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!

Flexicut Engineering continuing to help SMU Racing do the impossible!

Flexicut Engineering based in Dandenong, Victoria have been helping SMU Racing for a number of years now with engineering jobs that need specialized and precision expertise. From CNC turning and milling, to design to CAD and fabrication, Robbie O’Brien and the team at Flexicut is a one-stop shop for all of your engineering projects.

“There have been a number of jobs over they years where we were at a complete dead-end (some would be laughing as that isn’t hard when it comes to my engineering knowledge!). But seriously we have had some real challenges on projects like the design and build of a plenum manifold and various modifications to driveshafts”, commented Matt.

Robbie and the team are absolute specialists and make it look easy. They work with a number of the Supercar teams that is another indicator that they are leaders in this very specialized field.

“We cannot thank the team at Flexicut enough for their help on some of these difficult projects which they always deliver on. They would have to be one of the easiest and friendliest teams to deal with and absolute number one when it comes to understanding quickly the task at hand”, said Matt.

Flexicut are based at 37 Stephen St Dandenong, proudly Australian, utilise advanced manufacturing methods, short lead times and a competitive pricing structure to provide an efficient service of superior quality and absolutely committed to:

• Guaranteed same day quote service on most jobs
• No additional costs for material and process handling
• Company logos can be engraved on products for a minimum fee
• Willingness to work through special requirements on jobs and pricing structures on quotes
• Passion and commitment to providing you with an excellent service

SMU Racing is very proud of this longstanding partnership and thank Flexicut in helping them get to the start line of the 2018 Tatts Finke Desert Race.

Livid Lighting – Lighting up SMU Racing in 2018

The SMU Racing team is excited to announce Livid Lighting as exclusive Lighting sponsor for the team for the 2018 Australian Off Road season. Livid Lighting is also now incorporates the Peak Lighting brand who successfully partnered with SMU racing in the 2014 – 2016 seasons.

SMU Racing team Driver Matt Hanson was excited to announce this new partnership on the eve of the upcoming 2018 Tatts Finke Desert Race.

“Livid Lighting are known for their exceptional LED lighting and to have them on board the SMU Racing Jimco will not only assist us with vision and letting upcoming vehicles know we are coming up but they look awesome and have really added to the look of our race car. We will be running a set of Xplorer driving lights as well as an amber Hornet LED lightbar which mean people will know we are out there!” said Matt.

“Additionally we will be fitting our transporter and support vehicles with the very best Livid Lighting LED lights so that our night vision turns into day as we travel to Off Road races around Australia during the year”, said Matt.

Dan Lindley, Director at Livid Lighting Australia, said the sponsorship is an important part of Livid’s Lighting’s marketing strategy to increase national brand awareness and to showcase their product to the most hard core of off road enthusiasts at the track and around the country as they watch the AORC and ARB series televised during 2018 including the 2018 Tatts Finke Desert race.

“Australian Off Road racing is in an exciting phase and it is exciting to partner with one of the country’s leading teams. We look forward to the SMU Racing Jimco standing out from the pack with our new Xplorer and Hornet LED lights, said Dan.

SMU Racing is in the final stages of preparing for the Tatts Finke Desert Race where the team is hoping to build on some promising signs at St George 399.

Check out some of the action from St George…..


Keep checking in with our website on the road to Finke as we keep updating the team’s lead in to the event including the biggest SMU racing news since inception in 1983…..stay tuned!



HJC Helmets again proud to be partnering with SMU Racing for the 2018 Off Road season

 The SMU Racing team is proud to announce HJC Helmets as Exclusive Helmet sponsor for the team for the 2018 Australian Off Road Championship season. This is now a six-year relationship with HJC Australia although SMU Racing’s relationship with HJC as a brand goes back a lot longer.

