There is no denying 2020 has been a difficult year for many, yet officials continue to exceed their already glowing reputations as they continue to volunteer their services at motorsport events around the country.
And it was exactly that at Wakefield Park on the weekend, as the drivers put on a show on the track whilst the officials made that show happen.
However, the season finale at the Goulburn based circuit turned out to be more than just an average round, with the meeting attracting the most officials at an event for more than a decade. An impressive feat considering how many events have been squeezed into the final months in the year.
In attendance were 52 officials in total – a record number for the circuit.
Whilst 50 isn’t a huge turnout compared to other circuits like Phillip Island or Mount Panorama– it was some of the specific numbers behind the 52 that made it such a special occasion.
Not for a long time has there been 15 flag marshals at Wakefield, nor has there ever been four clerks and assistant clerks on deck for a race meeting. The seven scrutineers, five pit lane marshals, and three in communications were also key to the event's success.
The event featured a diverse range of individuals, with 13 women part of the team – most of which were in senior official roles, and equally encouraging were officials aged in their late 20s and early 30s.
And it’s because of that community that the event’s Clerk of Course, Jessica Nicholson, believes so many volunteers turned up.
“It’s just really fantastic. We have been trying to build our officials base for a long time and it was a nice moment for everyone when we reached the milestone,” Nicholson said
“Everybody was really proud on the weekend. Yes we love motorsport, but the fact of the matter is, we’re all good friends who all wanted to turn up for the last round of the year.
“We think of ourselves as a family. Any chance we can get together, we are there. We all miss each other when we’re not at events, so it’s no surprise there were so many of us in attendance on the weekend.
“It didn’t matter how much the event chopped and changed in the lead up, nor did it matter how bad 2020 was, it was just nice to end the year on such a positive note. We all can’t wait for next year.
“One individual who has been imperative to the growth in officials here has been Kate Eppelstun, who is the chief flag marshal. She is without a doubt an integral part of the Wakefield Park team and without her, we wouldn’t be where we are now.”