Happy New Year!

Happy Australia Day!

Getting closer now to the Off Road season starting in earnest for 2020!

The SMU Jimco has undergone a full race prep as the team look to compete in the AORC opener at St George QLD. The team will look for a small shakedown before the April St G kick off with a few different options being considered. 10 weeks and counting, keep tuning in and watch the team as the clock ticks down before we all break dirt in Qld!!

Every new Beginning come from some other Beginning’s end

After an incredibly disappointing season 2019 has ended on a high note with the SMU Racing team taking out the Can-Am Loveday 350.  The SMU Jimco ran faultlessly all day with the new injectors from Xtreme DI doing their job inside the Shane Wilson Competitions Engine’s Ford 3.5 Twin turbo Eco boost which was doing it’s job shovelling out some Loveday dirt over the weekend……

In what was Timmy Collard’s final preparation of the SMU Jimco, being with the team since 2013, the car did not miss a beat with the race proving a valuable testing exercise on a number of modifications made to the car since last racing at Pines 2018.  Credit to Tim on a great final prep and a good note to send him out on.

The team look forward with anticipation to season 2020 with a largely unchanged car and a package that the team hope will be reliable now that final changes to the driveline have been tested.  We are hoping for big things in 2020 with planning and preparations well under way.

A massive thank you to our Partners for 2019 with lots of big races planned and booked for 2020.

Thank you

Dutton Garage

Shane Wilson Competition Engines

Mickey Thompson Tyres Australia

Racer Imports

Albins Off Road gear

HJC Helmets (KT Autosport Australia)


Xtreme DI

AVR Performance

Dynamic Wheels and Tyres

Q Metal Solutions

Flexicut Engineering

Livid Lighting

Race Paint


Keep an eye on our website, facebook and Instagram pages as we keep updating as we look to the first outing for 2020, at this stage planned for March.

In the meantime stay safe over the holiday season and see you in the new year!


Photo credits JS Motorpsort Photography and Tony Donoghue Photography

Loveday 350 2019

The SMU Racing team is looking forward to racing at the Loveday 350 this weekend. Finally we get to the start line for 2019!

We have now put our fuel injector issues behind us and it will be good to race for the first time this year. A big thanks to Shane Wilson, Xtreme DI, AVR Performance, Quickbitz, Tim Collard and Nigel Pendlebury for all their help in getting to the Quickbitz hub dyno which gives has given the big green light for this weekend

Fair to say we have heaps of race fuel and tyres so looking forward to this all evaporating come the flag drop at Loveday on Saturday.

A massive Thank you to our Partners for sticking ‘fat’ with us this season in what has been a trying year and we are looking forward at having a proper ‘crack’ for the 2020 year!

• Dutton Garage
• Shane Wilson Competition engines
• Racer Imports
• Mickey Thompson Tyres
• HJC Helmets
• Albins
• Xtreme DI
• Quickbitz
• Flexicut Engineering
• AVR Performance
• Dynamic Wheel and Tyres
• Livid Lighting
• Q metal Solutions
• Jimco

For those going to Loveday this weekend, safe travels and see you there!  Some cool announcements expected for the 2020 season so in the mean time…..


SMU Racing Race Car Preparation Mechanic

Be a pivotal part in one of Australia’s leading Off Road Racing teams

Position available for competent race car mechanic responsible for the preparation of one of Australia’s most competitive and advanced off road race vehicles

SMU Racing is looking for a part time race car mechanic to prepare the vehicle for 3-5 races per year

The vehicle is powered by a 3.5 twin turbo Ford Eco boost Direct Injection engine

With a top speed of 230kph plus and 20 plus inches of wheel travel, off road desert racing is one of the harshest forms of motorsport in the world, with vehicle preparation and finishing paramount to success.

Races are typically 500 Km’s over two days with the team a regular competing in Tatts Finke Desert Race in the NT.

The vehicle runs a five speed sequential Albin’s transmission with torque convertor and the car is electrically driven by a Life Racing ECU. The team has partners who build and tune the engine and service the transmission.

The team is owner funded and whilst serious, there is a social element to racing.

