The tireless work of our car mechanics makes a critical difference in our results on the world rally stages. They are a special breed of individuals, and form the backbone of our rally operations.
Five to six mechanics work on each car, as specified by FIA regulations, at each event and form a close working bond with each other. They are multi-skilled and familiar with the smallest of details on our i20 Coupe WRC. Yet they are often required to work under intense time pressure with precision and commitment.
Depending on their experience, new people joining the team may undergo training on our stringent Test Team programmes. Because the car is back every 15 minutes, the practice teaches the urgency and time management needed for WRC rallies. Responsibilities can be flexible and it provides the opportunity to learn all corners of the car, change gearboxes, differentials and even full engines.
Altogether, we have more than 28 nationalities and many different personalities. Even when the job is tough, everyone is united and pulling in the same direction.
Away from the rallies, there is very little downtime with every car undergoing a full rebuild, which takes around five days. When vehicles arrive, everything is cleaned in the wash bay and fully disassembled.
Parts of the car will visit the Body Shop for repairs if required, while the gearbox, drivetrain and steering each go to their respective departments. Our mechanics carry out smaller repairs, and are then responsible for preparing the cars for the next event.
In the workshop, the workflow needs to be kept smoothly moving forward. For everyone, it is an opportunity to swap jobs and work on different areas of the car to keep their skills fresh. Our car mechanics are good all-rounders and able to think on their feet.
The ability to make quick calls within restrictive timeframes comes from experience in a capable team. By spending time around every aspect of the cars, our mechanics can identify small problems before they can potentially end a rally and inform their number one mechanic to decide how it will be addressed. Working alongside the Design Office, it is also possible to anticipate issues prior to production.
A mix of youth and experience enables the mechanics to bounce ideas off one another and continue learning. If you think you know everything in this industry, you have already lost the game. Thankfully, we can rely on a passionate group of mechanics, who are always aiming to make their best even better.