Trainees get close to rally action

YOUNG trainee motor mechanics will get a hands-on feel for the World Rally Championship when the WRC Rally Australia comes to the Coffs Coast in September.

Students at North Coast TAFE’s Automotive Centre in Coffs Harbour will be recruited to assist technical experts, known as scrutineers, carry out checks on million-dollar competition cars.

In a once-in-a-lifetime work experience opportunity, trainee mechanics and automotive trade students will help check every car prior to the rally for safety and compliance.

The field of up to 80 cars, including the hand-built Fords, Citroens and Minis contesting the WRC outright category, will be subject to intense inspection and measurement by the scrutineers.

The students will be at the scrutineers’ elbows, learning the secrets under the bonnets of some of the world’s most exotic competition cars.

“The North Coast TAFE automotive students will be getting an opportunity few of their contemporaries anywhere in the world would have,” Rally Australian general manager Michael Masi said.

“It will be an unforgettable experience that we hope motivates them in their careers and, in particular, gives an insight into the opportunities available to work in motor sport.

“Rally Australia is delighted North Coast TAFE will allow us to use the Auto Centre workshops.

“It’s a superb facility and will be put to good use in creating another worthwhile opportunity for the Coffs Coast community.”

Automotive Centre head teacher Garrie Crossingham said students would be invited to lodge expressions of interest to join the scrutineering team Rally Australia, round 10 of 13 in the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship, will be staged September 8-11 in the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Clarence Valley and Nambucca local government areas.

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