Family and fumes ignite Dhami's passion

Thursday 14 March, 2019

When it comes to contributing in motor sport, Gurmukh Dhami has a very rich history.

The Malaysian-born official began his affiliation with the sport in the 1970s when he worked for a race team in his hometown before making the life changing decision to migrate to Australia.

While his move to Australia saw him take a break from the sport, it wasn’t long until he found his way back into motor racing, only this time it was as an official.

Since getting back involved with the sport in his new home, Dhami is now able to continue giving back to his biggest passion that has given him so much joy over the years. 

"I started off as a race mechanic back in the 1970s in Malaysia and that’s where my love for motor sport racing grew,” Dhami said.

“Unfortunately the racing team I was working for moved to Hong Kong and I didn’t want to move there, so I migrated to Australia.

“I got back into the sport because I wanted to put back into motor racing, so I became an official and that way I felt I could still smell the fumes.”

Adopting Adelaide as his home state, Dhami has been volunteering for more than 15 years at Albert Park, while also working at the Superloop Adelaide 500. 

Despite the considerable distance between the two countries, Dhami made the effort to head back to his homeland for the past 12 years to volunteer as a Pit and Grid Marshal at the Malaysian Grand Prix, which held its last race in 2017.

For someone like Dhami, who has been to many events around Australia and the world, there are two factors that he loves about being an official. 

“It’s meeting various people and making friends. Everyone down here is like a family and that makes it wonderful,” Dhami added.

“Being with the same people you work with at every Grand Prix event, you become like a family.

“Sometimes working in the pit and on the grid, you’re aware of how fast the cars are and how fast we’ve got to think ourselves, especially if there is an incident at the start of the race, which in itself, puts pressure on us.”

Whilst the pressure and the people are what keeps the Pit Lane marshal constantly coming to Melbourne to take part in the international event, it’s not the main reason behind his love affair with motor sport.

“The most exciting moment for me is seeing the first car take off and the adrenaline rush you get from witnessing that up close,” Dhami explained.

“It is always an exciting feeling coming to the Australian Grand Prix and, God willing, I will continue to be able to do it for many more years to come.”

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