Pit Crew Profile: RBRA 888

  • 30/08/2013
  • By V8 Supercars
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

The crew emphatically took the first win of the season, saw Craig Lowndes take a record-breaking 91st career victory and there’s no doubt #888 will be a key contender at the up-coming PIRTEK Enduro Cup. Get to know the guys that work behind the scenes on Craig Lowndes’ Red Bull Racing Australia car, currently running fourth in the Championship.

Lowndes' Commodore at Winton

Jeromy Moore, race engineer

“He’s probably too relaxed,” Moore said of Lowndes. “If there are any issues with the car, he’ll just drive around it, so you really have to prod and poke him to find out what needs to be improved.”

The 34-year old has been engineer for Lowndes since 2008, previously having been a data engineer.

Moore grew up on the Sunshine Coast and has always been involved with cars. It was a natural progression to move into motorsport after studying at the University of Queensland, so he headed straight to a race team.

“I haven’t had a proper job and I wouldn’t know the difference!”

He was first at Mark Larkham Motorsport for six months and then RBRA’s former guise Briggs Motorsport, before Triple Eight came on board in 2004. So, essentially, Moore has been with the team in its various forms for 13 years.

“My role specifically at the race meeting is to do the set-up, strategy, anything involved with when we pit the car, what springs to put in, roll bar, ride heights – anything you change on the car. So when it’s slow, it’s my fault!”

Moore’s enjoyed the challenge working on the Car of the Future has brought, and places the first CotF win at the year’s first race as one of his highlights, obviously behind the 2010 win with Lowndes and Mark Skaife in the car.

Nickname: “JJ. It’s originally from one of the previous team owner, former F1 driver Derek Warwick’s, daughter. I don’t know how she originated it or where it came from – maybe two syllables are easier than three? It’s just stuck.”

John McGregor, data engineer

It’s no surprise he has the nickname ‘Irish’, having grown up in Northern Island. After studying in automotive engineering at university in England and going back home to Ireland briefly, McGregor came to Australia for what he’d intended to be six months – and ended staying a year and a half. While he enjoyed living in Sydney, his work was preparing cars for racing – but didn’t mean getting to actually race.

His goal was to be part of a real race team. “I wanted to stay in Australia and do motorsport, so V8 Supercars seemed to be the proper option.”

Triple Eight is the 26-year old’s first V8 Supercar team, though he was contracted to Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport last year as part of the customer agreement. This year though, McGregor has swapped with David Cauchi (who we met recently) as data engineer on #888.

“I’ve been to all the tracks once before now, and all the tracks in Australia are quite nice. Travelling around is good, especially when you’re in a group as good as these lads.” 

Andrew “Nackers” Atkins, number one mechanic

“Brisbane boy” Atkins worked in a local tyre shop on the weekends while he was in high school, which eventually led to his working in motorsport.

“Back then, John Briggs used to own tyres and brought tyres in,” the 33-year old explained. “So I hassled them to get into the sport and the first one I went to, I left midnight, a week before Bathurst.

“I thought it was a joke, thought it was crazy, but that week I was working for them and I enjoyed it.”

That was 1998. Since then, Atkins has worked for a handful of other teams, but came to RBRA in 2009, initially on Whincup’s car and this year crossing to #888 as number one mechanic.

“The biggest thing in my role is being the car controller in pit stops – having to stand in front of the car and talk to the drivers and then to the boys. When the shit hits the fan, I suppose, you have to keep everyone calm. I get a massive rush out of that.”

Nickname: “I’ve got a couple, but more often than not it’s Nackers – that’s what is on my shirt. For having a big set of balls, which I don’t.” More genital references continued, with many team members chiming in.

Scott Wilkinson, number two mechanic

“I like winning, I like going away – it’s quite fun and breaks it up a little bit,” 24-year old Wilkinson said.

A lifetime Gold Coaster, he has always been interested in anything with a motor and began at Paul Morris Motorsport as an apprentice machinist. He’s now been at RBRA close to a year and a half.

The number two mechanic on #888 named the last year’s Sandown 500 win as one of his highlights, along with third at Bathurst and the Championship win, from a team perspective.

Nickname: “Shady – apparently I’m a bit of a shady character!”

Tony Price, sub-assembly manager/number three mechanic

On race weekends Price assists as number three mechanic on #888, though his role back at the workshop is sub-assembly manager.

“I look after the components of the car – including gearbox, transaxels, front uprights, tailshafts – and assemble them and get the guys to put them on the car,” the 25-year old explained.

Having grown up in Brisbane, Price became involved in motorsport because of his father and started out at Tafe and taking on various volunteer roles, which led to a job with Triple Eight.

“I’ve been here for four Bathursts, Championships as well – lots of winning … and there are good Christmas parties!” 

Nickname: “Red. There were three Tonys when I first started and I have red hair, so it’s Red. It’s pretty much my name now.”

Warwick Beames, tyre technician and truck driver

After completing an apprenticeship as a mechanic, Beames – who grew up in the Blue Mountains – completed his truck licence and funnily enough was with Triple Eight merchandise for a couple of months in 2005. He quickly moved on to spend six months with WPS, but after the doors were closed, Beames later applied for another role with Triple Eight and was successful. He’s now been with the team since 2009 and drives the transporter to and from each circuit, and for test days, as well as looking after Lowndes’ tyres on a race weekend.

At the workshop he looks after tyres for both cars, stripping, mounting and measuring them.

“I just love coming down,” the 37-year old said. “Traveling overseas to America, getting a win at Bathurst with the boys and a Championship with the boys was good. And being the #1 truck driver!” 

Nickname: “Wazza, it’s just short for Warrick. That’s what everyone calls me, I think – I haven’t heard anything else at this stage.”

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