Crystal McLaren instantly engages you with her cheeky smile and enthusiasm for her trade, but behind that laid back and fun attitude to life is a talented and passionate automotive enthusiast.
Since she was eight years old Crystal wanted to be a racing car driver but knew that she needed a trade behind her, not only for job security but to get her foot in the door in the automotive industry.
Almost in her fourth year of an Automotive Apprenticeship, specialising in Paint and Panel, Crystal McLaren has just been selected to compete at the National World Skills Competition 2016 and is taking every opportunity to make her dreams a reality.
“It’s still my dream to be a racing car driver and I am working towards that but for the meantime I knew that having a trade behind me would open doors,” she said.
“I have been selected from GOTAFE to compete at the World Skills Competition to be held at the end of the year.
“We had a colour matching competition at GOTAFE, I competed against 40 other apprentices, taking out first place which qualifies me to represent GOTAFE at the national level of the World Skills Competition.
With her ambitions of becoming a racing car driver still on the cards, Crystal hopes to study Certificate III and IV in Motor Technology and Certificate IV in Performance Enhancement at GOTAFE to learn more about the inner workings of motorsport cars and the technology associated with them, especially Nazcars and V8’s. She hopes this will help further her skills and knowledge.
Crystal is currently employed by Jacobs Body and Paint Smash Repairers in Wodonga where is enjoying working on vehicles that require smash repair work.
In her spare time Crystal has ‘done up’ her parents car and is currently working on a project car, a VCSLE V8, 1980 Commodore that she intends to enter into the 2017 SummerNats Show and Shine Competition. Utilising her spray painting skills she will paint the car a candy red, requiring the her to apply a base coat, then apply the ‘candy’ colour perfectly to achieve the desired effect which alters in various lighting – black in the shade, red in the sun.