Roger Chirnside will receive one of the highest officiating honours when he accepts the prestigious FIA Outstanding Official of the Year Award for 2017 this Friday.
To be presented at the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony in Paris, Chirnside was selected amongst an array of international officials for the award.
The award for the FIA Outstanding Official of the Year pays tribute to exceptionally long and dedicated careers as officials in motor sport.
“I feel very proud and a little bit humble to be thought of, to be able to receive this award and with it a great degree of excitement as well… there's a lot of emotions running around at the moment so I'm very honoured,” Chirnside said.
“I believe it's probably a fulfilment of everything I've done. Although one doesn't be a volunteer with any thoughts of recognition, I'm enormously proud that I belong to first of all CAMS and to the fact that I'm Australian and well just the whole thing it's just amazing.”
Thanks to CAMS, Chirnside will fly to Paris today and will accept his award in front of the biggest names of world motor sport.
“On the night of the 8th of December – all dressed up we go to the Palace of Versailies to be part of the dinner and the awards presentation, with all the very biggest names in motor sport,” Chirnside said.
“[I’m] so proud to represent Australia.”
Starting his officiating career as a crowd control official at Sandown in 1966, Chirnside worked his way up as a flag marshal to then sector marshalling, to now being a valued member of the CAMS International Training Team.
Chirnside also touched on some of his favourite moments in his rich officiating career.
“Probably the first Formula 1 Grand Prix in Adelaide in 1985. The thrill of actually seeing those cars rather than seeing them on television was something I will never forget,” Chirnside added.
“Also my first trip overseas to officiate at the Le Mans 24 Hour, which was a huge thrill… I had a small CAMS badge on my overalls, which everyone wanted to know what it was so I was very proud of that.”
“The Grand Prix is the icing on the cake but every little meeting there is still the same thrill of being part of that and seeing people out there who are enjoying the thrill of it all.”
Feeling very humbled to receive the award; Chirnside thanked some very important people who have supported him throughout his journey.
“I couldn’t possibly thank anyone enough but my wife, who’s been enormously supportive over the 51-odd years,” Chirnside said.
“And all the people who have shown me the ropes… right across the board, people from CAMS, a few very dear friends who are no longer with us, and just everybody who goes to be part of the big family.
“I’m just a guy that happened to be lucky enough – fortunate enough – to be awarded with this amazing honour.”
Chirnside now joins fellow CAMS officials Dr Brent May, Belinda Taylor, Adrian Stafford, Ewan Cole, Dr Rik Hagen, Steve Chopping and Dr Michelle Gatton as recipients of FIA officials awards.
Published: 6 December, 2017