Motorsport Australia Officials often attend events knowing there will hundreds of others there who are like family.
For Cathy Croci though, her family is literally motorsport with both her son and partner volunteering at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix alongside her – a tradition they have held for the past five years.
Croci’s history in the sport spans long before those five years though, with the South Australian having volunteered at the Australian Grand Prix back when it was in her home state.
The Chief Post Marshal volunteered at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide for more than decade before having her son and taking a break from officiating. However, as soon as she was able to, the passionate motorsport fan was back in the action and flying over the border to volunteer at Albert Park.
Now with the whole family attending the Australian Grand Prix together, Croci is a proud mum who is thrilled to be able to carry the motorsport legacy over another generation in her family.
“It’s a great feeling to have my son here, especially since he has been doing it for five years now,” Croci said.
“I followed my dad into motorsport and now my son has followed me. Motor racing is a big part of my life and it’s great to have him able to join me.
“It wasn’t hard to get him over the line at all. Especially since he was really keen. He didn’t have much of a choice to be honest because he has been at the track all of his life – even when he was just six-months-old in a pram.
“He has been brought up in motorsport so he was keen to get going himself. He couldn’t wait until his was 16 and now he is doing really well as a track marshal, which is great to see.”
When Croci isn’t at Albert Park, she is doing her thing at Mallala and The Bend Motorsport Park where she often volunteers for state rounds and even the recent OTR Supersprint in Tailem Bend.
Despite the rest of her immediate family not joining her for every event, Croci still gets a kick out of spending her weekends with her other family – the motorsport one, most of which have become really good friends of hers.
It’s for this reason, along with the addition of some very special memories throughout her time in the sport, that keeps the former Sector Marshal coming back to Melbourne.
“There are some really good friendships you make along the way, from a variety of places both interstate and overseas,” Croci added.
“I have also had the opportunity to go to Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam as a mentor. Those sort of opportunities the sport has given me is something you can’t buy and that’s the best part of doing what I do.
“I have done about four events here as post-chief and everyone was really good when I first started as a post-chief because I already knew most of them throughout my time in motorsport.
“The introduction into that group was like being introduced into another family. It was really welcoming and I was learning so much from the more experienced veterans.
“For me personally, Adelaide had the atmosphere, but Melbourne is a holiday. The racing is great and I love the track here.
“The people really make it. I like to catch up with those who I haven’t seen since last year and it’s just a blast to come over. However at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where it is because it’s the people and the racing that keeps us coming back every year.”
Cathy Croci is just one of the many Motorsport Australia officials volunteering throughout the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2020 on 12-15 March