As you may have guessed by now, we have a variety of different crew members who do a whole variety of different things; we are a bit of a mixed bag. Name a task and we can promise you we have the best and brightest looking after it.
This week’s team talk brings you the man behind making our rigs look their finest. From the cars to the transporter and even to garage signage, Signwriter Mitch Hardiman has his fingers on the pulse of presentation, always.
Now we don’t know if it’s just us, but we’ve all experienced that moment where you’ve gone to apply a new bumper sticker to your car to only screw it up. Well, imagine doing that 50 times, on three different cars, every day.
Some say he has the patience of a saint, others say he’s plain crazy, but we just want to know more about him. We sat down with Mitch to hear all about the world of stickers and beyond…
How long have you been at Triple Eight Race Engineering?
I decided to follow the sunshine and move to Queensland, joining Triple Eight in February 2015.
What’s your role at Triple Eight?
My main role within the team is as a Signwriter. On race weekends, I trade in my knife (let’s just clear this up, by knife he means scalpel used for trimming stickers) and applicator to spin spanners as the number three Mechanic on car #97. I’m also one of those guys wearing the attractive Red Bull blue suits during our pit stops.
Where were you before Triple Eight?
Before joining Triple Eight I was working for one of our biggest rivals down pit lane. I won’t mention names but I used to bleed red.
So were you just born to precisely place stickers, or do you have some training behind you?
I am a Signwriter by trade, completing my four-year apprenticeship back home in Victoria (yes, there is more to it than just slapping on stickers!). I was taught the old school way and learnt how to sign write using a brush and paint. Unfortunately, it’s a dying art and these days vinyl wraps dominate the industry.
What does day-to-day work life entail?
Day-to-day life in the workshop includes maintaining the presentation of all three race cars (including TeamVortex) and making them look brand spanking new, ready for the next event. This involves preparing the vinyl wraps using our large format digital printer, then applying the prints onto our race cars. If you stand still long enough in our workshop you’ll probably end up with a sticker on you! I also find myself busy stickering and detailing the Sandman, pit and garage equipment and the transporters. If it’s got a sticker on it, I’ve done it.
What is the best part of working at Triple Eight?
The professionalism of the team and working with such a talented bunch of guys and girls would have to be the best part. Oh, and being sponsored by Red Bull (I have a slight addiction to the Summer Edition).
What is your favourite event on the calendar?
I have a few favourites. Bathurst is always the cliché answer to this question and as defending champions this year, I can’t wait to get back to the mountain. But Darwin is a particular favourite! It’s a unique place to visit, it’s boiling hot in the middle of winter and the entire city gets behind the event.