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Komatsu apprentices take on billy kart challenge

Apprentices from Komatsu Australia faced off against some tough competition in a unique and fast-paced teambuilding exercise - the first every Komatsu Apprentice Kart Race.

Apprentices from Komatsu Australia faced off against some tough competition in a unique and fast-paced teambuilding exercise - the first every Komatsu Apprentice Kart Race.Apprentices from Komatsu Australia faced off against some tough competition in a unique and fast-paced teambuilding exercise – the first every Komatsu Apprentice Kart Race.

The billy kart challenge pitted Komatsu apprentices in Western Australia against Supercar Team Championship leaders Triple Eight Race Engineering at Barbagallo Raceway.

The Komatsu Apprentice Kart Race has a simple set of rules. Two karts and two drivers sit on the grid. Four ‘pushers’ build each kart’s momentum to a cut-off line, where they must release. The karts then race 400 metres downhill to the finish. Karts are tuned, and then sent out again to improve on their last run.

Six-time V8 Supercar Champion and apprentice mentor Jamie Whincup and some of Komatsu’s top Western Australian apprentices made up the apprentice team, which ultimately clinched the win with a lead of just 15 centimetres in the final round.

“The Kart Race requires teamwork, analysis and a focus on constant improvement. It’s a great place to get hands-on, work under a bit of pressure and bond with a close-knit team,” said Mr. Whincup in a statement.

“Billy-cart racing looks simple. When you get into it, winning is harder than you think.”

For the third consecutive year Mr. Whincup is Komatsu’s official apprentice mentor, helping Komatsu apprentices nationwide develop valuable life and work skills.

Komatsu national apprentice development manager Gavin Manning also said in a statement the kart race and the apprentice development system (ADS) produces better tradespeople on and off the job.

“The Apprentice Kart Race is great fun but it is also connected to valuable learning outcomes,” he said. “The ADS produces engaged, confident and motivated people who want to achieve.

The Komatsu Apprentice Kart Race series will follow the Supercars Championship Series to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and involve Komatsu apprentices in each state.

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