Crew in View: Martin Short
There are many elements that form this fantastic team.
Believe it or not, it takes an army of soldiers to get JDub and SVG in a Red Bull Holden Commodore, fanging it around tracks all over the country to battle it out for line honours.
So, Bulls fans, we’ve heard your cries to show you some of the unknown stars of our team.
Our first cab off the rank? Introducing…(drum roll please)…Data Engineer, Martin Short!
What is your role at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team?
Data, Systems, and Design Engineer. Basically, I look at squiggly lines and try to make sense of them.
How long have you been part of the team?
I started with RBHRT in the beginning of 2018 after graduating from the Auckland University of Technology in 2017.
What does a normal working day for you look like at the track, as well as back at the workshop?
First up, I normally drive the car for pitstop practice. This also allows me to monitor the radio systems are working correctly which I oversee.
We will then have a meeting with the engineers and drivers to discuss the day format, weather, car-to-car setups, etc.
After that we will do a warmup procedure where the no 1 mechanic will start the car, run through the gears, etc. This is a perfect time for me to check calibrations, sensors, and car systems.
During a session I will monitor the live data we receive from the cars (telemetry) and look for any reliability issues, temperatures, pressures, damper traces, etc. I am also the guy who calculates how much fuel we need in the cars to finish the race with ½ a kilogram in the tank.
After the session I will download the data and cameras, then upload to our network so all our engineers and drivers can look at it.
We will then have a debrief of with the drivers and engineers to find out what setup changes worked and what didn’t work, I will analyse the data (the squiggly lines) to find any abnormalities or issues.
Also, I do all the drivers’ dash configurations and I look at things like what RPM the drivers are changing gears at to see if we can maximise that more by changing their shift lights.
Back at the workshop I am normally preparing for the next event, re-programming radios, implementing new systems into the car, making dash configurations which are track dependent.
When I am lucky to have some spare time (not often), I also do some designing such as the prat perch where the three musketeers stand (Cauchi, Dutto, and Shippy).
Where does your passion for motorsport and working within Supercars come from?
My passion definitely came from my grandad Jim and my dad Geoff, they both raced while I was growing up, and I grew up at the motorsport track. I was lucky enough to get involved in driving from the age of seven in go karts and then latter moving into cars when I was 16.
I always have followed Supercars since I started racing. The door-to-door racing and passing ability is one of the best in the world. I also am from New Zealand and loved watching guys like Paul Radisich, Greg Murphy, and the late Jason Richards, who raced against my dad when I was growing up.
What’s your favourite track on the Supercars calendar and why?
Mount Panorama has to be my favourite. As an ex-driver I love how committed you have to be and how fast the track is. Definitely a bucket list track to race one day, maybe with my dad (hint hint). As an engineer it’s probably the hardest week on the calendar. It’s one of those events where at the time all you want is to go to bed, but after six months or so you can’t wait to get back there.
What’s your favourite memory in motorsport?
I have many good memories in motorsport. I think, looking back at my driving, it was representing NZ and winning at the World Rotax Championships in Portugal (2006) and coming fifth out of 64 competitors and also winning the NZ Formula Ford Championship in 2009.
I also like to tell SVG and JDub that I out-qualified Scotty Mac (McLaughlin) by one second in my first ever NZV8 race at Pukekohe so they better be on their A-game or I will steal their drive!
Working in Supercars, I would have to say my best memory was also my worst – Newcastle 2018 where SVG won the first race on the last lap because we got our fuel strategy perfect. I got to go up on the podium and receive the trophy and we were in the hunt for the title. Then that win got taken away from us.
I think my best memories though are with my family and team members at the track sharing the wins and the losses.
What would your advice be for someone interested in a career in Supercars?
To be an Engineer, first off you need to study hard, and get a degree in some sort of engineering. I think then you just need to get involved in a junior category, as a mechanic or a wheel cleaner and work your way up. Nothing beats experience and it’s very hard to get into Supercars without it. While I was studying, I worked on race teams on my weekends and over summer, first off as a mechanic and then engineer in my last year of uni.
Funniest thing you’ve seen on the road?
What happens at the track, stays at the track.
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