Ford Performance Racing's (FPR) Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison have begun their preparations for this weekend's V8 Supercar event in Darwin by spending a day with the Navy and Air Force.
The duo spent the afternoon aboard HMAS Broome, touring the vessel and meeting its crew before hitting the water in one of the Navy's highly-maneuverable rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB) off the Darwin coast.
Davison then spent the evening meeting some of Australia's top fighter pilots at the city's RAAF base where he got up close to their F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighters.
Winterbottom enjoyed his time at sea and paid tribute to the work of the Navy.
He and Davison were treated to a handling display and patrol boat tour as the crew members gave the utility boat a 'shakedown' as they prepared for another Operation Resolute patrol targeting illegal activity in Australian waters.
"I appreciate the opportunity to come out here today and experience what our Navy does, play with the equipment and have some fun," said the driver of the #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon. "Our Navy personnel are working hard, and patrolling offshore 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."
HMAS Broome Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Kylie Beumer RAN, said her crew enjoyed being able to take the time to show the V8 Supercar drivers how they worked.
"We have a few car racing fans onboard and we always get a buzz out of showing people what we do every day at sea," she said.
"We are about to embark on another patrol so having the race drivers here lets them see what we do and how our team works to keep the ship on track for whatever our job throws up."
Trading Post-backed Davison was fascinated with the fighter jets and was given rare air-side access to view the jets take-off at sunset with their afterburners on, creating a brilliant visual spectacle.
"To see such a sophisticated machine up close and chat to the guys flying them was a special experience," Davison said.
"I know how difficult it is to race 27 other V8 Supercars from event-to-event, but what these pilots do, the amount of concentration and skill needed and how they put their lives on the line each day is truly remarkable. They are a credit to our country."
FPR will take to the Hidden Valley track for the first time on Friday morning for the first of four practice sessions ahead of the weekend's two races.