At this weekend’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Motorsport Australia Officials will work tirelessly to ensure the event is a success.
During the 2020 edition of one of the biggest races on the Australian calendar, more than 300 officials will form part of the team for the four-day Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season finale.
From Flag and Fire Marshals to those working in Race Control, the great race, along with every other motorsport event around the country, couldn’t take place without passionate individuals dedicating their time and effort to volunteer.
As a result of the restrictions surrounding interstate travel, more than two thirds of the team are from around New South Wales, while at least 60 come from out of town.
Unsurprisingly, the ACT is providing the most officials outside of NSW with 18, while South Australia and Queensland also have double digits with representatives from Northern Territory and Victoria (having complied with relevant restrictions and quarantine) also in attendance.
With so many different people and roles making up the team, motorsport.org.au spoke to some of those on duty this week.
Liam Tame – Pit Lane & Grid
“I had always been a massive motorsport fan but really wanted to get closer to the action so when the opportunity to take that step closer and lend a hand came in 2015, it was a no brainer from me. Since 2017, I moved trackside and I love it so much.
“My dad and I have been doing a lot of events together lately and people often look at us and think that he got me into it, but it was actually the way around. He joined much later and it’s since become a bonding thing because we go to a lot of events together.
“Last year was my first year at Bathurst, so I feel the edge has been taken off a little, but I am looking forward to this year’s event because it’s the first time dad will be doing it.
“It will also be an interesting experience seeing what happens with a smaller officials team and a smaller crowd. There is no doubt it will be a very different experience.”
Kaye Callander - Race Control
“I started back in 1993 trackside. Worked my way up and got into Race Control where I worked as the communicator. I enjoy all the roles that I get because I love motorsport, so anyway I can get involved, I will do it.
“It’s so good to be back at Bathurst this year. I have had some great experiences here. I have learnt a lot from many great people. It’s a real family oriented event and you make long term friends.
“There isn’t any specific memory that stands out because there are so many choose from. I really do enjoy the moments that have tested my ability to focus and complete the job that needs to be done.
“I think if you go to a motorsport event and you learn something new each time you go, you're becoming better at your job, which is what it’s all about.”
Jess Scott – Medical
“I have been with Team Medical Australia for about 10 years now, but I have always been a race fan. Outside of motorsport, I am an emergency and trauma nurse and work part time for retrieval services Queensland, so all jobs go hand-in-hand.
“I love working with TMA. We are like a mini family. We sometimes see the worst of the worst but we always take time to comfort each other. I think seeing drivers continuing to race after such serious accidents makes me appreciate how important our role is. We are so well trained and do it to the best of our ability. We get the best outcomes for the people that we see.
“I really love Bathurst. It’s one of the races you can’t miss. I know it's cliché, but it really is the Grand Final of motorsport. It’s the one race that everyone wants to be part but only a select few can take part of it. So I am fortunate enough that this is number seven for me.
“One memory that sticks out to me was Chaz Mostert’s big crash in 2015 because we were one of the first officials at the scene. I was stationed at Forest Elbow and we heard a big crash and saw a tyre roll down past us shortly after. We sprinted up the hill to see what happened and it was just crazy. I had never seen anything like that in my life.”
Peter Hush - Fire & Rescue
“It’s nice to be back at Bathurst. It’s very quiet as opposed to previous years and in all of my 18 years volunteering here, this is definitely the strangest one I have been to.
“I love many things about the Bathurst 1000, including the strategies and the history but it’s probably more the history for me. I have been around cars my whole life so coming back here is always so special because it’s the mecca of all Australian motorsport
“As soon as I became an official, I knew I was going to be doing Bathurst because I grew up just two hours from here but in all the years I lived there, I didn’t once come as a spectator.
“It was only until I moved to Wagga that I decided to join as an official and I have been back every year since, except two. I joined up because like most people I wanted to be close to the action and I just didn’t want to be a spectator.”