Backstage at Louwman Exclusive –Jeroen Stoelinga
Jeroen Stoelinga has real passion for his profession. That’s not only seen in what he tells us, but also in what he does. From the McLaren swoosh which he had tattooed on his arm to the selected group which he started together with a colleague technician to be able to share tips and tricks worldwide. The word McLaren often comes up during our conversation. You have been warned.
Technician for Maserati and McLaren, that sounds as a dream!
So it is. Recently I work more and more for McLaren. It is a young brand and now more cars come to us in the workshop. In the beginning I worked for Maserati and Lamborghini but two years ago there was room for a second technician for McLaren. I wholeheartedly said “yes”. I work together with Bas and he still is my teacher when it comes to the fine tricks.
What is the main difference between McLaren and Lamborghini regarding the maintenance?
The difference is mainly in how the car has been assembled. A Lamborghini looks big and massive but even then it is sometimes rather difficult to replace a part. In the development of McLaren every effort has been made to see to the best distribution of the weight. Everything is placed as central as possible. It has been assembled beautifully but often hard to reach. I am now working on a sensor. To get to it the whole fuel tank must be disassembled.
Is the difference between McLaren and Lamborghini and a regular car bigger?
I have been employed at Volkswagen. To replace a sensor in a Volkswagen is just fun, much more simple. You almost can run around it. And because of the mass production also the diagnostics is much more simple. If there is a failure most of the time the solution comes right out of the laptop which you connect to the car.
But I do not miss those times, it has given me a strong base and I learned to work more systematic. I am very happy that I can practice my profession here now, this is the challenge I have been looking for.
If a McLaren comes in with a failure and you connect the car with the laptop, don’t you get the answer right away like at Volkswagen?
With a failure you will get an indication of the problem. The sensor which indicates the failure can be broken, but it is also possible that the sensor gives wrong information because something else is not working well. Then it is a result-failure. So you have to know the system very well to be able to find out what the exact problem is. There may be five different causes behind it.
So there comes a great deal of knowledge to this?
That is right and the technique is always on the move. So even after receiving my degree in Technical Specialism, you never stop learning. Soon I will participate in a training about airconditioning because that technique has been changed and now you will have to work with different dangerous substances.
For Maserati and McLaren courses will be organized a couple of times a year. These are of a very high technical level and you will look further into the new models and techniques. At McLaren they not only emphasise the technica knowledge but also the whole experience around the brand. Once during a training I learned all about the history of McLaren and the vision Bruce McLaren had to make the cars each time lighter and smarter. Then you realize that you have a very special profession and that makes me the more enthusiastic to work on these cars. These are not only beautiful cars and they can go really fast, but there also is so much history about them.
Is that the reason you have the McLaren swoosh tattooed on your arm?
Yes, it was just the right moment to do. I participated in a training in Woking at the McLaren Factory together with other technicians from all over the world. One evening I was in a pub talking about tattoos with a German and an American. On the way home I saw a tattoo-shop. So I cried out: “Let’s do it!”. The German dropped out, but the American and I did get the tattoo on the spot. We were close by the factory in where the cars are being built. It had to be so. The atmosphere during a week of training is very good. Each time you meet new technicians. Together with the technician from the USA I decided to create a Facebook page as some kind of resource. Sometimes someone else’s experience can solve a specific problem, so that will save a lot of time. McLaren is more than a brand, it is a whole community.
Technician McLaren and Maserati / Employed since: 2014 / Age: 30 / What keeps him busy outside work: barbecuing with friends, spending time on a terrace or an evening watching Netflix to relax.