B-Quik Racing continues its long-term core commitment to training technicians from B-Quik Co. Ltd. [‘B-Quik’] to reach leading professional motorsport standards by inducting six new technicians onto its roster for the upcoming race season.
The team’s strategy of selecting B-Quik’s best and brightest technicians, ones with the most potential, that demonstrate exemplary attitudes and deep ambition, and then training them to work in the extreme conditions required to succeed in motorsport, further results in a skill sets transfer as in the future they are promoted within the Company. It’s proved to be a real win-win for everybody and joining the race team staffing roster has become a highly sought after position within B-Quik.
With B-Quik having more than 2,300 employees a rigorous vetting process was conducted to select four technicians to join the race team, which is now preparing to double up its representation in Thailand Super Series’ Super Car category this year by entering its two newly acquired Porsche 996 GT3 Cup racers in Class 3-GTC while at the same time retaining the Audi R8 LMS Cup and Porsche 997 GT3 Cup that are run in Class 2-GTM with a third car expected to be added.
The four new technicians have been supplemented by a further two that joined the team midway through last season to assist with general duties and will now be fully integrated into the race team’s core technical programme.
With three Porsches to run this season across Class 2-GTM and Class 3-GTC the six technicians will be allocated two per car to undertake service and preparation duties through the race weekends as well as similar tasks at the raceshop.
The training period kicked off this month with an intensive eight day introductory programme that saw the new technicians getting to know the Porsches inside out – literally – as they disassembled the two new 996s before rebuilding them over several days under the guidance of Crew Chief Idriss Bin Ibrahim.
The course also included studying service and maintenance procedures, parts ordering and inventory, troubleshooting, utilising Porsche’s official parts and maintenance manuals, optimising the speed of work carried out as well as including additional racing metrics such as car setup and a full understanding of suspension geometry.
Idriss explains that the intensive eight day training programme was made up of a schedule that, just like they can expect to find in motorsport, offered them no comfort zones and challenged them to think for themselves right from the start. “First I just asked them to strip the car, engine out, gearbox out, suspension out, everything out,” he says. “I just wanted to see how they work without me interrupting. The Porsche is a new car for them, a racecar is also a new experience and so I wanted to see how they tackle it.
“They did all that,” Idriss continues. “Then for the second day we did only parts cleaning, and I let them do it all by themselves. Then on the third day we put the engine, gearbox, suspension, everything back in the car, again without me interrupting, everything goes back in the car.”
The Crew Chief says that after the process of disassembly and reassembly that they started to approach the specific details of the Porsche. “On the fourth day I handed everyone their own service manuals, to learn torque settings and such; I talked to them about recognising the parts on the car, we’ve been through the lists step by step and I’m happy with them,” he said. “Then I made final checks on the car with them to understand if there had been any mistakes they made in the last three days, everything had been done well.”
Evolving best practices from a road car to racecar, which a distinct step forward, is however a logical progression Idriss reckons and with the rigorous training programme already applied from the B-Quik retail store training programme, the foundations are in place to develop an understanding of the extreme metrics that are needed in the pit garage.
“Obviously the working methods are a bit different for a racecar, but their training is excellent so that means I have a great base to take them from what they have learnt with road cars up to the standard operating procedure for the racecar,” he says. “So I explained to them that when the 996 was an empty shell they needed to methodically check through anything they wouldn’t be able to easily access when the engine was back in the car so they have to learn to do that as it’s different to their road car training.
“It’s been very productive, if we came across a problem, they saw it, they could analyse it quickly, respond and they learnt very fast and we could move on,” he adds.
That brought the training programme to the end of the third day. “Finally we started the car, it was good, all clean, I was happy with everything they did,” Idriss says. “The next task was striping one more 996, so everything they learnt on the first car they had to do again on the second one while putting into practice what they had absorbed, that was over the next two days.
“Then for the last three days I concentrated on suspension and setup,” he continues. “I wanted them to understand how they setup a car, the geometry and so on, and why they have to do it.”
Idriss was impressed by the skills, understanding and potential on display over the eight days from the new technicians who clearly demonstrated that their B-Quik store training had given them a robust platform to work from. “I was a bit surprised,” he says. “Overall, they knew exactly what they’re doing, they’ve been servicing road cars and they were able to step across to the team very smoothly.
“I let them work on the car themselves without interrupting, they were very careful, they had respect for the car, no damage occurred,” Idriss adds. “It’s about understanding the procedures and learning about the car inside out. On a racecar you don’t have any time to spare at all, you have to work at speed and cannot afford to make a mistake and you really have to optimise the teamwork. The same goes for a road car but on a road car there is a little bit more flexibility with the time, the luxury to ensure mistakes aren’t made due to the more generous timeframe and in getting the job completed which we just don’t have available to us.”
B-Quik CEO Henk Kiks, who also drives the team’s #26 Audi R8 LMS Cup, is delighted with the smooth transition that store technicians have made when they have been thrust into the team. “The team operates to a very demanding professional level, we have to be at that level when running sophisticated racecars such as the Audi and Porsche and I think one of the most pleasing results of bringing in our Company technicians is just how effective and robust the B-Quik store technical training programme is. Technicians that join the team have to learn the specific metrics of racing operations and understand the car inside out, but they have in place a platform to build on,” says the Dutchman.
Henk reckons that the core values of the company have helped the team to quickly grow to a professional level. “The team is a reflection of B-Quik, for us it’s an extension of our business and in all honesty if we hadn’t been able to make that huge step up together to a professional level ourselves then the team would probably have remained a small pastime,” he says.
Most pleasingly, this tight knit and highly ambitious team provides two way street in terms of training. “For example a race team really has to do its best to problem solve before a problem occur, it has to be thinking hard, innovate all the time and always be two steps ahead of the game, that’s something which is also a Company wide philosophy,” Henk continues. “These guys go onto higher positions in the company so the skills they learn at the racetrack transfer back into the store workplace and everyone benefits.”