Matt makes his mark
WARWICK teenager Matt Campbell has set a new lap record for Group Q Racing Cars at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney.
Driving on one of the most famous circuits in Australia, Matt broke a record which has stood since July, 2000.
He competed in an historic ASP Formula 2 racing car owned by Frank Marshall, of Brisbane, on Saturday to obtain pole position.
Guido Belgiorno-Nettis qualified second in a 1985 Ferrari Formula 1 race car in front of Brisbane surgeon Jon Mills in a Mk8 Cheetah Formula 2 and Chris Farrell in a 1982 Spirit Honda.
The first races on Saturday were cancelled due to track incidents which reduced competition to two races.
On Sunday morning, Matt was fifth outright and first in class as he missed the track record by .4 of a second.
Later in the day, he started from pole position for fourth outright and first in class in setting a new record.
The win resulted in Matt being presented with a perpetual trophy by Ron Tauranac, a racing car designer who was in partnership with world champion motor racer Jack Brabham in manufacturing racing cars in the 1960s and 1970s.
At lunchtime yesterday, Matt went in camp with 10 young drivers who will be part of a Formula Ford driver development course at Phillip Island today.
The ten were selected from 50 applications from Australia and New Zealand drivers keen to drive professionally.
The course is the chance for the drivers to show their ability and educate them about what is involved in being a professional driver.
Matt's grandfather Bill Campbell said his performance last weekend in a car he had only driven at two meetings previously was up with the best performance of his career.
"He feels comfortable in an open-wheeler whereas a lot of competitors feel more comfortable in a sedan-type vehicle," Bill said.
"The trip to Eastern Creek and Phillip Island in the past week has been made possible by sponsorship from David Cassels from Graeme Collins Automotive.
Matt is in year 11 at Warwick State High School and has started a school-based apprenticeship as a builder with his grandfather.
"He works two days a week with me and this will continue next year," Bill said.
"Matt enjoys building."
While he has no ambitions to be a mechanic, Matt is keen to work on his cars.
As for motor racing, he will again drive Marshall's Formula 2 at historic race meetings and compete in a Formula Ford in state meetings at Morgan Park next year.
Bill said Matt would be competing in a Formula Ford at Bathurst in February in a support category to the Bathurst 12-hour race.
"He is hoping to do more interstate meetings in the Formula Ford category in 2012 but that all depends on the program and availability of finance," Bill said.
"Matt's long-term goal is to drive V8 Supercars but you have to take one step at a time."
Group Q (1970-1977) Racing Cars
Record set in 2000 by Ross Hodgson - 1:36.4
Record broken in 2011 by Matt Campbell - 1.36.03