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HomeNewsHOW BATHURST WILDCARD HAS HALTED HATERS

HOW BATHURST WILDCARD HAS HALTED HATERS

MATT Chahda was for years the butt of Supercars fans’ jokes. No longer.

Chahda was infamously denied a Superlicence to compete full-time in the 2017 Repco Supercars Championship with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.

The Albury product pressed on in Super2 with limited success, his maiden top 10 finish only coming the following year in what was his fourth season in the category.

But his persistence has paid off, the 29-year-old now finding himself regularly at the pointy end of an ultra-competitive 2022 field (including placings of third and second at Townsville in July).

It’s laid the platform for his Repco Bathurst 1000 debut next month in a privateer entry, joined by fellow Super2 driver Jaylyn Robotham.

MORE: From rivals to allies for Bathurst 1000 debutants

The duo tested today at Winton Motor Raceway alongside Tickford Racing, Walkinshaw Andretti United, Brad Jones Racing, Grove Racing and the Blanchard Racing Team.

Chahda feels he now has the fans on his side.

“I’ve noticed a big shift in that,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“A few years ago I didn’t get much love from a lot of fans and whatnot but people like to be jealous, they’re not having as much of a go as us.

“From my angle it’s screw them… but we’re getting a lot of love now.”

Matt Chahda (left). Pic: Supplied

Chahda has made no secret of the impact engineer Brian Cottee has made to his Super2 progression.

“From the start of last year onwards was the first time I really felt like I’m rocking up to races and I feel very capable of podiums consistently,” said Chahda.

“Since we got Brian, or ‘Brains’ they call him, he’s come onboard with the team and really given us engineering direction which you do need.

“There’s no one single answer… it’s really about having a philosophy and chasing that, which is what he’s been doing and god it’s beneficial.

“I’m able to come to races genuinely feeling like I’m racing for wins. I’m confident I can get podiums every time I rock up to the track, which is a good feeling; a different feeling.”

Having veteran Wally Storey as team manager for the Mount Panorama tilt will be critical too.

“It’s a no-brainer when you can have a bloke like that with that much experience just come along and steer the ship,” Chahda said.

“He’s already read the rulebook over and over and he’s going to keep reading it over and over.

“He’s the bloke in the garage that knows every rule back to front.

“Realistically, he makes the calls on the team, Brains gets to make the calls on the car, because as much as we could do it, my old man, my brother, and everyone else, when you have the opportunity to have someone who has done it as much as Wally, you can’t say no to that.”

Matt Chahda Motorsport will field a Walkinshaw Andretti United-built #118 ZB Commodore in the October 6-9 event.

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