I have attended a few more training sessions this month at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch plus a few online sessions with the South Mids region. I was also delighted to be able to present the Barrie Williams award (https://www.marshals.co.uk/national-trophies/unipart-trophy/) to Margaret Simpson. Whilst at Brands Hatch the Norrie Bergin Trophy was awarded to David Dray and the BARC awarded their Marshal of the Year award to Robert Foote – both fitting and emotional tributes.
Alex Brundle started a Tweet back in November asking if marshals should be paid. (https://twitter.com/alexbrundle/status/1462808395711500291?s=21). I suggested he did a Taster Day and he agreed! He spent a full day at Brands Hatch on Sunday with a group of new marshals and brought some great insight as well as being humble and approachable. Hopefully we can get some more drivers along….?
This month is going to be a busy one as most Motorsport UK Committees have their first meetings of the year…Race Committee, Council and Volunteer Officials Committees for me. Marshals Advisory Group has already met twice and we have another meeting lined up this month as we work hard to put together the first draft of the new Marshals Pathway to replace the current grading schemes across all disciplines. We intend to go out to consultation by the end of March and will canvas as many opinions as possible – so watch this space! This is your opportunity to feedback your thoughts.
The introduction of lights at certain FIA International Grade 3 and above venues has been announced by Motorsport UK and the British Motor Sports Training Trust (BMSTT) (https://www.motorsportuk.org/news/motorsport-uk-forms-a-major-circuit-safety-programme-with-the-uk-circuit-owners-and-the-bmstt/). I have requested further clarity on its implementation to enable clear communication and involvement of all relevant parties as this is rolled out. Training, regulations and communications to clerks, marshals and competitors is all a necessary part of the process and requires involvement of the circuits and championships that are implementing different systems to ensure a collective approach and message. Hopefully I will be able to provide further updates and clarification soon.
Our first BMMC Council meeting takes place this week as we look to the future of the club and our members. If you wish to get involved the regional committees are always looking for assistance in a variety of roles and positions as well as potentially some National vacancy opportunities arising in the future.
I am going to sort my kit out over the coming weeks to make sure everything still fits and check if I need anything replacing so I am ready for the start of the season. Maybe add a few more stickers to my kit box and a few badges to my hat too!
And thankfully most meetings are still taking place remotely as my hybrid car decided it didn’t want to go on the M1 from Brands Hatch on Sunday and we had to be recovered home to Cheshire instead – fingers crossed it’s under warranty when the garage can eventually fit me in!
Nominated by the North West region, Margaret Simpson has given continual, tireless work in the organisational side of running motorsport events in the North West in her role as Chief Marshal; a mammoth task had been made even more difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Margaret is always a fantastic presence at race meetings and makes the effort to visit marshals out on circuit to ensure everybody is happy and check on their welfare.
Always putting the wellbeing of marshals first at every event she is Chief Marshal for, and always ‘fighting the marshals’ corner’, Margaret often goes out of her way to support marshals, whether that be hearing grievances and escalating them appropriately, or thanking marshals for their efforts at events.
Commenting after presenting Margaret with her award BMMC Chair Nadine Lewis said: “”Margaret’s nomination was put forward by the NW region but her contribution has been recognised by the whole club. Her support for the marshals has been unstinting in ensuring their needs have been catered for as we have worked through the pandemic.
” I am delighted to have been able to make this presentation at the NW training event and honoured to have presented it to such a worthy winner and a dear friend.”
The Mini 7 Racing Club has made a generous donation of £1500 to the British Motorsport Marshals Club (BMMC) at its recent annual awards evening.
Since the first Formula Mini Se7en race at Brands Hatch in 1966, the Mini 7 Racing Club has remained a favourite for drivers, race commentators, spectators and marshals alike.
The cars offer excellent value for money, with plenty of overtaking opportunities and a turn of speed that can surprise and often outpace many modern alternatives.
The latest in a series of generous donations to the club was collected on behalf of the BMMC by National Chair Nadine Lewis.
Speaking after the event Nadine said: “It really is humbling to hear the high regard in which our members are held by the wider motorsport community as I travel around the country representing the club.
“It is also very humbling to receive such generous donations such as this one for £1500 from Mini 7 Racing Club for which we are all extremely grateful.”
I finished January with a trip to Snetterton to take part in their training day. It was a great feeling to be back face-to-face after a couple of years away and despite COVID still being amongst us everyone was sensible and took lateral flow tests beforehand. The sessions were run in well ventilated garages and thankfully the sun was out and the winds hadn’t made it that far south! Thanks to those involved.
Further dates are coming up with Oulton Park the first weekend in February and Brands Hatch later this month – both also taking precautions to enable participants to feel as safe as possible. I know Donington and BRMC training was last weekend too and Cadwell / South Mids are later this month – maybe a Zoom session will be in order as well.
