Vale Yvonne Tolmer

South Australian karting is in mourning with the passing yesterday of iconic Southern Go Kart Club Life Member Yvonne Tolmer.

The mother of Darryl Tolmer (who won the first ever Nationals for the Yamaha Clubman class), Yvonne had been an active participant and volunteer in the sport for decades and was probably best known as the out grid lady at Bolivar.

Personally, I can’t really say I knew her, but I recall when I raced at Bolivar in the early 90s, and returned about 10 years later in a media role, she was still there, and always up for a friendly chat.

Lots of tributes have been posted on social media, of which a selection are reproduced below.

Condolences to her family and many friends.

“Roll ’em out!”

Yvonne Tolmer (pic – SGKC/FB)

Southern Go Kart Club

It is with a very heavy heart that we advise of the passing of life member, Yvonne Tolmer. Yvonne opened the outgrid gates for over three decades. She will always hold the key and will never be forgotten. Thoughts go out to the Tolmer family and friends at this sad time.

Go Kart Club of South Australia

Rest In Peace Yvonne. For those not familiar, when GKCSA and Dublin had both lost their respective tracks, we used Bolivar and Barossa to keep the clubs up and going and Yvonne was there on the grid gates. Yvonne was affectionately known to many as ‘Mum’ and you’d find her in the hut on the outgrid, usually with her jar of jellybeans on hand for lucky karters. If you’ve ever raced at Bolivar and wondered about the names on the outgrid gates, they were named for Yvonne and her 30+ years of service to Karting in SA. Our thoughts are with Daryl Tolmer and his family.


Lee Hanatschek

Whether you were a lifelong racer, a newcomer or an interstate visitor, whenever you came to the grid at the Southern Go Kart Club, you were always welcomed with a smile and a cheeky laugh from Ma Tolmer. While her real name is Yvonne, very few called her that, she was always Ma and she treated everyone as if they were her own kids – not matter how old they were.

For more than three decades, she’d never miss a race at the venue and would never be underdone, her make up was always done and not a hair out of place. I remember visiting her in hospital 20 years ago when she’d had a massive heart attack and she was more concerned about how soon she could be back at the track to see all of the kids that looked up to her more than anything else. And while enquiring about her thoughts on her health, she replied in her memorable tone ‘Don’t worry about me, I’ll be right, I just want to get out of this place’.

Today, the Yvonne Tolmer Grid Gates opened for the final time and she took to the race track in heaven where she’ll no doubt have them lined up and in line before they know it. A lady who touched and befriended so many throughout the years will be sorely missed. Thoughts go out to Grant, Darryl, Tiffany and the Tolmer family and friends, along with the wider karting community who had the pleasure of having Ma in their lives.

John Wall

Deepest Condolences to the Tolmer Family. Yvonne to the Wall family was an integral part of Karting in SA and will be sorely missed. We considered her to be a real friend and always looked forward to catching up with her whenever Matt raced at Bolivar. RIP great lady.

Rocky Ventra

Shattered to hear of the passing of one of the most beautiful women to grace the Karting community. The words “roll them out” never sounded so good, coming from the sweet little lady we all called mum. To a good friend Darryl Tolmer, thanks for sharing your mum with us all these years, our thoughts are with you an your family, we greave with you mate, it’s our loss to. Rest easy Yvonne Tolmer.

Wendy Henderson

A beautiful lady with a heart to match. Always kind to those who needed support, a wicked sense of humour and the most perfect hair in motorsport! Loved and respected by all who had the privilege to meet her. Your family has been blessed to have a beautiful soul like Yvonne, to call mum and grandma. “Roll them out”