Motorsport program a revving success

This article has photo gallery Published on CPL Bill Solomou (author and photographer)

Location(s): Albert Park, VIC

Topic(s): Industry Outplacement Program, V8 Supercars

Royal Australian Navy Leading Seaman Michael Dent chats with Craftsman Harrison Old (left), Craftsman Nic Ryan and Squadron Leader Michael Bailes regarding his work duties as a member of the Bottle-O Racing Team, during the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2019. (photo: CPL Bill Solomou)
Royal Australian Navy Leading Seaman Michael Dent chats with Craftsman Harrison Old (left), Craftsman Nic Ryan and Squadron Leader Michael Bailes regarding his work duties as a member of the Bottle-O Racing Team, during the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2019.

One Navy sailor is fulfilling his childhood dream of working with a professional racing team.

Growing up with an oily rag in his back pocket, Leading Seaman Michael Dent’s 20 years’ of experience in building engines put him in good stead to contribute to the Tickford Racing Team at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne, which was held from March 14-17.

The Royal Australian Navy Tickford Racing Industry Outplacement Program is a development program for technical sailors that spans 12 months at Tickford Racing’s headquarters in Melbourne.

The purpose of the partnership is to provide three technical sailors with industry experience in the cutting-edge and high-pressure environment of motor racing, while living and working as members of the Tickford Racing support team.

Working out of Pit Lane at Albert Park, Leading Seaman Dent said his core role aligned with his marine technician background.

“I was assigned to the engine shop to build the engines for the four race cars,” Leading Seaman Dent said.

“I help with assembly, disassembly, cleaning and measuring of all the parts, pretty much everything that we learnt in our trade schools.”

Tim Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of the Tickford Racing Team, said he was impressed with the Team Navy contribution and valued the partnership. 

“The sailors spend a whole year with us and we integrate them into our team, into all of our departments and they learn what we do as a racing business,” he said. 

“It has been a great relationship and that’s why we have renewed it for another five years.

“It’s great; we get to learn from them and they learn from us,” he said.

Mr Edwards said Navy members bring in core values that align with theirs, like discipline, loyalty and integrity.

“We have had some great experiences with the members over the years; we have won Bathurst, the Championship and the members have been part of that, it’s been great,” he said. 

“At the end of their placement you forget they are Navy members, because they become part of our team.

“It’s worked really well for the past five years and we are looking forward to the next five,” he said.

Story courtesy of Navy News. Read this fortnight’s edition at www.defence.gov.au/news/navynews/.