Bathurst 1000: Apprentice on a steep learning curve at Mount Panorama

TALK about a baptism of fire.

Newcastle teenager Isabelle Kranhold only saw car racing live for the first time in August, but on Thursday was watching driver Tim Slade’s Commodore get put back together. 

The third-year TAFE apprentice mechanic is working in the Brad Jones Racing (BJR) garage at Mount Panorama, helping out with fire control, cooling down the engine and brakes and pushing the car onto the track.

She made her Supercars pit debut in August with BJR at Eastern Creek and dreams of joining the team full-time after finishing her apprenticeship in 2019.

Ms Kranhold, 19, fell in love with the sport while watching it on television with her father, Shannon, when she was a little girl.

“I’ve always liked Brad Jones Racing, and my dad does as well,” she said.

Slade slammed into a wall in The Esses in the first practice on Thursday, causing severe damage to the rear of the car.

“It was a shock. Everyone knew that was it for the day. Everyone was calm,” Ms Kranhold said.

“They were just hoping he was all right. The whole left side hit pretty hard. It was interesting seeing how they put it all together.

“It’s interesting to see how that all comes together, because you don’t see it on TV.

“It’s such a fast-paced environment, and just how quick the mechanics do things is just crazy.”

Female mechanics are a rarity in Supercars pit garages, and Ms Kranhold said she had learned to deal with the male-dominated profession.

“You just get used to it,” she said.