Navy brings a winning mindset to Supercars

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ben Willee (author and photographer)

Topic(s): Team Navy, Industry Outplacement Program

(Left to right) Able Seaman Electronics Technician Luke Oldham, Able Seaman Aviation Technician Aircraft Kyle McPherson, Tickford Team Manager Chris O’Toole, Leading Seaman Marine Technician Ben Ayliffe. (photo: )
(Left to right) Able Seaman Electronics Technician Luke Oldham, Able Seaman Aviation Technician Aircraft Kyle McPherson, Tickford Team Manager Chris O’Toole, Leading Seaman Marine Technician Ben Ayliffe.
Three Royal Australian Navy technical sailors have arrived at the Headquarters of Tickford Racing for the seventh rotation of the highly successful Navy Industry Outplacement Program. 
 
The partnership provides 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 (formerly Prodrive Racing Australia) support team. 
 
Tickford Team Manager Chris O’Toole has great affection for the sailors and said there are many parallels between elite motorsport and military operation with this program providing an ongoing opportunity for both organisations to learn from each other.
 
“The diversity, training and discipline the sailors bring is invaluable for us.  We’re talking about skill sets we can’t learn anywhere else and they clearly come from a fantastic culture,” he said.
 
“For me the most important part about race team culture is you have to have a winning mindset - that’s massively important and I can’t emphasise it enough. 
 
“I’m not surprised Navy’s motto is to ‘fight and win at sea’.  I absolutely see that in the sailors and they reek of culture and winning ways.”
 
The three sailors this year are Leading Seaman Marine Technician Ben Ayliffe, Able Seaman Aviation Technician Aircraft Kyle McPherson and Able Seaman Electronics Technician Luke Oldham.
 
Commenting on his first day at Tickford Racing, Able Seaman Luke Oldham said it was a bit surreal and couldn’t wait for the year to roll out.
 
“My uncle and I have been into motorsport since I was a kid. I always wanted to make it a career.
 
“As a kid I was always pulling things apart and getting into how they worked,”  ABET Oldham said.
 
Returning to the fleet with a valuable new skill set are the 2017 participants Able Seaman Electronics Technician Mark Richards, Able Seaman Aviation Technician Aircraft Tenae Drummond and Leading Seaman Marine Technician Jeremy Rupnik.
 
“It’s been a very busy year.  Even when the cars are in good condition, hours and hours of work goes into getting them ready for the next race,“ Able Seaman Tenae Drummond said. 
 
“Coming out of this program with the confidence to tackle any job using composites is a great skill to bring back to the squadron.  The experience has been amazing.”
 
For more information, visit http://www.teamnavy.com.au