OUT for his second crack at Drag Challenge, wheelchair-bound Matt uses custom hand controls to pilot the race-ready ute. Matt has placed in the Top 10 in K&N Dial Your Own both years, chalking up seventh place this year with a final 0.1244sec off his 11.22sec dial-in. And he does it all without a trailer.
If that’s not enough, Matt also took out the tinware for the Longest Distance Travelled this year, thanks to his parents Russ and Jen who tow the ute 4800km one-way from Tom Price in WA to Calder. “It takes them five days, but I fly in with my partner, son and brother, as there’s no accessible accommodation for me along the way,” Matt said of the lack of wheelchair-friendly digs.
For race duties, Matt has modified push-pad hand controls with a faster accelerator ratio. Yet the car is a tad too fast: “We’ve added a bolt to reduce the throttle to 65 per cent, as I ran a 10.9sec at an ANDRA meeting and was kicked out,” Matt said. “I need to keep it over 11sec, as it doesn’t have a rollcage.”
And he won’t be adding one, either. “It’s a huge effort to be able to lift myself over a rollbar,” he said, “and once I’m wearing a race suit, then it’s on all day.”
Currently Matt’s brother Paul has sole crew duties, helping to ready Matt to lay slick times. But that could soon change, with Matt setting his sights on a family-friendly DC 2020 contender. “Maybe a four-seater of 70s chrome-bumper era, running a late-model driveline with brakes and power steering to accommodate what I need,” Matt revealed, while strategically keeping the finished product a surprise.
“As it’s a massive expense for us to take part, I’d like to thank my sponsors: Global Factory Maintenance; Speed Pro Distributors; Independence Automotive; Street Quick Performance; Tom Price Tyres; Dingo De Construction; and Super Motor Spares.”
Check out Matt’s adventures on his Quadriplegic Motorsports Facebook page.
LONGEST DISTANCE TRAVELLED
2006 VZ SS UTEClass:
K&N Dial Your Own
Engine: L98 6.0L
Blower: Magnuson 2300
Converter: Dominator 2500rpm
Diff: Truetrac LSD, 3.9:1 gears
Previous PB: 10.9sec
Best DC 2019 Pass: 11.20@124mph