The Tazmanian Mechanic
"Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation and a pinch of
- Bo Bennett
Corey 'Taz' Walters, (nicknamed after the Tazmanian Devil cartoon character) is a man of many hats. This mechanical engineer, race car fabricator and competitive driver exudes excitement and enthusiasm. The self-motivated young entrepreneur has made a name for himself within the racing world, and inspires his peers with his hands-on approach and work ethic.
"My father was a car fanatic so I grew up around cars and racing," said Walters. "My dad had a VW Rabbit which is now known as the Golf, when I was eight. I was constantly around them so I got to pick up on all the things they were saying and doing," he said.
Walters' passion propelled him to build on his skills through years of professional and apprenticeship training. This St Andrew Technical graduate topped his group then decided to further his automotive knowledge at the Jamaica German Automotive School (JAGAS). "I then went abroad and worked with several people before returning to Jamaica. This is where I learned from the best guys, such as George Sherwood."
Walters' approach to learning is to go in as if he knows nothing. It is only through observation that someone can maximise their gain. "I mostly watch and learn. I want to be able to see a person do it and then try it myself."
By the year 2000, Walters received his first major job when he got a call from Dean Corrodus and worked with him for a full race season. "This was a package, his navigator was a friend of mine and he needed a mechanic, so I jumped on the ship," said Walters. Through the years that followed, he developed an easy friendship with Corrodus. "He is a man that must have trust in the mechanic. For all the years I have worked with Dean what I say goes," said Walters.
He was never one to allow negative criticism to dictate his actions. There were a number of sceptical views about Corrodus' multipurpose Honda. "When I first came on the scene a number of people wondered who I was with this Honda, and it would never take well on the track," said Walters. "We raced that car everywhere and anywhere and it won every race in that season."
Later, Walters began to work with several racers as word of his skills began to spread like wildfire. He has worked with racers such as Thomas Hall, Orville Johnson, Basil McIntosh, Carlington Brissett, Troy Riley, Bobby Marshall, Keith Sanders, Maurice Wittingham, Troy Bernard, and the list goes on. "I was the little underdog with a big weight on my head, because I had to keep stepping my game up," said Walters. It is through his actions that many have come to appreciate the importance of having a good mechanic. "I am one of the guys that make people realise if you don't have a good mechanic, your goose is cooked."
Walters is no stranger to receiving recognition and awards for his work. On several occasions, he has received the Dover Mechanic of the Year Award and trophies from drivers who have won races due to his work on their cars. "I am always prepared and always willing to offer help," said Walters.
Never one to limit himself and always rising to a challenge, Walters opted to be not only a mechanic but a racer. He is the defending champion for the street car class at Dover. "I have a 1991 Ford Escort built by me," he said. He has also made history by fabricating a race car in just 14 days. "Of the 24 hours, I would only get around two hours sleep during this project," he explained.
Walters' biggest challenge as a mechanic is receiving the many cuts and bruises that come with the job. "Your entire body is prone to casualties and my only problem is dealing with the deterioration. It would take me an hour to really scrub the dirt off my hands." But in the end, it is the passion which trumps all. "At the end of the day, this is the only thing that makes me really happy," said Walters. "If I don't have cars around me, I think I would go crazy.
"The most pleasure in my field of work that I get is watching a car that I built rip up the place consistently with no problems. This is a swell-headed feeling," said Walters.