Hoping everybody had a great Christmas break and a happy new year celebration.

Well it has been a big couple of months for SMU Racing as the #7 Jimco undergoes a facelift with a new powder coat and a new powerplant for the upcoming 2016 AORC season. SMU HQ has been busy and will get busier as the car is put back together for the upcoming season.

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Making news in the off season is obviously the spectacular wedding of Mr and Mrs Leigh Wells – congratulations guys but also Leigh has decided to sit navigating duties out for 2016 as he concentrates on the home front.  So the hunt for a navigator begins at SMU Racing begins!  We look forward to welcoming a new member to the team…..

A massive thank you to the SMU crew who have been working tirelessly on the car as we head into our first race. Some long hours ahead but it will be worth the wait.

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SMU Racing are always on the lookout for partners and the 2016 season is no exception. We get great exposure and have some fantastic loyal supporters so why not join the party! Everything from Naming rights sponsor to partnership agreements can be put together to suit any budget. So if you would like to see your company’s name associated with SMU Racing please give Matt Hanson a call to discuss further.

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Keep your eye on our website, Facebook page and Instagram as we keep everyone up to date with the ongoing birthday for #7!

To quote Daren Wells……”Back to the Racing!”



Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New year from SMU Racing

IMG_4486Well another year has almost gone and in the blink of an eye 2016 will be here.

Off Road sheds will no doubt be starting go into overdrive in January if they haven’t started already !!


SMU HQ has been no exception with repairs made after our ‘whoopsie’ at Pines.  We expect the car to be powder coated in the first week of January before the car is put back together hopefully in time to run one of our favourites – The Portland Sand Enduro as our warm up race for the 2016 season.

A big thanks to some of our partners and friends for helping the project to date getting on the fast track!!








And of course the entire SMU Racing team 

We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and New Year period and look forward to seeing all in 2016.


All the very best from


40th Anniversary Finke 2015 There and ………

Well it has been a big month at SMU Racing culminating in the 2015 40th anniversary Tatts Finke Desert Race

The team went into the race with high hopes given a 2nd placing at the opening round at Mildura with a broken wire over the weekend severely impacting on horsepower.

The weekend started on a sour note with the SMU tow vehicle breaking down 500kms out of Alice Springs due to a broken flex plate.  A big thank you to Andrew Mowles from Alice Hosetech who helped retrieve broken truck and race trailer back into Alice Springs

Scrutineering had the enormous crowds – 600 posters weren’t enough as they flew off the table in a few hours….Great atmosphere


Prologue started Saturday morning and the car was humming off the start line.  4kms in and everything going well, times were good. 1km
later engine stops – game over.

A disappointing conclusion to a promising start.

Matt ended up hopping in with OBRs Beau Robinson in the #3 Geiser Bros Trophy Truck.  Matt commented,” An amazing ride with a great drive from Beau.  Given the dust on Saturday he had to be patient but once we got out we managed a fourth on time after starting 16th.  Bad luck for Chris Coulthard, which a podium would have been fitting for such a great driver over a long period, meant we ended up in third and taking class honours.  A great experience and took something from what was otherwise a horrible weekend.”
SMU Racing have decided to park the #7 Jimco for the rest of the AORC season, so that we can get the car right after small issues have plagued the team since the beginning of 2014.
We anticipate hopefully getting to the track towards the end of this year with a more reliable package and ready for an assault on the 2016 season.


Mildura done, next stop Finke….

It was good to get out racing again after a frustrating 2014.  Mildura was back as a national event after a few years away from the Championship.  The weather and track were both great and lived up to the high expectations going into the event.


The track was a real mix of Sea lake, Hyden and Goondiwindi with the track changing as you went through various sections of each 100km lap.  The Sunraysia Club did an excellent job putting on the event and we were very jealous of Ivan Robertson’s playground!


For SMU Racing it was good to get back out there after the events of 2014 and get back on the race track.  Unfortunately we knew very early there were issues with the car not having its usual ‘mumbo’.  We played around with various things all weekend chasing the issue only to find when washing that car back at SMU HQ that a cam controller sensor wire had broken away from inside the plug.  Not enough to stop the car but a loss of grunt out of corners and around the track.  Good to find the issue!


Rentschy did another good job winning the event after young gun Tanner James came out with all guns blazing on the Saturday.  He will be exciting to watch in the future!  We managed a second for the weekend although a long way back and Aaron James in his Alumi Craft was in the third.  Luke Erceg did a great job in his Pro Lite to come in fourth.  600 kms took its toll on the field with a number of cars not quite getting there.


