Trevor ‘T-Rev’ Ballinger was recently celebrated as part of a select group of Gallagher Volunteer of the Year award recipients.
Trevor has been an integral and inspirational member of the Central Queensland Drag Racing Association (CQDRA) for many years and was presented with his award during the CQDRA’s final Club Championship round for the year on November 28.
“I was blown away and started the water works when they announced the award. It was something I wasn’t expecting,” Trevor explained.
“It well and truly is incredibly special to me to receive this recognition, even now talking about it the tears feel like coming.
“It is very hard for me to talk about – you do it because you love it, but it is nice to be recognised like this.”
The 64-year-old’s commitment to the venue and sport he loves is undeniable and sees him undertake a daily 100km round trip, seven days a week, to undertake a wide array of duties at Benaraby Dragway.
“I broke my neck years ago; I was riding a push bike to get fit and was hit by a car which took out the top joint of my neck and they haven’t been able to repair it,” he said.
“That saw me restricted as to what I could do safely, and when that happens, you have to look on the other side of the rainbow.
“You have to find something else that you enjoy, and I enjoy show cars and motorsport and so I thought pursuing that side of things sounded like a good plan.
“I really enjoy what I do – even if my kids won’t let me try my hand at racing myself due to my neck,” he laughed.
“People say ‘that’s commitment!’ But I say, its enjoyment.
“I really like being able to help those that are nervous about their first runs, and my son’s mate started racing and came back with a Gold Christmas Tree a while back so I must have taught him something!
“At each meeting I do all sorts of things, and at the end of each one I am able to sit back and think, gee it really was worth doing all that work. I get so much enjoyment from it.”
Over the years, Ballinger has not only plied his hand as a jack of all trades at Benaraby Dragway, but has also worked as an ANDRA steward.
“As a regional track we do not get a lot of volunteers out here, so you do everything, and that is what I do. I have always tried to learn everything and understand everything I can,” he said.
“I started out originally on the burnout pads, and then was invited to try my hand at being the starter and I did that for a few years.
“Then I was asked if I wanted to be an ANDRA steward and so I did that for a couple of years as well. I ended up having to give it away though as I needed to have two knee replacements and it was difficult undertaking those duties with the pain I was experiencing at the time.
“A stand out moment over the years would have to be when we had the Slamfest here and we had to panic about how to get the traffic off the highway – we didn’t expect it to go that big and we had overflowing spectator mounds despite putting up extra barricades to extend it further, but it was a nice problem to have!”
Over the years, Ballinger says he has been blessed with many great friendships and working relationships.
“There are so many people I would like to thank but there are so many people that I have worked with and made friendships with over the years that is very hard to come up with a list,” he said.
“Rebecca here at the drag strip is another one who like me sits in the background, and she has been a great support.
“All of the ANDRA people – Brett Stevens, Jackie Mills, Scott Halfyard and Kylie Hazelhurst in particular – have all been great to work with.
“And all of the volunteers, the CQDRA Committee, the racers and the spectators, I really appreciate everyone’s support.”
Gallagher is the official insurance broker of the Australian National Drag Racing Association and offers competitive, no obligation quotes on everything from your race trailers, to your business, to your race track. For more than 90 years, Gallagher’s tailored insurance, risk management and consulting solutions have helped businesses, communities and people face their futures with confidence. For more information, visit www.ajg.com.au
To learn more about the Central Queensland Drag Racing Association (CQDRA), visit www.benarabydragway.com
For more from ANDRA, please visit www.andra.com.au