Jonathan Huckett, an MTA Institute student and massive motorsport fan, has realised a longtime ambition recently – a goal that would surely make many a petrol-head green with envy.
The 18-year-old, first-year light vehicle mechanical apprentice with Burdekin Motors in Ayr, spent a day with V8 Supercars’ Vortex Racing team at the Townsville 400 event, working side-by-side with Craig Lowndes’ elite pit crew.
The chance to work in the pits was a childhood dream for Jonathan, who has attended the Townsville V8 event every year since he was 11. And, by all accounts, the day went extremely well, with the young apprentice scoring an invitation to return and work with the team in future years.
The opportunity to join the crack Vortex crew was organised by team sponsor and MTA Queensland corporate partner MTAA Super and Jonathan discovered he had been chosen for the event when Marcello Riotto, MTA Institute Operations Manager, got in touch.
“When I first got the call from Marcello saying I had been nominated and won the opportunity, I could not believe it. It was a dream come true,” said Jonathan.
As for the work itself, it was exciting, thrilling and a real challenge.
“I worked on Team Vortex’s Holden Commodore VF, driven by Craig Lowndes. I was an extra set of hands, helping out the pros and the panel guys throughout the day.
“The first race got very aggressive and we had a lot of panels to repair and replace, including rebuilding everything around the car. I did a lot of helping out with the tyres, but mostly extra-hand work.”
Like many of his peers studying automotive, Jonathan is passionate about motorsport and cars and, in particular, Holden.
“I have always loved cars – people call me ‘nuts’ because I am that dedicated to them. I love Holdens, old-school Monaros and H-series – nothing comes close to beating them in terms of street appeal.”
Exposed to the industry through his father – who competes in drag racing – Jonathan understands the high-pressure environment of the pits and enjoys the challenge of keeping a high performance racing vehicle in peak condition. Having now worked on his ultimate racing car, Jonathan has his eyes firmly set on a career in motorsport.