When Jack Holding was named as the 2019 South Australian Official of the Year earlier this year, it was a moment that completely caught him off guard.
Holding went to the 2019 South Australia Motorsport Australia State Awards in February having won a Service Star and Service Award in previous years and couldn’t possibly imagine receiving any further recognition.
Add the 2019 Circuit Official of the Year to those three accolades and the 55-year-old has built himself quite the impressive resume, although for a man who prefers to work out of the spotlight, it was an evening which left him in shock.
“I was a bit surprised by the whole thing really. I had won a few awards in the past and thought I had done my bit and had my share, but it was nice to be rewarded,” Holding said.
“Winning the Serve Star and the Service was fantastic, but I guess winning these two awards has been the grand achievement of my motorsport life.
“It was a surprise because I had no idea I was going to win. I had no speech prepared. Nothing. I am not one for public celebrations. I am a quiet achiever and just go about my business in the background. So while it’s good to get recognised, it’s not what I do it for. I work hard for my own personal satisfaction.
“I had a career as a Project Manager and the skills I gained in my working life, I was able to implement into my job as an official and vice versa. The event management complemented my work life.”
Remarkably, for a man who has had such a decorated career in motorsport, there is no real inspirational story for how Holding ended up in the sport.
As a teenager in the early 1970s, Holding just one day decided to enter a local event as a competitor, but soon realised his future lay on the other side of the fence.
“I didn’t have a passion for motorsport growing up. It’s something I just sort gravitated to. I didn’t have any external influencers or anything, competing just seemed like a good Idea at the time,” Holding explained.
“I did a couple of events as a competitor at grassroots level but realised I wasn’t all that good at it so I became an official.
“After almost 50 years, I have done it all. I started off doing flag waving and moved my way up as the years went by. I was at the first Superloop Adelaide 500 and was at Mallala when it took over the Touring Car Championship.
“I now do Event Secretary or administration, which I have been doing for years and I really enjoy it. For me, these awards are more about my peers and all the people I have worked with over my life in motorsport, rather than being about how good I am.”