Rally car racers Amy and Matt Davidson recently embarked on their fourth season racing together.
The husband and wife duo from Munruben were itching to get back on the circuit after rain spoiled the Queensland Rally Championship season opener in late March.
After round one at Manumbar was cancelled, their second meet was at Gympie in late May. The final two rounds of the championship will follow at Imbil in September and Mundubbera in October.
“It’s very intense, it’s very nerve-wracking, we can reach speeds of up to 180 km per hour on tree-lined dirt roads,” said Matt. “You’ve got to have passion for the sport. In Australia, there’s no prize money and there’s very little factory backing, so we do it for the love of the sport.”
Married for 15 years, the couple’s team is called Davidson Rallysport.
Amy said racing is their way to relax and decompress as a couple.
“It is an awesome bonding- like this is our date weekend, we don’t do date nights or anything so this is what we do as a couple,” Amy says.
Matt has been on the rally scene for the last 9 years while Amy has been involved for half that time.
“We purchased a car around 5-6 years ago now and Amy showed interest in navigating, so it’s a great husband and wife team,” he said.
Matt drives and Amy co-drives. Both roles are equally important.
As a co-driver Amy is responsible for navigating Matt through the course from shorthand notes and keeping them on track to meet race deadlines, such as refueling and servicing times.
She scrupulously studies every turn and stretch of the track before the race, but has to have the agility to make last second adjustments.
“Once you’re both in a rhythm and I’ve called the notes correctly and he’s got every corner right, yeah, it is an awesome feeling,” she said.
Her running joke with Matt is that when they’re in the car it is the one time where Matt has to do what he’s told without complaint.
“I think for some husbands and wives it doesn’t work for them, but I guess this is the only time Matt has to listen to me and do as he’s told,” she said.
After the Queensland Rally Champions, the couple’s sights will turn to their biggest race so far: TARGA Great Barrier Reef, up in North Queensland.
“This one will be the biggest with it being a national round,” Andy said. “Previous to this all the events that I’ve done with Amy have been state-level rounds, so this is the highlight with Amy co-driving for me.”