Racing Car Technician jobs(Also known as Racing car mechanic, Racing car technician, Team mechanic, Team engineer, Team technician)
A racing car engineer is tasked with the responsibilities of getting a car or team of cars race-prepared for a competitive event, and contributing to a process of continual improvement to better the car's performance on the race track. A racing car engineer is a member of the crew who is necessary to campaign a racing car successfully. A season will typically run for between five and ten races, and, depending on the size of the team and the level of competition, the engineer could be a member of the pit crew and/or a member of the technical team. The pit crew are responsible for making ad hoc changes to the car during the race, whereas the technical team are normally tasked with completing maintenance and set-up between competitive events. In small teams, the engineers may perform both tasks. In large teams with significant budgets, the aerodynamics of the racing car are normally entrusted to a specific aerodynamicist, but in a smaller team, this task also falls to the engineers. As well as this, they must also make adjustments to the engine and chassis, complete maintenance work and prepare the car for it to be as competitive as possible on the circuit. By using racing driver feedback, the engineers will try and understand suggestions and alter the car so that it suits track conditions and the driver's individual driving style and preference.
SalaryThe salaries depend largely on the level of competition. For example, in Sunday club events where budgets are limited and seasons are short, the engineer may be paid on a per day rate, or may agree a fee for the season if there are more than a few individual races. The day rate at grass-roots motorsport level can range from £100 per day up to around £500 per day, depending on the class of race and duration of event. Some engineers even choose to become involved for free, because they enjoy participating in the race weekend, and may find that it leads on to greater things. For a well-known series such as the FIA British GT Championship, engineer fees normally range from £15,000 up to £45,000 for one season. Some engineers are able to progress up to the very top tiers of the sport, specifically Formula One, where the rate of pay per season can range from £45,000 to £350,000.
- Maintain and repair the racing car or cars.
- Work with the driver to deliver constant improvements to the car.
- Suggest avenues of further development to facilitate future improvement of the car.
- Complete in-race repairs and pit-stops (if working in a smaller team).
QualificationsDue to the technical nature of the job, academic qualifications backed by on-the-job training or an apprenticeship are essential. Many people who choose to become mechanics will go to a college of further education after GCSEs to study for a BTEC in automotive engineering. Others opt for A Levels and then choose the university route. This normally cuts out the two year apprenticeship on low salary that has become the norm with the BTEC option, but obviously demands more in terms of time and money invested by the candidate.
- Ability to work in time-sensitive environment and under pressure.
- Able to interpret ambiguous comments from the driver on the car's performance and translate them into engineered solutions.
- Strong mechanical understanding.
- Ability to work both on own initiative and as part of a team.