Chahda engineer to work Perth Super2 round remotely after back fracture
Friday 22nd April, 2022 - 4:50pm
Matt Chahda Motorsport’s race engineer will be working remotely for next week’s Dunlop Super2 Series round after fracturing a vertebrae in recent weeks.
Brian Cottee would, under normal circumstances, be making the trip to Perth’s Wanneroo Raceway to perform his duties on Matt Chahda’s #18 FGX Falcon for Round 2 of the campaign.
However, he remains laid up, in a brace, after a fall from a fence.
Walkinshaw Racing’s Adam Austin has been drafted in as a data engineer, but Cottee was so keen to still be involved that the squad is making arrangements for him to do his work from the other side of the continent.
“He fell off a fence, the week before the [Formula 1 Australian] Grand Prix [April 7-10], and he’s fractured a vertebrae, so he’s not allowed to go,” team manager Amin Chahda told Speedcafe.com.
“We haven’t even got an engineer now, and we were starting to get on top of it, and he’s really upset that he can’t go to Perth.
“He said, ‘If Matt gets a podium and I’m not there…’ – because we’re so close at the moment – he goes, ‘…I’ll be devo.’
“We said to him, ‘You’re still part of the team,’ but because of the injury, we’ll have to engineer it by phone link or something like that.”
Chahda has been racing during the long break since Round 1 of the Super2 season, on the first weekend of March.
The Albury driver was in action in the support categories at the aforementioned Grand Prix event, making his S5000 debut while Cottee was stuck in Prince Alfred Hospital, barely kilometres away from the Albert Park circuit.
Even then, ‘Brains’ was trying to get involved.
“He was in the Alfred while we were at the Grand Prix, so we used Adam Austin then for S5000,” recalled Amin Chahda.
“So, he was laying in bed, just ringing and texting flat-out, because he was supposed to be engineering the S5000 for the first time and he missed out on that.”
Chahda sits ninth in the Super2 standings after finishes of 10th and eighth in Round 1 at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The latter result, however, could have been far better if the race had gone on just a little longer, due to a gamble on slick tyres on a drying track.
“We put slicks on him in the wet in that last race,” noted Amin.
“We just said basically, ‘Good luck, hang on, and do the best you can,’ and the little shit hung onto them and he started passing them as it was drying a little bit.
“So, the main game guys said to us, a few more laps, he would have passed them all; he would have won the race by half a lap, they reckon, but they stopped it because of a crash, five laps early [due to time-certainty].”
The team has also firmed up which car it will run for the duration of the season, despite selling the Falcon which it currently fields.
“The new owners have agreed to let us use it for the rest of the year; it was part of the deal, so we don’t have to worry about it, we’ve got it,” explained Amin.
Round 2 of the Super2 Series kicks off next Friday, April 29 at the Bunnings Trade Perth SuperNight.