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Tickford marks 10-year partnership with Navy

28 January, 2021

Reaching its 10th year in partnership with the Royal Australian Navy, Tickford Racing has welcomed its 2021 roster of sailors as part of the Team Navy Outplacement Program ahead of the looming Supercars season. As part of the program, Able Seaman Electronics Technician Nathan Steynberg, Leading Seaman Marine Technician – Electrical Damien Smith, and Leading Seaman Aviation Technician Aircraft Phillip Cowan will work for Tickford Racing full-time in 2021 in roles relevant to their profession within the Navy.

Tickford Racing Team Manager Matthew Roberts works closely with each year’s sailors, aligning them in positions where they can succeed and learn throughout the 12-month program, and is looking forward to immersing this year’s roster within the team.

“Our partnership with the Navy has gone from strength to strength over the years,” Roberts said. “The sailors bring applicable skills, discipline, and a great work ethic to the team, and genuinely contribute to our success on the track. We learn a lot from them and do our best to ensure they learn a lot from us, which makes for a very enjoyable partnership. A decade long partnership is significant in any sport, we are extremely grateful to have worked together successfully for so long, and we look forward to achieving more success together in 2021.”

Able Seaman Steynberg, who will work in the team’s electrical department to complement his naval role as an Electronics Technician, is looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to the team’s effort at and away from track.

“I’m looking to gain experience in how a professional team works, and also to learn more hands on skills that I can take with me back to the Navy,” AB Steynberg said. “Working in the electrical department, the wiring specifications of a Supercar are pretty similar to Navy specifications, so building on those skills throughout the year will be something I can apply to my work in the Navy in the future.”

After challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic prohibited 2020’s Navy class from attending most races, Leading Seaman Cowan took up the opportunity to complete a second year with the team, and will build on the skills he learned during his disrupted ‘rookie’ season.

“I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to take part in the Outplacement Program with Tickford Racing for a second year,” LS Cowan commented. “I really enjoyed my first year, even with the challenges we faced due to COVID I learned heaps of technical skills and how a Supercar works. A Mustang is much different to the Navy helicopters I usually work on, but there are a lot of similarities in the equipment and the team, and I’ll definitely look to continue to improve those skills during this season.”

The three sailors have started their work with Tickford Racing at the team’s headquarters in Melbourne, and will get their first taste of on-track action at the team’s pre-season test day on Tuesday, February 16 at Winton Motor Raceway. The 2021 Supercars Championship begins two weeks later with the Mount Panorama 500, February 26-28.