Supercars are usually seen zipping around race tracks across the globe at speeds of up to 300 kilometres an hour, a sight that provides spectators and drivers alike with an incomparable adrenaline rush.
It is very rare, however, to see these vehicles at a mine site.
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Recently, National Group and its partner, Mobil 1 Mega Race team, brought these pulsating race cars to the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Peak Downs coal operation in Queensland.
It was an opportunity for National Group to highlight a longstanding relationship with BMA that has moved from strength to strength, at the mining giant’s Bowen Basin operations.
Holding the site visit at Peak Downs was particularly fitting given the growing presence National Group has at the mine, delivering the first of a series of excavators to the site earlier this year.
It follows the delivery of five Liebherr ultra-class T 282C trucks in September last year, building on what is becoming a powerful relationship between the two, now reinforced by the race car showcase.
National Group’s founder and managing director Mark Ackroyd was onsite for the showcase. He told Australian Mining that it provided a thrilling experience for both operators and race car drivers.
“The atmosphere was exciting for the operators, the race cars and their drivers pulled up and there was some disbelief they were on site,” Ackroyd says.
“There were photographs, autographs and everything, it was something they haven’t seen before. Even the race car drivers were amazed at some of the mining equipment too.”
“We’ve been working with BHP for some years now, we took the supercars on site where we could engage with our customers and show the appreciation we have for them,” Ackroyd says.
National Group’s clients have the opportunity to go behind the scenes at supercar race events around the country, where they experience firsthand the exhilarating buzz of race car driving.
As Ackroyd says, it’s a show of appreciation for customers, which remain loyal to the company.
“Anyone can go to the races, the tours we provide customers with, provides in-depth pit tours,” he says.
“Rather than sitting in the crowd with cars speeding around so quickly you can barely see them; our customers are able to get close up to the vehicles and drivers.”
Indeed, the recent trip to Peak Downs exemplifies the company’s focus on its customers, with Mobil 1 Mega race team drivers James Courtney and Scott Pye making an appearance at the site.
The meet and greet session and autographs that ensued left many site operators star struck as the two posed for photos next to the colossal mining equipment National Group has supplied to BMA at Peak Downs.
While operating across different industries, it is easy to draw comparisons between the National Group and racing teams, as described by co-team principal Bruce Stewart.
“The National Group and the Mobil 1 Mega race team are similar in a number of ways. We both deal with machinery at the cutting edge of technology and understand the importance of every team member coming together to achieve sustained success,” Stewart says.
While differing in purpose, Pye and Courtney were still able to recognise the sheer magnitude of some of National Group’s mining equipment in comparison to the nippy race cars.
“Being down in the pit looking at our car next to the T282 dump trucks, it makes it look like a matchbox car in comparison,” Pye says.
His counterpart Courtney was equally in awe, “before coming up to the Bowen Basin, we got told the National Group’s machines were big, but you don’t realise just how massive they are until you get here and see them in person. They are monsters!”