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Holden and Triple Eight Agree to Settlement

GM Holden and Triple Eight Race Engineering have reached an amicable agreement in the wake of Holden’s announcement that the manufacturer will be closing later this year.

The settlement, the details of which are commercially confidential, will see the Red Bull Holden Racing Team remain on the grid in its present guise until the end of the current Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season. The existing contract had been due to expire at the end of 2021.

The two powerhouses of Australian motor racing joined forces in 2010, winning on debut in Abu Dhabi and going on to claim a one-two finish in the Bathurst 1000 in the same year. In total, Holden and Triple Eight together have claimed eight teams’ championships, six drivers’ titles and four Bathurst 1000 victories.

The future branding of Triple Eight’s Supercars team is yet to be determined, with the current contract between co-title partner Red Bull and Triple Eight in place until at least the end of the 2021 season.

The whole team at Triple Eight extends their heartfelt thanks to Holden, all Holden employees past and present with whom we’ve interacted, and the dealer network  for their incredible support and friendship over the past decade. The team is totally committed to delivering the best possible results, both on and off the track, for the remainder of the season.

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Archive Latest News Link In Bio Roland Dane Triple Eight Engineering

The Race to Diversify

There’s no denying the Covid-19 pandemic hit the sporting world for six.

One day we were claiming double-pole positions on the streets of Albert Park, the next we were back at home-base wondering when we’d see the Bulls charge down a racetrack again.

In the interests of keeping our highly skilled team of engineers in check, Red Bull Holden Racing Team boss Roland ‘RD’ Dane decided to turn the team’s attention to a different kind of heart-pounding machine – ventilators.

Speaking on the Business Australia ‘The Company You Keep’ podcast about The Conrod Project, Triple Eight Race Engineering’s emergency ventilator, RD said that the thought of not utilising the skills of our engineers during the current health crisis didn’t sit well with him.

“When you’ve got a group of really highly motivated and skilled engineers, which an appreciable portion of our team is made up of people like that, then [I] wanted to try and make sure our brains didn’t go stale, first and foremost,” he said.

“It was very clear early on that one of the issues in a lot of countries was going to be the number of people who are available to operate such machines (ventilators). Don’t forget at that time, we were all seeing some pretty horrific pictures of warehouses, for want of a better word, in Italy, with camp beds, the sort of thing that you’ve gone to a camping shop and bought, with people like lying there with almost no assistance.”

Utilising similar technology found in our supercars, the team was well equipped to not only make a fully functioning emergency ventilator, but create a world-class machine that exceeds the TGA’s specifications.

“We came up with the concept of using a system we use in racing – telemetry – which is a way of transmitting data, live data from multiple sources. So on a race car, for instance, there can be 100 different sensors on the car at any one time that are transmitting data back to a central point in a pit lane, in a race circuit.

“Applying that principle to ventilators, you could then have 10, 20, 30, ventilators in a room or in a warehouse that had patients attached to them that then could be monitored from a single position, and warnings, et cetera come up on that monitoring screen that then would allow the potential to operate with maybe fewer people.”

Offering his pearls of wisdom, RD concluded that it’s important to recognise the skills and opportunities within businesses that can be leveraged if a crisis like this were to strike again.

“It’s a very trendy expression these days to say ‘think outside the box’, but honestly, think of, very broadly to begin with, about what possibilities that could be in other areas for your business.

“Then if you’ve identified opportunities, hone in on them. Don’t use a shotgun approach to everything. Hone in on what you might be good at, where your skill sets, where your equipment… whatever else, where your assets… whether they’re people or whether they’re physical assets can be used best, and then concentrate on a small number of potential opportunities.”

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

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Archive Latest News Link In Bio Triple Eight Engineering

Crew in View: Tanya McClure

Crew in View: Tanya McClure

What is your role at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team?

My role is Team Coordinator. The key things I am responsible for is looking after all the logistics for the team, making sure everyone gets to and from each event, that they all have a seat on the plane and in a car and everyone has a bed to sleep in. I put together our race weekend schedules too. It’s a little book that goes out to everyone prior to the upcoming race weekend and it contains EVERYTHING the crew and drivers need to know about the weekend. I pack the drivers’ kits for every race weekend, test day, etc. and make sure each team member is kitted out in the correct team uniform and looking presentable at all times.

