The NRC Racing V8 Supercar team conducted a V8 Supercar test with a difference yesterday, (June 19), when 25 students from Berwick Secondary College joined driver Dale Brede and the team for a practical study day into the science of modern motor...
The NRC Racing V8 Supercar team conducted a V8 Supercar test with a difference yesterday, (June 19), when 25 students from Berwick Secondary College joined driver Dale Brede and the team for a practical study day into the science of modern motor racing engineering.
The test day was the second part of NRC Racing's current commitment to the State and Federal Government's Science In Schools program, a secondary school based initiative to address the decline in students selecting science based study courses and related vocations.
Introduced to this program by one of the Science In Schools program major corporate sponsors, Motorola Australia, NRC Racing was selected as a team that could best provide these students with an understandable and enjoyable insight to the application of science in front line motor racing.
NRC Racing's involvement was in two major parts. An introductory lecture and open discussion conducted by NRC Racing team owner and former champion driver Arthur Abrahams and chief engineer Matthew Boniface at Berwick Secondary College took place one week ago. This visit also included one of the team's overseas bound Formula Holden racing cars being taken to the school. The second part was yesterday's full day of V8 Supercar testing at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit with the same group of students.
These students learned of the countless variables that exist with the engineering of a competitive V8 Supercar. Together with the chief engineer, they analysed the detailed data gained from the car after each test run on the circuit, with all acquired data projected on a large screen located within the team's pit garage. Matthew Boniface then explained the functions of the data acquisition system fitted to the car, translating the many levels of detailed information in lay terms to the students, welcoming their contributions and questions.
During the course of the day, major improvements in speed were gained, Brede circulating the 4.5 kilometre Phillip Island circuit faster than ever before in this car, thanks to major suspension gains garnered from both the driver's feedback and improvements made based on the real time data gained from each session that the VT Commodore V8 Supercar was on the circuit.
The students were then taken to various parts of the circuit to observe how their improvements had modified the car's handling, with many students pointing out important weight transfer points and handling characteristics on different corners of the ultra-fast seaside circuit.
There can be no doubt that the students present along with the thousands that will view the resultant Science In Schools educational video produced, will be able to consider the exciting side of science based careers, as an alternative to traditional introductions to science based vocations.
The video includes highlights from last week's Berwick Secondary College lecture/ display and yesterday's Phillip Island V8 Supercar test day. The detailed production will include footage from three on board cameras, data acquisition system readouts and a number of technical dicussions at the circuit with the team members and students contributing.
According to NRC Racing team owner Arthur Abrahams, this kind of initiation to science based vocations presents the challenging nature of careers that can be enjoyed through science based study paths.
"Having enjoyed such a positive test day with the students that saw major improvements gained directly from scientific analysis, clearly displayed the importance of such an education in any high precision career. The students paid a great deal of attention and interest in achieving our goals for the day and their enthusiasm encouraged the team to achieve the best V8 Supercar speed improvement that we have seen all season," Abrahams said.
NRC Racing is proud to have been selected to be involved in this educational project and looks forward to continuing their involvement in the Science In Schools program well into the future.
Motorola Australia's Regional Manager - Semiconductor Division, Australia and New Zealand, John Perrin, was delighted with the start to this secondary students project.
"Motorola is involved in several Australian educational advisory boards and the Science In Schools project is very important project for us and all of the schools involved," He said.
"The practical scientific demonstration using the NRC Racing V8 Supercar enabled the students to thoroughly enjoy a day that saw them constantly observe the application of science in the precision engineering of a front line racing car," He added.