The Australian rally community mourns the passing of vastly experienced navigator Paul Flintoft. Extensively involved throughout all levels of local rallying, Flintoft was tragically killed during the Mount Buller Sprint after the vehicle in which he was co-driving left the road.
Regarded as one of the most experienced and competent co-drivers in Australian rallying, 42-year old Flintoft had competed at the very highest levels of the sport, partnering local and international drivers in both the World and Asia-Pacific Rally Championships.
Locally Paul was a regular in all forms of rallying, working alongside club and state competitors all the way up to the Australian Rally Championship where he made frequent starts in the co-driver's seat.
Notably over the years Paul had helped steer the careers of up-and-coming drivers and veterans alike including Roman Watkins, Andrew Pannam, Bob Whyatt and Denise Collins amongst many others.
Regarded for his amazing attention to detail and his consummate professionalism, Paul's immense passion for rallying and his dedication to the craft of co-driving will be sorely missed. Away from rallying Paul had a keen interest in archery and the study of Kendo and Laido (Japanese fencing).
In a prepared statement CAMS' Chief Executive Officer, Graham Fountain, said that the Mount Buller fatality was something that would be felt by the entire Australian motor sport community.
"First of all, our thoughts and sympathies go to Paul's family and friends," said Fountain.
"It is always a very sad day when any member of the motor sport community is taken from us.
"The loss of Paul will not only have an effect on our 50,000 members, but also our 11,000 volunteers who work tirelessly at amateur and professional events around the country each weekend.
"We have to thank our Mount Buller officials for their swift and professional actions and the local authorities who helped get David (Reynolds) medical attention as quickly as possible.
"Our extensive counselling and support services will be offered to everyone involved to help them though this tragic time," added Fountain.
Echoing the sentiments of Mr Fountain, Acting Chairman of the Australian Rally Commission Colin Trinder expressed his deep sorrow at the loss of a dedicated rally community member.
"Paul was exceptionally passionate about rallying, in both its gravel and tarmac forms. The rally community throughout Australia is a very tight knit group and I know that everyone will be feeling the loss of Paul," expressed Trinder.
"The one aspect of Paul's character that I respected immensely was his desire to help newcomers understand the complex mysteries of rallying. I recall he used to be available to sit down for hours to explain the complex details of our sport to anyone who asked.
"I'd like to express my condolences to Paul's wife Jenny and his two young sons Mark and Sean," added Trinder.
David Reynolds, the driver of the vehicle involved in the incident is expected to be released from hospital today. Details concerning Paul Flintoft's funeral arrangements are unknown at this stage.