Thanks to everyone for all the continued hard work that you are putting in – training officers to make these days possible and everyone else for being respectful to others at all times. I have to say now most restrictions are lifted in England I can’t wait to be back motor racing which has felt the safest environment throughout this entire pandemic!
The volunteering database is now live for Race and Speed events particularly – subject to changes no doubt but hopefully fairly stable in comparison to the latest few years. But my word it is going to be a busy one – more days than ever as clubs try to make some money after the last few years losses. So pace yourselves!
Please also don’t feel obliged to attend a meeting because you don’t want to let your colleagues down. If you are unable to be there then please let the Chief marshals know as soon as possible so that they can redeploy those available. And only take on duties you are comfortable with – don’t feel embarrassed to say you haven’t had the training / don’t feel able to take on responsibilities etc. I know you all want to help but safety and comfort are the order of the day – stretch your comfort zone of course but do not step outside completely if you do not feel able to or are insufficiently supported.
Membership renewals are being processed as Dave works through the long list of Direct Debits – packs will be sent in due course as he works through the list. If you don’t have a direct debit set up and haven’t yet renewed please use the online link (https://www.marshals.co.uk/membership/renewal/). To be in with a chance of winning the annual prize you have until the end of March to complete your payment.
There is some communication from Motorsport UK to some individuals about the need for a DBS check. This is being rolled out and I am receiving many comments and questions. I have asked for clarification and guidance from Motorsport UK – some FAQ can be found here https://www.motorsportuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Safeguarding-DBS-PVG-Check-Questions-and-Answers.pdf. But please contact them directly if you need to firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope the training sessions refresh your memories and for those who have been away a welcome return. Take care and stay safe!
BMMC National Chair
I hope you have all been able to enjoy a Happy Christmas with family and friends and are well rested and renewed for the year ahead.
I spent Christmas at home with family and Ian and I enjoyed a few days away in a cosy cottage in the village of Eyam for New Year. A historic location associated with the plague of 1666 – many stories of great sacrifice and fortitude in the face of an unknown enemy. Tales of death and burial but a village self-isolating to protect the wider community. More than half the village died but many survived as a consequence of their actions and thoughts of others. Sounds familiar?
With COVID looking like a virus we are going to have to learn to live with – we all need to continue to take precautions and look out for others. Please note that BMMC face masks have a limited number of washes but there are plenty in stock for replacing if required!
Sadly events are still likely to be effected for some time to come – the cancellations of Autosport International in January and Race Retro in February are already announced.
The events list for 2022 is being worked on and the Regional Volunteering Coordinators will be updating the database in due course so please be patient as dates are added for fixed venue locations. The BRMC continues to maintain the calendar for rally events and again some already postponed events are now being cancelled or postponed again – so please keep an eye on their Facebook page for latest updates too (https://www.facebook.com/groups/britishrallymarshalsclub/). Please note – if you volunteer direct with the organising club please select “for insurance purposes only” on the BMMC volunteering database to avoid duplicating your application. And if you do need to cancel your attendance, please also inform the Chief marshal directly if within two weeks of the event.
For those of you who pay for club membership via Direct debit this will be taken from your account on 6 January – so please ensure you have sufficient funds available. If you do not have a direct debit set up please ensure you renew online via the membership pages (https://www.marshals.co.uk/membership/renewal/) so that you are entered in the annual draw and maintain access to club benefits.
I do hope to be able to come to some of the regional training days to say hello to a few of you in person and I cautiously welcome back the ability to run face to face sessions. These are for your benefit to keep your skills maintained so please do support where you are able. Zoom sessions may also be still available in some areas if you are not yet ready to join a roomful of people!
Thankfully the village of Eyam is more welcoming to visitors and cash and credit cards are accepted now rather than vinegar soaked coins! A refreshing break with some lovely walks and of course good food, drink and company – what better way to start a new year. Diet starts next week along with going back to work – although that is still home based for the foreseeable future.
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2022.
The 2021 annual Formula Junior Historic Racing Association (FJHRA) charity auction has raised £2000 to be shared between the British Motorsports Marshals’ Club (BMMC) and Air Ambulance UK this year.
It is the second such kind donation BMMC has received in as many weeks in the run up to the festive period and has helped bring a positive end to another challenging year dealing with the additional measures put in place to address the pandemic.
BMMC National Chair Nadine Lewis thanked FJHRA for their generosity and said: “It is always very humbling to hear what high esteem the clubs and their members have for our marshals and the great job they do.
“It is wonderful to hear their contribution and dedication praised and rewarded both in kind words and deeds such as this, we are very grateful to FJHRA for their valuable donation.”
