Two key members of the Australian rally community were recognised for their services to the sport at CAMS’ National Awards Gala Dinner at Melbourne’s Crown on Saturday night.
Ben Rainsford and Peter Macneall were awarded Life Membership for their dedication and support of rallying in Australia.
Rainsford has spent the past 35 years involved in the sport. He has competed at the highest level in Marathon Rallies with success in the 1993 London to Sydney Marathon, the London to Mexico Rally of 1995 and the 2000 London to Sydney. He has driven in rallies from club to state level.
In 1997 he was one of the Founding Partners of the Classic Adelaide Rally, and in 2000 became the Founding Chairman of the CAMS Tarmac Rally Group. He was invited to join the Australian Rally Commission in 2001, a role he continues today as its Deputy Chair.
In 2008 Rainsford became Chairman of Rallycorp, the Commercial Rights Holder for the Australian Rally Championship and in 2010 he took on the voluntary role as Chairman of Rally Australia, our World Rally Championship event.
Since 2015 he has represented CAMS on the FIA World Rally Championship Commission and the FIA Rallies Commission
Macneall started his rallying in Albany in Western Australia. On moving to Perth, he was quickly recognised as one of the State’s leading navigators, winning the WA Rally Championship in 1980.
With the arrival of the World Rally Championship round, Rally Australia, to Perth in 1988, he was a member of the original Organising Committee, working full time with the Government backed Eventscorp to set the event up and train the staff. After the first year he continued in that role as a volunteer.
He is one of a very few officials who has been with Rally Australia from the beginning to the present and has spent most years as a Deputy or Assistant Clerk of Course, including being the Event Checker on every event.
For the past 25 years he has been a member of the Australian Rally Commission (ARCom) and before that the National Rally Panel. Through this role and his experience with Rally Australia he was appointed Sporting Director of the Australian Rally Championship. He is renowned for his knowledge and guidance in formulating and interpretation of the Rules and Regulations of rallying in Australia.
This experience led him to becoming a well-respected member of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Working Group and the FIA World Rally Commission.
Congratulations and thank you to Ben and Peter.