Isuzu Trucks technicians from across Australia are being given a money-can’t-buy opportunity to broaden their knowledge through placement with the pit crew of Walkinshaw Andretti United at selected rounds of this year’s Repco Supercars Championship.
Natalie Williams, a second-year apprentice at Brisbane Isuzu Archerfield, was the first of five Isuzu Trucks service technicians to spend time in the Walkinshaw Andretti United (WAU) garage this season, joining the team for the Darwin round in June.
“Although I work in a mechanical workshop every day, this experience was eye-opening,” said Williams after her Supercars experience in the Top End.
“At Brisbane Isuzu, we need to work as a team to achieve our goals, and there are a lot of similarities, but the race team is next level, working to tight time limits across the weekend and meeting deadlines. I have come away feeling very enthusiastic.
“For a young person especially, it is great to feel like you’re part of the Isuzu family and that they want me to continue to learn and be inspired through opportunities like this. I would recommend any young woman to have a look at this type of career as it is both unique and rewarding.”
Following the completion of her apprenticeship, Williams says she aims to remain in the mechanical field and progress further into diagnostics or become a service department foreman.
Following Williams, four other Isuzu Truck technicians will join the WAU crew for the Townsville, Sandown, Gold Coast and Adelaide rounds.
Isuzu Trucks signed on as a sponsor of WAU last year, but have an association with Supercars that goes back much further. They join other truck brands, like Hino, Kenworth, DAF, Iveco and Freightliner, who have supported, or continue to support, Supercars at a series or teams level. Related businesses like Truck Assist, NTI and several transport providers also have a presence in Australia’s premier motorsport championship.
WAU’s Commercial and PR Manager, Andrew Wiles, highlighted the positives of bringing Isuzu techs into their garage to experience a Supercars race weekend ‘from the inside’.
“It is fantastic to reward young technicians with this opportunity,” Wiles said. “We can pass on the importance of teamwork, where everyone has a role and everyone has a job to do on the day. The likes of Natalie then take that back to the dealership and apply that to improve themselves and the team around them.
“It is great to have people who come in wanting to know about pretty much everything, who are willing to help and really get their hands dirty.
“Some could be part of our team in the future, but right now it is great to see Natalie and her fellow technicians dedicate themselves to their chosen field.”
Brett Stewart, Head of Aftersales at Isuzu Australia Limited, said programmes like the race weekends with WAU are aimed at inspiring young technicians in Isuzu Trucks dealerships around Australia.
“Isuzu will provide not only the opportunity to work for a leading truck brand but also rewards like this Supercars weekend for those who aspire to a career as a truck technician.
“It gives us great pleasure to offer our people with positive learning experiences and platforms such as this to showcase what they’re really capable of.”
Stewart added that young female technicians like Natalie prove that young women do – and should - have a place in the truck industry.
In addition to the WAU pit crew experiences, Isuzu Australia also hosts a National Technical skills competition and the Isuzu World Technical Competition, commonly referred to as the I-1 Grand Prix.
“It’s not only great for Isuzu, but also for our dealers and ultimately our customers across the country who benefit from having skilled and enthusiastic technicians working on their trucks,” Stewart said.
“With multiple career development pathways, personal education courses, and an inclusive mindset, Isuzu dealerships have proven to be dynamic places of employment for young technicians.”