Track marshal


Track marshal

Track marshals or in some countries, known as a course worker, have a long history in motor racing in running of racing events, even at more amateur levels such as the racing of go carts. They are responsible for the safety of competitors, and their presence is to aid them in the case of any collisions, accidents or track problems.

A rally marshal holds much the same duties, but are used in rallies. They are usually housed in posts along the stage of a rally in junctions, to be of aid if a car has an accident.

Most track marshals have a love for racing and possess the following skills:

* Use of radios (radio protocol and shorthand)
* Good vision
* Flag signaling
* Trained in fire fighting, including chemical fires caused by gasoline, oil, nitrous oxide, alcohol etc.
* Trained in first aid, as a first responder (first aid, CPR and heart defibrillator certifications)
* Experience with crowd control, ticket sales, pit crew safety and racing rules of various racing events, including race car equipment inspection.

Often a Chief Track Marshal's responsibilities will include the supervision and briefing of marshals for all daily activities, allocation of day-to-day marshalling duties; provision of marshal vehicles, training of all marshals for incident handling, flag signaling, fire fighting, communications and basic track first aid, and monitoring of health and safety on site to ensure the safety of all guests and personnel. A Chief Track Marshal’s role is running the radio “network” during the race and communication with all other track marshals as “net control”.

The successful Chief Track Marshals are highly organized with good communication skills and have previous experience in a track marshalling or similar motor sport roles.

To become a marshal

For anyone person who wish to apply to be a marshal, they would usually be advised to attend a training session that takes place at their nearest racetrack. Commonly a two day session with the Saturday being reserved for flag training for experienced marshals who want to become flag marshals and a session held to those of all levels on Sunday. During that session in the early morning, after a briefing session, marshals are usually split into the newcomers and the inexperienced to those who are more experienced. During a newcomer session, they would be advised on what to bring,

The afternoon session would consist of fire fighting exercise, which marshals would work in twos, one holds the blue (Dry Powder) fire extinguisher, which they use to reduce the flame to size first, then the other one extinguish it completely with the white (water) bottle, after that, the newcomers would be shown an observer post which

Then they will be debriefed and make their way home.

Essential items

These are the items that are considered to be essential items for a marshal

*safety boots
*warm drink is advised to keep the blood warm as they will be standing up in various weather
*packed lunch, though few venues provide food and drink.
*Orange flameproof overalls is a common clothing of a track marshal

The day at the races

At the end of a training day, a potential marshal would be given a list of meeting they wish to work at, in order for them to do so, they could fill in the sheet and send it off or contact a marshal, who could provide them a contact to give them an entry ticket to get in. A marshal is expected to attend the signing on session in the early morning which they will be designated a post they will be working at, once there, he/she will make their way there and be signed on as well as should they have a registration card, it will be handed on to the observer. Each group of marshals would usually work in twos, Flag marshals would remain outside the observer post and Incident marshals would usually work in two groups, before the first race is commenced, they would take with them each a white (water) and blue (Dry Powder) fire extinguisher to the designated marshalling point at one side ten meters away from the post.

At the end of each race, incident marshals would swap place with the other incident marshals to be commenced for the next race.

After the final race is complete, Incident marshals would take their extinguisher back to the observer post to be locked away in the metal box along with the flags and broom as well as a bucket of sawdust used to clean up spilt oil. Once all this is done, a marshal would be handed back his card with an observer's signature for their part. By then, with nothing else to do, some of them are free to go home, some would come in to the circuit's bar or where drinks will be provided to have a drink and converse with other marshals about their experience that day.

When a marshal gains his/her experience, they will be advised to invest on joining a marshals club for extra insurance purposes as well as an orange suit, as this is the chosen color, due to the fact it does not clash with any other flags, though any orange clothing is encouraged as well as a worker's safety tabbard.

External links

* [http://www.openroadracing.com/html/safety.html MKM Racing article on marshalling]

Associations

* [http://www.usarm.org/ United States Auto Racing Marshals]
* [http://www.marshals.co.uk/ British Motorsport Marshals Club]
* [http://www.kma.org.za/ Kyalami Marshals Association]
* [http://www.samroa.org.au/ South Australian Motor Racing Officials Association]
* [http://www.smrc-uk.com/ Scottish Motor Racing Club]
* [http://www.smmc.org.uk/ Scottish Motorsport Marshals Club]
* [http://www.belgianmarshals.be/ Belgian Track Marshals]

Marshalling guide

* [http://www.marshals.co.uk/new/files/msfguide.pdf BMMC Marshalling Guide]
* [http://www.rmsolo.org/CornerGuide.html SCCA Solo II Cornerworker's Guide]
* [http://www.usarm.org/manual.php?PHPSESSID=78bb2d847ad8a80bf0321b306f1d0d60 USARM Manual]


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