As one of the older drivers in his category, Junior Quarter Midgets racer PJ Matheson has taken it upon himself to be something of a mentor for his younger counterparts, helping to build their confidence by giving them as much advice as possible.
Currently running in the 160cc Open class, the 13 year old, from Werribee in Melbourne’s south-west, knows exactly what it’s like to be a newcomer to speedway racing and as such, he continually makes a conscious effort to help his fellow racers, taking them out on to the track during private practice sessions to allow them to race against him and put his tips into practice, therefore giving them added experience and confidence to pull off racing manoeuvres, such as taking to the highline to pass competitors on the outside.
Despite a shortage of competitors in his class, meaning he often doesn’t get to race, Matheson still shows up to every race meeting, deciding to put this helpful approach into practice, having benefitted greatly from receiving similar advice from current Victorian 360 Sprintcar Champion Jordyn Charge, after joining the Junior Quarter Midgets class around five years ago.
Mirroring the constant display of great sportsmanship that he so greatly valued from Charge, Matheson always makes himself available to the younger racers for assistance whenever they seek it, a trend he hopes that they themselves will continue in coming seasons.
Having closely followed the career of his own mentor, Charge, along with 410 Sprintcar icon Jamie Veal, Matheson aims to follow in the footsteps of Charge, eventually stepping into 360 Sprintcars in the future.
Matheson would like to thank the following 2016-17 sponsors for their valued support: Matho’s Plant Hire, Total Fleet Imaging, Westside Plant Hire and Alfie’s Excavation & Plant Hire. He would also like to give special thanks to his mum and dad, Marie and Sean, and Tony from Ballarat’s Redline Raceway.
A Junior Quarter Midget is a quarter scale version of an actual open wheel midget (Speedcar) which is open to race for kids between five and 16 years of age. The cars are built around a tubular chromoly frame including ant-intrusion bars and kick-outs to stop wheel interference. All vehicles are fully suspended with coil over racing shock absorbers.
The vehicle bodies consist of fibreglass and aluminium and the cars are powered by Honda GX120 or GX160 single cylinder air-cooled 4 cycle engines providing 4.5-5.5 horsepower in standard configuration. The emphasis in Quarter Midget Racing is on participation and skill building and as such, the JQMA has a strict sealed, standard motor policy.
For more information on Junior Quarter Midgets Victoria, visit their website at www.jqmv.com.au or contact their President Graham Hutchinson on 0417 566 709.