Father and son share passion for racing cars
FOR father and son team Craig and Jayden Manteufel, fixing up cars to race across the state is what drives them.
It might take countless hours and test their bond at times, especially with both working full-time jobs, but their passion for getting out onto the track always keeps them pushing on towards that next race.
As a part of CTM Cabinets Motorsport, they race their two yellow VB and VK Commodores in street and circuit sprints, a VR Commodore in dirt sprints and a Holden HQ in state championship events.
"Dad started racing about six or seven years ago and that's sort of where I came on board and wanted to start racing as well,” Jayden said.
He would soon begin helping his father on the mechanical side of things, which would not only spark his love for tinkering but lead towards what the 19-year-old now does for a living.
"It was always good because of the age of the cars - from the 1970s and 1980s - it was stuff he grew up working on so we didn't have to go elsewhere to get people to teach us,” he said.
"He could teach me along the way and I sort of leant everything from there. Probably that more than anything is why I went towards wanting to become a mechanic.”
They started out with a VK Commodore, stripping it right back to a bare shell and painting it to what would become their signature yellow and then did the same to a VB Commodore a couple of years after, splashing it in that same distinctive colour.
"Then for two years there we did a fair bit of racing, especially at the likes of the Gatton Street Sprints, we went and had our two cars presented there,” Jayden said.
The eye catching paintwork draws plenty of extra attention at whichever event they go to, with kids keen for a photo behind the wheel and their parents often up for a more in-depth chat about the cars.
"That's some of the best stuff, when they come around to check out the cars,” Craig said.
"They really started to get noticed as local cars.”
The car which takes up most of their attention these days is the 1974 Holden HQ, which Jayden races as part of the 2017 HQRAQ Championship.
"We got the opportunity last year just through my driving, the guy that owned the car, he wanted me to come race it in one of the events there alongside another driver,” Jayden said.
He impressed, finishing 12th outright and second in class for the event, and earned the right to race it for the current season.
"There was a fair bit of stuff we had to do to it just to make sure it was race ready... we've done a bit of paint work and decals as well just to make sure it looks all pretty,” Jayden said.
"We do all the work to maintain and prepare it.”
Carving out the time to get it ready for each event is almost a full-time gig on its own, with the Manteufels committing most of their free time towards their passion.
"Its something that you really need to live and breathe... you can look elsewhere but I don't think you'll find anyone more dedicated than us,” Jayden said.
"I'm 100% confident in what I can do because when you get to race day, you know that everything is done as much as you can and you just have to do what you do best.
It can sometimes test the bond between father and son, but all the blood, sweat, oil and tears is worth it.
"It does get tested but you keep going because you both know you're doing it for the same ultimate goal,” Jayden said.
"It does mean when that good result comes, that you've done it as a father and son is pretty cool.”