“What do you do for the rally?” Part 2: Technical support team
Cast of characters:
Aivis Egle – engineering director of “Prospeed” technical support team
Martins Druvaskalns – manager of technical support team
Ineta Egle – administrator of technical support team, logistics expert
…. and many mechanics
Aivis Egle, the “Prospeed” team engineering director, plans the rally preparation for the team of technicians that service the racing car. The technical support team manager and the team administrator make another part of the work together. Ineta Egle – the person who makes everything planned possible – she books hotels where they are needed; buys the airplane tickets that are required for the team; makes sure there is always a stock of clothes with team livery for the crew and the team in the truck. Most of Ineta’s work on preparing any rally goes “behind the scenes”.
Aivis Egle, engineering director of “Prospeed” technical support team, “My task is to make everything excellent at the rally. Starting from the car construction from scratch, ending with the driver’s comfort during the race. It is important for them and the mechanics that the team has a convenient, practical and nice service vehicle – a truck from which the service tent is pitched; all the spare parts are stored there and a sports car is also transported in it. It is necessary to make the racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X quick and crash-proof, and also to ensure that it meets the technical requirements of the series, where the racers take part. My ideas and directions are realized by mechanics. The car is prepared separately to each rally – for example, for the Canaries the specification of shock absorbers and suspension will be changed, because the tracks and the terrain where the races take place are very different from round to round. Moreover, this year everything is much easier for our team because we gained a lot of experience last season. We begin to prepare such distant trips as the Canaries for two or three months before the rally start. Martins and Ineta are engaged in it. I check my own team and get feedback from the racers about how it went”.
The technical support team manager is responsible for many small issues, of which a single entity is formed. The job is basically to keep track of all the information about the rally, and the changes that take place. He is responsible for all papers relating to the technical support truck movement and allowing it to arrive at the venue of the rally on time. If the team needs sports tyres in the country of the rally, this question is addressed to Martins. He also needs to find a car repair shop or car service in the city of the rally in case the team will have to do special work with the car for which it needs stationary equipment and premises. It is also important not to forget to order spare parts in the right “point on the map”, because repairs are made not only at the team base in Latvia.
Martins Druvaskalns, “Prospeed” technical support team manager, “Our work in the new season began at the end of 2017, when the calendar was announced. Ineta immediately booked several hotels in the cities where the rallies will take place, to be sure that we will live in the closest hotels to the service park of each race. It is important that the mechanics and crew don’t spend extra time getting to the accommodation. If to speak about the next rally in the Canary Islands – the work began on Azores, as I needed to find the contacts of the tyre supplier for the Rally Islas Canarias. And right after returning from the Azores we took a white board and started planning our logistics for the next Rally Islas Canarias: flights, check the reservation and specify the dates for the hotel, make up our schedule and route of travel (someone should drive the truck to the ferry, and someone can fly right to Las Palmas) – all these issues that are not visible to the fans and sometimes are not even obvious to the crew. This is a large amount of work and efforts that must be done to ensure the rally is held”.
Here is a short list of works that should have been done right after returning from Azores Airlines Rallye:
- Planning and understanding of team flights, who and when flies to the next rally.
- Organization of all paperwork for truck delivery to the Canary Islands – this is the booking of ferry services.
- Ordering and replenishment of spare parts for Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X that the team used on the Azores during repairs in the rally service park.
- It was necessary to prepare the car for the next rally – it included the major repair of damaged parts and the rebuilding of car parts with a change of specification from gravel to asphalt (suspension, shock absorbers, brakes and other components).
- Car rental for the team of technician’s movement, and for the crew recce.
… Replenish the stock of co-driver’s pacenotebooks; buy refill leads for an automatic pencil; remember that Mark took a set of team clothes with him again…
A week ago, the schedule of cargo and passenger ships changed: arrival to the Canaries will take place a day later than planned, so it was necessary to change the dates of accommodation in hotels and shift the departure date of the service vehicle from Latvia.
Some of the communications are on the phone, since the team is in Latvia, and Oleg, Sergey and Mark are in Russia. These negotiations are necessary for the organization of all needs. There are many small details that need to be met in order for the rally to take place, but they cannot be separated in any one category. This is a bunch of minor related issues, but if something goes wrong, it will affect the future of Rally Islas Canarias.
Previous part of the trilogy you can read here