The double life of a Supercars team manager

  • 31/03/2018
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus, pics via Matthew Paul
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

For most Supercars team managers, a weekend off spells a chance to mow the lawn, check the mail, and bank some frequent family points.

But for Matt Stone Racing’s Steve Greer, it’s another chance to go racing.

Greer, manager at Tekno Autosports before switching to MSR in 2018, has spent the last six years juggling his Supercars commitments with his other passion, speedway.

Based out of his home South-East of Brisbane, Steve Greer Racing fields a sprintcar in various events across the country that don’t clash with Supercars meetings.

Steve Greer and Matt Stone Steve Greer and Matt Stone

Assisted by his father and a friend, Greer runs the team, and drives the car.

“I’ve always had a passion for speedway,” explained Greer.

“Growing up I was a Formula 1 fan, but the racing you could go to with your parents and see live was the speedway out at Archerfield.

“I raced dirt go-karts for a while, which was some really social, non-serious motorsport.

“But being involved with the likes of Ken McNamara [Supercars and sprintcar engine builder] being big into speedway, I ended up buying a sprintcar in 2012.

“The benefit of sprintcars as a speedway category is that there’s always a race on every weekend during the season.

“When we’ve got a weekend off, within eight-hours there’s a race somewhere you can get to.

“We set out a calendar at the start of the year that works in with the Supercar calendar, which is somewhere between 15 and 20 meets.”

Greer competing at Archerfield Speedway Greer competing at Archerfield Speedway

Greer joined MSR as part of its expansion into the main game following success in Dunlop Super2 last year.

With around 20 employees, the team runs Todd Hazelwood’s main game entry alongside two Super2 cars – one Ford and one Holden - and two Touring Car Masters Holden Toranas.

Twin boys, aged five, also leave Greer with plenty on his plate, but the thrill of driving a 900bhp sprintcar makes the extra time away worthwhile.

“It’s the thrill of doing something that doesn’t seem possible. It really is something different,” he said.

“I’ve spoken to people who don’t know what sprintcars are and they just can’t imagine it. When you show them, they just go ‘what is this?’.

“It’s got four torsion bars as springs, a different sized tyre on every corner and it just seems so odd, but how quickly it goes around a dirt oval is epic.

“There’s such a big mental side to it. Doing 12-second laps, there’s not a lot of time to think about what you’re doing, it’s all got to happen so quickly.

“We’ve got 20 cars on track at a time, open-wheels, you can’t see a lot of what’s going on around you, you’ve really got to be on the ball mentally.”

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Greer has raced in the country’s biggest speedway races, including the Australian title and the Classic, and enthuses of the possibility of one day racing in the USA.

While Supercars and sprintcars are vastly different, Greer says his extra-curricular racing complements his role in the touring car category.

“You get a good appreciation of what the driver does, what the engineer goes through and thinks about and then the operation, how to make a race team run smoothly,” he said.

“It’s totally different, but the same principals still apply – being prepared, being on time and having stuff when you need it.

“I take pride that I’m the guy at the track that people come to borrow a widget or a dongle or whatnot. I’ve got it, I know where it is and it’s ready to go.”

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