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Dr Matthew Croxford

TWO Rally Australia officials have been recognised as world’s-best in their roles at the annual prize-giving of the FIA.

Alongside the many champions presented with trophies at  the event last night in St Petersburg, Russia, Dr Matthew Croxford was named Best Chief Medical Officer and Barry Habgood Best Chief Scrutineer in the FIA Awards for Volunteers and Officials.

Barry Habgood

Dr Croxford, a Melbourne surgeon, has represented CAMS at racing, rally and off-road events in Australia and overseas since 1998.

He was appointed CAMS National Medical Advisory Committee Chair in 2013 and joined the FIA Medical Commission in 2014.

He became the Chief Medical Officer of Rally Australia in 2013 and now hosts extrication and other training to a medical team of more than 80 people ahead of each Australian round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

“I was amazed when (CAMS President) Andrew Papadopoulos called me to inform me that I had won,” Dr Croxford said.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting it but it was very nice to get the recognition for what we have been doing in the medical field.”

Habgood, from Bellingen, near Coffs Harbour, said he was speechless when told about his award.

“It’s something I knew existed but I never thought about it as I never thought I would win, but it’s incredible because there are probably a million scrutineers in this world and I got the award.

“I have been doing this for an awfully long time and there are a number of people I dedicated this award to including former FIA technical director Jacques Berger and Jerome Toquet – those two blokes got me on this path.

“However, in reality, the people I really need to thank are all the scrutineers around this country who I have worked with over the past two decades.

“All of those people who are committed to doing a good job is what gets people like me into this position and now I can say I’ve become really good friends with all of them.”

Habgood began his involvement in motorsport during the early 1990s and soon was appointed Technical Delegate for the CAMS Australian Rally Championship, a role he still holds.

He became Chief Scrutineer for Rally Australia in 2013, then stepped aside in 2016 to provide support and mentorship.

On the national scene, he took on a variety of high-level official roles and was awarded the CAMS Official of the Year in 2001.

Dr Croxford and Habgood join fellow CAMS officials Roger Chirnside, Dr Brent May, Belinda Taylor, Adrian Stafford, Ewan Cole, Dr Rik Hagen, Steve Chopping and Dr Michelle Gatton as recipients of FIA awards in recent years. Stafford and Gatton are former Clerks of Course of Rally Australia and Dr Hagen preceded Croxford as Chief Medical Officer.

CAMS President Andrew Papadopoulos said Croxford and Habgood were shining examples of the attitude of all Australian motorsport officials.

“It is unusual for a National Sporting Authority to receive more than one award in a season, so for us to receive two this year is truly fantastic,” he said.

“It’s a true testament to the quality and calibre of the thousands of CAMS officials from both the past and present and of course to Matthew and Barry themselves, who should be immensely proud.

“Their recognition at the highest levels reflect CAMS’ and Australia’s position as one of the leaders in world motorsport.”

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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