Tony Woodward, WWCC Graduate 2009
Meet Tony Woodward,, WWCC graduate 2009
current occupation: race engineering
Brad Jones: Race V8 Supercar Championship Team
6 February 2021 In 2009 Tony Woodward finished Year 12 after completing his secondary schooling at the College. Tony has gone on to pursue his dreams capitalising on his strengths and passions. School Days As a College student Tony was a keen go-cart driver and Design and Technology (D&T) and Maths were his favourite subjects. Some stand out moments were: Physics lessons with Mr Lee Weissel which included go-carting on the basketball court - the perfect way to learn about motors and engines! BYO go-cart!
“I think we caused a bit of a ruckus!” The Year 9 Tassie trip: “what a great group travel experience” Maths with Ms Catherine Clarke: “She was a great teacher.” The community aspect of the College: “the year group activities allowed for the development of friendships outside of general friendship groups.”
“Learning about how to relate to others was one of the most important things
I learnt about at the College, I think it is almost more important than subjects
and in the years since leaving school I have come to appreciate just how important relational skills are. They aren’t as easy to develop
once you have left school but they are so important in life.”
The Beginning of a Dream
For almost as long as Tony can remember he has been interested in racing. In primary school days it was motorbikes and in his secondary schooling this progressed to go-carting which encouraged Tony’s interest in the technical side of racing. At school, he was enjoying D&T, seeing his visions progress to a finished product. By Year 9 or 10 Tony had set his sights on studying engineering knowing that one day he wanted to be part of the motor sport industry. Life after School Finishing school Tony was straight into Engineering at University of Wollongong, “An excellent uni to do engineering” . For Tony this was especially true as he had the opportunity to take part in ‘Formula Student’ - a university competition in which teams of students built a working race car from scratch and raced it at the final competition - a similar competition model to the 4x4 Interschool Technology Challenge that current WWCC students are part of and which Tony is now acting as a mentor to as part of their car design and development team. The hands-on experience he received through this competition was complemented with work experience at Autobahn Wagga, and volunteering on weekends with a Formula 3 race team. Tony was part of the team who won the championship securing his place as engineer to the team for the German Formula 3 Championship. 2014 was the beginning of Tony’s acceptance into the Brad Jones Race Team, starting out as a Data Engineer, the right-hand man to the Race Engineer. After a year in that position he was thrust into Race Engineering, managing pit crews and mechanics and taking charge of training drivers - he is the brains behind how the driver should approach the corner, when to brake etc, making sure drivers have optimum opportunity to do their best on the course. What’s Maths Got to Do with it? Tony ended his school life enjoying maths, but it hadn’t always been that way.
“I was one of those students who would say, ‘Miss, we’re never going to use this’ but I use maths more than anything else I do as a Race Engineer.” Maths, data crunching and simulations, are used to analyse both driver and car performance. Maths is used to identify how smooth the steering is or how aggressive the braking. Maths allow the establishment of key performance indicators which the drivers rely on to improve their performance. Tony, as Race Engineer, is in the ear of the driver throughout the race, interpreting the 500 channels of data that are being live-streamed from the car and using that to advise the driver how quickly they can go round the next corner or if they are breaking too early.