A Cobram Secondary College Year 10 student had a very special work experience placement in Melbourne last week.
Liam Hindle had the chance to get up close and personal with some muscular supercars at Gary Rogers Motors V8 supercars in Dandenong.
‘‘When I was asked in Industry and Enterprise class to find work experience, I knew exactly who I was going to ask,’’ Liam said.
‘‘I have a goal of being part of a motorsport racing team, in fact I love the supercar championship and attend many of the races.
‘‘So, I set out to write a letter to Garry Rogers of GRM.
‘‘The teachers at Cobram Secondary College gave me a lot of support, Mrs Jones checked over my letter and Miss De Mole wrote me a reference.
‘‘Within days I got a phone call from Mr Rogers and after meeting with him at Winton Racecourse, I had the call to say I had been accepted — I could not believe it.’’
The student then spent a week at the GRM workshop in Dandenong where he had the opportunity to learn all aspects of the mechanical side of supercar motorsport.
‘‘I was put to work straight away, helping to prepare Garth Tander’s car — number 33 — for the next race,’’ Liam said.
‘‘I got to work on the brakes, suspension and wheel alignments. I also got to work in the engine, bodywork and engineering departments.
‘‘I had to pinch myself, I could not believe, that I was actually working with the GRM team.
‘‘My work experience at GRM has made me even more determined to achieve my goal and I thank both my teachers at Cobram Secondary College and the team at GRM for making my dream come true,’’ Liam said.
GRM Supercars workshop manager Les Creely said Liam stood out from the crowd.
‘‘Young Liam was a bit of a different case,’’ Mr Creely said.
‘‘I get emails all the time, probably three or four a week, from students wanting to do work experience here — and spelling and saying the right thing can be an issue,’’ he said.
‘‘Liam stood out because he hand-wrote a letter, he sent it himself and on that basis alone we gave him a shot.
‘‘He made an effort, the fact that he sat down and wrote a letter was so unusual for young kids.’’
Liam had a full week in the workshop, from Monday to Friday, learning various aspects of the behind the scenes work that keeps supercar racing on track.
‘‘Liam spent one of the five days with our engine builder in our engine room,’’ Mr Creely said.
‘‘I try to give the students as much of a broad range as I can, I usually get them involved in every department here, so over the week they will spend time in our engine room, fabrication department, composite department, engineering and a day with the mechanics.
‘‘So at the end of the week they may have an idea on what they would like to do in the future.
‘‘Liam’s done quite nicely,’’ Mr Creely said.
‘‘Work experience students usually enjoyed fabrication and engineering work the most, though youngsters are often quite nervous and intimidated in such a different environment,’’ he said.
‘‘Some kids flourish and others are nervous and quiet.
‘‘We have 36 people working here full-time — there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t realise when they watch the supercar races on TV.’’