Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Apr May 2018 Issue 104 Contents 72 SUPERCAR XTRA
MATT STONE RACING
in main game they said, ‘That’s even better’, so it has all
come together quite well,” he adds.
But the fact remains that in Supercars terms this is
a rookie team and a rookie driver in a championship
far tougher than what he or the team have experienced
“We certainly are a rookie team,” concedes Stone.
“But not only is everyone in the team experienced in
the industry but also 90 per cent of our team has worked
in a past life at SBR... we are all cut from the same cloth
so it shouldn’t be hard to fall into a rhythm.
“It’s a very big step. If we were just doing DVS and
stepped to main game it would be a ginormous step. But
because of everything else we do we have bridged the
gap somewhat... because we have grown our resources
and our infrastructure.We also have the benefit of
myself and virtually everyone who works here having
experience in main game, so it’s not too out of reach.”
MSR will be capable of servicing, maintaining and
repairing its Supercars, but unlike the big teams in the
category will purchase rather than design and manufac-
ture its own componentry.
“We do more than the other small teams because we
do have a fabrication shop and we do have a panel shop;
we do all our own sub-assembly and dampers,” Stone
Engine maintenance will be supplied by DJR Team
Penske, whose engine shop is literally across the court-
yard in another old SBR building.
Stone has done what he can to prepare for the culture
shock ahead. Former Tekno team manager Steve Greer
slots in as general manager. Highly-respected former
SBR and Erebus engineer Wes McDougall enters his
third year working with Hazelwood in 2018. Veteran
mechanic Janelle Navarro also joins the team for more
main-game experience. But then there’s the abandon-
ment of the knowledge gleaned over two years with
ex-Triple Eight Commodores. Wouldn’t it have been
easier to stick with a known quantity in year one in the
main game with so much to learn?
“We are losing out on two years of development we
have spent with the Commodore, but at the same time
stepping from DVS to main game there are a few subtle
rule changes that make for a fairly different setup of the
car,” explains Matt.
Those subtle things? The twin spring and the super-
“With both of them, going from Super2 to main game
it was a new platform anyway, even if we stuck with the
Holden,” says Stone.
“That has made transition to the Ford easier. We are
not losing as much of our development because we had
to do more anyway.”
MSR’s big glimpse into the main game came during
a promising wildcard outing at Ipswich last year. And
that threw up another issue as an immediate concern.
“Our big letdown was pitstops,” recalls Stone. “Having
had the crew made up of half our guys and half Garry
Rogers Motorsport guys; our guys and their guys weren’t
training for this every day of the year, so we lost a lot of
time in pitstops.”
MSR will share a boom with Victorian-based Tim
Blanchard Racing, run out of Brad Jones Racing. And
that means a challenge getting pitstops slick and quick.
Still, Stone believes the goal can be achieved.
“There’s no reason it can’t be just as good, it’s just
making sure the two teams have the right understand-
ing and commitment of what they have to achieve,” says
With Bryce Fullwood running a second Falcon in
Super2, Tyler Greenbury stepping up to the second-
tier category in one of the team’s (or Gomersall’s, to
be precise) Triple Eight Holden VF Commodores and
entries continuing in Touring Car Masters and Kumho
V8 Series, Stone’s role will be one of overseeing. He will
be on-hand but the Supercars team will be Greer’s day-
To expectations, then. Given his character and the
challenge in front of the team, Stone is cautious.
“It’s a two to three-year program to get ready to make
an impression in the main game,” he says.
“So in our first year in the main game our ambitions are
very modest; we are not looking to set the world on fire.
ABOVE & BELOW: Hazelwood
and Matt Stone Racing won
the 2017 Super2 Series title
in convincing style with a
round sweep in Newcastle.
SCX104 p70-74 Matt Stone Racing.indd 72
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