I’m Matthew Cowley, a race car driver, student and an Ambassador for The Shaw Mind Foundation.
I was born in Manchester UK in 1997, brother to Abi and the second child for mum and dad, Terri and Ian. With a natural out-going and fun-filled personality I try to make the most of life and manage to connect with people of all ages.
Connect with Matthew…
Shaw Mind Ambassador
After being contacted by Marsha Wright, also an Ambassador for The Shaw Mind Foundation, to support one of the Foundations initiatives, I saw a great opportunity to be involved in spreading the message of the Foundation’s great work, raise awareness of issues around mental health and highlight the help available, particularly for those of my peer group. With my growing social media presence and US and UK location mirroring the Foundation’s there was an easy fit to connect with my passion for being with and helping others.
From an early age I was easily distracted from school work, and this became a real issue with my post 16 education. Course work was good, but issues with focus affected my exam performance. This led to me leaving fulltime education providing me with an opportunity to study an engineering course through distance learning and combining this with my passion and skill for racing cars.
Whilst always interested in cars, my passion for racing started following a friend’s birthday party at an indoor track. A season of indoor racing soon progressed to outdoor, and early national and regional success.
In 2013 I passed my race licence test on my 16th birthday and started racing Formula Ford 1600, (FF1600), as a “dad and lad” team, with mechanical support from friend, Hugh.
2014 was a year for championship karting, some FF1600 and GCSE exams.
2015, the first full season of FF1600, provided completely unexpected results for a first full season, winning a number of National and Regional championships.
2016 saw a move to another FF1600 class, with a number of podiums, regional championship and competition wins. It was also a great year off the track, being selected as one of only 12 drivers to be a member of the UK’s motor sport governing body, the Motorsport Association (MSA), “Development Squad”, being awarded the Scottish Motor Racing Club (SMRC) “Rising Star” for FF160, and being asked to join three time World Touring Car champion and current World Endurance Championship driver, Andy Priaulx’s “Young Driver Development Programme”, enabling me to further develop and hone my skills to perform at my highest level on and off the track.
Team and Future Goals
All of this was achieved through what was effectively a “dad and lad” team without any main team support.
For 2017, I moved to race F1600 in the USA with a “Road to Indy” team, Team Pelfrey. I won both the SCCA run offs at Indianapolis and the F1600 Series championship, demonstrating and applying what I have learnt from the great support I have had for both on and off the track work. For these wins I have been awarded a ticket for the Mazda Road to Indy shootout with the winner receiving scholarship funding for the USF2000 programme in the US.
My aim is to progress from the humble beginnings of “dad and lad” through securing sponsorship for 2018 and onwards which will enable me to continue in the “Road to Indy” ladder series and to race Indy cars.
The Shaw Mind Foundation
The Shaw Mind Foundation is an unprecedented breed of charity, with a direct and hands-on approach. The charity consists of highly accredited mental health experts, ex-sufferers, trustees and patrons who volunteer their time and expertise, without remuneration.