Kincrome Mechanic Series: Kristy McAndrew
Monday 24th April, 2023 - 4:00pm
In the latest instalment of the Kincrome Mechanic Series, we cover the journey of highly-respected trailblazer Kristy McAndrew.
Kristy McAndrew has garnered a reputation as being a highly sought and experienced race team mechanic for national-level teams in Australian motorsport.
McAndrew has been around motorsport since her youth, setting her on the path to becoming a mechanic.
“I’ve always been around motorsport, my dad is a mechanic, we’ve got our own race cars and I grew up around it,” McAndrew said.
“I then started as an apprentice automotive mechanic at the Victory Ford dealership in Tweed Heads in 2010.
“I went all the way through my apprenticeship to Master Technician level and became the first female Master Technician for Ford Australia and New Zealand.”
It was around this time that she began her mechanical career in motorsport, helping Brad Stratton build a Ford Focus RS for the Improved Production category.
“I was cruising with him and just got noticed at the circuits we were going to and was later picked up by the Toyota 86 Racing Series team owned by Richard Peasey.”
McAndrew crewed for Peasey for just over a year before a fateful moment in time led her to her current role.
“I was crewing on the Focus at Warwick [Morgan Park Raceway] one weekend and the team I’m with now 11 Racing with Murray Dowsett and he was involved in an on-track incident, and one of the other production car teams grabbed me and said, ‘Hey, you know 86s, can you come and give us a hand and I jumped on with Murray and have been working with him ever since.”
Her role as a Ford-trained automotive mechanic also led to an opportunity with Australian Production Car Series team CK Motorsport, crewing on the Ford Mustang for Coleby Cowham and Lindsay Kearns in 2019.
While she has transitioned to a sales executive role with Victory Ford, she still gets her mechanical fix through motorsport endeavours.
“I actually enjoy working at motorsport events a lot more because I’m not in a workshop every day, I’m doing the mechanics that I really enjoy and want to do, which is the engineering side of it all.
“I’m extremely competitive and I love being able to have parts that are all pulled apart like in a whole bunch of pieces, being able to put everything all back together and put it in a car and have it all work and be fast on track – that’s the part that I love.”
As for aspiring mechanics, McAndrew encouraged prospects to speak with people in the industry.
“If you’re ever at events at the track, don’t hesitate to go up and have a chat with the team, as well as the guys and girls working on the cars, they love to chat to people, explain what it is that they’re doing and how different things work.
“It’s a great way to encourage people to get involved in the industry.
“As for the work itself, it’s hard, it’s dirty, it’s a lot of long hours, but at the end of the day, the sense of accomplishment you get makes it all worthwhile.”
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