The QLD Rally Advisory Panel has dubbed April Official’s Month.
You may never have personally met out next Official Manny James, but if you are a competitor chances are you have driven past him and his crew at top speed as they man a Flying Finish.
We asked Manny to tell us more about how he got involved with Rally and what keeps him coming back to be covered in dust.
How did you get involved in rally?
I first got involved while doing some road closures with Emergency services for the International Rally of QLD (IRoQ). After a few of us left Emergency services we formed a group named Deadset Racing Team Officials, and continued on officiating as a group of 5.
How long has he been involved?
From memory I have been officiating at different rally events now since 2014.
Why do you official?
I suffer from anxiety and PTSD and found it hard to go out to places with big crowds and unfamiliar territory. Being in a group of friends who also have a passion for motorsport and volunteering helps to manage/overcome those anxieties as well as giving me a feeling of helping and contributing to a worthwhile event.
Favourite part of being an official?
My favourite part of being an official is hanging out with friends, the landscape, the smell of race fuel, the noise and the atmosphere. The washing of rally glitter (dirt and dust) out of your hair for a week is an added bonus also.
Tips for someone thinking of getting involved?
For anyone looking to get involved I would say get into it! Take advantage of the various roles on offer to find your fit and to taste all that these events have to offer. If you can, bring a friend and share the experience. Some positions on track can be long and lonely if by yourself, having someone to talk to and chat about that last car that just came past makes for a great day. Also if you can accommodate it, camping with your fellow team mates is a great way to learn and take in the history of these great races and events. And who doesn’t love a few nights out by a fire, under the stars!
Thanks Manny and the whole Deadset Racing Team for giving up your time to get covered in Rally Glitter!
If you would like to be interviewed for Official’s Month and share your story please contact the QLD Rally Advisory Panel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keen to become an Official? You can find out more and apply online here – https://motorsport.org.au/officials