Wednesday 2 July 2014

Rally - Rulemakers

Just 2 weeks after the bombshell that announced the cancellation of the 2015 British Rally Championship the MSA have issued another Press Release, this time about this weekend’s F1 GP at Silverstone.

Apparently, its key British GP duties “include co-ordination of the marshals, appointment of senior officials, management of race control and organisation of all national and international media-related activities, including media accreditation.”

It further talks about “an army of 1,032 trained volunteers – all provided by IMS – to make the British Grand Prix possible.”

Paying credit where credit is due, the Release goes on to state: “The success of the British Grand Prix is underpinned by more than 1,000 volunteers who are essential to the event’s safe and effective running. These men and women are just part of a much larger volunteer army in UK motor sport, totalling around 10,000 marshals and officials without whom the 5,000 annual MSA-sanctioned motor sport events simply wouldn’t be possible.”

As yet, the organisers of each of the rounds which currently constitute the BRC have not been officially contacted and advised of the MSA’s decision. Neither have the sponsors and stakeholders, not to mention the competitors. You only need to read this week’s ‘Motorsports News’ to see what the majority of those folk think.

Neither have the sport’s governing body come up with any advice or guidelines with regard to rally organisation following last month’s tragedy. I know they cannot make public comment because of the ongoing official Police Investigation, but doing nothing is not an option. Even if all they did was supply future rally organisers with extra rolls of fluorescent tape to mark out no-go areas and bigger Motor Sport ‘Warning’ signs that would be a help. Not a lot, but it would demonstrate a willingness to respond and consider the additional efforts of those amateur car club teams right across the country who are currently planning their own events and having to review their own Safety Plans and re-think their own event safety measures.

There are some good people inside Colnbrook House, but I wonder if they are ever in the building all at the same time, and if they ever get together to have a chat about the impact of new rules and regulations – just like car clubs do.

It’s called teamwork, and whether they like it or not, the sport’s regulators are part of that wider team. But are they team leaders - or ‘hingers oan’? (Quaint Scottish term for ‘followers’!)

Oh, and just in case you’re interested. Here’s a list of the 2014 British Grand Prix volunteers and their duties:
    Spectator marshals: 335
    Course/incident marshals: 194
    Snatch/breakdown: 43
    Flag marshals: 86
    Rescue personnel: 20
    Paddock marshals: 14
    Medical personnel: 105
    Incident officers: 34
    Post chiefs: 43
    Pit/startline marshals: 46
    Scrutineers & scrutineer marshals: 51
    Senior marshals: 35
    Other volunteer assistants: 21
    Support race stewards: 4
    F1 steward: 1

Makes you proud to be British, eh? Sometimes!

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