Rally valu­able learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence

Hauraki Herald - - RURAL - JILL CLEAVE

The adrenalin was rush­ing through her veins as she checked the axle stands, topped up fluid and loos­ened the wheel nuts on Hayden Pad­den’s rally car for the first time.

Veron­ica Tiller-Macdon­ald, a Win­tec Trades Academy stu­dent, is not an un­hinged fan, she was the lucky re­cip­i­ent of an in­vi­ta­tion to crew for Pad­den in the re­cent Gol­drush Rally held on the Coro­man­del.

She said she made a sub­mis­sion to Hyundai New Zealand, which is in part­ner­ship with Win­tec in its Pin­na­cle Pro­gramme, to take part in the rally as a crew mem­ber at the start of the year.

‘‘I was re­ally sur­prised to have been cho­sen. I had for­got­ten all about the com­pe­ti­tion,’’ she said.

She said it was a long day in the pits and meet­ing other driv­ers and me­chan­ics was amaz­ing.

‘‘I made so many con­tacts in the in­dus­try, which is in my fu­ture plans, it was great.’’

The 17-year-old, who at­tended Colville Area School, is in her sec­ond year with the academy and cur­rently work­ing on her level 3 papers.

She said the rush of adrenalin on the first pit stop was in­cred­i­ble.

‘‘It was all noise and rush, fan­tas­tic stuff.’’

Her next goal is to ob­tain a motor me­chanic ap­pren­tice­ship.

‘‘Be­cause of the Hyundai part­ner­ship they get the pick of stu­dents for ap­pren­tice­ships so I hope now they have seen my work I will be in the run­ning,’’ she said.

‘‘I met Greg Mur­phy and got to know some of the co-driv­ers and spent quite a bit of time chat­ting with the crews. I got some great ad­vice, one of which was don’t be afraid to go door knock­ing,’’ she said.

Her long term goal is to get onto a mo­tor­sport team and travel the world.

JILL CLEAVE/STUFF

Veron­ica Tiller-Macdon­ald gets down to busi­ness with an en­gine.

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