Issue 7
Monday, 07 September 2020
Charles Darwin University
E-news
 From left, CDU Automotive Lecturer and judge Russ Horan, winners Ian Wardle and John Wardle, Repco Manager Michael Ryan, College of Engineering IT and Environment Science’s David Young and CDU Automotive Lecturer and judge Lyndsay Burmester.
From left, CDU Automotive Lecturer and judge Russ Horan, winners Ian Wardle and John Wardle, Repco Manager Michael Ryan, College of Engineering IT and Environment Science’s David Young and CDU Automotive Lecturer and judge Lyndsay Burmester.

"The Eldra Boys" show skill to win Flying Spanners

Team "The Eldra Boys" John and Ian Wardle have won the fifth annual Flying Spanners competition at the Red CentreNATS car festival at Blatherskite Park in Alice Springs yesterday.

The father and son team from South Australia took just 21 minutes and six seconds to disassemble and rebuild a four-cylinder motor vehicle engine. Team "Grey Matter" David and Andrew Alm were runners up in 21 minutes and 59 seconds.

Charles Darwin University Automotive Engineering Trainer Russ Horan said the finalists displayed skill, speed and mechanical expertise.

“They also demonstrated that they could think and act clearly under pressure,” Mr Horan said. “It’s one thing to know your way around an engine, but you also need steady hands and the ability to think clearly under pressure. At the end of the day there was just one winner.” 

He said teams of two competed in a series of heats on the Saturday and Sunday, with the two fastest winners progressing to Sunday’s grand final.

“This year we tweaked the regulations to improve workshop standards. Competitors were warned that time penalties would be imposed should they drop tools, break engine parts or otherwise demonstrate carelessness,” Mr Horan said.

“Fortunately, standards were high with competitors entering into a good-natured competitive spirit.”

Mr Horan said the event attracted strong public interest with crowds required to observe physical distancing protocols.

“Competitors wore camera headsets to provide a live video feed to two large monitors that were set up to give spectators a close-up view of the action taking place,” Mr Horan said.