Ross Brodie is a name that you might not have heard of that much, but he has probably visited more Australian Touring Car Championship podiums than any of the drivers in the history of the sport.
Brodie was formally the motorsport and sponsorship manager for Shell Australia and was responsible for handing over the trophy and garland to the winner of each round of the Shell Australian Touring Car Championship.
Shell backed the series from 1988 to 2001, coupled with its title support of Dick Johnson Racing from 1987 to 2005.
Both sponsorships were impressive in their duration and activation, reaping rewards for all concerned.
But where is that man who used to spend so much time on Shell Series podiums?
Originally from Sydney, Brodie started with Shell in 1986 before leaving in 2004. He now runs his own commercial financing company in Brighton, Victoria.
At 51 years old, Brodie is now far away from race tracks, but he does like to keep track with what is happening in the game.
“I’m working in my own business as a finance broker and have been doing so since 2006,” he told Speedcafe.com.au.
“I work in commercial finance, and we also do residential homes as well. I work in Melbourne, and I work with my brother who operates the business in Sydney.
“I’m certainly enjoying myself now, but I’m still involved in motorsport. I do watch it and follow it though the newspapers and also a few of my old contacts.”
Brodie saw the Touring Car Championship evolve into its current V8 Supercars model, and he points to the change back in 1997 as a significant point in his time at Shell.
“I think the growth of the whole V8 Series was a highlight. Shell was heavily involved right from the start when it evolved into the whole AVESCO/V8 Supercars Championship Series – it was pretty exciting at the time,” he said.
“There was huge value. Shell was probably the number one oil and energy company in Australia but what happened, as what does happen these days, is that the business evolved and moved to a global model. Also, with the sale of their service station network to Coles, there was a lot less focus required on some of the sponsorships and direct marketing activities that they had used for many, many years.”
Brodie says he misses actively being involved in racing, and even hinted that he’d like to come back to the sport one day.
“From the time I went to Shell in 1986, I had an interest in motor racing,” he said.
“I do miss it, but I do watch it avidly so I know what’s going on. I have a number of personal contacts who I remain close to, including Dick Johnson. I’m still interested in the success of the sport.
“I’m certainly anxious to attend some races. I’d possibly like to be involved again, it would just depend on what level would be available to me.”