Mark Hinchelwood RacingMad Mark - the Red Cordial Kid...

MARKS BIO
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Kiwi born Mark Hinchelwood has progressed from rebuilding HQ Utes and winning local Drag Racing events in New Zealand in the early 1990's to being announced as the latest ACDelco Pro Slammer pilot.

He joins the ranks of other drivers like Jamie Whincup, Shane Van Gisbergen, Bruce Williams and Tomas Gasperak who all fly the ACDelco colours in their chosen class of circuit racing around Australia.
  • Cover of the Rolling Stone


    Not quite - but I finally got my picture on the front of DragNews magazine


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HOW I GOT HOOKED ON CARS & MOTORSPORT…

I was born in the UK early 70’s and grew up in Auckland New Zealand where my parents owned a number of music (record and cassette) stores one of which I worked in. A sign in the window of the local auto parts store advertising for a salesman would have a massive ripple effect on my life.

I started at the parts shop when I was 15 years old and spent the next couple years building relationships with local customers and racers. It was one of those customers who mentioned the local Holden club was running an ‘all Holden day” at the local drag strip. Having just finished building a SB Chevy powered Holden ute I decided to have a go.. I walked away having been crowned “Runner Up” and have been HOOKED on Drag racing since.
RACING - TIME TO GET SERIOUS…

After a number of years I became the owner/ operator of my own parts shop and was in a position to decide to ‘get a little serious’ about Drag racing. I bought a complete top alcohol Altered “roller” from a local racer and decided to simply put a SB into it and run it in the super gas category. 

My first season (1996/1997) I was named ‘Rookie of the Year’ and ‘Runner Up in class’ at Champion Raceway, Meremere, NZ - now known as Meremere Dragway.
THE MOVE ACROSS THE DITCH…

In 1998 I took a trip to Willowbank raceway in Australia. The Winternationals in Ipswich QLD is considered the best drag racing show outside of America. That trip to the Winternationals combined with a trip to Sydney where I met my future wife - Samantha - and suddenly I knew I had to move ‘across the ditch.’
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LET’S GO DRAG RACING…

In 2004 western Sydney Dragway opened and I declared it’s time to reassemble the old super gas altered and go Drag racing. I felt the need to put something different into it as its power plant. Along came Dave Handley with a turbo bb chev and the MSCN turbo Altered was born.

I raced this car with great success, huge burnouts and 200mph sideways passes! All of this combined to make it a real crowd pleaser - I was often caught giving the thumbs up whilst doing the traditional burnout earning me the “Mad Mark” nickname.

In 2012/13 I was given the chance to drive a newly built Sainty funny car. This all Australian built 3 valve motor is an Australian marvel for engineering and showed huge potential to go really fast. 
In early testing I managed to run 6.0 seconds at 235 mph, but unfortunately a few engine gremlins cost us nearly two years and the car hasn’t gone much quicker. 

Then in late 2015 the Grim Reaper cast his shadow into my life.
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I’M A SUCCESSFUL AUTO PARTS BUSINESS OWNER - MY OTHER FAMILY…

I moved to Sydney and opened Motorsport Connections in late 1999. Nearly 20 years later and my business is more sucessful than I could of ever dreamed of.

I love the fact Im employing young enthusiast people who share my love of the racing industry. Coming to work each day is like working on a hobby - not to mention the thousands of industry related products I source and get to play with, recommend and even race with. Something that my vast range of customers really appreciate - they know they are talking to racers who do have successful experience with what they are about to buy.

Motorsport Connections not only deals nationally within the racing industry but we also distribute worldwide and ship to Asia and the Americas. We also have associated office/warehouse real estate in NSW, Victoria and New Zealand to help keep the business running successfully.
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THE CRASH OF 2015…

On August 9th 2015 I had a huge accident at Sydney Dragway - ambulances, emergency helicopters, media - the whole circus. My injuries were serious - very serious and doctors said I may never fully recover - let alone be able to drive an automobile again. 

...and then another huge hurdle set in...depression...

To help deal with all of this I decided to write a blog documenting every recovery milestone. It reached over 100,000 views and I’ve
even had other HALO victims personally contacting me.

It can be found at “www.markvshalo.weebly.com

Once the HALO (head brace) was removed and I was able to leave the hospital I still had little or no movement in my left arm and bad double vision. I needed an eye patch it was so bad - so racing again was definately nowhere on the radar. 

I decided to get back on my Mountain bike. I likened myself to the “Forest Gump of bike riding”. Riding for hours... the gentle vibration soothed my shoulder and helped massively with my recovery. Over time I was moving well enough to consider a challenge - I decided that with the help of some biking buddies we were going to ride to the “Tip of Australia” - 1800km of “off road riding” all achieved in four weeks.

I was back...

Click here for more details of my accident.
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LET’S GO SPRINT CAR RACING…

Now in late 2017 and healed from the accident I decided to go Sprint Car racing. I bought three teams’ inventory and went about getting the best crew chief I could. It was time to start learning the craft of driving a 410 (850+hp) winged Sprint Car. Two years later and we are about to enter our second season with the car and things are going well.
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THE BIG BOYS - LET’S GO PRO SLAMMER RACING - AROUND 400KPH RACING…

When I first got this gig I made the statement…

“The ACDelco Pro Slammer Monaro is one of the fastest cars in the country and I am pumped about the opportunity to drive again, and it’s not lost on me that I have some big shoes to fill”

As the promo says - I am the current ACDelco Pro Slammer driver, and I join the ranks of others like Jamie Whincup, Shane Van Gisbergen, Bruce Williams and Tomas Gasperak who all fly the ACDelco colours in their chosen class of circuit racing around Australia. 

Maurice Fabietti - team owner claimed

“Mark Hinchelwood brings a new dynamic to the team and we are excited with the future prospects and potential going into the new season”.

How cool is this….
© 2019 Mark Hinchelwood