Characteristics we are looking for in the successful applicants will include:

  • Ability to work autonomously and able to meet deadlines
  • Meticulous in preparation and always looking for ‘what could go wrong’
  • Can go away with the team to races and prep/maintain throughout race weekends including working under pressure during set time pit stops as part of a team
  • Will have a strong knowledge in either fabrication, electrical, general automotive or all of the described
  • Understand that race car preparation and vehicle safety are intrinsically linked

Whilst the role is a paid position, the successful applicant will not be looking for this as a form of income but rather wanting to be part of a team trying to win races and enjoy working with cutting edge technology and state of the art vehicle. Ideally the successful applicant will have little or no immediate family commitments and enjoy competitive motor racing.

The last race of 2019 will be September and first race 2020 will be March. Vehicle is currently based in Tullamarine, Victoria

Applicants should forward a CV or an email outlining their skill set and relevant experience to

Enquires can be made on 0414 850 770 to Matt Hanson

For more information see:


HJC Helmets and SMU Racing, a partnership standing the test of time, looking forward to the 2019 Off Road season

The SMU Racing team is very proud to announce HJC Helmets as Exclusive Helmet sponsor for the team for the 2019 Australian Off Road Championship season.  This is the seventh official season that HJC and SMU Racing have partnered although the team have been using HJC helmets for 16 years now.  

SMU Racing team Driver Matt Hanson was elated to announce the continuation of this longstanding partnership as the upcoming season approaches for a product that the team have long used and trusted.

“HJC Helmets are a product we have used since 2003, so to partner again in 2019 is very exciting.  HJC helmets have long been known, as one of the leading helmet manufacturers in the world and to wear them in 2019 will ensure that we are equipped with the very best in safety. Navigator Nigel Pendlebury and I will be wearing the AR10-III HJC helmets.  We use the orange tinted visors with these helmets being lightweight, extremely comfortable and well ventilated which are all non negotiable for Off Road! Helmets are not something that you skimp on given how long you have them and when it all goes wrong you want to know that you have the best in protection”said Matt.

Kristopher Trotter, Owner of KT Autosports – exclusive Australian distributor for HJC Helmets, was equally excited to continue the partnership with SMU Racing as the 2019 season approaches.  Kristopher said the sponsorship is an important part of KT Autosports strategy to increase national brand awareness of this well-known and trusted worldwide helmet brand.

“We actually contacted Matt and the team back in 2013 as we noticed they were already using HJC.  Matt was a big believer in the brand and acknowledged that safety and comfort together were so important in Off Road and the main reason they were using HJC.  It is a longstanding relationship with the team that we are equally proud of.  SMU Racing are proud ambassadors for HJC Helmets and we are proud to know that our helmets are the helmet of choice when pines trees are going past like a video game on fast forward!!”, said Kris.

“Keeping the team safe and comfortable in the AR10-IIIhelmets is paramount and the boys were thrilled with the performance of these helmets last year.  It was good see some other first time HJC Off Road purchasers in 2018 give the great feedback that we received. For anyone who is looking for HJC Helmets, which are ideally designed for off road racing , you can make contact via Face book at KTautosports or contact me direct on 0448 568 570.  We have plenty of helmets in stock so you can try on the best style and size that fits.  You will feel the difference straight away”said Kris.

SMU Racing are looking to most likely start their 2019 season at Rainbow short course in March where there is believed to be a club component of the event which will be a perfect shakedown before heading to St George Queensland for AORC Round 1.

SMU Racing #7 finishes the year on a high note

The 2018 Off Road Racing season has come to an end for the SMU Racing #7 Jimco with the car continuing to find some gains throughout the year.  The team entered four races for the year winning two races and three prologues. Finke Desert Race was the disappointment with a car that wasn’t quite right from a set up perspective. Importantly the team spent some crucial time suspension testing with a new set up debuting at Pines with great success, which will hopefully springboard the car for 2019.  A big thank you to Cameron at Racer Imports in getting this right.

