Elliott Lemmon has been caught up in a whirl-wind of excitement since winning the MTA Institute 2017 Apprentice of the Year. Having barely had enough time to let his racing heart slow from winning such a prestigious award, Elliott has already found himself enjoying more amazing opportunities flowing from the win. One of these was two weeks work experience at Triple Eight Race Engineering headquarters at Banyo.
Having always been involved in some degree of racing, and ultimately looking for a career down this pathway, the opportunity to work at Triple Eight Race Engineering was a dream come true for Elliott.
“There was no way I was going to miss out on this experience,” said Elliott.
“I was over the moon to learn I’d be able to work with Triple Eight Race Engineering, and the fact that it happened so quickly after winning the award just blew me away.”
Although thrilled about the opportunity, Elliott couldn’t help but be a little intimidated working at the iconic brand, and to be working on their cars was quite surreal. But he was quickly put at ease after meeting the team and checking out the facilities.
“The entire team at Triple Eight Race Engineering were incredibly nice and welcoming,” Elliott explained. “It’s obvious that they really love what they do and to work with such a high-quality team of professionals, who genuinely love their job, was a real thrill.”
Week one, which involved getting the cars ready for Newcastle 500, was a busy one and Elliott was keen to jump right into the action.
“I did a little bit of everything – cleaning, putting together bumpers, suspension, fabrication and heaps in between. I had a lot of supervisors over the two weeks and it gave me a great chance to learn about the many roles and responsibilities within the team.
“Playing with cars was definitely the coolest thing I did in the two weeks,” laughed Elliott.
“Being up close and working on such famous, powerful cars was incredible. I was lucky enough to assist with lowering the engines into the cars of Shane van Gisbergen and Craig Lowndes, and that was mind blowing! I don’t think many people could say they’ve done that.”
And for Elliott, the two weeks certainly wasn’t taken for granted.
“The opportunity to work for Triple Eight Race Engineering, and seeing the cars, the drivers and the seamless operation of the team first-hand was incredible. It opened my eyes so much and I can see that going down the racing pathway is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication. But I love it; it’s my passion and I don’t see it as work. I hope that one day I’m lucky enough to work for a team like Triple Eight Race Engineering!”
Elliott is the first MTA Institute apprentice to complete work experience with Triple Eight Race Engineering and when asked what his advice would be to future apprentices given this opportunity he said, “Don’t be afraid to do the ‘messy’ jobs. Cleaning and doing the little odd jobs is a big part of the experience and just helping and being in the workshop is a thrill. Use your initiative and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The team love what they’re doing and no matter how silly my questions may have seemed, they were happy to answer them and I was happy to learn.”
Elliott’s two-week experience would also not have been possible without the support and understanding of his terrific employer, Greg Tunstall Mechanical in Cleveland. Elliott is now back at work and finishing his apprenticeship.
“I’ve had to stop a few times and ask myself; what the hell just happened? Are these last few weeks real?” Elliott said with a laugh.
Real and certain is Elliott’s drive and passion for the automotive industry and racing. And with only six months left of his apprenticeship there’s no doubt that big things will be on the cards for him in the future.