Monday, 11 May 2015

Rally - FIA on Safety

The previous post caused a wee bit of a stooshie. And that’s a good thing. Whilst we might not all agree, it’s keeping the debate going. And that’s also a good thing because for sure no-one is telling us officially what the hell is going on and where we‘re headed.

A couple more points if I may to stoke up the embers. The MSA’s official guide is official, but it’s not final. Big difference. I think we could see changes to that at the end of the season ahead of next year. Think of it as an interim guide.

Secondly, the increased workload I’m talking about has little to do with pre-event planning and preparation. That’s a straightforward process. The most intense period of physical labour will be required in the days immediately prior to the running of the event. Under these new guidelines, organisers need to work with the local Forestry staff with regard to the preparation of car parks and spectator areas. They will also have to erect more signs, fence off more exits and entrances and tape off hundreds of yards of corners. And that’s in addition to checking the Road Book and stage arrowing.

Some teams are talking about two full days of physical effort to provide all this, and remember the Safety Delegate wants to go round the full route on the day before the rally. That means some poor sods having to take Wednesday and Thursday off work to do a couple of full shifts in the woods and then spend a full day Friday with the new SD making amendments and adjustments. That’s what I mean by the workload becoming intolerable for amateurs.

Not only that, the route plan has to show the exact number of marshals that will be stationed at each point on the route. If there aren’t enough bodies there on the day at the appointed hour, the stage will be cancelled. Even if the early risers are only late because they stopped for a bacon roll and a tea at a shack in a lay-by.
And if you think it’s bad enough the MSA getting involved, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The FIA have just issued a Press Release regarding the future of the sport and safety. Imagine the French trying to tell us how to run a rally – crikey they still think snails and frog legs are delicacies and haggis is awful, or should be offal?

Happy days, eh? The full FIA PR is here:
http://www.jaggybunnet.co.uk/2015/…/11-may-fia-safety-moves/

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