One of the great Bathurst stories involving the Privateer wildcard of Matt Chahda Motorsport, has been steadily working towards its assault on The Mountain at the Winton Motor Raceway.
Super2 young guns Matthew Chahda and Jaylyn Robotham sit sixth and eighth respectively in this year’s standings, but it’s their attainment of a WAU ZB Commodore that could set the pair on a path to Supercars stardom at a place where legends are made.
The team undertook two sessions at Winton in Victoria on September 13 and 20, as well as participating in the ride day following the Sandown SuperSprint, giving them a feel for the car before the two physically strenuous testing sessions.
AUTO ACTION spoke with Amin Chahda, father of Matthew and Team Principal of the privateer set-up, to get a small insight into the pair’s debut buildup to ‘The Great Race’.
“It took us a little longer to get the ergonomics of the car right for them,” Chahda said.
“They experienced quite a bit of numbness in the legs, so we had them properly measured up and then had a physio sort them out after that session on the 13th. So when we tested on the 20th they were a lot more comfortable, which was when we could get a real feel for how they’d go.
“The day of the 20th was a big one. They both did very long sessions with no dramas physically, and then they practised about 12 or 13 driver changes.
“They did it till they got it right, because it just wasn’t something they’d done before… not with something like Supercar machinery at any rate. They’d done 6 and 12 hours before, but this is a very different thing.
It’s not just the two drivers that are heading into this fresh either, Chahda explains. The whole team has been assembled from all over, so the day was about the entire team pulling together.
“We’ve got people coming from all over for this. We’ve got some Supercars guys, but people from elsewhere too, so it takes time for that to gel and work together as a functioning pit team,” Chahda added.
“And the consensus at the end of it was that they are all happy, lots of laughing and joking, and a tremendous amount of hard yards has been put in.
“What we’ve achieved in a short time has been really impressive, and the communication is very good.
“So we got two mechanics from WAU, as well as the car and parts obviously, but at the end of the day it’s all us pulling it together and making it work. We’re a privateer team, and that’s how we want to approach it. We’re doing it the way that we want to do it.
“We were actually eligible for another test, but it just pulled together so well over our session’s, that we just thought, right, let’s put time into the car so that it’s properly prepped and ready.
“The boys were very comfortable by the end of it, and they were putting in some seriously fast lap times. We weren’t necessarily chasing that, but we thought ‘why not’, let’s give it a proper crack and get it back on the truck feeling satisfied, and that’s what they did. Their performance left us pretty happy.”
When asked if the boys and the team were feeling nervous with the build up, there was certainly a hint of it, but there was also a great sense of pride with what they’ve achieved, and what they’re all about to embark on.
“I think by Wednesday we’ll all definitely start to feel those nerves, it’s really just starting to hit home. The trucks are getting racked today and then the car is going on tomorrow, so yeah, you start to think a little more about the bigger picture.
“But as a family, this is massive for us…we’ve all worked so hard to get to this point in time. It’s pretty wild what we’ve actually put together.”
The Bathurst 1000 kicks off on October 6-9, and like the Chahda Motorsport family, the anticipation is growing.
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