MARSHALLING FAQ

Marshalling FAQ

WHAT IS MARSHALLING?


If you've been to a Loton Park event before (or any other motorsport event), you may have noticed people dressed in orange overalls. These volunteers are responsible for ensuring the meeting is running safely and perform a variety of roles and tasks to enable this to happen. If you are aged 11 or over, and in good health, then marshalling is open to you. Some examples of these roles are: Paddock: These marshals are responsible for organising cars and drivers into their respective batches before taking their runs up the track. Startline: All competing vehicles must follow a set starting procedure which involves lining up the vehicle using alignment beams forming part of the electronic timing system. Starline marshals manoeuvre the vehicle into position using the alignment beams and hold the car using a chock until the competitor is given a green light to start. Track: There are 10 Marshal's Posts along the Loton Park hillclimb course, and marshals stationed on them perform various tasks whilst the day takes place. Their most important role is the use of a Red Flag (and on some posts a Red Light) which is used to indicate to a competitor that the track is unsafe and must therefore stop. They are also used to indicate that a batch has been completed and ensures the hill is clear for vehicles to return to the paddock from the top of the hill. The Red Flag is also accompanied by a whistle to alert other Marshal Posts. Sometimes things can go wrong, and Track Marshals are there to assist when they do whether it be debris on the track, an oil spill, or an incident. A radio communications system is also used at Loton Park by the Marshals, Course Control and the Clerks of the Course. Top Paddock: After a vehicle has completed its run up the hillclimb, it stops at the Top Paddock holding area before the batch is completed, and then returns down to the main paddock. Top Paddock marshals are responsible for organising the cars so that they are ready to return safely (and in some cases, in the correct order). Cadet Marshals: Cadet Marshals are those aged 11-16 who marshal at Loton Park. We have a team of Cadets who mainly work in the Paddock or Top Paddock.




WHY MARSHAL?


Marshalling is by far the best way to get a hands-on experience with Motorsport without actually competing. Not only do you get the best seat in the house, you also get up and personal with the machinery and you don't have to pay to get in. The Marshalling Team at Loton Park is a friendly bunch of people and, whilst being professional, are all there to enjoy themselves and have a good weekend of motorsport. There is a great feeling of camaraderie and team work plays a massive part in what they do. The skills learnt whilst marshalling are also invaluable and can be used in everyday life.




WHAT TRAINING IS INVOLVED?


You need no prior training to become a Marshal at Loton Park. We will provide you with some basic equipment (fireproof overalls, gloves, whistle etc) and you can be under the supervision by more experienced marshals who can teach you the ropes on the day. If you decide Marshalling is for you, there are training days each year before the racing season commences. At these days, various topics are covered such as basic first aid, incident handling, radio usage and fire training (which involves active use of fire extinguishers to put out a real fire). These training days are extremely useful to build up skills and confidence, and can be used to aid with a Motorsport UK Marshal Licence Upgrade. To find out more about these training days, please email the Chief Marshal.




IS MARSHALLING DANGEROUS?


All forms of motorsport pose dangers, though safety is paramount at all our events and we are always working to mitigae these dangers as best we can. Marshals are encouraged to wear all the recommended safety equipment to fully minimise any chance of injury whilst undertaking their roles. We operate all our events under a Motorsport UK Permit and all officials and marshals are required to sign on in the morning before undertaking their duties. Motorsport UK can provide insurance cover in the event that something goes wrong. Further to that, the British Motorsport Marshals Club (BMMC) can provide additional insurance cover for a small annual membership fee.




WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?


If you've never marshalled before, we can lend you some basic equipment on your first day to get you started. If you decide that marshalling is for you, a typical kit list includes:

  • Orange Proban overalls (fire retardent)
  • Sturdy boots, ideally steel-toe
  • Hi-vis waterproof jacket
  • Whistle
  • Welding gauntlets (or similar heat-proof gloves)
  • Warm under clothing
  • Suncream, sunhat, sunglasses
  • Snacks
Equipment such as red flags and radios are owned by the venue and are issued to marshals before the day commences. Proban overalls can be given to marshals free of charge that have committed to marshalling at many Loton Park events.




WHAT DOES A TYPICAL MARSHALLING DAY LOOK LIKE?


