Mark Hester is the owner and builder at PROVA . Mark was raised in a workshop with his Dad building one off race cars and high performance road cars. Together with the inspiration of his engineer grandfather this upbringing led to completing a Mechanical Engineering Degree and a career in motorsport and automotive engineering.
Mark's final year thesis at Uni was the design and manufacture a carbon fibre monocoque formula chassis, the first autoclave cured tub made in Australia and used to place 2nd in the FSAE-A competition in 2004 and then when taken to the USA in 2005 for the largest completion of its size in the world, set the fastest lap times in the enduro and placed 4th of 140+ teams in the design competition.
This experience in composites led to being employed by Prodrive Racing Australia a couple of weeks after graduating. For 3 years Mark was a design and data engineer, highlights from this time include learning from the most awesome fabricators and machinists as well as access to a massive autoclave!
The next 8 years were spent developing chassis control systems for some of the largest automotive engineering companies in the word, including Robert Bosch and Jaguar LandRover. Much of this time was spent travelling to unusual parts of the world testing vehicles in conditions from frozen ice to boulders in Moab.
Bikes were always a part of Mark's youth and growing up in the Adelaide Hills provided plenty of space to explore . A welcomed reintroduction to riding shortly after uni by a long time friend and serious rider from Bendigo spiralled from a cheap hardtail to a collection of bikes worth more than our cars! Years of XC enduro racing followed then when living in the UK got hooked on gravity enduro, and was lucky to be able to race a couple of Enduro World Series rounds and the Trans Savioe multi day enduro in the french alps. Highlights of euro life include the Flanders sportive and riding the forrest of Arenberg the day after being there to watch Tom solo into the velodrome.
PROVA is providing an outlet for Mark to utilise the experience gained designing and testing vehicles with a massive passion for bikes and riding to produce custom handmade steel bike frames here in Australia.