How long have you been part of the team?

3 ½ years (three full seasons)

What does a normal working day for you look like at the track, as well as back at the workshop?

We will start at the workshop – I will spend my days booking flights, accommodation, and car hires. I am normally working on several events at a time over various series that we compete in. I work closely with our team manager on the performance side of the race weekend schedule and closely with our media manager and commercial guys for the promo side of the schedule and then integrate both elements together.

The week before we head off to a race is always the craziest. I must get our schedule finalised and issued to all crew on the Friday before the next race week. This is also the week that we have to pack the trucks which means packing our drivers’ kits for the race weekend. If they turn up to a race weekend and they are missing something they need to go racing, that’s on me.

At the track I wear a few different hats alongside being Team Coordinator and each day is a little different. I attend merchandise and autograph sessions and corporate visits with our drivers and work alongside our media manager taking drivers to media ops.

Pre-race I will either accompany one of our drivers to the grid or I’ll have the role of tyre spotter – whichever needs filling on the day – I’m there.

Once the on-track sessions and all driver commitments are done for the day it’s back to working on the next event. Towards the end of the night I will always pop into the garage and see what can be done to get the crew home earlier. Sometimes something as simple as sweeping the floor means they can be out of there 10 or 15 mins early.

The week before we head off to a race is always the craziest. I must get our schedule finalised and issued to all crew on the Friday before the next race week. This is also the week that we have to pack the trucks which means packing our drivers’ kits for the race weekend. If they turn up to a race weekend and they are missing something they need to go racing, that’s on me.

Where does your passion for motorsport and working within Supercars come from?

I have grown up with motorsport my whole life. I never raced anything myself, but my Dad and extended family have always been involved in motorsport, in particular speedway. I attended my first race when I was three months old and have been hooked ever since. My Dad also raced touring cars back in the early 80s, racing at Bathurst a few years in a row and scoring Rookie of the Year in ’84. I have always been around race cars and racetracks and I am at my happiest watching cars go round in circles.

Although my previous work experience was all music industry-based, the transition to motorsport when I moved back home to Brisbane was a no-brainer. As clichéd as it sounds – for me, motorsport, it’s the “dream job”.

What’s your favourite track on the Supercars calendar and why?

Each track, event and city we go to has little things that make you look forward to returning the following year. However, I think my favourite track on the Supercars calendar would have to be Mount Panorama, Bathurst.

There is such an air of nostalgia that surrounds the track and the event. I get butterflies in the stomach as you come over the hill into town and see the “Mount Panorama” sign for the first time on that October Tuesday. It’s a special week on the calendar.

What’s your favourite memory in motorsport?

We create a lot of memories within our RBHRT family each and every time we attend a race event, the wins and the losses, the good and the bad, but without a doubt my favourite memory to date would have to be when JDub clinched his seventh Supercars championship in Newcastle in 2017. It was my first full season with the team, the championship was close, the final race was a rollercoaster of emotions. I still get chills when I re-watch the footage of the final lap and the moment we all found out he won it. It will definitely take a lot to top that one.

What would your advice be for someone interested in a career in Supercars?

Immerse yourself in motorsport – learn about all categories, not just the one you want to work in. Learn a trade, upskill yourself, be willing to be adaptable and multi-task. Be a team player. You need to have a love and passion for motorsport because it is hard work and long hours, but it is all worth it.

Funniest thing you’ve seen on the road?

What goes on tour – stays on tour.

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Crew in View: Martin Short

There are many elements that form this fantastic team.

Believe it or not, it takes an army of soldiers to get JDub and SVG in a Red Bull Holden Commodore, fanging it around tracks all over the country to battle it out for line honours.

So, Bulls fans, we’ve heard your cries to show you some of the unknown stars of our team.

Our first cab off the rank? Introducing…(drum roll please)…Data Engineer, Martin Short!

What is your role at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team?

Data, Systems, and Design Engineer. Basically, I look at squiggly lines and try to make sense of them.

How long have you been part of the team?

I started with RBHRT in the beginning of 2018 after graduating from the Auckland University of Technology in 2017.

What does a normal working day for you look like at the track, as well as back at the workshop?

First up, I normally drive the car for pitstop practice. This also allows me to monitor the radio systems are working correctly which I oversee.

We will then have a meeting with the engineers and drivers to discuss the day format, weather, car-to-car setups, etc.