FJHRA Chairman, Duncan Rabagliati said: “ Formula Junior is a family : our Marshal’s are a fundamental part of it and without the generosity of Marshals giving up their time to keep us safe trackside and in their various fundamental roles in a race weekend, none of us would be able to enjoy our passion of racing, and this is just a small gesture of our gratitude!”
British Sim racing group BSR has donated £570 to the British Motorsports Marshals’ Club (BMMC) after hosting a 3-hour SIM race at a virtual (?) Brands Hatch on Iracing on Monday 6th December.
With over 40 cars on the grid on the night, the generous donation from BSR will be ring-fenced for marshal recruitment activity and training.
BMMC National Chair Nadine Lewis welcomed the very kind and generous donation and said: “We were delighted that BSR wanted to raise funds for the club and extremely grateful to them for this very generous donation which will help with our recruitment and training plans in the coming year.”
BSR Administrator Michael Seale added: “We wanted to do something to recognise the terrific work done by marshals all over the UK and to say thank you for what they do to support motorsport. I’m sure this donation will be put to good use recruiting and training even more marshals for the future.”
The British Motorsports Marshals’ Club (BMMC) is delighted to announce it has secured a new sponsorship deal with Clapham North MOT that will further boost the BMMC members’ subsidy for PROBAN overalls.
The new deal comes into effect for the 2022 season and will ensure BMMC members ordering ready-made overalls will continue to receive a 100% subsidy, while those ordering made to measure will receive an equivalent grant of £102 thanks to the support of Clapham North MOT alongside existing sponsors.
Commenting on the new deal BMMC Chair Nadine Lewis said: “We’re delighted to welcome Clapham North MOT as our latest sponsor and look forward to their support next year together with all of our partners.
“It has always been the aim of the Club to be able to provide members with a 100% subsidy and the continued support of existing sponsors and the addition of this new agreement with Clapham North MOT allows us to retain this level of funding.”
Driver and Clapham North MOT owner George Grant added: “We’re delighted that Clapham North MOT and our partners at Downforce Radio are able to provide this additional support to BMMC marshals and we look forward to a positive and mutually beneficial partnership with the BMMC and its members.
“This new agreement is a great opportunity for Clapham North MOT to cement our commitment to supporting the men and women who work tirelessly week in, week out and in all weathers to help us all enjoy our racing safely.”
Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK, attended a taster day at Silverstone in October and his write up was in the latest Revolution. Well done to Chris Whitlock (SM Chair) for organising the day for him – although the weather probably could have been better – it meant that Mr Chambers had a full experience of what it’s like to be on the bank all day! He certainly made a point of mentioning it to me when I visited Bicester HQ and has a new found understanding and appreciation of our role.
Taster days are a great way of showing newbies the ropes but certainly isn’t the only route to start marshalling. We are encouraging interested individuals to get started as soon as possible if they wish. Those who need more information are invited to taster days at the earliest opportunity. Please make everyone feel welcome and show them the ropes. We have seen our membership decrease due to the pandemic so let’s hope we are coming out the other side and can boost our numbers again!
Mention of drivers doing a day on the bank was also made in Hugh’s article. And this was echoed in another article in Revolution about Skills for Success for which I was asked to contribute. I think it is a great way to gain understanding of an event and organisation – we probably get involved in more aspects than anyone else at an event. Hopefully this will be something we see more of in the future – I certainly will continue to encourage this!
Our membership renewals are now open – direct debits will be taken in January as usual. Please take this opportunity to log on via the volunteering system to check your details and in particular your next of kin information in line with Motorsport UK requirements.
Having totted up my volunteering days this year at 41 I hadn’t realised I had been so busy. Multiple event days at various locations soon add up! Donington, Oulton, Anglesey, Snetterton, Silverstone, Cadwell and Goodwood have all featured. Next year I hope that I will be able to visit a few different places – but I do need to fit in a twice postponed holiday at some point (COVID permitting!!)
I do have a day job which I sometimes wonder how I fit in but it does enable me to finance my weekends away with a decent meal or two along the way! Having worked from home for the last 18 months it was novel for me to go in the office for a day the other week. Seeing familiar faces in person rather than through a screen and also meeting some new employees in person was great. I might even get the chance to take my team out for a meal next month – oh dear more food!
The rest of my year will be taken up with AGMs and committee meetings. If you do want to get involved remember your regional committees are always looking for volunteers.
I know many of you have plenty more events to go so take care out there.
Another busy month completed – including my favourite meeting of the year. Bigger and better than previously the Goodwood Revival returned with a bumper crowd after a years’ absence. Fabulous racing – a few expensive bumps – mostly driver error or mechanical issues – but good clean racing with decent grids. What more could you wish for? We get to do it all again next month at the Members meeting – can’t wait!
CSCC raced into the night at Anglesey at the weekend – more great racing and bumper grids. If anyone wants to help out, one of our club sponsors the CSCC would welcome more volunteers at Silverstone on Sunday 24 October – 6 races with 60+ cars per race!
