As the year draws to a close, Red Bull Holden Racing Team Manager Mark Dutton thanks the people that make the team what it is…
I would like to thank the team, and I don’t often get to name names, so I would like to take this opportunity to single a few people out for their outstanding efforts this year.
Beginning with Kenny Mac, Wendy, Beau and the team at KRE; it is called motor sport for a reason, and I truly believe Kenny is the best in the business – without his massive efforts year in and year out we wouldn’t have any championships let alone 8!
Brian and Luke, in Purchasing and the Store; such an underestimated role dealing with everyone’s “can you just…” moments. Hado, the best refueller in pitlane and always nailing the special projects.
Ian Drapier the Design Office Manager – if it wasn’t for him the question would be, ‘what’s a Next-Gen Commodore?’, – massive effort to not only manage all the engineer’s designing, but also to get the information out at a level never seen before to all of the Holden teams. What a motley crew we are when we put on our design hats – there’s Florian our German aero guru; Mitch our young kiwi engineer who is knocking down the front door every Monday morning to get into work; Cauchi now a two-time championship winning Race Engineer and Head Designer; Bobby what a great young designer who is learning and improving at an incredible rate of knots; Hugh I think is still having nightmares about those smoke boxes, his shoes are smoking from the amount he has on the go at once and; Shippy, heading up the V6TT project while making excel do things it didn’t know it could do, as well as also developing and race engineering #97 and doing it all without breaking a sweat.
Petrons heading up Sub Assembly, those quick turnarounds are a killer although you wouldn’t know it – he is always cool, under control and smiling. Dan and Benny in there stepping up even further this year, travelling to more rounds than the previous year.
Nick T, only a short stint with us, but gave his all in the panel department. Julia, fresh and keen, great things to come from her.
Johnny McGregor, first full season of race engineering… What a natural he is, bring on 2018. Also heading up the design of the Next-Gen’s electrical system, with the help of our old Sparky Paul Sleeman, still part of the family. Romy, what a year from her… Jumping up in so many areas, in-depth data analysis, electrical systems, and even public speaking inspiring young females towards the STEM path, while being data engineer to DC.
Nuri and Julia in Accounts – you can’t spend a cent without those two being on your case, which is exactly what you need… We do like spending. They also double as everyone’s favourite two in the building when it’s pay day 😉
Briggsie our Head of Fabrication – there might be an explicit language sign on the door, however that’s only there as he is so passionate about what he does – what a project all those Next-Gen’s have been with a configuration we hadn’t done before. Big Damo in there with him, the man mountain, rock solid whether fabricating in sub or reacting to split second tyre requests at the track; Steve the quiet achiever, says he’s too old… I don’t believe him when I look at the A1 quality he produces; Dazza, welcome back, slides straight in as if he was never gone, great man and; Mike helping with the workload, and fitting in immediately.
Tom, aka TJ or Hollywood – always looking sharp and making sponsors feel part of the family, whether new or old; Jess, holding down a new commercial role while also covering our PR & Media for a couple of months there – a busy girl working hard and living up to the name! Cassie, our new PR girl, right in to the deep end… Straight to Bathurst and hasn’t missed a stroke; Tanya making sure we get to where we need to, have somewhere to stay while dealing with last minute changes with a smile and; Harri, hiding around the corner, happy whether designing or heading to the track.
Every time someone new comes through the workshop, the thing that impresses them the most is, not the big trucks or the cool race cars, it is Mario, our Super Chef – I’ve lost count of the variety on the menu!
Derek and Jarrad, race mechanics on #888 – great work ethic and the car is always finished first so they can push on and help others.
Pom and Wazzy, the man who was away from home the most and the truckie who likes to drive naked. What a pair, always on time, undamaged and smiling. Coutsy – only a short time with the team, great effort and amazing to have you part of the achievements.
Ty and Cal, race mechanics on #88 – attention to detail, preparation and excellent sessions at the track played a big part in #88 being #1 for 2018.
Bully and James – building and setting up dampers, the men that never stop. Put a bed next to the damper jig and Jimmy would be there 24/7, not a word of complaint, just focused on getting those setup options to the engineers.
Shady and Belly – the young and old bull delivering a perfectly prepped car every time.
Scooter and Mitch on stickers – a big step up from Chris this year, he will make sure the car is perfect even if he is applying the last sticker after a repair as the car is being pushed out. Mitch, nailing the spike right up until the last pitstop of the year, wish you well in your new career.
Cookie and Kurt – what a pair, two peas in a pod. They had a busy year with V6TT testing, Next-Gen build and rebuild, as well as aero testing. The new car build is always exciting, but tough to get right the first time, every time… Cracker job men.
Kris Goos, Workshop Manager and Crew Chief on RBHRT when at track – had big shoes to fill when he first stepped into the role. Never stops until the job is done, then double checks that it’s done right. Couldn’t be a more perfect fit for the role!
JW the elite athlete, with PD the unfair advantage. CL Mr Nice guy, with Richo giving more and more. SVG trying to do more laps around the world than an A380 pilot, with Matty, young and fast… Watch this space.
Cashie heading up the Machine Shop – I am sure Craig actually dreams about having time to do a cash job. The quality and quantity that comes out of the Machine Shop is truly astonishing; Lenny on the lathe, such a wealth of knowledge, helping young and old engineers alike while producing perfect parts each and every time; Grant, loving what he is making no matter how many setups or axis’ required and nothing is to complicated, it is right first time, all the time and; Nick, new to the team, fitting right into the Machine Shop, and dealing with every challenge that is thrown at him at the track.
Simmo, he could sell ice to Eskimos – building new relationships and maintaining others whether they’re with Princes or Porsche racers. Thrown in to Team Manager of Car 888 when at the track and he is an all-rounder!
Sam Michael, what a mentor, no surprises why he was so successful in F1. His holistic view and approach can help every department in the team, and personally the amount learned this year from Sam has been something I consider myself lucky to be exposed to.
And all of this can only come about because of RD, the man behind it all. His passion, knowledge and attention to detail is awe inspiring. The amount he does for the team and Supercars category is something that everyone at T8 truly appreciates, we couldn’t do what we do, the way we do it, without him…
How did I miss one of our longest serving team mates… the man who works hard keeping us all in one piece physically and mentally, our travelling physio Chris Brady, and at the extra busy rounds his fantastic side kick the big Dolph!
Last but not least, the longest-serving member of the team, Maurice – the only person in the team who cringes when we win another trophy, as he has to keep them and the rest of the building looking sharp.
Thank you all for your efforts, each and every one of you is what makes Triple Eight a truly world class sporting team.
Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year to all.