Personal experiences driving MWM way

  • Dunlop Super2 Series
  • |
  • 07/03/2020
  • By Joshua Makhoul

MW Motorsport boss Matthew White's determination to help young drivers progress through the ranks derives from his own experiences as a once Supercars up-and-comer.

The perennial Dunlop Super2 Series team has been on the second-tier grid since 2002, having formed two years earlier to field White himself in main game wildcard cameos.

White predominantly raced in Super2 until 2010 and was the first recipient of the Mike Kable Young Gun Award in 2000 – when, ironically, he raced for now rival team owner Terry Wyhoon’s outfit.

He finished runner-up in the standings that year and again in 2003 – only behind Mark Winterbottom in the standings – and then completed a full main game season with Britek Motorsport in '05. 

Over the years, MWM has housed a contingent of successful drivers who would graduate to Supercars, most recently Zane Goddard and 2019 Super2 champion Bryce Fullwood.

Unfortunately for White, he wasn't able to secure the right opportunity for a prolonged driving career of his own in the top series, which has influenced his business model.

"I had a couple of good opportunities and I guess got close but that wasn't quite good enough, that's probably the frank assessment," White told Supercars.com

"I had some hard times along the way trying to get into the right car and team, and that to me became a driver to try and make sure that we could provide for young kids a bit of a path through.

"To be able to give them the opportunity because, A) they've got to be able to drive, but B) if they're not in the right car with the right tools it doesn't really matter, you might as well not even turn up.”

Fullwood proved a case of that, having failed to finish inside the championship’s top 10 in his first four Super2 seasons before dominating the series last year at MWM and earning a top level shot at Walkinshaw Andretti United for 2020.

"That's been the motivator, just to try and help facilitate the young kids coming up, to give them a good shot and if they're good enough, to step into Supercars,” White continued.

"That's sort of been our business model on the way through.

“No one is perfect, but we give it our best and we've been able to witness a fair few of them make the transition, which has been nice to see."

Besides Fullwood, drivers to have raced for MWM include Tim Slade, Jonathon Webb, Chaz Mostert, Andre Heimgartner and Jack Le Brocq. Webb won their first title in 2009, with Dale Wood adding a second championship to their trophy cabinet four years later.

This season, MWM has an all-new driver line-up of Thomas Randle, Zak Best and Jayden Ojeda, each of whom impressed in the opening round at Adelaide last month. 

Randle took a pole and race win to sit two points off the championship lead; Best qualified a stunning third in his maiden ARMOR ALL Qualifying session; and fellow rookie Ojeda left Adelaide as comfortably the top rookie.

MWM made the switch from Falcons to Altimas ahead of the 2017 season and this year are the only team running Nissans at any Supercars level.

"We make sure we always put forward the best cars we possibly can. For the last six or seven years, we've operated on a three-car model, whether we were in Falcons or Nissans," White said.

"We've found that as a business model to be cost-efficient, so running multiple cars helps because there's no point in running the best car if no one can afford it.

"We've worked really hard to make that work; it definitely keeps you busy but we always aim to supply the best cars that we can.

"People were surprised when we stepped into the Nissans, they thought that was a little bit random, but we more backed the Kellys (Supercars team Kelly Racing), they're just up the road from us.

"We thought we could make them work and it really has been a pleasant surprise, because it was definitely left-field and it did surprise a lot of people."

In 2017 White was investigating the possibility of a full-time move into the main series for '18, but remained in the feeder class and currently has no interest in stepping up.

"For me, Supercars is another category, it's a big commitment time-wise and financially," he explained.

"We found a good business in doing what we're doing, there's a lot of people that need to get experience, you can't just step straight into Supercars because it's just too tough.

"There was a window there to get into Supercars itself… some guys have been able to nail it, but for us we found a niche and we enjoy working with young kids and helping make them better drivers.

"At this stage of my life I'm happy with what we've done and don't have plans to move up from here."

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