TECHNICAL JOBS IN MOTORSPORT
Motorsport is all about passion, precision, teamwork, business and most importantly, employment.
The Motorsport Industry is made up of small to medium sized companies either as racing teams or supplying products and services to the teams, ranging globally from single seaters, GT and sportscars, touring cars, rally, motorbikes to karting.
It is the competition element which gives the industry its ‘can do’ attitude and there are few other industries which respond to challenges so quickly.
At the pinnacle of the sport is Formula One. That might well be your long-term goal, but
F1 teams can and do employ the best and most experienced applicants. It is unlikely, coming straight from college or university that you might not ‘tick all the boxes’ straight away, so it is important to realise that experience and knowledge gained in any motorsport company might one day lead to the realisation of your ultimate ambition. Just like with the drivers, you have to climb the career ladder of ambition.
The core basis of motorsport, on and off the track, is competition, teamwork, engineering and research and development.
Motor racing at the track is the where the action is ‘front of house’. A large majority of the roles within a racing team require engineering knowledge, from the team manager, to the engineers responsible for the race cars, engine, data, telemetry, to the chief mechanic and race technicians.
At the home base there is research and development, design, aerodynamics, simulation, wind tunnel, through to manufacture, carbon fibre composite, fabrication, gearbox and sub assembly.
With engineering in motorsport, you could be working with some of the most advanced technologies in the world. Components tend to be complex, low volume, high precision and high value. Roles span involvement with one or more elements of the manufacturing process such as programming, setting or operating machinery, painting, welding, assembling, and the use of materials such as carbon fibre or specialised weight-saving metals and alloys.
Motorsport is often looked upon as the ‘laboratory’ for proving components and systems with its continual research and development and the speed of developing new products and solutions.
These have applications not only to the core business of motorsport, but also in other associated engineering sectors such as, Defence, Marine, Aerospace and General Automotive. Therefore, many opportunities exist in a wide range of organisations involved in design, development, manufacture, supply and preparation.
TOC, the Otomotif College is one of the early pioneers in automotive education. It was established with a passion to provide the best learning experience in automotive and motorsport training.
An entry level into motorsport is the technician which is often the preferred route for those wishing to be a mechanic, or general workshop such as manufacturing, machining or fabrication roles. Often this is via vocational programmes that combine academic study with practical work experience.
Becoming an engineer can be the second step and often relies on the successful completion of a university degree course in a relevant subject. Most employers favour mechanical engineering qualifications, but success in electrical, aerodynamic or aeronautical engineering also appeals to certain employers.
Whatever your chosen academic learning path, it is absolutely vital that you complement your qualification with practical work experience. Employers will be looking for experience and anything which demonstrates your determination to be involved in the industry.
To supplement training in the classroom, TOC has a technical partnership with Caterham Motorsport, where students can experience the demands of a race weekend and work on the Caterham race cars. This enables the students to experience ‘hands on’ the demands of a race weekend, giving them a practical advantage in the motorsport even before they graduate.
Take any opportunity to gain some work experience. Volunteer to help a local team, company, race track or karting centre, as the experience will add a competitive edge to your CV. The essential benefit of work experience is a personal one. You will get at least a practical understanding of how motorsport works and the demands it is likely to make of you.
Motorsport is all about passion, excitement and adrenaline. However, it is not respectful of the ‘work/life’ balance. Races customarily take place when the majority of the population is ‘at leisure’, so working weekends and evenings is normal. This is not a nine-to-five, five-day-week job. Companies involved in motorsport when needed will demand whatever commitment is required to support tight deadlines and events!
Motorsport has a result-focussed, team-based approach to work, where individuals are familiar, and thrive, on working under pressure and meeting the challenging timescales.
But always remember, deep down, most people work in motorsport because it is a passion.
If you are up for the challenge, don’t just dream - go for it!