Ballarat drag racer Matt Forbes struck gold in Sydney twice on the weekend, claiming two major trophies on the same day.
The 39-year-old from Canadian Lakes won the Super Gas class at the country’s oldest and most prestigious drag racing event, the Australian Nationals, his win also securing the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship.
For his achievements, Forbes was awarded two of the sport’s prized gold ANDRA Christmas Tree trophies, the occasion was not lost on him.
“I’m not usually an emotional guy but I have to admit I had a good ol’ sook at the bottom end of the race track – [the victory] meant that much to me,” Forbes said.
For the Aeroflow title, Forbes and his team members, Les Waight and Graeme Stevens, travelled almost 10,000kms attending six point-scoring race meetings; two each in Portland, Adelaide and Sydney.
He entered the series decider equal third in points and had to defeat two national champions to take the title.
“The pressure was on and we had to beat the best Super Gas racers in the country – defending champion Simon Isherwood in the second round and former champ Colin Griffin in the final,” he said.
“They’re great racers and we went about it the hard way, but my Lucas Oil Products/K&N Filters Roadster was running strong and consistent all weekend.
“To then see the win light come on in my lane was extremely satisfying – it’s not every day you win one of these gold trophies, let alone take two home!”
Making the achievement even more remarkable was that it was Forbes’ first full season back having taken a seven year break from racing to help his wife Paula raise their three young daughters.
“A lot goes into racing; there’s many long hours spent in the garage working on the car and a lot of miles travelling to and from races,” Forbes said.
“The hardest part is spending a lot of time away from home, so it was very important for me to take time out and dedicate time back to them.
“My family has been fully behind me going racing again so I’m very happy that this means as much to Paula and our girls as it does to me.”
Forbes also paid tribute to team members Waight and Stevens.
“Les and Graeme make the same sacrifices as me and without their dedication racing would just not be possible, let alone having the success we’ve had.”
Forbes will carry the national number ‘1’ on his car next season, but he will have little time to dwell on past glories before beginning his title defence.
“With the support of my sponsors, Lucas Oil Products and K&N Filters, I’m going to have a new car to race next season which is very exciting,” Forbes said.
“The series kicks off again in January and carrying number ‘1’ means you’re the guy everyone wants to beat.
“We’ll be there giving it our all again.”