2016 Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship
Jointly adminsitered by The Welsh Racing Drivers Association & BARC
Supported by The Pembrey Performance Driving School
Events such as race and sprints are surprisingly major undertaking... it requires the efforts of literally dozens of people, working up front and behind the scenes, for the better part of the year, to make even a modest racing schedule happen. Happily, those wanting to lend a hand are welcomed with open arms, and are rewarded with adventure, camaraderie, and friendship. In addition to races held locally, WRDA race officials help staff major events throughout the U.K, and some have even traveled to Formula One races in Australia and Europe! If you ever thought you might like to give racing a try, working races can give you valuable insights into driving, preparation, and the race tracks themselves. There are lots of jobs to do-- one of these might be for you:
Your first contacts at any event are the smiling workers of Race Admin. They make sure you have the proper credentials (photo ID. license, and have signed the waiver) to work your specialty. The goal here is to get your registration done in the quickest way possible, so you can enjoy the weekend of racing.
Standing on every corner of every race track around the world are the Marshals. This specialty is actually made up of three subspecialties. Course/Fire, Flagging, and Observer. The Course/Fire & Flag Marshals may actually participate in all three areas throughout a given day without ever leaving his or her station. The most important part of the year is the pre-season Marshals training day.
Marshals assigned as Course Marshals go to an incident scene, under the direction of the Observer, to provide a first response. Their main responsibility is to clear the track of disabled and stopped vehicles and to communicate back to the Marshals Post what the car(s) and driver(s) may need in the way of assistance. Some of these cars may have a mechanical problem or they may simply have run out of gas. Other responsibilities include assisting in clean-up of soiled track areas. The most important part of the year is the pre-season Marshals training day.
Marshals assigned as Fire Marshals go to an incident scene, under the direction of the Observer, to provide a first response. Their main responsibility is to deal with any fires that may occur, and to communicate back to the Marshals Post what the car(s) and driver(s) may need in the way of assistance. The most important part of the year is the pre-season Marshals training day.
Flag Marshals relay information to the drivers on course with a variety of different flags.
Observers are responsible at an incident scene for the safety of the competitors and the Marshals under their control. They communicate with the Clerks of the Course via race control and advise them of any incidents and may call for back up if assistance is required. Observers usually start their career as Course/Fire or Flag Marshals before progressing on to Observer. The most important part of the year is the pre-season Marshals training day.
This is where you get to meet race drivers up close and personal. You could say that these are the folks who direct traffic-- paddock marshals make sure everyone is parked where they're supposed to be, and help direct those who aren't sure. If you think the race track sometimes gets crowded, imagine what it is like where the cars park when they are not racing. Paddock is the group that is responsible for ensuring the safe and speedy passage of the race cars to the grid prior to their event, and from the track back to their paddock areas. They may also help the Scruitineers, by directing cars to the Scruitineering bay or parc-ferme at the end of a race or practice. Assembly area's job is to make sure everyone is lined up in the proper order before they go out to practice or go to the startline if they are due to start racing. Paddock also works with Fire and Rescue and all emergency vehicles to ensure spectator safety and to provide clear access for all emergency vehicles.
Start line's job is to make sure everyone is lined up in the proper order before they start racing. This is where you get to meet race drivers up close and personal. Pit marshals oversee safety in the pits especially during pit stops.
When an incident is serious, these folks take over. Fire Fighting and/or emergency medical skills are part of the Rescue Crew's portfolio, though they also tow disabled cars off the track. Rescue crew are trained and expected to become highly skilled as para-medics and emergency rescue workers. The most important part of the year is the pre-season Marshals training day.
There are two primary functions of a Scruitineer. The first entails a complete visual inspection of all the safety equipment. This includes seat belts, shoulder belts, roll cage, fire system, and general integrity and race worthiness of the car. The second function is to inspect cars at the end of a race or practice to determine their legality with respect to the General Competition Rules and the specifications for their class.
Racing noise may be music to a fans ears, but to the nearby landowner it may not be so pleasant. The sound output of the cars is recorded during practice, qualifying and the race to ensure compliance with a set level, say 103 decibels. At the end of each session the readings are presented to the Chief Steward of the event for review. If a competitor exceeds the limit he is advised and he must make corrections to meet the legal limit or risk disqualification.
When you ask, "who's winning," these are the ones who know! They time the cars during qualifying sessions, and track the running order during races. Since T&S does its job well away from the racing surface, it can be an excellent place for those under 16 to get involved (in fact, the computerized nature of T&S means kids are some of the best timers and scorers!).
The Starter communicates the Clerk of the Course's instructions to the drivers through a series of colored flags, beginning with the green flag to start the race. The Starter also uses other flags, including : blue, black, red, yellow, white, and of course, the flag every leading driver eagerly awaits, the checkered flag!
Clerk(s) of the Course & Stewards are normally long term members of the club, and are very experienced officials. They can be ex-drivers or have worked their way up as marshals, and are responsible for the general conduct of a racing event in accordance with the "General Competition Rules". The Clerk(s) of the Course are the executive decision makers at an event, and have broad powers to assure the safety of an event and the legality of the race cars. The Clerk(s) of the Course hears and decides the outcome of protests, and/or investigate incidents, and may impose penalties as a result. Stewards hear and decide the outcome of appeals. Like other workers and officials, Clerk(s) of the Course have license grades that depend on their level of experience. The Chief Steward is the senior official at a race.
Race Control is a "catch all" specialty covering those people that assist in various tasks that are not otherwise defined. As an example, the pace car driver falls into this category as well as the people who plan the "after hours" activities such as award presentations.
Communication between all of the people that are involved is an absolute requirement. The Radio Tech. specialty is responsible to make sure that all of the radios are working properly all of the time.
As you can see, there is a lot to do, and your help would be appreciated. Of course there are many clubs you can marshal for, and it can take you all of the country, if not the world.
Marshals are welcome to join the WRDA as Social members at a cost of £15.00. Click here to go to the Application Form.
If you want to know which of the marshalling duties would be best for you contact Ernie Preece at Pembrey or via his Facebook page! Ernie is one of the top marshals in Wales and he will be glad to hear from you.
Other sites giving details of what its like to be a Marshal
http://www.marshals.co.uk/ The British Motorsport Marshals Club