Issue 17
Monday, 09 October 2017
Charles Darwin University
Apprentice Zach Davis, on track with his career
Apprentice Zach Davis, on track with his career

NT mechanic takes bull by the horns

By Ellie Turner

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,” Zach 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.”

Zach began his tertiary studies with CDU’s VET for Secondary Students program in 2011, which counted towards his grades, before being apprenticed to Paul’s Service Centre in Winnellie, where he focused on advanced diagnostics and engine management.

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, Zach will head to the Gold Coast 600 to work with the Red Bull Holden Racing team from 20 – 22 October.