The Ironman of the Dunlop Series

  • Dunlop Super2 Series
  • |
  • 29/04/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

Sincethe inception of the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series in 2000, Matthew White and his MW Motorsport team have had a constant presence in the V8 Supercar feeder category in various guises; first as a driver and now as a successful, twice series-winning team owner.

Incredibly, when Chris Pither, Jack Le Brocq and Simon Evans line up on the grid at Barbagallo Raceway in the development category of V8 Supercars, White will have been part of a record number of Dunlop Series rounds as either driver or team owner.

All up he's been involved in either (or both) role in 92 of the 99 rounds held!

He and his team didn't compete in the six rounds that made up the 2001 series (as he was competing in selected rounds of the V8 Supercars Championship as a privateer) and the last one the team missed was the 2007 season opener in Adelaide.

Even when White was driving for Britek Motorsport in the main championship in 2005, his own team still ran a car for Dean Wanless to keep its Dunlop Series strike rate up.

"Fifteen years - wow, that certainly puts it into perspective! It feels like that time has gone very quickly," White told v8supercars.com.au.

In 2000 the second-tier V8 Supercar series was introduced into Australian circuit racing for the first time, then known as the Konica V8 Lites Series.

White made his debut in the opening round of the series at Eastern Creek Raceway in an ex-Larry Perkins Commodore (the 1997 Bathurst winner no less!) with help from a bunch of mates and Garry Rogers' long time engine builder Mike Excel.

It was his first real involvement in circuit racing. Until then he'd spent his racing days in oval racing and AUSCAR and NASCAR, racing against the likes of John Faulkner and Terry Wyhoon at Melbourne's Calder Park Thunderdome.

White finished runner-up in that first Konica V8 Lites Series to Dean Canto and was the first recipient of the Mike Kable Rookie Of the Year award.

Over the years he's made the transition from driver to team owner and principal. He's also witnessed first-hand how the series, through its Konica, HPDC, Fujitsu and now Dunlop branding, has evolved.

"Back then it wasn't crazy competitive like it is now. The costs weren't astronomical either. In our first season we could comfortably run each round with a budget of $5000 Imagine where that would get you today!

"It was really just myself and some mates running the car. We worked hard and back then that was good enough to get a podium at every round.

"It was definitely an eye-opening experience for me - trying to understanding the cars and the circuits and what it took to run them. Often we'd get to the end of a weekend and high five ourselves, thinking 'how did we just do that?'"

White last got behind the wheel in the Dunlop Series at Sandown in 2010 and since then has focused on running his multi-car operation.

Bathurst 2003

He finished runner-up in the series to Mark Winterbottom in 2003 and has a Dunlop Series career stats sheet that features 13 podium results from 33 round starts.

White won just the one Dunlop Series round as a driver (Phillip Island 2003) but his team has racked up 11 round wins with various other pilots, placing it in a tie with the now-defunct Howard Racing for the series record.

White claimed three race wins as a driver but his team holds the Dunlop Series record of 27, miles clear of any other team active in the series.

The former oval track racer also finished on the podium in each of the four non-championship DVS races held at Bathurst between 2001 and 2004, finally claiming victory in the '04 Saturday afternoon sprint.

The team is racking up plenty of achievements when it comes to pole positions. MW Motorsport is one pole shy of tying PRA (formerly FPR) for most pole positions in Dunlop Series history (12).

Over the years, MW Motorsport has evolved into a professional front-running outfit that now counts two Dunlop Series championships among its achievements (Jonathon Webb in 2009 and Dale Wood is 2013).

Jonathon Webb, Adelaide

White has also become well renowned for developing talent, and his team boasts a long driving list that includes Tim Slade, Chaz Mostert, Steve Owen and Wood.

"Last year Andre (Heimgartner) did a pretty good job, and he's shown once he's stepped into the main game that he's capable of doing the job," says White.

"I've certainly enjoyed bringing drivers through and watching them progress, but at the end of the day our aim is to get results. We want results as much as anybody. I think our two championships are testament to that."

That focus hasn't shifted this year, either. White is busy running a three-car stable of ex-Prodrive Racing Australia Falcons for Chris Pither, recent Erebus endurance signing Jack Le Brocq and Kiwi Simon Evans' Super Black Racing entry.

"Running three cars is always a big commitment and it keeps us very busy," says Melbourne-based White.

"We've got three good drivers this year and we're expecting good results.

"Several times we've looked at entering the main game, but trying to get it to stack up commercially has been hard, and this is even more so the case at the moment."

Adelaide 2006

MW Motorsport will line up for the 100th Dunlop Series round at the Perth SuperSprint from May 1-3 - click here for tickets and more information on the event.

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