Our Lismore Operations Manager, Tony Hambly, has been racing cars most of his life. With a childhood love of tinkering with cars, it would seem fitting that his career has also seen him land in the automotive industry. However, 12-year-old Tony originally had other ideas. "I worked a lot on my uncles fishing trawler (in Ballina) from about 12 years old, so my first choice was actually a professional fisherman or cray diver, but the income was very seasonal and not stable."
An early start in cars
With a steady career in mind, Tony proceeded in a direction that he'd been passionate about from his early days. "I have always been interested in cars since I was young, so I took on an apprenticeship at Toyota in Ballina after completing my HSC."
When Tony made the move from Tweed Heads to Brisbane in the 90's, he reignited his childhood passion at a more serious level. He says, "I raced and built go karts and motor bikes when I was young, so when I moved to Brisbane, I started racing in Kingswood, Gemini and some Suzuki Swifts. These classes started to get smaller, so in 2009 I built a Hyundai Excel and started competing in the Queensland Championship."
A major highlight of racing cars for Tony has been the experiences that have seen him scale around Australia with likeminded people. He says, "Since then I've built two more Excels and competed with my best result in 2014, coming 3rd in the championship. I have also travelled to Eastern Creek and Phillip Island competing in the Cams National Class and was selected to compete in the Targa Tasmania this year, which was postponed."
One of Tony's key responsibilities as Operations Manager is overseeing the parts and service functions at our Lismore site. It's a busy role that he says he enjoys, with the people making it something he looks forward to come to every day. When reflecting on his career thus far with Frizelle Sunshine, he highlights that he finds the automotive industry a rewarding one, especially with its ever adapting nature. He says, "I enjoy the motor industry particularly because it's always evolving and changing and it continues to teach me something new all the time, along with meeting and developing relationships with people who share a passion for the industry."
Whilst the global pandemic has put future races on hold, Tony is grateful he can keep working in his role amongst cars in his day to day life. Good luck for your next race Tony!