What is the student project?
This is an educational based project that was founded in the beginning stages of 2013. It gives students the opportunity to work as part of a race team within the motorsport industry. We have competed in the Pirelli National 600cc Superstock championship at British Superbikes for a few years before progressing into the British Supersport class and provide an opportunity to learn on the go for the young enthusiastic students involved. The students have the responsibility of running the race team, not only during the meetings but away from them too in order to develop a competitive team in the demanding sport.
Kurt and Matt are also of a similar age to those on board with the project who are also training within the engineering industry, therefore, they understand the importance of what is being taught and how beneficial it is for personal development and getting a head start within the working industry.
What are the benefits?
This project offers a wide range of benefits to the students with the main one being the opportunity to gain highly valued work experience which will give them the upper hand when pursuing a career pathway within the near future. Being a part of a fully operational team also gives them a working environment to exercise the skills they have learnt in education, however, the difference to a classroom is that accuracy is vital, attention to detail is key and one will only receive what they put into it. They develop a range of personal qualities such as the ability to work efficiently as part of a team, complete a range of tasks they are set and most importantly the ability to efficiently communicate with colleagues in order to succeed. The practical skills the students within the team learn are limitless from suspension settings, gear ratios, fuel consumptions, general mechanical skills and many more. They also learn the importance of hard work and maintaining a professional image at all times.
As this is a fully functioning team those involved learn the rewards through persistent hard work, determination and driving themselves to achieve higher. They experience those ecstatic days along with those less fortunate days, but this shows the importance of teamwork and pulling together as one. As a racer, nothing is stronger than trusting those team members surrounding you and knowing they put their all into being an irreplaceable value to the team.
We aim to continue teaching new students all that we can and provide them the chance to be a part of something bigger, to gain invaluable experience and to make contacts within the engineering and motorsport industry. As a team we aim to progress through the ranks and continue to move up to bigger and better things where we shall face new challenges and continue to set higher goals pushing ourselves to the limit.
One day this younger generation will have the motorsport industry, engineering industry, country and even world in their hands so it is important to nurture their development now.
NAME: Josh Billingham
EDUCATION: University of Coventry
STUDYING: Motorsport Engineering
“The thing I enjoy the most about Science and Engineering is the fact it is always developing and the course I’m doing looks at the application behind the practical aspect.
My biggest achievement so far is being part of a race team that has competed in the Pirelli National 600cc Superstock and has progressed to the Dickies British Supersport Championship at British Superbike.
The team role that I adopted for the previous season is a Suspension Technician which is vital to the team’s success. A correct set-up for the bikes is important as it allows the riders to push it to its limits when chasing faster lap times and working their way up the grid. Other roles that I have been allocated consist of changing wheels, fuel calculations, tyre pressures, gear ratios and general maintenance of the bikes.
I’ve learnt endless skills and all about the knowledge required to be a member of a race team. I have also studied other aspects of the race team such as marketing and advertising. This has been a great means of preparation for my future and what I will encounter.”
NAME: Nick Medaković
EDUCATION: Heart of Worcestershire College
STUDYING: NVQ Level 3 in Motorbike Mechanics
“I have been interested in riding and racing motorcycles since a young age. For years now I have followed motorsport racing, in particular Moto GP. I am fascinated by the mechanics behind motorsport and how settings can be changed to optimise anything mechanical to reach its full potential.
Having the opportunity to work in a team environment within the BSB racing paddock has led me into wanting to become a race mechanic. A huge thanks is due to team Sorrymate.com for the opportunity to get a position in the field and to gain experience working at the forefront of the action.
During my time with the team so far, I have been able to utilise my previous skills to assist the team in preparation for each session. I have also learned how working on a race machine differs with many aspects to consider and the importance of checking and double checking everything. This is coupled with the rewarding and exciting experience watching the bike that I have just worked on flying around on track.”
NAME: Joe Marris
EDUCATION: Leicester College – Abbey Park campus
STUDYING: Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Level 2 (Full Time) Diploma
“I’m currently studying Motor Vehicle Engineering which includes vehicle maintenance and repair, and hope this will become a future career opportunity for me. I also have a keen interest in motorcycling hence my interest and involvement with Wigley Racing. Being part of a race team has given me a great insight into another area of vehicle engineering.
Along with my full time study at Leicester College, whilst working with Wigley Racing last season they put me forward for some specialist training with K-Tech Suspension. K-Tech is a company that manufactures and supplies suspension systems for motorcycles for road & off-road use and racing motorcycles. Following successful completion of my initial training programme with K-Tech they offered me a part time position within the Company and I have been employed with K-Tech for nearly 12 months.”
“My role within the Wigley Racing team involves general maintenance of the two race motorcycles, including draining and re-fuelling the bikes, changing of wheels, removing/refitting race fairings and generally ensuring that the race bikes are prepared for practice, qualifying and race sessions.”
“I’ve learnt many new skills and gained a great deal of hands on experience during my first season with the Wigley Racing team and I hope this will continue and my skills and knowledge set increase again during my second season with the team.”
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