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Rally scrutineering is a difficult and often thankless job. At pre-event scrutiny competitors are anxious and on edge and to have a technical problem with the car pointed out by a scrutineer is often a source of disagreement and high emotion. It takes a person very patient and very skilled in human relations to defuse such situations. Barry Habgood is one of those people, and his skills have been recognised by being awarded in 2001 the CAMS National Motorsport Official of the Year. In 2018 Barry was awarded the highest honour that could be granted to an Australian rally official, the FIA International Scrutineer of the Year. Barry grew up at Bellingen on the NSW Mid North Coast. An uncle got him interested in all forms of motorsport, but his particular loves were motorcycle racing and rallying, both passions he retains to this day. His enthusiasm was maintained by reading newspapers and magazines after his uncle had finished with them. When the Southern Cross Rally came to the Mid North Coast, Barry became an enthusiastic spectator. In later years he joined his good friend Bob Halpin and others doing setup for the Southern Cross. Bob became the Clerk of Course for the Coffs Harbour and District Sporting Car Clubs State Championship rally which became the NSW round of the ARC so naturally Barry did route charts and then setup for those events. During this time, Barry was competing in Mid North Coast (Group 6) rallies with occasional NSW and Qld championship events. He was also a keen member of the Coffs Harbour club running club events, competing in club events and at various times holding every office there was in the club! In the late eighties Bob Halpin was told that CAMS wanted scrutiny for the ARC to be improved and that he needed Barry Habgood to be the Chief Scrutineer. Barry agreed as Iong as he could still do setup. That only lasted for a couple of years when Barry reluctantly stopped doing setup to concentrate on the Chief Scrutineer role. It was during this time Barry decided he was a better co-driver than driver and competed with Matt Williamson, the son of the local Toyota dealer owner, in the ex Wayne Bell Toyota T18. Matt and Barry enjoyed a fair deal of success winning numerous rallies. Habgood also proved that he hadn’t completely lost it as a driver by being equal winner with Matt of the Group 6 Autocross series, both driving the T18. In the early 1990s CAMS invited the Chief Scrutineers of ARC events to attend Rally Australia. After an intensive training day they then worked as scrutineers during the rally. Barry has not missed a Rally Australia since, working as a scrutineer and for a few years Chief Scrutineer at Rally Australia in Coffs Harbour. During the 1990s and early 2000s he was also Chief Scrutineer at The International Rally of Canberra working with Mike and Sarah Bell. In 1997 Barry worked with Jeremy Browne and Dean Rainsford to get Classic Adelaide running and was Chief Scrutineer for 5 years. Habgood was appointed CAMS ARC Technical Delegate in 1995, a position he still holds and in 2019 he was appointed FIA Technical Delegate for the two rounds of the APRC Pacific Cup rounds held in Australia. In 2002 Barry was awarded life membership of the Coffs Harbour and District Sporting Car Club. Barry Habgood has during his career made a difficult job look easy, and made many friends in the process. He is a great addition to the Australian Rally Hall of Fame NEXT: Scott Pedder * Citation reproduced courtesy of the Australian Rally Hall of Fame.
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