V8 Supercars on show in Canberra

Published on POIS Phil Cullinan (author), Mark Horsburgh (photographer)

Location(s): Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Come aboard with Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom (photo: Mark Horsburgh)
Come aboard with Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom

Australian Defence Force personnel might look twice when they arrive for work at Russell Offices in Canberra on 18 August, as there will be two new temporary carparks allocated to unique vehicles. With the closest race track almost 300 kilometres away, in Sydney, some might also wonder why there are two V8 supercars parked at Blamey Square.

The Royal Australian Navy will be hosting the 2013 and 2014 Bathurst winning drivers, and V8 Supercar Championship contenders, Honorary Lieutenant Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom along with race cars, transporter, mechanics and engineers.

Navy has a long-standing arrangement with the sport though the brand alliance program, Team Navy, in partnership with Prodrive Racing Australia (formally Ford Performance Racing).

Any deployment or mission in the military needs to be planned and observed from a headquarters to achieve all goals safely and with precision and this does not differ from a professional racing team which send a driver out in a car driving at 270km/h. 

Chief Executive Officer of Prodrive Racing Australia, Tim Edwards, is the person behind the supercar team making sure that everything is going to plan and is coordinating bringing the team to Canberra.

“Our upcoming visit to Canberra is a rare chance to head to Navy Headquarters and meet a lot of key personnel who work behind the scenes, much like the staff that work at our headquarters in Melbourne,” Mr Edwards said.

“This visit is a key milestone in our strategic partnership with the Royal Australian Navy and we are looking forward to showcasing our team, drivers and race cars to Canberra-based personnel.”

For Honorary Lieutenant Chaz Mostert, it will be a chance for him to check in with the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, and to meet many of his fans that don't have the opportunity to see him race live. 

“As an Honorary Lieutenant I enjoy meeting as many people within the Royal Australian Navy as possible,” he said.

“Canberra is a location I am yet to visit and I am really looking forward to getting there and showing off our race cars and meeting Navy personnel and their families.

“We spend time at Navy facilities in all the cities we race in, but without a race in Canberra it is not somewhere we get to go very often.

“I hope we get a great turn out so we can show everyone just what the relationship between Prodrive Racing and the Navy means.”

Navy’s involvement in the team extends to an outplacement program for technical sailors. Three technicians spend 12 months working as part of the pit crew, bringing skills from the Navy to the team and returning to the Fleet with a new perspective on maintenance and team-work.

Navy’s own charity, Keeping Watch, will also be supporting the event to raise awareness of the assistance that it provides to serving members of the Royal Australian Navy and their families who are suffering hardship.  This is often through non-refundable grants. 

Those who wish to follow the Prodrive team’s exploits can do so through twitter (@TeamNavy_RAN), facebook (teamnavy.RAN) and the website www.teamnavy.com.au.