International Rally brings a rare opportunity for NorthTec students

10 May 2019

International Rally brings a rare opportunity for NorthTec students

The second round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) was held in Whangarei over 3-5th of May, and brought with it a rare opportunity for NorthTec’s Automotive Engineering students.

A total of 72 drivers from New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and China took part to contend for the international title of the ENEOS International Rally of Whangarei, which covered 264km of competitive road across the Northland region.

Many rally teams used NorthTec’s Future Trades campus as a pit stop to get their cars up to speed ahead of the competition. This provided NorthTec’s students completing the New Zealand Certificate in Automotive Engineering (Level 3) the opportunity to work alongside internationally-recognised teams prominent on the world stage.

NorthTec tutor Dave Williams talked about the importance of including young students in this event.

“This experience shows them what options being an automotive mechanic can lead to – what they can get out of their career. This is the start of their career and this qualification can be their passport for many opportunities – motorsport is just one of those avenues.”

NorthTec Automotive student, Joseph Lister, said being involved in the Rally is really important to his studies.
“This is such a rare experience for us, it is not something we could do every day. For one thing the cars are just awesome and we actually get to work on them with the team. We also get to meet international big names and work alongside them. It’s just a great experience.”

One of the cars being worked on in the Future Trades facilities was internationally renowned rally driver Ken Block’s Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Derek Dauncey – Ken Block’s Team Manager – said having the NorthTec students contributing to this event is a great experience.

“This event gives these students an insight into the industry of motorsport and a chance to see if this could be something they would want to get into.

“The whole ethos of the [automotive] programme at NorthTec and what the students can learn here – especially from their own tutors – is very conducive to giving them a good start for their careers.

“We love to come to the Future Trades campus because the facilities here are brilliant. Everyone is so welcoming and it is a great environment to work in.”

The APRC series now travels to Japan for the first round of the Asia Cup from 6 – 9 June 2019.

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