Tatts Finke Desert Race is the next race on the calendar and being the 40th year has attracted a bumper quality field.  HUGE!!  It will be good to get back to Alice Springs in what should be a fantastic event.


Hope to see you there and don’t forget to come and see the team at Scruitineering where the team will be giving away 2015 season posters.

Thanks to Randall from Dirtcomp for some great snaps from Mildura



For NH14

And…….They’re Off!

The 2015 Australian Off Road Championship kicks off at Mildura next weekend and the SMU Racing team is looking forward to getting back into the thick of the action after a long layoff.


SMU Racing welcomes back partners for 2015 Shane Wilson Competition Engines, Albins Off Road Gear, HJC Helmets, Peak Lighting, Bowdens Own Premium Car care Products, Racer Imports, Shane Cottee Desert Prep, Race Paint and SNAP as the team look to gain valuable points at the season opener.  We thank each and every partner which makes a huge difference as we race throughout the Championship season.


The competition looks to be hot as does the Mildura sun which will mean dust, dust and more dust!   It is also nice to have a home state national event after not having one since the old Mildura, Donald and most recent 2012 Sea Lake event.


Shannon and Ian Rentsch will be looking to get that record breaking Championship in 2015 to take them to eight while there will be a number of teams out there that are hoping to ruin their party!  There looks to be a quality field as you would expect and with all roads then leading to Finke Desert Race with a record 140 truck and car field it looks to be a hectic start to the Championship for 2015.










Look forward to seeing all at Mildura next week. It should be a fantastic event with the town usually getting right behind this race.  Our team will be one less for the first time, with the Godfather normally directing traffic on race day, but we are sure he will be looking down making sure all goes to plan.

For those racing, a safe and enjoyable weekend and Good Luck!

SMU #7

See you at the track!


Bowden’s Own Premium Car Care products and SMU Racing partner again for 2015

SMU Racing is excited to announce that Bowden’s Own Car Care will continue as a sponsor of the team for season 2015.

The SMU Racing Jimco is always looking its best on race day, and last year had that extra sparkle thanks to Bowden’s Own Premium Car Care products.

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Bowden’s Own have everything from Auto Body Gel to Body Detail to Tyre Sheen and Agent Orange, which is the famous safe and powerful engine cleaner and are proud to be sponsoring SMU Racing with their assault on the Australian Off Road Championship.


Director of Bowden’s Own Dan Bowden was excited, “SMU Racing is an Off Road team that is a great way to showcase our product to those who love playing in the dirt! The presentation of the vehicle and the team generally, is a fantastic fit with our premium car care range. Since the partnership began in 2014, we are proud to have the SMU Racing Jimco showcasing our products as they go head to head with the best in the Australian Off Road Championship. We wish the team all the best for the upcoming season”

SMU Racing driver Matt Hanson was equally thrilled with the continuing partnership, “Bowden’s Own are a quality product and one that we are proud to be associated with. The team takes great care in the way our car is presented before every race and using Bowden’s Own makes our job easier. We can’t wait for the 2015 season opener in Mildura where the SMU Racing Jimco will be looking the part and performing at its very best”.


For your local Bowden’s Own Care Premium Car Care dealer visit or see Bowden’s Own Face book page at

SMU Racing seek Naming Rights Major Partner for 2015

After a solid two year journey SNAP have decided to cease as naming rights sponsor with SMU Racing for 2015 after a complete sponsorships review.


Driver Matt Hanson said whilst is was disappointing that SNAP were no longer involved it was time for a new chapter to begin.

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“We had a great relationship with SNAP and SNAP had said that whilst they would like to stay involved, a budget review meant otherwise.  SNAP believed that SMU Racing had over delivered with exposure over the two year period which is pleasing and shows that the sport and our team are definitely getting great commercial presence as part of the Australian Off Road Championship”, said Matt


“It is exciting that we are now on the hunt for a dynamic partner for the upcoming season, where we can bring a brand to life and get some great exposure in so many different ways”, Matt added.

Dirtcomp; Kalgoorlie 400 AORC 1

Anyone that would like further information or a custom proposal for 2015 can contact Matt direct.


A massive thank you to everybody for their kindest words, well wishes and support through this trying time.  It makes us very proud of being part of the Off Road Family.


We sent Dad off in the best way possible on Monday – a big thank you for everybody’s thoughts on the day.


To Ben Hutt – what a fantastic tribute to a great man.  THANK YOU


Neil Hanson

24 August 1945 – 19 October 2014

Rest In Peace