Hot lap a career highlight

Squeezing into the roll cage of a Monster Energy Gen3 Mustang and hitting speeds of up to 242km/h is not an average day at the office for Petty Officer Jenna Shiel and Leading Seaman Amanda Bourke.

CAPTIONPetty Officer Jenna Shiel and Leading Seaman Amanda Bourke receive a V8 Super Car hot lap in recognition of their service for their voluntary support of the veteran community. Story by Lieutenant Rebeca Williamson.

Looking back more than a decade ago when both women were seeking rewarding careers that provided opportunities for travel and to serve a higher purpose, neither had imagined that joining the ADF would have them riding in a V8 Super Car.

It was a bucket list experience and a reward of well-earned recognition for both women who are posted to the ADF Careers Centre Brisbane as military recruiters.

Recognised for their voluntary support of the veteran community, the Queensland Women’s Royal Australian Navy Association, and for their important work and efforts as military recruiters, mentoring potential future ADF candidates at schools, expos and community events, they were initially shocked but full of excitement when Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton Commander Fiona Southwood told them the news.

The hot lap was conducted by Tickford Racing Team (Ford) – who are sponsored by Navy – at Queensland Raceway, Willowbank, with driver Cam Waters taking to the wheel.

Petty Officer Shiel said the day commenced with an assembly at pit lane and a safety brief before the supercars started and warm-through commenced.

“We were fitted with Navy-branded jumpsuits then climbed into the car, which is a very tight squeeze because of the roll cage, and we were strapped in so tight that you couldn’t move,” she said.

“Departing the pit lane was limited to 40km/h but the sound of the supercar is outstanding, and once outside pit lane we floored it.

“During the two laps of the circuit we reached speeds of up to 242km/h, and ranging one-two G-forces.”

Leading Seaman Bourke, who is originally from the motor-enthusiast town of Bathurst, said she was thrilled to take part.

“The adrenaline was high and we may have been screaming,” she said.

“But the Tickford Racing Team were really amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed chatting with them about their lifestyle, the vehicle and how they got involved in the industry.”

Both women agreed it was ultimately one of the highlights of their career.

Petty Officer Shiel and Leading Seaman Bourke are aiming to encourage interest and raise awareness for candidates applying as marine technicians and the unique opportunities available (if selected) for a 12-month posting working with V8 Super Cars.


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