STUDYING at TAFE NSW has opened the door for aspiring mechanics to work on cars at the Bathurst 1000 race meeting.
TAFE has had a presence at Mount Panorama race meetings since the mid 1980s.
Each year, students get the opportunity to come up to the TAFE NSW Repair Centre during the Bathurst 1000, where they help fix up cars competing across the weekend.
Auto teacher John Ewing said it allows them to put the skills they've learnt to use, regardless of their background.
One student working at Mount Panorama this weekend normally does tractor repairs, while another is a paint and panel student.
"It is really an opportunity for them to look at stuff that's different from what they normally do," Mr Ewing said.
In the repair centre, the team is always looking at the television coverage to keep an eye out for racing incidents that they may need to help cars recover from.
They don't get much notice, usually just minutes, before they have to jump on the tools and get to work.
On Friday alone, they carried out repairs to cars in several support categories, with their tasks including a wheel alignment, a front-end repair, straightening out a shock absorber on a Super Ute, and an engine change.
"Most of the work we do at these meetings is with the support classes," Mr Ewing said.
"With Supercars, the way they are done now, they are basically a kit car. If you've got a kit car and a B-Double [with parts], it is very rare that you've got to come up here because you've got all the bits to do it and your workshop set up in the pits.
"But these guys that turn up with the support cars, particularly the [Toyota] 86s and the Touring Car Masters, they don't have that support network."
Working at events like the Bathurst 1000, the Bathurst 12 Hour and the Bathurst 6 Hour are big days for these young mechanics, but they get a lot of experience out of it that can help them get jobs in the areas they want to work in.
Even Mr Ewing, who has been in the industry for a long time, said he is still learning new things at every race meeting he attends.
TAFE NSW offers a short course in motor sport and is taking new students now.
Those who apply will have the opportunity to work at future race meetings at Mount Panorama.
"We are looking for students who are interested in doing the 12 Hour and 6 Hour events at Mount Panorama in 2020," Mr Ewing said.
For more information, contact TAFE NSW on 13 16 01.