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Marshalling at Brands Hatch
- 12/03/2011
M Salmon, previously a competitor in the Orkney Motor Club, is commencing a season of marshalling at Brands Hatch at recommends volunteering as a great way to get involved in motorsports locally, throughout the UK and beyond.

ďFollowing a number of years competing in the autotests held by the Orkney Motor Club, I had the opportunity to begin volunteering at the Brands Hatch circuit. My first ďtaster dayĒ was at the Formula Ford Festival in 2009, which gave me an introduction to what marshalling involves and let me get up close to Formula Ford, Fiesta Cup and Sports 2000 racing. Being the end of the season it was hard work in the cold weather, but I recommend marshalling to anyone who wants to get involved in motorsport, and either canít afford to enter or to regularly pay for entry with the other spectators.

Following my taster session I signed up for 2010 and marshalled at Truck racing, Legends, World Touring Cars, British Touring Cars, Legends, Saloons, Formula 2, Lotus Cup, Ginettas, Minis, Formula Juniors, Superleague Formula, GTís, Maserati and a large diversity of support races, Historic Sprints and other events. In 2011 Iíll be doing this and more, adding the Superbikes, DTM and Historic F1 events to my schedule. If possible Iíll be nipping over to marshal at the World Rally too.

But it doesnít end with UK events. As of next year Iíll be considered as a candidate for F1 marshalling and will stand a chance at being selected to go on all-expenses paid trips to F1 events abroad. There are other bonuses too Ė for example in May Iíll be visiting the Mercedes F1 factory for a tour of their facilities, again free of charge thanks to the marshalling organisation.

It can seem to be difficult to get involved in motorsport if you donít know anyone to take you in, but really it is a lot easier than you might think. All the marshals Iíve met are very enthusiastic about what they do and are more than happy to help out those who are just starting out. Itís a great place to meet other people who have a passion for motorsport, and you meet people from all kinds of backgrounds. The best bit though is that you get to get closer to the action than the public, and can quite literally have a hand in the running of the event, whether it be monitoring safety or clearing up after incidents.

Of course you donít need to stay as a track marshal, you could branch out and try flagging, paddock marshalling, timekeeping, scrutineering and a whole diversity of other organisational jobs. Iím commencing training as a scrutineer, but want to get a bit more marshalling experience under my belt before fully committing to this.

The plus points are quite a lure Ė Getting close to the action, getting free entry to motorsport events, sometimes getting your name printed in the programme or getting a raffle win or another bonus (like F1 factory tours and free Track days), free breakfasts etc.

The low points are not that significant Ė You will be expected to be on duty for anything from 6 to 10 hours a day (depending upon the event), you will have to withstand all the weather can throw at you and thatís about it really. Clearly you have to watch out for yourself and your team, and there will be a lot of clearing up debris, major incidents and pushing stranded race cars around, but really I donít consider there to be any real negative points Ė well other than that you have to get up early Ė I get up at 0515hrs on Saturdays.

If you would like to get involved in Marshalling, give us a shout at the Orkney Motor Club using our website contact form and weíll do all we can to help you kick start your involvement in motorsport.Ē


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