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Meet the Team

National College for Motorsport Video Photo

Be part of  The National College for Motorsport

Not only will you be based in the heart of UK Motorsport at the Silverstone Circuit, but you will also have the opportunity to join an intensely practical course delivered by former professional race mechanics learning about current race vehicle preparation techniques.

Michael Herbert National College for Motorsport
Motorsport Workshop Facilitator

Michael Herbert

Job Role: Teaching level 2 & 3 students every aspect of the practical side of the Motorsport industry.

History: I started in the industry at the age of 18 as a mechanic for a motorcycle race team which competed in  endurance racing. My engineering background then allowed me to move into building sprint cars and ‘one-offs’. After this I started and co-owned my own race team. In my time I have worked on, or in; Formula Ford (Kent & Slicks and Wings ), Formula 4, British F3, TVR Tuscan, TVR Car Club, World Endurance, British GT, Ferrari Challenge Cup, F1 Williams Show Cars, Formula Renault ( British and European ), Radical ( SR3 & SR8 ), Porsche Carrera Cup and World Touring Car.

Interests and Hobbies: I still have a keen interest in motorcycles and also like to keep fit.

The best thing about working at NC4M: Having the chance to pass on the skills I have acquired over the years to a younger generation of race mechanics. Seeing them in the pit lane, or on TV, makes me very proud of being a part of their first steps in the industry.

NC4M Tutor Image & Text
Motorsport Tutor

Mark Woolford

Job Role: Tutoring students in all aspects of the motorsport industry, providing them with knowledge to progress into apprenticeships within the sport.

History: I have been involved in motorsport in one way or another from the age of 13. I started my apprenticeship with March Engineering in the early 80s as a Fabricator building F3, F2, F3000, GTP and Indy Race Cars. Other companies that I have worked for include Nissan Motorsport Europe, McLaren and Williams working on vehicles such as FF1600, f3, World Rally, Touring Cars, Historic F1, Group C and Hybrid f1Race Cars. My roles have included Fabrication and Machine Shop Manager, Traveling Fabricator, Support Team Logistics and Bodywork, QA & Special Projects Manager.

Interests and Hobbies: Other than motorsport, I also enjoy rugby, music, food and keeping fit, but not necessarily in that order!

The best thing about working at NC4M: Being able to tutor students, giving them the knowledge and enthusiasm for a sport that I love, and hopefully helping them to progress into an apprenticeship.

Justin Downard National College for Motorsport
Motorsport Lecturer

Justin Downard

Job Role: I teach units within the technical certificates and assessing work based learners.  I also support the progression of students into apprenticeships with race teams.

History: I started as rally mechanic with Nissan Motorsport Europe before progressing to Formula One with Team Lotus as a travelling sub- assembly mechanic. I also spent several years as a Number 1 Mechanic in the British Touring Car Championship with Vauxhall, Nissan and Williams Renault before joining Reynard’s on the 2KQ Sports Car project and Indy Car build.

Interests and Hobbies: Football, Golf and Cricket.

The best thing about working at NC4M: My reason for working in education was to try to give young people the start they need to work in the Motorsport industry.

Jim Harrod National College for Motorsport
Motorsport Manager

Jim Harrod

Job Role: I manage the staff and the facilities at the National College for Motorsport. I ensure that the curriculum delivery supports the requirements of the motorsport industry and our students. I also manage and support the progression of students into apprenticeships with race teams.

History: I started as race mechanic with Damon Hill in Formula Ford before progressing to Formula One with Brabham, Arrows and Williams as Mechanic/Chief Mechanic. I also spent several years in the British Touring Car Championship with Vauxhall, Nissan and Williams Renault. In 2000 I was training manager with Jim Russell Racing Drivers School on the UK’s first Race Mechanics training programme before moving to Tresham College. In 2003 the National College for Motorsport through Tresham became the first College in the UK to achieve “Centre of Vocational Excellence” for motorsport status.

Interests and Hobbies: Shooting, Sailing and Game keeping (although Game Keeping seems to be more than just a hobby.)

The best thing about working at NC4M: My reason for working in education was to try to give young people the chance to follow a career that provided me with such fantastic experiences over the years. I find it immensely satisfying to see our students progressing from our full time courses in apprenticeships with race teams, and on to great things.

Richard Webb National College for Motorsport
Motorsport Workshop Facilitator

Richard Webb

Job Role: I teach the practical skills required for the Motorsport industry.

History:  I completed an engineering apprenticeship straight from school, then went on to complete an apprenticeship with a Ford dealer, but wanted to progress into Motorsport. I went on to work for the Silverstone Circuit within the driving school for eighteen years; during this time I progressed to the level of master technician and lead technician. While working at Silverstone, I gained a variety of experience by working on many different types of vehicles: Formula Fords for the Silverstone Race School & BRDC Formula Ford Championship, Lead technician for Nissan PlayStation GT Academy and Nissan FreeRace. I also worked on car build and maintenance of various types of rally cars and Caterham 7s, and maintenance of various GT cars including Ferraris, Aston Martins and Lotus.

The best thing about working at NC4M: Being able to pass on the practical skills I have learned over the years in motorsport and watch the students’ ability grow over the duration of the course. The satisfaction I get from seeing the students turning their dream job into a reality.

Owen Cule National College for Motorsport
Motorsport Lecturer

Owen Cule

Job Role: I teach both the practical knowledge in the workshop and the technical theory in the classroom needed for the students to gain either apprenticeships or to find work within the Motorsport Industry.

History: My interest in Motorsport started at a young age, and I commenced my professional career in Canada, where I worked as a mechanic in a national road racing team working on Honda Civics. Working for the Acklands Industrial racing team led me to work on a wide range of race cars including Nissan Pulsar, Datsuns, as well as many different Honda vehicles. I have built, worked on and supported circuit and rally vehicles for many years as well as building and preparing cars for hill climb and sprints in the UK.

Due to the experience that I gained working on these vehicles, I was approached by a college to work as a part-time lecturer. This led to full-time opportunities at several colleges over the last 18 years which allowed me to extend my teaching experience, becoming course co-ordinator and Lead IQA for the Motor Vehicle departments.

The best thing about working for NC4M: Being able to give the students the benefit of my experience in grass roots motorsport and teaching them all the knowledge that they need to be able to follow their dreams and aspirations into the best industry in the world!

NC4M Centre Administrator

Jill Sedgwick

Job Role: NC4M Centre Administrator, providing administrative and support services for all the staff and students (and anything else that may come up!). I also assist the Course Managers with the Admissions process.

History:  After University, I worked in the Travel Industry for fifteen years, first overseas and then back in the UK.  I worked in Overseas Quality Control and as an Overseas Trainer for a major long haul Tour Operator. After having children, we located to the Midlands and I returned to work part-time in various educational settings. Before joining NC4M, I worked for several years as an Exams Officer in a very busy Comprehensive school.

The best thing about working at NC4M: As a small team, we work closely together and support each other. It is a pleasure to work with the team here who are passionate about motorsport and who want to pass on their knowledge to the Race Technicians of the future.