very hard 24 months for the team it was nice to see some reward for what has been a monstrous effort. It has been a difficult journey but we have been patient and overcome several challenges so to that end it was a satisfying end to the weekend.
It is one step towards our goals for 2017 and we are exactly where we wanted to be at the end of this year. We now enter 2017 with excitement in the knowledge that we have a good package and will look forward to the year ahead.
Special thanks to our sponsors and partners who have stuck with us through this tough journey. Without your assistance we would not have got there:
- Shane Wilson Competition Engines
- Albins Off Road Gear
- HJC Helmets
- Racer Imports
- AVR Performance
- MTQ Engine Systems
- Dynamic Wheels and Tyres
- Jimmy’s Fab Shop
- Mickey Thompson tyres
Very special thanks to three people that without their help we still would be looking at a pile of broken bits in the trailer:
SMU racing is on the look out for partners for the 2017 season so please contact Matt Hanson if you would like to get involved! We can offer great exposure for your brand and get you in close and personal with the SMU Racing team if you are looking to be part of Off Road Racing in Australia. We have various packages at all levels so get involved!
Again thank you to those that made the 2016 Pines race special for our team.