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The Most Awesome Tradie Jobs Going – Part 5

THE FAST LANE TRADIE – CALLUM GLANVILLE

In this week’s Most Awesome Tradie Jobs’ profile we meet 28-year-old Callum (Cal) Glanville who can credit his outgoing teenage-self for securing his dream job on Holden’s Race Team.

It was during a chance encounter with racing legend Larry Perkins that the then 14-year-old Cal plucked up the courage to ask for a job sweeping the floor of his race team shop. Now over a decade on, he is the Number 1 Mechanic of Car 2 in the Walkinshaw Andretti United Race Team.

Read more of Cal’s incredible career story below: 

 

Sum up what you do on a typical work day?:

When the truck returns from the race weekend, we unload the cars and all the gear first thing in the morning. We then commence the inspection process which begins with a “set-down” of the car, and involves taking dozens of measurements of the car’s suspension and setup points, in order to;
A – ensure no components are bent
B – to ensure the engineers have an accurate idea of how the car ran the final race, in order to improve next time.

 

We then start stripping down the car. If a part moves or gets hot during a race weekend, it comes off the car to get serviced and thoroughly inspected. This includes; engines, gearboxes, hubs, uprights, brakes etc. All bodywork will also be removed and sent away to get repainted. We then clean and inspect the chassis for any abnormalities and start putting it back together, ready for the next race.

 

 

How did you end up doing this for a job?

By chance initially! I was just a 14-year-old who happened to be riding my bike around Moorabbin Airport on sunny weekend, when I passed Larry Perkins’ race team shop, who incidentally, was having an open day at the time. I walked in, introduced myself to Larry and asked him on the spot if I could come in after school and sweep the floors, polish the cars and generally get in the way! To my surprise he agreed so I did that until I finished school, where I then got put on full time as a junior mechanic, and soon was made #2 mechanic on another team, which paved the way for me to join the then “Holden Racing Team”.

 

How long have you been on the pit crew?:

This is my tenth full time year at Walkinshaw Andretti United, as well as 4 years with Perkins Engineering.

 

What is the best part of your job?

Easy, the people. To be able to compete with the best, against the best, is a massive privilege. I’ve also made so many great friends through the years. But there’s nothing I want more than to win a championship with the guys and Walkinshaw Andretti United. We spend more time with each other than our families, we travel together, eat together, sleep together so you form great team bonds with a lot of people.

 

 

What is the worst part of your job?

The constant travel comes in at a clear number one as the “worst part of the job”, followed by some potentially long hours if the car gets damaged.

 

Who are the biggest names in the business you have worked with?

F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, and IndyCar drivers like Scott Dixon and Sébastien Bourdais and now Michael Andretti.

 

What is your record time for a pitstop?

We generally don’t log our pitstop data. The fastest “official time” I think is 2.96 seconds.

 

What’s your funniest “on-the-job” story?

Racing cars with 20 of your best mates, I’m sure you could imagine we have too many funny stories to tell, most of which are highly inappropriate for this family-friendly blog… needless to say, we try to have a good laugh!

 

Any interesting industry slang you could explain?

  • The Spacer: Driver. The spacer sits between the steering wheel and seat.
  • Smoke Installer:  Electrician. He must not let the smoke escape from the wires.
  • Nappy: Rear diffuser, part of the rear bodywork that sits under the back of the car.
  • Gringo: Small die grinder, don’t ask!
  • Greens: new, unused tyres.

 

What is your favourite job tool?

My rattle gun.

 

 

What are 3 words which describe your Trade?

Intense, challenging and rewarding.

 

What do you do for fun and recreation when you’re not at work?

I try to spend as much time with my wife and twin daughters as I can because I’m away racing so often, it makes quality time with them a lot more valuable.

 

If you weren’t a pit mechanic what would you do?

I’d be a lead singer of a rock band! (I love a good karaoke session with my friends!)

 

If someone wanted a job like yours what advice would you give them to get into the industry?

There is a very high turnover of new, inexperienced people who come into the sport thinking it’s all champagne, TV spots, money and trophies. It’s not, not by a long shot! People who last are racers, not fans. Make sure you can afford to make the sacrifices. Start in a lower category to gain experience and work your way up from there.

 

Why do you choose CAT?

I love my CAT workwear machine shorts! I live in these things 24/7 and they’re super comfy, tough and practical!

 

 

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