This is a personal and a passionate plea to everyone involved in any way with motorsport but especially to those of you who compete in any motorsport discipline; race, rally, sprint, hillclimb, off road or any other format.
Our sport is under ever increasing regulatory pressure especially with regard to safety. I don’t want to reopen any debate about the rights and wrongs of the additional safety requirements or the reasons for changes to them but simply to say that they are a fact of life which we must face up to.
One of the most significant changes is to the role of a motorsport marshal. If you are a competitor, you must surely understand and appreciate that without these stalwarts standing out there in hi-viz overalls and tabards, you would not be allowed ‘out to play’ on the tracks and stages.
It is very important that events not only have enough marshals but that they are proficient at what they do. Just like in many other walks of life, the need to evidence this level of competence is increasing. To this end, marshals are encouraged to register annually with the MSA and there is a programme of training events run across the UK including around 25 events in Scotland in 2017.
The very real problem we face is that these training events will be cancelled if there are not enough people to justify the cost (which is covered jointly by the MSA and SACC). One for Speed marshals has already suffered this fate in 2017. If registered marshals don’t attend some formal training on a regular basis, they risk losing their MSA registration.
So why does this matter?
Well quite simply, if an event does not have enough registered qualified marshals signed on then it will not be allowed to run. As a competitor, you will have prepared your car, paid your entry fee, covered your travel costs but you will not be out there showing how fast and skilful you are.
Please think about this very carefully. I would encourage you all to consider registering as a marshal and attending at least one training event this year. More than that, I would encourage you to turn out and marshal on a couple of events in 2017. Better still, encourage all your team to do the same. I know that some of you already do this but there are plenty who don’t.