Two-time Bathurst 12 Hour class winner Matthew MacKelden is the latest high-profile driver confirmed for next month’s Valvoline Winton 300.
MacKelden, who also has vast experience in Production Car and Saloon Car racing and currently works as a high-performance driver trainer for prestige car companies including Mercedes Benz, will make his debut in the popular Winton endurance race driving a Hyundai Excel alongside Andrew Clarke.
Clarke was a former student of MacKelden’s before building his Hyundai Excel race car, which he has campaigned in Series X3 NSW this season; Clarke also owns the Ace Racing Indoor Go-kart Centre in Wagga Wagga.
“Andrew was a student of mine at Fastrack Racing, and I was very impressed with his capability behind the wheel,” MacKelden said.
“I encouraged him to build his own race car, which he did, and his results in the Excel have been impressive considering it’s only his first year racing.
“He decided to do the Winton 300 and when he invited me, I couldn’t say no.”
MacKelden’s Bathurst 12 Hour class victories came in a V8 Ute (in 2010) and BMW M3 (in 2011), but he says class honours at the Winton 300 will be just as hotly pursued.
“While I haven’t raced in the Winton 300 before, I’ve certainly kept an eye on it and I know it is very competitive for a club-level event,” MacKelden said.
“The class structure is great because it allows so many different cars to compete, and all the competitors are generally very respectful of each other.
“It’s the sort of event where a lot of families and friends become involved so I’m really looking forward to the camaraderie between competitors in the pits.”
MacKelden joins a list of accomplished drivers and teams confirmed in this year’s Winton 300; other notable entries include defending winners Steve/Jake Shelley in their Lotus Elise and Wakefield 300 victors Craig/Adam Burgess (Ginetta), while 2013 Champions Nick Cancian and Rob Hay are reunited in their turbocharged Mazda MX5.
The 2016 Valvoline Winton 300 will be held on 12-13 November.