TAFE Alumni our new Motorsports Educator
Thursday, 21 February 2019
Chris Rissmann is the latest to join the staff at Wodonga TAFE’s Motorsports Training Australia (MTA) department.
Chris joins a faculty of experienced MTA educators with his own diverse and high level industry skills and experience. But it is his very beginning in this industry that makes his journey so unique with him starting out as a student of MTA back in 2005.
Upon graduating year 12, Chris studied the Certificate III in Motor Sport Technology after attending an Open Day held at Wodonga TAFE’s MTA campus. He was so inspired by what he saw; he immediately knew this was what he wanted to do for a career.
During the course, Chris was lucky enough to win placement with McAlister Ford, who invited him to attend each race weekend with them. This catapulted his experience and interest in the racing industry and he spent every weekend in the “Brute Ute” (a V8 Ute Racing Series) racing division.
Upon conclusion of his studies, Chris was working in a garage to keep within the motor vehicle industry, while still holding onto his hopes of working in motorsports. It wasn’t long before he was invited to ‘run’ (a term used in the industry meaning general maintenance) at the Brute Ute series and he divided his time working during the week in the garage and spending the weekends working the race.
“The best part of studying Motor Sports at Wodonga TAFE was the opportunity to important networks and learn the intricacies of the industry,” Chris says of his time studying.
One of his important networks was his TAFE teacher, Chris Clarke, who became manager of Brad Jones Racing (BJR) in 2008. Mr Clarke recalled Chris’s enthusiasm for the sport and his high level of work ethic and offered him a job to become No.2 Mechanic for Australian champion racing driver and now motorsport media personality, Cameron McConville.
This amazing career opportunity was pivotal to his success in then becoming No.1 Mechanic for another champion Australian racing driver, Jason Bright in 2010. Within this role Chris celebrated Jason winning BJR’s first ever V8 Supercar race in Perth, then taking home first place in Winton. In 2013, Chris was part of the success team for Jason Bright winning the first Jason Richards Memorial trophy.
Chris’s decision to leave the championship racing work was not one he took lightly, but knew it was definitely time for him to take a step back after the impact of travelling was taking its toll on important time with his family. He knew he wanted to stay in the industry, so when the opportunity arose for a teaching role at MTA he jumped on it.
“My career has been an amazing journey so far,” says Chris, “I love this industry and I am so happy to have the opportunity to inspire and lead the next generation of motor sport team members. It’s an honour to work for Wodonga TAFE, it is because of their high level training that I managed to have the career I always dreamt of.”
At the moment, Wodonga TAFE are accepting enrolments for the Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation (AUR20716) which is a fantastic insight into the motor sport industry giving you general knowledge and practical workshop skills. This is currently offered under the Victorian Governments FREE TAFE initiative with course fees completely waived. Contact our friendly customer service team on 1300 698 233 if you would like to know more, or visit our website www.wodongatafe.edu.au and see our range of Motor Sport courses.