After a slow 2016-17 season start, Matt L’Huillier certainly found his form over the past fortnight, coming away with some impressive results in both the Australian Championship and the Western Australian Title for the AMCA National class.
Having had a difficult start to the 2016-17 season, struggling with a combination of misfortune and mechanical issues, L’Huillier couldn’t have been happier to turn things around in the Australian Championship on home soil – Kalgoorlie International Speedway – a fortnight ago, lining up 12th for the 40-lap feature race, after finishing sixth, second, fifth and second again in his heat races throughout the weekend.
Showing solid pace from the drop of the green flag in the Australian Championship deciding feature race, the Kalgoorlie-based racer had made his way up to seventh by lap eight, but was then relegated to the rear of the field, due to passing under the cone on the race’s only restart, just short of the halfway mark. In an effort to redeem himself, L’Huillier began to power forward for the remaining laps, taking over 10th place by lap 22, a position he was able to hold on to in order to achieve a fighting top-10 finish.
Heading into the WA Title at Esperance Speedway the following weekend with added confidence, L’Huillier managed to back up his Australian Championship result with another strong performance, which saw him qualify fourth for the feature race thanks to a consistent run throughout his heat races, with two seconds and a fourth-place finish.
Moving up to third place by lap 10 and going on to inherit second place after leader and three-time Tasmanian Champion Daniel Brooks retired to the infield, L’Huillier was able to maintain second and he was able to hold off outgoing WA Champion David Boyes to come home in an impressive second place.
“I’m absolutely rapt with my Australian Championship and WA Title results,” expressed the 40-year-old racer, who was originally from Pyramid Hill in northern Victoria.
“To mix it up with all of the east coast heavy-hitters, as well as finishing ahead of David Boyes, who is the benchmark of AMCA Nationals in our state, is an amazing feeling and definitely gives me a lot of confidence for the remainder of the season.”
Having only raced a handful of times in Standard Saloons throughout the mid-1990s, it wasn’t until 2006 that L’Huillier, whose dad, Mick, is a former Victorian Standard Saloon Champion, got back into competitive racing, after moving to Kalgoorlie in 2002 for work, where he’s lived ever since, joining the Production Sedans class where he raced for several seasons; a career that was highlighted by winning the 2012 Southern Open Championship and the 2013 Kalgoorlie Closed Championship.
Wanting a change and seeing the progression of the class, with the introduction of Chevrolet engines and quick-change differentials, L’Huillier made the move into AMCA Nationals last season, purchasing the ex-Jason Bond owned Cardy machine, which Koran Atkinson drove to victory in the 2010 WA Title, powered by the Australian Title winning 253 engine, previously owned by three-time Australian Champion Mark Lincoln.
With his debut season being highlighted with a fifth-place finish in last season’s WA Title, as well as a second-place finish in the Kalgoorlie Closed Club Championship and the Kalgoorlie Open Championship, which is a standalone event, L’Huillier is thrilled to have improved on his title performances this season and hopes to continue this solid form in the future.
For his next outing, L’Huillier will be in action this Saturday night at Kalgoorlie International Speedway.
L’Huillier would like to thank the following 2016-17 season sponsors for their valued support: Wright’s Onsite Maintenance & Fabrication, Prolap Motorsports, Goldfields Machining, and Kalsigns. He would also like to give special thanks to Steve and Jacque Wright, Eddie Boeg, Stephen Reeves, Simon Laucke, and Tom ‘The Painter’, along with his wife (Emma) and their three children: Ava, Violet and Tate.