An email on a whim sparks Supercars dream for Palmerston North teenage mechanic
Palmerston North teenager Mitchell Roydhouse is living his motorsport dream.
The 19-year-old is working for Garry Rogers Motorsport in the Volvo team in the Australian Supercars Championship with compatriot driver Scott McLaughlin.
He is one of an estimated 120 New Zealanders who work in the championship – ranging from drivers, to owners, to mechanics, truck drivers and managers.
Now Roydhouse gets to come home for the first time as part of the organisation for the Auckland SuperSprint Supercars at Pukekohe on November 4-6.
Roydhouse had always wanted to work in a Supercars team, so one day he went out on a whim.
He decided to email around a few of the teams and see what he could find.
He got a response from Garry Rogers Motorsport.
"They got back to me saying that unfortunately they didn't have a position available, but they would hold onto my resume and CV and keep in contact should they have something else. Six months later I was working away and had a call from Garry himself, saying he had a job and would I still be interested."
Roydhouse was surprised to get the call.
"He asked me if I was able to talk when he called and I had to apologise and say I was working at the moment and can you call back. I was worried for the rest of the afternoon that I may have ruined my chances. When I spoke to him again he said that was the best thing I could have done and he appreciated my manners and work ethics."
Within two weeks, Roydhouse was in Australia for a week making sure everything was in order for him to move across the ditch.
Both Roydhouse and Garry Rogers Motorsport were happy and a month later he was working for them.
He attended Palmerston North High School and left at the end of year 12 to start an apprenticeship as an automotive mechanist.
Roydhouse has always followed motorsport and he loves speedway.
He worked for Speedway NZ as a technical steward.
"Motorsport is a big part of my life and especially on my father's side. We have always gone to speedway and motorsport. I had a go at driving a speedway car, but I really enjoy the technical side of motorsport. This new job is very next level. I have never experienced something quite like it."
Roydhouse said Supercars is very data driven now and everything is computerised.
They use laptops that can tell them what is going on with the cars rather than trying to hear it or find it.
He has been working at Garry Rogers Motorsport for six months now and the job has exceeded all his expectations.
"I thoroughly enjoy the company and the guys. On race day, my role, along with the other engine guy, is to run up on cars and check all engine stuff. I watch all the data during the race and make sure engines are still running properly and within the parameters. I go through the data at the end of each session and make sure nothing is going wrong and I also check to see if we can improve mapping and tuning."
His dream is to one day go further overseas, even to Formula One, but for now he wants to soak up as much as he can in Supercars.