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

“HJC Helmets are a product we have used since 2003, and to partner again in 2018 is very exciting. HJC helmets have long been known as one of the leading helmet manufacturers in the world and to have them again with SMU Racing will ensure that we are equipped with the very best in safety. This year Navigator Nigel Pendlebury and I will be wearing the newly released AR10-IIIHJC helmets. These are super lightweight, super strong and have the latest in helmet ventilation systems. A superior helmet and given they protect an important asset, not worth skimping on” said Matt Hanson.

“The HJC helmets have just come in from KT Autosports and they look fantastic. They are unbelievably comfortable and extremely light, a huge help given the conditions we race the SMU Racing Jimco in around Australia”, said Matt.

Kristopher Trotter, Owner of KT Autosports who is the exclusive Australian distributor for HJC Helmets, was equally excited to continue the partnership with SMU Racing on the eve of the upcoming Australian Off Road Championship season opener. Kristopher said the sponsorship is an important part of KT Autosports strategy to increase national brand awareness to what is already a very well known and trusted brand amongst helmets worldwide.

“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 have done a terrific job showcasing HJC Helmets and when things occasionally go wrong, like can happen in all forms of motorsport, we were very happy that the boys walked away from their big crash unscathed at Pines in 2015 with the helmets doing exactly what they were designed to do, said Kris.

“Keeping the team safe and comfortable in the newly released AR10-III helmets is paramount and the boys were thrilled when the newly released helmets were tried on for the first time. For anyone who is looking for HJC Helmets, which are ideally designed for Off Road, you can check out our website at, Face book at KTautosports or contact me direct on 0448 568 570.” said Kris.

SMU Racing look forward to Australian Off Road Championship Round 1 at St George this weekend.

Off Roading as we know it!

The 2018 Off road season has got off to a good start at the Mellool short course race run by the Sea Lake Off Road Club.  A great event and all boxes ticked as we head to St George.

Competitors were greeted with a hot and dusty day but a superb off road track that lay ahead with a little bit of everything.  Hard ground, soft terrain, dust, trees, straights, dust, whoops, long sweepers, dust, traffic and more dust!  An excellent track where drivers had to be on their game and seriously what off road racing is all about!

SMU Racing came away with a win closely followed by Glenn Owen and Cam McClelland.  Most important was that the car had no issues and new navigator Nigel Pendlebury settled in for the year ahead, enjoying the ride and such a great experience to have him and the family and friends as part of the day.

Aspecial thank you to the Sea Lake Off Road Club for such a great event, the Monk family for the use of this fantastic track which they generously donated for the day and such good off road people, and competitors on the day under which were trying conditions at time, but made easier by everybody looking out as we made our around the course – that you.

A great job by the team led by Tim Collard where the car performed faultlessly all race and ably assisted by Shane Wilson, Johnny Webster,  Nigel Pendlebury and the whole family and crew in the paddock on the day.  It must be said that attending races where the whole family can be on hand and part of the day is such a great concept and a definite preference for when looking at taking away the family to go racing – well done SLORC!  Everybody had such a good time because of this.

Thanks to Tania Pendlebury Photography and Show ‘ n ‘ Go Photography for the pics

Lastly thank you to our Partners, who without their assistance we could not go racing.  Our Partners only provide the very best in product.  SMU Racing have been in this game for 34 years now and have done enough ‘’testing’’ to know what is the real stuff and what is not.  Off Roading is a hard game let alone doing it with inferior product.  Endurance, safety and speed is key to staying on the track and staying at the front which we have found is far more enjoyable than the alternative!  Do it right…

A massive Thank You to:

  • Shane Wilson Competition Engines
  • Dutton Garage
  • HJC Helmets
  • Racer Imports
  • Albins Off Road gear
  • Mickey Thompson Tyres
  • AVR Performance
  • Xtreme DI
  • Dynamic Wheels and Tyres
  • Race Paint
  • Flexicut Engineering
  • Jimco

We look forward to St George which is Round 1 of the Australian Off Road Championship before we see a quick turn around for Round 2, Tatts Finke Desert Race 2018.  A busy two months, but time that the team look forward to with great anticipation.

We are excited about St George and bringing our Quan!

GO SMU 2018!