(Times vary at each event, this is just a rough timeline) 7:45-8:30 SIGN-ON Before anyone is allowed to carry out their role at a meeting, they must first sign-on at the Marshal's Pound/Officials building found near Triangle Bend. Here you are told what post you will be on for the day, who will be marshalling with you, and then issued with £10 to cover your fuel expense. Equipment such as radios are also issued here. Whilst sign-on is taking place, you can help yourself to tea/coffee and bottled water which you can take onto the track for the morning, free of charge. 8:30 MARSHAL BRIEFING After sign-on is completed, a briefing is given to all marshals by the Chief Marshal, Clerks of the Course, Course Control and the Chief Medical Officer. Any relevant information and updates about the day's proceedings are given here. 8:55 RADIO CHECK AND COURSE INSPECTION After the briefing has finished, all marshals then make their way to their posts and set up their equipment (fire extinguishers, shovels and brooms, flags etc). A radio check is carried out across the whole venue, and then the Clerk of the Course conducts a full track inspection with the Motorsport UK Steward in the course car. Once this has been done, the racing can begin. 9:00 RACING BEGINS Competitive vehicles start their runs up the hillclimb. Marshals on each point carry out their respective duties. 13:00 LUNCH BREAK All marshals and officials stand down and make their way to the Marshal's Pound for lunch. Sandwiches, crisps, cake, cold drinks, tea/coffee and water are all provided free of charge at lunch time. 13:50 RACING RECOMMENCES 17:30 RACING FINISHES Once the day has drawn to a close all marshals stand down, pack their equipment away and return to the Marshal's Pound to give back radios and borrowed equipment. Whilst some return straight home, it is usual practice for others to attend the prize giving at the bar for a drink, or to stay overnight at the Marshal's camping area.




WHAT IS PROVIDED?


All marshals at Loton Park are provided the following (each day):

  • £10, to cover fuel expenses
  • Tea/coffee and bottled water in the morning
  • Sandwiches, crisps, cake, cold drinks, tea/coffee and bottled water at lunchtime
  • Basic equipment (e.g. whistles or gloves) to those that are new or dont have any
  • Free entry to the venue
  • Free overnight camping (Friday and Saturday evenings)
  • Free event programme
  • Entry into the Marshal's raffle




HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?


The easiest way to get involved is to contact the Chief Marshal, Sam Walker. He can be contacted by email at chiefmarshal@hdlcc.com or mobile at 07484 160287 Further to that, you can fill out an availability form found on the website to let Sam know what events you are available for. If you are at a Loton Park meeting, feel free to have a chat to any of the marshals who will be happy to tell you how to get involved. The Marshal's Pound (named Trimble's) is found near Triangle bend - do come and say hello during the lunch break whilst all the marshals are there.




WHAT ARE MOTORSPORT UK LICENCES?


If you decide that marshalling is for you, it is recommended that you register with Motorsport UK to obtain a Marshal Licence. The licence can be obtained free of charge and allows you to keep a record of all the events you have attended as proof of your expereince - this is particularly useful for marshalling somehwere new having marshalled elsewhere. The 'Speed' licence upgrade scheme alligns with the roles undertaken at Loton Park and allows you to collect signatures at every event you attend, contributing towards the grade you are working for. All new marshals begin with a 'Trainee' grade, and upgrade to 'Marshal', 'Experienced Marshal', 'Post Chief' and finally 'Examining Post Chief'. Those aged under 16 are given the 'Cadet Marshal' grade. Motorsport UK also provide insurace cover to all licenced marshals when they are signed on at an event. For more information, please visit: https://www.motorsportuk.org/volunteers/marshals/ Alternatively, contact the Chief Marshal.




I AM AGED 11-16. CAN I BE INVOLVED?


Yes! Anyone aged 11 or over in good health are welcome to marshal at Loton Park. Those under 16 are refered as 'Cadet Marshals'. Cadet Marshals are restricted to Paddock and Top Paddock only during a race weekend, though their work is invaluable. We are always in need of young blood in our sport and Cadet Marshals are always welcome at our events. Currently, we have a large team of Cadets at Loton Park and we always need more! If you would like more information, please contact the Chief Marshal.




WHO DO I CONTACT ABOUT MARSHALLING?


The Chief Marshal at Loton Park is Sam Walker. He can be contacted via email at: chiefmarshal@hdlcc.com or mobile at 07484 160287





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