Pines was a great finish to the year for the team with the car super consistent all weekend and not missing a beat – largely due to the efforts of Tim Collard who preps and maintains the car before and on race day.   The team managed to salute in the Prologue, short course and win the main race by just under 15 minutes which was a great way to kick-start the 2019 campaign.

Since the team’s Pines accident in 2015, SMU Racing changed to Mickey Thompsons and have finished the Teagle Excavation ARB Pines Enduro for a 1st, 2nd and 1st.  Something about those MTZ tyres that are getting the job done!

The challenge next year is to find that next 5-10% which all teams will be looking to find.  Our Ford 3.5 litre twin turbo Ecoboost continues to be developed and has delivered in spades, still running the same internals since debut in 2016.  Reliability, fuel efficiency and of course engine development by Shane Wilson being the key reasons for the success of this Direct Injection engine to date. Integral assistance from Xtreme DI,  AVR Performance and Quickbitz dyno have made this development path a successful one.

A massive thank you to our partners in 2019.  We have a very loyal group of partners and without them we cannot race at the highest level.

In no particular order….

Dutton Garage

Shane Wilson Competition Engines

Xtreme DI

Mickey Thompson Tyres Australia

Racer Imports

Albins Off Road gear

HJC Helmets (KT Autosport Australia)

AVR Performance


Dynamic Wheels and Tyres

Flexicut Engineering

Livid Lighting

Race Paint


It goes without saying that these partners provide products and services of the highest quality.  You cannot afford to take chances in our sport with next best, and we are proud to be partners, that are in our opinion, the best.

Lastly a massive thank you to the team during 2018, Tim, Shane, John, Nigel, Mark and Ray who have as always made massive contributions throughout the season.  It goes without saying this is a team sport and not for the faint hearted!

Looking forward to doing some races together with Justin Anderson in the #75 SMU Tatum net year. After some time out, there were some great building blocks put in place for a cracking year next year!

Wishing everybody a happy lead in to the silly season and fun in the sheds until next year!



Thanks to Brett Lehmann for cracking photos from Pines

Last race for 2018…..

SMU Racing is looking forward to what will be the team’s last raced for 2018.  The SMU #7 Jimco will head to the Teagle Excavation ARB Pines Enduro this weekend in Millicent South Australia.  Unfortunately the #75 Tatum of Justin Anderson will not make the race after competing at Rainbow not that long ago.

The Pines Enduro wil be over just under 400km through the Pine forests in what is normally great racing with wheel to wheel action.  The short course on the Saturday is always a great spectacle for the big crowds that get there with cars starting two at a time as they compete for the honour of starting first (from last) the next day.  We enjoy the unique first qualify starts from last on the Sunday which provide for some great close racing and the crowd get to see some close battles rage as the race cars come through the infield from the forest.

The racing again should again be close this year with again a strong field entered.  SMU Racing will be hoping to go one better after coming second by an agonising five seconds in 2017 after a power steering pump caught fire 120kms from home.  It was an enthralling finish that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

Looking forward to seeing friends and off road racing supporters at the track on Friday night before racing gets underway on the Saturday.


Safe travels to SA and see you at the track





SMU Racing adds some firepower to 2018 and beyond

SMU Racing has added some firepower to the team as it expands to two cars which debuted at the Tatts Finke Desert Race for 2018. The team is proud to announce that Justin Anderson in his #75 Tatum will now form part of SMU Racing’s assault going forward.

Both vehicles will race in Pro Class with Justin running a Tatum powered by a twin turbo Nissan VQ35.

#7 Driver Matt Hanson commented, “We are super pumped to have Justin and Owen as part of the team. We have all been mates since the beginning of time and I have been chipping away at him for years now to become part of SMU Racing, but when he actually decided to come across we were all very excited.

“Ace has been a super driver over a long period of time with many race victories under his belt. We have all been racing together since the eighties, so to have the ability to enter races with a real live chance of having two SMU Racing cars on the podium is very exciting”, added Matt

Likewise Justin was looking forward to the #75 Tatum donning the SMU colours and livery going forward,” H and I have been mates for a long time and we plan to do a lot of racing together so it made sense that we get the cars done the same and try and make a bit of assault on races under the SMU Racing banner.  Hopefully we can get some finishes and some results in the process!”.

