After graduating from Matthew Flinders Anglican College in 1996, Jeromy Moore headed to the University of Queensland to study Mechanical Engineering. He graduated with Honours and went on to work as a junior engineer in a V8 supercar team based on the Gold Coast.
Jeromy worked his way up in the industry, performing roles for Triple Eight Race Engineering (Team Betta Electrical/Vodafone/Redbull Racing) as a chief designer and race engineer. He has won Australian Championships, been the brains behind some of the most successful designs used in the Supercar category, and worked with the likes of Jamie Whincup, Craig Lowndes and Casey Stoner.
At the end of 2014 Jeromy was approached to work for Porsche Motorsport Team as a World Endurance Championship Le Mans Prototype 1 race engineer. Jeromy, who is currently based in Stuttgart, Germany, worked closely with fellow Australian Mark Webber to win the 2015 World Championship.
At the end of 2015, Jeromy was awarded a University of Queensland Distinguished Young Alumni Award, recognising young alumni whose early accomplishments inspire and provide leadership to students and all alumni. In February, RACQ Magazine did a feature on Jeromy’s career progression. More recently he featured alongside fellow Australian race driver Mark Webber in the world publication Lufthansa magazine.
Jeromy, who is married to Michelle and has a daughter Lola Jean, spoke to FlindersLife about his journey since leaving school and the Sunshine Coast.
You graduated in 1996 – when did you start at Flinders?
I came to Matthew Flinders in 1994 where I started Year 10. I came from Kawana High and found the environment at Matthew Flinders much more conducive to challenging my interests and developing my future goals.
What were your favourite subjects?
Physics, Chemistry, Maths B & C, which stemmed from an interest in searching for how things worked on a micro and macro scale.
One article mentions that you really enjoyed Maths, Science and Physics – do you recall any influences at Flinders that sparked your interest in these fields?
When I started studying these subjects in Year 10 they confirmed for me that I wanted a career path in these areas.
Your dad had a 912 Porsche … tell us about your childhood and growing up on the Sunshine Coast? Did you like to tinker with motor vehicles and your dad’s Porsche?
Yes, absolutely. Since a young age I was pulling things apart, be it toasters (my mum always tells this story) or my older sister’s car. This continued on to my father’s Porsche and then eventually my own cars. I have fond memories of my group of friends from Matthew Flinders who shared the same interest and passion (and some are still my friends today).
Growing up on the Sunshine Coast was a special experience, which encouraged me to have a balanced outdoors lifestyle, which was quite unique to other schools and educational institutions.
Tell us about the excitement of watching Peter Brock on the TV racing at Bathurst. You were obviously a Holden fan? Did you ever go to Bathurst as a kid?
I was a vehemently passionate Holden supporter when I was young and, of course, this meant growing up with Peter Brock as my idol. I always wanted to go to Bathurst as a young child but never managed to get there. However, I did make it to the local Queensland races at Lakeside to watch Peter Brock, and then also his protégé Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife. I was so starstruck when I saw these guys walk past in the pits, or sign autographs. So it was quite ironic that 12 years later I became Craig Lowndes’ race engineer (for the next seven years). So over time, whilst my career progressed towards that point, it didn’t hit home until I took a step back and thought how, once I was a young fan amazed by these guys and their machines, and now I was a key part in their success.
It is interesting to read that you feel working for Porsche now, can have a great flow-on effect in vehicle improvements. What type of improvements have you seen during your 15 years in the industry?
The most obvious and recent example is the leaps and bounds in efficiency of racing cars driving improvements into road cars. For over 100 years the internal combustion engines and thermal efficiency has changed very little, yet in the last five years, engine efficiency in both Formula 1 and LMP1 has almost doubled. In the case of the Porsche, the hybrid system developed for the 919 race car has directly improved the efficiency of the hybrid Porsches that are being sold to the public, and soon Porsche will release a purely electric car based on technology developed by motor racing. This, of course, has a huge environmental impact.
Simplistically with the LMP1 series I currently work in, teams are effectively given a certain amount of energy they can use, and it’s up to the manufacturers to make the most out of it.
Is there a particular moment in your career that you consider the highlight to date?
I have many highlights in my career. The first one that springs to mind is winning Bathurst with Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife in 2010 having once been a fan of these guys growing up. Also, of course, being involved with the Porsche LMP1 team last year and winning Le Mans 24 hour race was pretty special also!
Tell us about what it feels like, to be in the pit garage during a big race?
Even after 15 years in motor racing there are still nerves. Big races like the Le Mans 24 hour build up for weeks before with preparation and testing, so come race day, once the green flag drops I find everything calms down, even if there is chaos on track.
How many are in your team? What is your role?
In the Porsche Team there are hundreds of staff solely working on the LMP1 Project, but also, as the race car technology is so intertwined with development for the future sport cars at Porsche, there are many more people working across the racing team and the road car departments as it is all based in one big area in the outskirts of Stuttgart, Germany.
My role is Race Engineer on the two LMP1 (or Le Mans Prototype class 1) cars. This means I am in charge of optimising the performance of the car at the many races and tests throughout the year, which means working with, not only the three drivers in the car, but working with all the groups responsible for each part of the car, be it the internal combustion engine, the hybrid system, aerodynamics etc to make sure the car operates at its best.
Do you take your little girl to the racetrack? How old is she?
My three-year-old daughter has been to several V8 Supercar races before we moved to Germany, and just recently she went to a race in the World Endurance Championship in Belgium. She enjoys watching the cars go by and I think she realises what I do. I am away a lot with races, testing and also the general work hours, so it’s important she has some sort of link to what I do and why. I can only hope she finds a career like I have that is more a full-time hobby than a job.
What advice would you give to students, thinking about their future career paths?
Work out what you enjoy doing, or even more simplistically, what subjects interest you and pursue them. The goal is to end up doing something you love. It will take a lot of hard work, work experience and research about where you want to be but be persistent.
Le Mans victory
Jeromy Moore has achieved his dream this year – to win the Le Mans 24-hour race.
Just a short time after speaking with FlindersLife, Jeromy led the celebrations in the Porsche pit as the crew chief on the winning car.
Toyota appeared to be cruising to victory in the Le Mans 24-hour until its vehicle stopped with less than 10 kilometres to the chequered flag.
Porsche was able to claim the prize on the final lap.
Jeromy told Drive.com.au that it was an amazing feeling to win at Le Mans.
“Everyone knows about Le Mans, anywhere in the world. It’s so much pressure and so much expectation … Stepping up to the race engineer role, all the weight is on your shoulders and you’re really challenged. To be able to go on and win is a massive feeling.”
Story by: Debbie Southern.
Top Photo: Holger Eckhardt.
Inset: Dale Haberfield.