Life in the fast lane
Friday, 12th December, 2014
By Ethan James
If you’re after some trackside tales from Australia’s biggest motorsport events, look no further than Kevin Hind.
For more than 20 years the Broken Hill resident has worked as an official at V8 Supercar races and Grand Prix events all over the country.
He has seen his fair share of exhilarating driving, big crashes and even an unexpected fallen gum tree.
Hind, who works in town as an aircraft refueller, said the more harrowing moments were the ones that stuck in his mind.
The now 58-year-old was at the top of the hill at Bathurst in 2008 when Kiwi Chris Pither collided with Paul Weel in a sickening crash during practise.
Weel was admitted to hospital with serious injury and made a full recovery but never raced again.
Fortunately, Pither made a comeback four years later.
“It was horrific and I can still remember the feel of the impact,” Hind said.
“The cars were going close to 200 kilometres at the time.
“I was only a matter of metres away and was the first on the scene.
“Looking back, I’m amazed it wasn’t even more serious.”
He was also at the track when a gum tree branch fell and delayed racing at the Bathurst 12 Hour enduro in 2010.
More recently, Hind officiated at this year’s V8 Supercar event in Sydney and said it was one of the wettest races in memory.
“The downpour was just torrential, fortunately I managed to stay out of it though.”
Hind, who has worked for the Australian Navy and Air Force, confessed he wasn’t a motorsport fan when he started.
He was working for the Australian Defence force at the time and said it was just “something else to do” while in Canberra.
Hind draws parallels between his time in the military and coordinating the communications of a race.
“In many respects it’s no different to command control on a warship,” he said.
“It’s relaying and coordination communications from a variety of sources.”
Hind moved from Canberra to Broken Hill in 2002 with wife Mary and has been involved in a number of local events including the Silver City 1000.
He said he planned to continue officiating around Australia next year but his role is now more tailored to training the next generation of officials.
“I find mentoring really great, and being able to pass on the knowledge to the younger kids.
“But one of the greatest things is meeting up with people from all over Australia.
“That’s what keeps me coming back.”