The team have just come back from Alice Springs in the 2018 Tatts Finke Desert Race. It was a tough initation for the team with both cars having issues.  Matt was chasing issues from the day the team arrived.  Lucky to get the car on the start line, electrical gremlins cut into valuable suspension set up time in the lead up.  After starting from position 6th, the car was running fourth before surcoming  a cooked alternator at the 185km mark.  Special thanks wheeler we were in Alice to Richie Hayes, Ken and the team at KC Auto Electrics, George Apted for recovery, refreshments and moral support after the breakdown and OBR crew for more after race moral support/therapy!

After a faultless lead into the race Ace struck dramas in prologue with turbo issues.  Disappointing after some strong sectionals.  Able to get on top of this issue, starting out of position 30 on the Sunday,  Justin and Owen had made a hugely positive start and were on the road up to 15th. The Tatum was handling exceptionally well with the twin turbo Nissan on song. The SMU Tatum had passed a number of cars before a driveshaft issue put the team out of the race at the 140km mark. Back to Alice Springs for the #75 crew.  Thanks to OBR for assisting in recovery and after race refreshments / therapy!


Next race on the Agenda is Rainbow for SMU #75 whilst SMU #7 is going to undertake some suspension testing with a few wholesale changes being made over the coming month before determining the car’s next race.


Thanks to Show’n’Go photography for some great shots.  Video shortly to follow.



Mickey Thompson and SMU Racing – a partnership that continues to deliver results

When the SMU Racing Jimco was getting reassembled after an excursion through the trees at the 2015 Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro, a number of significant changes were made to the SMU Jimco as racing life was contemplated.

One of the most crucial of these contemplated changes was the initial trial, and then resolute adoption of the Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3 tyres.

“We were wanting to trial the MTZ P3s to see if there were any significant benefits over the tyres that we were running at the time. Having tried a number of tyres over 30 plus years of racing, we had found that none had really stood out as excellent and a lot stood out as not that great”, said Matt Hanson driver of SMU Racing car #7.

“The team first trialled the Mickey Thompsons at Tyrrell Downs in a club race that was the first race back for the team after the accident at Pines. What was stood out was two fold. The grip out of corners was immediately noticeable with greatly reduced wheel spin as a result of better traction. This allowed the then new Shane Wilson Completion Engine Ford Twin turbo V6 Eco boost to get the power to the ground”, said Matt

“The other striking observation we saw straight away was the ability of the tyre to pull the car up due to this traction. This allowed the car to break a lot deeper going into corners.”

Both of these advantages made an instant impact on the timesheet and in a world where a number of off road tyres feel the same, the Mickey Thompson stood out straight away. SMU Racing won the race and looked forward to the next race at Pines where the Mickeys again were on the SMU Jimco.

After 420 gruelling kilometres at Pines shortly thereafter, same impact with grip and braking and same result with the team coming away with the win again. Two from two and the Mickey Thompsons were doing the job!

It is fair to say that SMU Racing has been converted and are now a firm believer in the Mickey Thompson product. Since those initial two races the team have won more events and prologues, with no punctures adding further weight to the performance that these tyres have added to the car. The team is proud to partner with Mickey Thompson Australia and love being involved with the band of Off Road racers that race on Mickey Thompson tyres around the country.

“We think the support and focus that Mickey Thompson Australia has put behind Australian Off Road racing has been nothing short of spectacular. Jeff Newick and his team are to be commended on getting behind the sport one hundred per cent. The rise of the Mickey Thompson brand been universal and I don’t think there has been such a profound change in the off road racing tyre landscape that I can remember. Having the best tyres in the MTZ P3s obviously helps and I think the number of podiums over the last few years with cars running MTZ P3s is testament to the performance of these tyres”, said Hanson

SMU Racing is on its way to the Finke Desert Race where the team is hoping to start the weekend in good fashion on Saturday morning in Prologue. The team’s Mickey Thompson tyres are sure to be spinning hard and doing their job!