06 Jun FORMER TCM RACER EXCITED FOR NEW APC CHALLENGE
Former Touring Car Masters racer Matt O’Brien is excited to be making his Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars debut next weekend when the category heads to Sydney Motorsport Park across June 16-18 for round two of the category’s 2023 season alongside Monochrome GT4 Australia.
After starting out in Group N racing at the tender age of 16, the Cessnock-based racer competed in Formula Ford in 2004, 2005 and 2006 before making the move to the Touring Car Masters category in 2007.
Five successful seasons in the category followed, highlighted by multiple pole positions and top ten results. After retiring from TCM, O’Brien has stretched his legs in the production ranks, competing in NSW Improved Production, Queensland Production Cars, and taking part in a number of Bathurst 6 Hours.
“Racing in Touring Car Masters alongside the likes of John Bowe, Jim Richards and (current APC racer) Andrew Miedecke was a really good experience, following Supercars around and taking in some great tracks,” O’Brien said.
“I got to do some really cool stuff along the way, and now I can’t wait to turn my hand to national-level production car racing with the Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars.
“The variety of the cars and the fact there are different levels and different strengths and weaknesses of cars on the track really appeals to me, I think it is great to have that variety.
“The formats are also a big attraction – we will be running four one-hour enduros at Sydney, including a night race, where else can you get that in a comparative series? You can’t! So, the amount of track time is just great.
“I also really like the fact that the cars are all really high quality – the whole show is high quality I think compared to some other categories, and I think it is a great series to be a part of. I can only see it going from strength to strength.
O’Brien will be competing in the Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars aboard the Class A2 #195 MOB Industries / Guardian Protection CSV Volanti on Nankang tyres, alongside his co-driver, Sydney-sider Arthur Tsovolos.
“Arthur is a lovely guy and we have raced in several NSW Production Sprints and Enduro events together, as well as in Queensland Production Cars late last year,” O’Brien said.
“He is definitely my first choice when it comes to co-driving, he is a great guy, good on the equipment, and we really enjoy racing together.”
The pair are planning to tackle a number of Mobil 1 APC events across the year, in what is a unique racing machine.
“Our car is ‘one of one,’” explained O’Brien, who is an engine reconditioner by trade and is also working in underground coal mining.
“It is the only car homologated of its kind. It is a CSV Volanti. Corsa Special Vehicles are an Australian company with their own Australian compliance plate, and they created three CSVs – my four-door CSV Volanti, and two CSV Mondos, that are based off the two-door Monaro.
“For the CSV Volanti, they basically took a standard Commodore off the showroom floor and built the equivalent of a HSV. The result is what I like to call a unicorn car. It has all the key components to make a good production car, a good braking package, a good engine package, it is the perfect recipe for a production car!
“It suits the Sydney Motorsport Park track really well. We went out for testing recently, and it went really well. The car is very comfortable at SMP, and so are we, as it is the home track for both Arthur and myself,” O’Brien concluded, while thanking MOB Engines, Guardian Protection Services, Warhorse Motorsport, Warspeed Industries, Tempe Tyre and Nankang Tyres for their support, as well as the APC and its category manager, Troy Williams, for the opportunity to compete.
Round two for the Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars and Monochrome GT4 Australia will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park across June 16-18. While entries for round two are now closed, entries for rounds three through six are available now. For entry forms, go to https://ausprodcars.com.au/entry-form/
Photo thanks to Armstrong Rider Photography.