Marshal Training

On Saturday I went to my first ever event as a marshal 🙂 It was only training but still, I was excited! haha

I didn’t realise these events were run but I am so glad they are, it gives the perfect chance for experienced marshals to pass on loads of information to newbies before we get anywhere near a live racing circuit!

A Saturday spent in a classroom wouldn’t normally be my cup of tea but it was a really good day, very informative and fun. We saw quite a few scary videos on what not to do as a marshal, so I just hope I don’t ever end up in one.

We were taught about the basics of incident handling, flag marshalling, fire theory and the general system of grading and what to do on the day, signing in, all that kind of thing. Basic stuff but helpful to have it explained to make things a bit easier when it comes to doing it for real! It was also good to have the whole system demystified as I found it quite confusing when trying to work out which club to join. In the end it seems it doesn’t matter, so long as you join a club that is affiliated with the MSA, which is the important register to be on. I joined up with the BMMC but it’s actually the Silverstone Marshals Club I should have joined, just to make it easy with doing the majority of my events there. And plus I’m that sad I want to have Silverstone on my overalls (well I do want to live in the village just to have Silverstone in my address!).

In the afternoon we had practical sessions, rolling a car in a controlled manner incase the driver was stuck inside injured and then tackling a fire. That was all a bit scary, I’ve never used a fire extinguisher before, let alone on a fireball that was two cars! Especially as one had magnesium parts & so it was popping like fireworks on a bonfire!

I intend to try out all areas of marshalling as I want to be on the bank and in the pits and paddock, getting close to the cars in that way too. After the training I’m a bit worried I won’t be much good on the bank, so may stick to the pits! Jumping over barriers, running through gravel traps and carrying fire extinguishers are all things I know I’ll get better at with practice, but helping a driver who might be seriously injured (although hopefully a rare occurrence) is a very scary thought. I intend to take my time, learning what to do so hopefully if I do have to help at an incident like that, I don’t panic and just do what needs to be done.

And after a few sessions on the bank, if I’m still useless I will definitely be in the pits and paddock!

A big thanks to the Silverstone Marshals Club for putting this training session on, Penny and the marshals who took the training Peter and Simon seem like a good bunch so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Marshal Training

  1. My first weekend marshalling was on the bank, and it was ace, I really loved it. But since then I’ve done a couple of weekends in the pits and it’s AMAZING. I love love love it. I do want to get back out on the bank at some point because it was cool being a track marshal (I got to see Stirling Moss racing!!!) but being in the pits is brill.

    I definitely agree that the best thing is to give everything a go (it’s what I’m in the process of doing too) and taking your time. I know some people zoom through being a trainee but I think it’s a nice bit of a buffer to have the word ‘trainee’ on my belt until I feel properly confident with it all.

    See you at Silverstone sometime! 🙂

  2. Thats good to know, I expected to be laughed at a bit to be honest about wanting to be in the pits!

    I like your thinking about taking your time, thats what they advised us to do at the training event. In fact they said don’t even get your grading book out for the first six months! I would quite like to get a record of every event so if I do get my signatures for all the events I certainly won’t be trying to upgrade when I’ve reached the bare minimum!

  3. I have a feeling that hardcore track marshals are a bit like ‘pfft why would you want to be in the pits?’ but personally I love it. It’s like standing on the hard shoulder of the M1 with these cars thundering past you and you get to see everything right up close, and I enjoy monitoring the pitstops.

    And you get to stand on the pitwall for the start of races (and wave the yellow flag if someone stalls) and no one except marshals gets to be on the pitwall then, so that’s pretty special.

    I look forward to seeing what you think when you get started 🙂

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