After that we will do a warmup procedure where the no 1 mechanic will start the car, run through the gears, etc. This is a perfect time for me to check calibrations, sensors, and car systems.

During a session I will monitor the live data we receive from the cars (telemetry) and look for any reliability issues, temperatures, pressures, damper traces, etc. I am also the guy who calculates how much fuel we need in the cars to finish the race with ½ a kilogram in the tank.

After the session I will download the data and cameras, then upload to our network so all our engineers and drivers can look at it.

We will then have a debrief of with the drivers and engineers to find out what setup changes worked and what didn’t work, I will analyse the data (the squiggly lines) to find any abnormalities or issues.

Also, I do all the drivers’ dash configurations and I look at things like what RPM the drivers are changing gears at to see if we can maximise that more by changing their shift lights.

Back at the workshop I am normally preparing for the next event, re-programming radios, implementing new systems into the car, making dash configurations which are track dependent.

When I am lucky to have some spare time (not often), I also do some designing such as the prat perch where the three musketeers stand (Cauchi, Dutto, and Shippy).

Where does your passion for motorsport and working within Supercars come from?

My passion definitely came from my grandad Jim and my dad Geoff, they both raced while I was growing up, and I grew up at the motorsport track. I was lucky enough to get involved in driving from the age of seven in go karts and then latter moving into cars when I was 16.

I always have followed Supercars since I started racing. The door-to-door racing and passing ability is one of the best in the world. I also am from New Zealand and loved watching guys like Paul Radisich, Greg Murphy, and the late Jason Richards, who raced against my dad when I was growing up.

What’s your favourite track on the Supercars calendar and why?

Mount Panorama has to be my favourite. As an ex-driver I love how committed you have to be and how fast the track is. Definitely a bucket list track to race one day, maybe with my dad (hint hint). As an engineer it’s probably the hardest week on the calendar. It’s one of those events where at the time all you want is to go to bed, but after six months or so you can’t wait to get back there.

What’s your favourite memory in motorsport?

I have many good memories in motorsport. I think, looking back at my driving, it was representing NZ and winning at the World Rotax Championships in Portugal (2006) and coming fifth out of 64 competitors and also winning the NZ Formula Ford Championship in 2009.

I also like to tell SVG and JDub that I out-qualified Scotty Mac (McLaughlin) by one second in my first ever NZV8 race at Pukekohe so they better be on their A-game or I will steal their drive!

Working in Supercars, I would have to say my best memory was also my worst – Newcastle 2018 where SVG won the first race on the last lap because we got our fuel strategy perfect. I got to go up on the podium and receive the trophy and we were in the hunt for the title. Then that win got taken away from us.

I think my best memories though are with my family and team members at the track sharing the wins and the losses.

What would your advice be for someone interested in a career in Supercars?

To be an Engineer, first off you need to study hard, and get a degree in some sort of engineering. I think then you just need to get involved in a junior category, as a mechanic or a wheel cleaner and work your way up. Nothing beats experience and it’s very hard to get into Supercars without it. While I was studying, I worked on race teams on my weekends and over summer, first off as a mechanic and then engineer in my last year of uni.

Funniest thing you’ve seen on the road?

What happens at the track, stays at the track.

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Archive Latest News Link In Bio Triple Eight Engineering

JDub’s GT-inspired Steering Wheel

Here at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, we like to tackle the wheely big issues.

After we asked Jamie ‘JDub’ Whincup to step in front of a camera and explain the difference between the standard Supercars steering wheel and his preferred ‘GT style’ wheel, we thought we’d dig a bit deeper and discover what it takes to design, build and test one of the most important components of our supercars.

A racing car steering wheel is an assembly that typically includes three parts: an armature and grip (rim), or the part that the driver holds to steer the car (this is typically made from a strong aircraft grade aluminium); the hub and quick-release mechanism, which connects the armature to the steering column; and various switchgear and lights that are mounted to the armature or hub and allow the driver to exert control and receive information about the state of the car.

The team collaborated with partners HP 3D Printing and EVOK3D to produce three main pieces for the race car steering wheel: a two-part mould to form the soft polyurethane exterior that wraps around and cushions the steering wheel; lightweight cores that sandwich the armature plate and form the bulk of the steering wheel rim; and the housing for the mounting of switchgear and lights to the hub.

