For as long as Matthew McNicol can remember, he always had a fixation for anything with wheels.
From planes, trains and automobiles, McNicol would always find himself playing with these sort of toys growing up. At the age of nine, McNicol got his first opportunity to experience the sport at Supercars’ Canberra 400 in 2002.
The event further spurred his love affair with motor sport and he spent every day for the next year harassing his mother to take him back to the track.
While he managed to catch every Supercars race on television thereafter, he was unable to get to another race meeting for another six years, his grand return as a spectator being at the Sydney 500.
Now that he was older, the Sydney visit inspired him to do more within sport and from there, he was able to secure a position working in the grandstand at the event.
A new world of motor sport had opened up to him.
“I loved volunteering so much that I did it again at the Sydney 500 the next year and again for the next three years at Bathurst, Sydney and once at Gold Coast,” McNicol said.
“Over that time I met some great people, some of which I'm still friends with to this day. In 2013, I was camping at Bathurst when I met the father of a young official who recommended me to the Young Officials Team.
“When I applied, I was successful and have since never looked back. I was getting so much enjoyment out of the program that I applied to the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2014 and it sent me down the path of getting more opportunities as a CAMS Official.”
The more McNicol volunteered at the events, the more friends he made and the more he impressed his superiors and by 2015, he had worked his way into state level events at Sydney Motorsport Park.
In only two years as an official, McNicol was promoted to the Starters Box and soon enough, his strong work ethic saw him promoted again to a Sector Marshal in the Challenge Bathurst.
While McNicol continued to grow as an official, he was encouraged from the friends made a long the way to continue upgrading, and soon enough he went from a bronze level to a silver level in next to no time.
Less than five years after becoming an official, McNicol's determination and passion has seen him develop in record pace, something which he puts down to the people he has met.
“I am very grateful for all the help, support and training from CAMS and all the awesome officials I have met over the years,” McNicol said.
“More importantly, my close friends Michelle Luke and Nick Gunson I met at Bathurst helped me to get to where I am now and I couldn’t have done it without them.
“My goal is now to help, support, train and pass on my knowledge onto to the next generation of officials and I can't wait for what the future holds for me as a CAMS Official.”
After a successful stint as the Deputy Chief Flag Marshal at the 2019 Bathurst 6 Hour, McNicol will now serve as a Chief Flag marshal at Challenge Bathurst later this year.
And nothing can take away how far this young man has come from playing with his toy cars all those years ago.