No volunteers, no motorsport!
All motor sport events, from Formula 1 grands prix to club-level Hill Climbs, need volunteers to help run them safely and effectively. From pits and paddock to trackside, they do everything from essential administrative work to providing life-saving safety cover.
Almost all motor sport events need volunteer marshals (recognisable from their orange overalls on circuit events) to make sure they are run safely and effectively. Marshalling is a rewarding way of getting more closely involved with motor sport and joining a community of like-minded enthusiasts; general duties range from displaying flag signals to drivers and clearing debris to helping extract drivers and cars that have crashed or broken down.
A Scrutineer’s job is to check that competing vehicles comply with the relevant technical regulations, which help to ensure safety and fair play. Whilst experience in engineering or a similar technical field is usually an advantage, it is not essential; an enthusiasm and a keen eye for detail are very welcome.
The process for obtaining a Trainee Scrutineer licence is free and simple; complete the MSA’s New Officials Registration form and return it by post to the MSA Licensing Department. You will need to tick the relevant box or boxes depending on whether you want to be a Car, Kart or Environmental Trainee Scrutineer and you can apply to be all three if you wish.
You’ll then be sent a Trainee Licence and an introductory pack, with a Training Module and DVD.
Rescuing and Recovery
MSA-licensed Rescue personnel provide immediate medical and extrication facilities at the scene of an incident. They move around venues aboard MSA licensed Rescue Units, which are kitted out with the latest medical and extrication equipment.
Meanwhile Recovery personnel retrieve stricken cars, operating from MSA-licensed Recovery Units fitted with vehicle recovery equipment.
To obtain a Trainee licence you will first need to gain the support of a current MSA-licensed unit and then complete the MSA’s New Officials Registration form, which must be returned to the MSA Licensing Department with a supporting letter from the unit operator.
You will then be sent your Trainee Licence and the relevant Training Module.
Timekeeping is an essential element of most motor sport events, with the timekeeper’s role being to record competitors’ times and positions in order to determine the event results.
The tools used range from simple hand-held stopwatches to complex electronic timing systems that can accurately measure to the nearest thousandth of a second.
To acquire a Trainee Timekeeper licence you simply need to complete the MSA’s New Officials Registration form and return it by post to the MSA Licensing Department, having ticked the Timekeeper Trainee box.
You will then be sent a Trainee Licence and an introductory pack with the Training Module.
Clerk of the Course
The Clerk of the Course is the person in overall charge of an event. For some events, such as Autotests, no licence is required although experience and a good understanding of the rules is needed. For circuit racing, speed (sprint and hillclimb) events and stage rallies, a licence is required after a modular training programme has been completed. Find out more by clicking here.
Seminars and Training Days
Attendance at Training Days and Seminars is an integral part of being a motor sport official. All MSA-supported training days are detailed online.
In general terms, there are none. Volunteers are welcome at any age, although the duties of young people may be limited in certain situations. Those aged between their 11th and 16th birthdays qualify as cadet marshals and though are unable to perform trackside duties they can get involved in a host of other interesting roles.
Motor sport offers equal opportunities at all levels, although there are a few legal exemptions, including certain competitor disabilities and minimum ages for both competing and officiating.
If you already have special skills – technical, mechanical, rescue, vehicle recovery, medical, first aid or administration; you may wish to use them as a volunteer in motor sport.
Who should I contact?
The best place to start is Volunteers in Motorsport, an MSA-backed initiative to encourage more people like you to become involved with the sport. This programme has been set up specifically to get you on track for action, a crucial involvement in motor sport and making new friends.
What if I don't fancy marshalling?
Volunterring in motor sport is not just about marshalling, there are many other roles too. For example, entries secretaries are needed to receive competitors' entries, process payments and create entry lists. Media Officers are often needed to promote events including on social media. Contact your local club and find out how you can support them. The majority of local and national motor clubs will be looking for a range of volunteers.
Other useful contacts include:
- The British Motor Racing Marshals Club and British Rally Marshals Club
- The Scottish Motorsport Marshals Club