Within Australian motor sport, there are many families who share their passion and volunteer at events together.
Cathy Croci’s case is no different as she was first introduced to the sport through her father, and the pair either visited rallycrosses in Tailem Bend or went to the Speedway for regular family nights out.
After nagging her father for years, Croci was finally allowed to join her father in the South Australian Motor Racing Officials Association on the basis that she first get her drivers’ licence. Something she achieved at 17-years-old in 1987.
After watching as a spectator for so many years, Croci got her chance to be an official and her first event was at a kart meeting in Adelaide.
The maiden experience inspired her to continue volunteering at as many events as she could and whenever something came up at Adelaide International Raceway or Malalla, Croci was there with her dad and lsoon after, her mother joined too.
But Croci wasn’t satisfied with just heading to South Australian events. She began to cross the border and volunteer at events in Victoria, including one visit where she met a man named Steve at a meeting. She invited Steve to come to Mallala as an official one day, an offer that he accepted.
Steve would later became Cathy’s husband, and the two spent years travelling around Australia together at events, doing what they love with the person they loved.
“Over the years we have done many race meetings together including a couple of trips to Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 1000,” Croci said.
“We have officiated in a majority of the Adelaide based Australian Grands Prix, and now travel to Melbourne each year to continue enjoying the excitement of Formula One.
“With the recent opening of Australia's newest track opening at Tailem Bend, we have been lucky enough to be apart of the great group of officials working at events there too.
“Both myself and Steve were lucky enough to be selected to go to both Korea and Singapore as part of the International Officials Training teams and help set up their Grand Prix, a privilege we both thoroughly enjoyed.”
Croci’s selection was based off the back of years working in different roles at race meetings including on the track as a flaggie, communicator, starter, assistant clerk of course and sector marshal.
When the Supercars Championship came to Adelaide in 1999, reviving the spirit of the former Grand Prix with the modern day Adelaide 500 event, the couple had planned to volunteer at the event.
However while Steve was confirmed a sector marshal for the inaugural event, Croci could not attend due giving birth to her son Shaun - who like his parents and grandparents before him, is now also an official.
“I missed the first race due to giving birth to my son, however since then I have attended every Adelaide 500 race as a sector marshal and enjoyed every one,” Croci explained.
“Shaun has also got involved in motor sport as an official about five years ago and has been coming with us. We travel to various race meetings together and enjoy the family fun of events.
“I love we are able to do this as a family and share our stories of the days racing and experiences with each. Every race meeting provides a new story to share.”
This article is part of a series celebrating motor sport officials around the country.