Two common themes from these meetings – great racing coupled with very few reports required. Driving standards are both high and penalised when not adhered to. This cannot be said for all events and this was discussed at much length at Race Committee meeting – further sub-group meetings to be planned to determine a way forward which can be agreed. I am sure we all have examples and I would run out of space writing mine here – just to say Motorsport UK are listening and actions will be put in place.
I hope you are processing your Motorsport UK registration renewals – has anyone done the online training too? Any feedback would be welcomed. Our own renewal process will be launched in November so please wait until then before trying to renew (those keen ones of you who already have applied will be processed in due course!)
The BMMC regions will be submitting award nominations to Motorsport UK for Volunteer of the Year. At the same time regions are looking for nominations for their regional awards – these are your awards for our members and it would be great to have more involvement from members in these processes.
Regional AGMs are also being planned – some on Zoom and some in person. Where possible I hope to attend these and encourage you to do the same – this is your opportunity to hear how your region is doing and get involved. Into December the National AGM is also being planned via Zoom to encourage attendance.
We recognise that as we have come back to marshalling this year a number of things have had to change and we would welcome your views on these changes in order for us to improve your marshalling experience in 2022. Please forward your views to your regional committee and maybe there will be the opportunity to put these comments in person as we look to hold some regional informal sessions with our members. Check out your local news for information.
Out of respect Robert Foote’s funeral took place on 10 September with family and close friends in attendance. A memorial service to Robert and his late wife Rosemary will be taking place on Friday 15 October which will be attended by Steve Woolfe on behalf of the BMMC.
BMMC National Chair
For 2021 the TVR Car Club Committee unanimously decided that the Trophy should be awarded to the British Motorsport Marshals Club (BMMC) This is not only in recognition of their contribution to motorsport this year but to recognise the past and ongoing contribution they make to not only TVR motorsport but all formats of motorsport. Marshals represent a cornerstone of motorsport and without them in the same way as without the drivers, teams and officials there would be no motorsport. We are all one big family who rely on each other to do what we do.
This Trophy was commissioned for and presented to the Club in 1965 by Avril Scott Moncrieff in honour of her husband Bunty who was a key figure in the early days of TVR. He owned a Rolls Royce dealership in Staffordshire and in 1955 started selling TVRs. In 1958 he was invited to join the board of directors in Blackpool and rapidly became intimately involved in the development of the Grantura, especially in motorsport where both he and Avril were amongst the first regular competitors in TVR motorsport in their brown Grantura Mk1, nicknamed the ‘coffee bean’. In 1962, when TVR first appeared at Le Mans, the Scott Moncrieffs drove one of the support cars to the famous La Sarthe circuit. Bunty was also important in the history the Car Club being appointed its first president when the Club was formed in London in the same year.
The trophy was traditionally awarded to the driver who won the most points in a single season of motorsport in a TVR and has some very famous names engraved around its base including Gerry Marshall, Tommy Entwistle, Rob Farmer and Paul Weldon. About 10 years ago with the rise of interest in all forms of motorsport within the Club, especially the various sprint series in which a very successful driver in one series could regularly win but accumulate far fewer points than a less successful competitor in a rival series that awarded points differently, it was decided by the Committee to change the criteria for the award. It is now awarded to the individual who has made the single greatest contribution to TVR motorsport during the year.
As a driver we all hope never to meet the track side marshals whilst out on the circuit as it means something has gone wrong, and most of our contact is with pit lane and holding area marshals, but we do appreciate the job they all do. Sometimes a driver may not express this very well when climbing from a smoking car but it is always handled well by the Orange Army.
Speaking after the presentation of the award, BMMC Midlands Chair and National Recruitment Officer Jayne Poston said: “It was a great honour to collect this prestigious award on behalf of the BMMC in recognition of the work and dedication of not just our own members but all club marshals in the UK.”
At a recent meeting at Oulton Park, the Karting Legends recognised the contribution of marshals to their sport with a generous donation to the British Motorsport Marshals Club.
Invited by the Historic Sports Car Club, Karting Legends attended the Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting held over the August bank holiday and displayed 19 historic karts with their age ranging from 1975 to 1990.
During the weekend Tim Baker Chairman of Karting Legends presented a cheque for £700 to Nadine Lewis, National Chair of BMMC, and Margaret Simpson, Chief Marshal at Oulton Park.
Speaking after the presentation Tim said: “Whenever possible we like to support the voluntary marshals as they do a great job supporting British Motorsport.”
Accepting the donation on behalf of BMMC Nadine Lewis thanks Tim and the Karting Legends club members and said: “This is a very thoughtful and generous donation that I’m sure our 2,400+ members will appreciate.”