Matt Chahda Motorsport confirms second car for Bathurst
By Steve Tervet
Thursday 1st October, 2020 - 9:24am
Matt Chahda Motorsport will have two cars on the grid for the first time in the team’s history when the Dunlop Super2 Series concludes at Bathurst.
Matt McLean will race alongside Matt Chahda at Mount Panorama as the Albury-based team makes a significant step forward.
McLean, 23, is a multiple national karting champion who drove for Image Racing in the Super3 Series last year.
He tested with the team at Winton Motor Raceway ahead of the Sydney Motorsport Park round of Super2 in July and has since raised the funds to go racing at Bathurst.
“This is huge,” said team owner Amin Chahda.
“I’ll be honest with you, on the test day when we sent both cars out at the same time, it gave me goosebumps a little bit to think we had two Supercars out there running around.
“It was like ‘wow, they’re both our cars’. It’s hard enough to put one car out there so it was a pretty cool moment for everyone on the team.
“We’re the only family-run team left; everyone else is affiliated with main game teams. We are independent to do the job that we do and it’s a lot of work.
“We had to prepare the car for the test day before Sydney and then prepare it again for Bathurst to make sure it was ready to go in case someone jumped up.
“We had two people looking but Matt (McLean) put his hand up first so he got the drive.”
McLean is realistic about his Super2 debut prospects but can’t wait to test himself on the big stage.
“I’m really excited and thankful for the opportunity the Chahdas are giving me,” he said.
“We completed a half-day with them earlier in the year at Winton as an evaluation and we weren’t far off the guys with a Superlicense which was actually much to my surprise considering it was the first time we’d driven anything for nine months.
“This will only be my fourth race in any form of race car and my first time at the mountain, so I’m not expecting to light up the timing sheets – but I do expect that I’ll work the hardest to promote my supporters so that they return for a full season next year, whilst gaining some great experience to apply to my 2021 campaign.”
Everyone has done it tough in 2020 but the Chahdas have faced personal as well as professional struggles.
“It has been tough,” admitted Amin.
“We lost my Dad on Monday, just a couple of days ago, so we’re trying to have a funeral on Friday and get through all this as well.
“It’s hard on Matt too because it was really hard for him to lose his grandfather. It’s going to be a very emotional Bathurst for us.
“Matt’s always wanted a team-mate and never had one. He’s never had the opportunity to bounce off anyone else, whereas 99 percent of the field has a team-mate and two of everything.
“They’re usually main game-affiliated so you get another two or three cars worth of data as well. We don’t get that option.
“The plan is to run two cars full-time next year and also we’ll be definitely doing a couple of wildcards next year, and the Bathurst wildcard as well.
“We were meant to do it this year but because of all the COVID stuff we just couldn’t get it all prepared. We had the car and everything organised but couldn’t get it all done.”