Having played a significant role in the design and execution of JDub’s GT-style steering wheel, we caught up with #88 race engineer Dave Cauchi to explain the finer details of the entire process.

“A lot of time was spent optimising the grip shape of the steering wheel. This involved 3D printing the grips, getting the drivers to hold them, and then optimising the surfaces until we achieved the ergonomic and comfortable grip for the driver,” Cauchi explained.

“Next we worked on the material the grip was manufactured from. This involved finding the right mix of material stiffness and thickness which is a compromise between feel/feedback and comfort.

“The buttons and dials were then positioned around the grips to minimise movement of the driver’s hands/fingers for the most commonly used buttons and dials. The dial knobs are plastic printed, and all of the electronics are housed in plastic parts printed by EVOK3D.”

Driver comfort and switch accessibility is paramount when designing and building a supercar steering wheel, which were primary factors throughout this process, explained Cauchi.

“The grips have been designed to suit the driver’s natural hand grip in order to maximise comfort and give the best feel for the car.

“The buttons have been placed so that the driver can reach them without removing his hand from the grips, ensuring he can focus on controlling the car as much as possible.

“The bottom of the steering wheel has been removed to save weight and aid driver changes at endurance races.”

Having developed a prototype JDub was comfortable with, the team then set out to test whether his new generation steering wheel could handle the harsh elements inside the #88.

“We did a number of tests at the Triple Eight workshop with 3D printed steering wheels. Once the basic layout and shape was decided we made several prototype versions of the steering wheel so we could prove the manufacturing process and decide final material spec for the grips.

“The first on track test was carried out at Sandown 2019 in Practice 1 and 2 where both Jamie and Craig used the wheel. As the GT steering wheel was significantly different to the standard wheel, we decided to not use it for the remainder of the 2019 season and it was next used at the first test at Tailem Bend in 2020. The GT steering wheel has since been used at Adelaide and AGP in car 88,” Cauchi said.

If you thought you had to wait until the Supercars Championship commences again to see JDub’s GT steering wheel in action, think again! He’s ripped it out of #88 and attached it to his new Omen Super-sim as part of the Supercars All Stars Eseries. All the action is live streamed on the Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s Facebook page every Wednesday night from 7:00pm AEST, as well as broadcast on Fox Sports 506, Kayo and Sky Sports NZ from 6:00pm AEST.

For more information on EVOK3D, visit their websiteLinkedInFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages.

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Archive Latest News Triple Eight Engineering

Triple Eight reveals The Conrod Project

The second iteration of Triple Eight Race Engineering’s emergency medical ventilator has been revealed in a behind-the-scenes mini documentary, giving viewers an insight into the design capabilities of one of Australia’s most successful sporting teams of the past two decades. Dubbed ‘The Conrod Project’, the development of the ventilator has been all-consuming for the championship-winning Supercars engineering team for the past six weeks since the postponement of the racing season due to Covid-19. After the first proof-of-concept prototype was completed, work began immediately to not only finetune the existing device, but to enhance its capabilities in line with the latest requirements published by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)   and further exceed the expectations of the challenge originally set by the Queensland State Government for an emergency ventilator that would be suitable for use in a field hospital situation. “The TGA has put together a specification document which has a ‘required’ list and a ‘desired’ list for Covid-19 ventilators. Our ventilator is currently on track to satisfy both lists fully, but clearly would still need to be approved by the TGA if and when it goes into production,” said Mark Dutton, Team Manager of Triple Eight. “Today’s ICU ventilators have big graphical screens to display information, which is not in the document from the government, but when we spoke to doctors and ICU specialists, it was clear this was something we should incorporate so that we can aid medical professionals to deliver the best care for the patients. On top of that, it became apparent that it’s essential to have a machine that can automatically respond to the patient’s own breathing inputs and react to those positively. Achieving these and other goals for our machine has been a huge challenge but really satisfying.” The truly unique aspect of The Conrod Project ventilator is the telemetry system. The devices are 4G capable, so live data is transmitted from the ventilator to a central station, allowing one person to monitor multiple patients simultaneously. Triple Eight Technical Director, Jeromy Moore explained, “our ventilator incorporates a telemetry system which means that a qualified doctor or nurse can monitor a patient’s vitals, not only in real time but also analyse it later. They can download the data like one of our race cars.” “When we first looked at The Conrod Project and spoke with doctors, their initial worry in Australia was not a lack of ventilators but a lack of staff to operate the ventilators,” said Dutton. “We’ve tackled that by installing onboard telemetry, like the race cars, so that means one specialist can be monitoring as many patients as they feel comfortable, whether that’s 10, 50 or 100, and with the onboard alarms they can then direct the attention to the patient that needs it.” The documentary shines a light on the partnership between Triple Eight and PWR, an advanced cooling solutions company that supplies some of the world’s most prestigious aerospace and IT companies plus numerous automotive manufacturers and Formula 1 teams from its Gold Coast base, a factory that includes some of the most sophisticated clean-room production facilities available in the country. “Triple Eight has always been an engineering company that goes racing,” said Dutton. “We have highly specialised engineers. Our skillsets include hitting deadlines, constant improvement, and working to rule books and regulations, so that’s perfectly suited to a crisis situation where you need the product now, you need it to keep getting better and you need to not stop until it’s right, and that’s in our DNA. “If a ventilator like this is required at some point, for use in sub-optimal conditions such as a field hospital, then PWR are equipped with world-class facilities right here in South East Queensland that could be available to start mass manufacturing very quickly.” “PWR are like us at Triple Eight Race Engineering,” said Moore. “We both set ourselves extremely high standards and we both want to go above and beyond expectations and deliver a better product than anyone else. That’s why they’re the perfect team to be working with. “The goal for this project is to demonstrate that we can provide home grown solutions to substantial engineering challenges quickly and effectively and it’s about being able to assist with saving lives if needed.”
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Latest News Triple Eight Engineering

