Former Yamaha AORC competitor Tom McCormack was forced to give up the sport that he loves after two major spinal injuries caused him to contemplate his future. Fortunately, McCormack has found his next calling as Team Manager for the Snap Fitness Yamaha Team. Although he misses the thrill of the Off-Road’s, McCormack believes he has what it takes to successfully manage the team to success.
McCormack is a former E1 Australian Off-Road Champion, E1 Australian Four Day Enduro (A4DE) Champion and three-time ISDE Team Australia representative. After announcing his retirement from Off-Road racing, McCormack admitted the transition to Team Manager was initially difficult but rewarding; “It’s definitely a huge challenge, possibly bigger than I first anticipated, but I’m enjoying it and being around the paddock. Beats sitting in an office that’s for sure!”
As a natural competitor, McCormack misses the thrill of racing but realises that a change was necessary. “I do miss the racing! Last year, I didn’t think I would be in this position, as I wanted to continue and potentially overseas as well. The two spinal injuries set me back significantly and I find it hard to believe to see myself personally competing at level in the future”.
McCormack went into detail about the injuries; “I had two back-to-back spinal injuries in 2015 and 2016, almost 18 months apart, and after sustaining that second injury I sat down and contemplated my future.”
After the injuries forced an early retirement, McCormack realised that becoming a Team Manager would be an ideal transition into the next stage of his life. “I then thought about the idea of running my own team, I felt I could run a tight operation as I have always been great at developing relationships with my sponsors and teams. There’s a few key players that have helped out with the team, Yamaha in particular have been a huge help. They’ve assisted with anything that I have requested and have helped build the team into what I hope will be a competitive outfit for the coming years.”
McCormack is very satisfied with the attitude and performance of his young riders ‘PD’ Allan and Luke Strauch. “I’m very happy with the riders. We’ve had a few mechanical issues, which halted our progress in the Sprint races on Saturday, which was out of the rider’s hands at Rawson. We want to help develop the riders into a high level of competitiveness and they are both trying as hard as they can, so I’m very happy with their progress at this stage.
Its great to see McCormack relishing his new role as Team Manger for the Snap Fitness Yamaha Team and it will be interesting to see how the outfit goes at the upcoming Rounds 5 & 6 in Miva, Queensland.
Don’t forget to check out the AORC’s new website at aorc.org.au.
Stay up to date with all the happenings of the 2017 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship by visiting the brand new AORC website at www.aorc.org.au! or by following the AORC on Twitter and Facebook as well as @aorc on Instagram.
2017 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship Calendar
Round 5 & 6: Miva, QLD 13 – 14 May 2017
Round 7 & 8: Renmark, SA 24 – 25 June 2017
Round 9 & 10: Kyogle, NSW 22 – 23 July 2017
Round 11 & 12: Omeo, VIC 5 – 6 August 2017
Round 1 & 2: Dungog, NSW Postponed (To be Announced)
Photo: Tom McCormack