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Supercars industry veteran calls time

LONG-SERVING Supercars team manager Matthew House is calling time on his involvement in motorsport after a 30-year career.

House has been a familiar part of the Super Touring and Supercars pit lanes since the early 1990s but is now going to make the move into a role outside the sport.

He finishes at Grove Racing’s Penrite team this Friday and will take up a role as Facility Manager for a defence company.

House has been with the Braeside-based team since it was first formed as Kelly Racing in late 2008.

He stayed with the organisation through its evolution into the Nissan Motorsport factory Altima team, its subsequent part ownership change to Kelly Grove Racing and after the Kelly family sold the remainder of its share of the team to the Groves.

“My time in motorsport has been fantastic and I reckon that 90 percent of my mates are from motorsport, so it’s been great,” House told V8 Sleuth this week.

“I’ve had some amazing experiences, especially going back to the two-litre days going to race with BJR at Macau and heading to Germany to collect new cars.

House joined Britek in 2006. This is at Perth in 2007, the same weekend that team owner Jason Bright’s Falcon was smashed in an accident involving Jason Richards in practice. Photo: an1images.com / Justin Deeley.

“The Gibson Motorsport days with Freddy were awesome, my one regret though is that I just never got a championship win in V8s. There was the Bathurst win in 1999 with Gibsons and we had plenty of seconds and thirds in the points, but just never quite got that overall championship.”

House’s involvement in the sport started in Sydney, where he completed his apprenticeship as an auto electrician with Trevor Cody.

“He used to do Colin Bond’s rally cars and we did that last Caltex Sierra for Bondy and did the alternators and starter motors when he went to those Corolla Secas,” says House.

“I did a bit of work with Ralliart and then working on Mark Adderton’s two-litre cars was my first full-time motorsport job. We used to do work for his dad John and go and give him a hand.”

House worked with Adderton on his 1994 two-litre cars, beginning with an ex-Group A Toyota Sprinter and then the red Momocorse BMW M3.

That led to working at Bathurst for the first time later that year on the Orix-backed Toyota Carina driven by Greg Murphy and Brit James Kaye and House would work with Murphy on plenty of occasions in the years that followed.

“Peter Adderton part owned the Brad Jones Racing Audi team, so I swapped over and went down to Albury for 1995 when they got into Super Touring and first started with the Audi 80s with Brad and Murph driving,” recalls House.

House at Oran Park 1998, the same weekend that Brad Jones clinched his second Australian Super Touring Championship. Photo: an1images.com / Andrew Hall.

“I stayed for four years and did nearly the full two-litre era with them and left just before they went to the front wheel drive cars (for 1999).”

House joined Gibson Motorsport as Head Mechanic and Workshop Coordinator in 1999 and continued a working relationship with Murphy, who drove for the team in 1999 and 2000 alongside Steve Richards with Wynn’s (1999) and Kmart (2000) backing.

The Kiwi left for the TWR-run Kmart team in 2001 though House stayed at Gibson with the arrival of Craig Lowndes and Ford. He stayed through the identity change to 00 Motorsport until team owner Bob Forbes made the call to shut down the team partway through 2003.

House then spent three years as Team Manager with Greg Murphy Racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup, winning titles with Alex Davison (2004) and Fabian Coulthard (2005).

He moved to join Jason Bright’s Britek Motorsport team in mid-2006 as Workshop Manager, staying with the squad until it closed its Melbourne operation at the end of 2008.

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