Mr Fran­cis could be Townsville’s mil­lion- dol­lar man

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - Bar­bara Lynch

TOWNSVILLE teacher Matt Fran­cis has a one in six chance of win­ning $ 1 mil­lion when he heads to the US to­mor­row.

The Ig­natius Park Col­lege teacher is com­pet­ing in the Ir­win Tools Ultimate Trades­man Chal­lenge and will try to beat his 29.9 sec­ond record in a se­ries of pre­cise tool­based tasks.

‘‘ I wasn’t re­ally think­ing about the US when I walked past Ir­win Tools’ dis­play at the V8s in Townsville last year. I guess I was just try­ing to be as quick as I could,’’ he said. He pro­gressed to the Queens­land competition at the Gold Coast 600, then the Aus­tralian fi­nals at the V8 supercars in Syd­ney.

The world fi­nal will be staged at Ten­nessee’s Bris­tol Mo­tor Speed­way which plays h o s t t o t h i s w e e k e n d ’ s NAS­CAR Sprint Cup.

Mr Fran­cis said it would be tough, but he ex­pected it to be as it’s the world fi­nal.

The tasks in­clude mark­ing lines on tim­ber and clamp­ing it, drilling holes and mak­ing sure the tim­ber fits into the jig.

All this has to be done in un­der 29.9 sec­onds.

‘‘ I’m a pretty com­pet­i­tive per­son so I keep try­ing to beat my last time,’’ he said.

Stu­dents at Ig­natius Park Col­lege were s up­port­ing their teacher.

‘‘ They’ve been watch­ing YouTube clips of me in the fi­nal,’’ Mr Fran­cis said.

I r win Tools and Stone Brothers Rac­ing have dec­o­rated one of their Ford bon­nets with ‘‘ Good luck Matt’’ on it and will race dur­ing the Clip­sal 500 this week­end.

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