Triple Eight’s Ventilator Project

Innovation and adaptability are in our DNA. When Roland ‘RD’ Dane (Triple Eight Racing Engineering’s Managing Director) suggested we turn our racing expertise to ventilators, we jumped at the opportunity to not only learn some new tricks, but hopefully make a difference to Australia’s fight against Covid-19.

Speaking with Speedcafe, RD heaped praised on the entire Triple Eight crew who have been working tirelessly on this project since the postponement of the Supercars season was implemented.

“We’ve worked on this for the last couple of weeks to come up with a prototype of a workable concept trying to use readily available materials,” RD said.

“We did it so that we could show that if we ever had our backs up against the wall in Australia that we could hopefully help to come up with a solution for this issue.

“We’re demonstrating that we have the capability and the willingness to try and assist in the solving of a potential problem here, which we hope we never have to actually face up to on an Italian scale.”

RD said the design will be readily available to allow production of the ventilator or variations of it locally and abroad.

“This is completely designed by us and executed by us. Now whether the concept and the machine ever gets used here, or anything like it, is another matter.

“There could be other places where we will be happily providing the concept.

“The way we’ve executed on an open-source basis is so that if someone in Indonesia wanted to do it or further afield they would be able to hopefully get some pointers to a local solution.

“We’ve made a prototype to prove that it can be done. Then if anyone on a local level in Australia wants to pick it up and take it further with us then they can.”

Triple Eight Race Engineering Team Manager, Mark ‘Dutto’ Dutton, acknowledged the entire team who has been working behind the scenes to deliver a fully functioning prototype over the last 10 days.

“Roland first grabbed JJ (Jeromy Moore, Triple Eight Technical Director) and me and had a chat to see what we could do. We then called upon Peter Ringwood (Performance and Data Engineer) to manage the electrical side of the project,” Dutto said.

“We then got (David) Cauchi and Shippy (Grant McPherson, Race Engineers), then started expanding to machine shop with Craig Johnstone and Len Carlson, David Hadfield sourcing parts, James (Xiberras) helping with the engineering designs and Jess (Dane) and Roland helping with research for the project.

“I also roped my sister in who’s an anesthetist, so she helped supply the parts and provide information because this isn’t our field of expertise. Having those resources to say, ‘this is what the machine needs to do, as well as what it shouldn’t do,’ which is just as important.”

Dutto also explained the importance of getting Triple Eight’s ventilator in the hands of those who need it most.

“We do want this to be open source. At the end of the day, this is to help the world, so any information people can help us to improve the product and if we can get other people around the world further ahead with their own designs, or take ours and use it – it’s out there for everyone.”

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