Rally valuable learning experience
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.
Veronica Tiller-Macdonald gets down to business with an engine.