The QLD Rally Advisory Panel has dubbed April Official’s Month.
If you are a regular official at QLD Rally you may have spoken to Kevin when he took on the Officials Coordinator role for various events. Kevin has experienced lots of different roles as an official and we sat down him to ask him all about it.
How did you get involved in rally?
I am a member of the Mini Owners Club of QLD (I have two Minis; a 1965 Austin Cooper 998 and a 1963 Austin Countryman estate with the wooden external trim). The late Dick Owen was also a member of the Mini Club. He placed an advert in the Mini Club magazine in 2007 looking for Stage Officials to assist in the Suncoast Classic. I spent 3 days out on Stages at that event with Dick’s team, and was hooked! From then on, I worked on Stage teams learning all the Stage roles from people who were kind enough to explain, give advice, and point me in the right direction. I learned what to do, and what not to do, assisting in events at Club level, through QRC, ARC, APRC to WRC. I am still learning something new from every event.
How long has he been involved?
Since 2007. In recent years, after retiring from full time paid employment, I have enjoyed becoming more involved in events by undertaking roles as Officials Coordinator, and more recently being Event COVID Checker. The COVID Checker role had its own challenges requiring working with sometimes conflicting and very strict Motorsport Australia requirements, rapidly changing Government requirements, the requirements of those providing grounds and facilities, plus trying to make rally operations COVID-safe but practical. The Officials Coordinator gave me a much greater understanding of the organisation of an event, selection of the course, determining how many Officials are required at what locations, etc – a great experience. Last year I was fortunate enough to attend Targa Tasmania, assisting with transportation – will soon leave for this year’s event.
Why do you official?
As a youngster living in Toowoomba, a rally event came through in the late 1960’s. Cortina’s, Austin 1800’s, Datsun 240Z, I think a Hillman Hunter; they fascinated me. Years went by and simply – I never had the time, money or talent to participate as a competitor. The next best thing is being right alongside the track, often speaking with drivers and co-drivers. It seems the more you put into being an Official, undertaking new roles, the more you learn and you enjoy. For me, the enjoyment comes from working with and learning from great people, gaining new knowledge and experiences, trying new things. I had a long career in banking and finance, bound by written policies and procedures (finished up writing many policies and procedures myself!), so having rules to follow and interpreting them against real life risk management situations sort of comes naturally
Favourite part of being an official?
Learning, new experiences, meeting new friends, seeing the results of teamwork.
Tips for someone thinking of getting involved?
Give it a go. Ask plenty of questions, no question is a silly question. No experience is necessary as there is always someone with time and knowledge that they love to share.
Thanks Kevin for sharing your experiences and we look forward to seeing you at more events in the future.
If you would like to be interviewed for Official’s Month and share your story please contact the QLD Rally Advisory Panel at email@example.com
Keen to become an Official? You can find out more and apply online here – https://motorsport.org.au/officials