When V8 Supercars star Craig Lowndes claimed his 100th victory two years ago in Darwin, automotive apprentice Zach Davis was in the thick of it, having won a competition to work trackside with the Red Bull Holden Racing team.
And the adventure didn’t stop there.
The 21-year- old mechanic, who is about to graduate with a Certificate III in Light Automotive at Charles Darwin University, was invited back to work with the same crew at the Hidden Valley and Sydney races this year.
“This has been my dream,” Mr Davis said.
“I’d love to drive race cars, but you’ve got to be realistic. To work as part of one of Australia’s top teams is awesome.
“My job in the pits is to help ensure the car’s body and suspension are in good shape; if a car crashes and we’re up until 2am fixing it, I help to fit panels and parts.”
Mr Davis began his tertiary studies with CDU’s VET for Secondary Students program in 2011, which counted towards his grades.
He worked hard to complete years 11 and 12 in one year so he could start an apprenticeship with Paul’s Service Centre in Winnellie.
“During my apprenticeship I focused on advanced diagnostics and engine management,” he said.
“It’s been great to see firsthand how a professional team manages the supercars high-performance engines.”
Light Automotive lecturer Ian Britton said undertaking VET courses as part of secondary school studies helped students discover their strengths and explore opportunities in various trades.
After graduating during CDU’s graduation ceremonies on Friday, Mr Davis will head to the Gold Coast 600 to work with the Red Bull Holden Racing team from October 20-22.