All motorsport events, from Formula 1 Grand Prix to club-level Autotests, 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) 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. Rallies run on closed roads so stopping the general public from blocking the stage. As a rally marshal you need to make sure your section of the stage is clear from blockages, any members of the public spectating are in a safe place, and then when the competitors come through, ensuring that everything passes safely. If an incident does occur then you would need to act quickly, but remembering safety first!
What do I need to go marshalling?
When you marshal on a rally, most of the time you will have your car near to your location. As mentioned above marshalling is mainly common sense. Waterproofs are essential regardless of the season or weather forecast. Extra layers of clothing, sun cream, lots of fluids (especially water), in winter a flask of soup or coffee goes a long way. In rallies specialist equipment is not necessary, however over time as your experience of different situations grows you may wish to purchase some equipment. This is entirely optional and will depend on what you have experienced.
How often do I have to go marshalling?
As much or as little as you like. If you work some weekends, obviously when you have time off then you can go. If you don’t have the finances to pay for petrol or accommodation to go all over the country then stick to local events. Some people do go all over country marshalling but this is their choice. There isn’t a minimum or maximum number of events you need to go to.
What does it cost?
What ever you spend. (i.e. petrol, food, drink, accommodation if applicable). There is no charge to go marshalling. However there are usually charges just to go watching!
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 11 and 16 years of age qualify as cadet marshals and though are unable to perform trackside duties 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.
How do I get involved?
Simple come along to the club on Thursday nights and have a chat with some of the other people who go marshalling. This has been set up specifically to get you on track for action, a crucial involvement in motor sport and making new friends. We are always looking for help on our events. If you are available, please contact the club via our contacts page