Singapore GP invites volunteers to join the Formula One™ action as a race official

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay News | Latest Industry News

• Public registration for 2013 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX marshal recruitment opens today
• Two local race officials recognised for their efforts

Course marshals lift away Sauber-Ferrari

Race promoter Singapore GP is inviting volunteers to sign up as a volunteer race official for the 2013 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX. Public registration for marshal recruitment is open from today, 11 March until 31 March 2013 (11:59).

“Since the inaugural night race in 2008, we have trained over 2,500 volunteer marshals,” said Mr. Gabriel Tan, Clerk of the Course, Singapore GP Pte Ltd. “With a retention rate of at least 85% – one of the highest in Formula One™ – it is as much a pleasure as it is a challenge to continually raise the bar each year. I look forward to working with the new volunteers in making the 2013 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX a roaring success.”

Now in its sixth year, the night race continues to receive glowing reviews from the Formula One™ fraternity, including Mr. Bernie Ecclestone, who hails Singapore as a “jewel in F1′s crown which keeps getting polished.”

A total of 150 positions are available in key trackside functions, including observers, track marshals, flag marshals and fire marshals. Depending on the area of responsibility, each marshal can expect to clock a minimum of 32 hours of training. First-time race officials will attend approximately seven days of theory and practical training, conducted over weekends starting in May 2013. Highlights of the hands-on training include performing recovery and extrication exercises on a Formula BMW open-wheeler and a Subaru WRX. 

Similar to previous years, senior officials will continue to receive specialist hands-on training in fire safety and track recovery, as well as attachment opportunities overseas. This year, 36 senior officials have been selected to travel to Australia for the 2013 Clipsal 500 Adelaide and the 2013 FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX as well as Malaysia for the 2013 FORMULA 1 PETRONAS MALAYSIAN Grand Prix to gain practical trackside experience.

Members of the public interested to apply for the volunteer marshal positions will need to be 18 and above as of 1 January 2013, physically fit, fluent in written and spoken English, commit to all scheduled training sessions and available to participate in all three days of the race (20 to 22 September). Successful candidates will be notified by 30 April 2013. Applications must be submitted via Singapore GP’s official recruitment website http://raceofficials.singaporegp.sg.

Recognising volunteer marshal efforts 

The efforts of the Singapore volunteer marshals in previous years have not gone unnoticed, with two of them receiving international recognition for their contributions to motorsports.

Volunteer race official Miss Nurulaini Ariffin has been selected for the inaugural Women in Motor Sport Officials Exchange Programme, a collaboration between the Singapore Motor Sports Association (SMSA) and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport Limited, the National Sporting Authority for motor sport in Australia.

Officiating for the FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX since 2009, Miss Ariffin is the second female to be appointed to the role of Sector Chief in the history of the night race.

As part of the programme, SMSA will sponsor Miss Ariffin to represent Singapore in various Women in Motor Sports activities and participate in the 2013 FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX in Melbourne as a race official.

Another regular race official has also been recognised for his efforts with the Grand Prix, this time by the FIA Volunteers and Awards Commission at the 2012 FIA Officials Awards. Singaporean Mr Michael Gray received top honours as FIA Best Secretary Of The Meeting of the Season.

Joaquín Verdegay de la Vega, President of FIA Volunteers and Officials Commission, said it was “not easy to have to choose between so many energetic, motivated and efficient personalities who have played a major role in motor sport or helped to improve it.”

“His involvement in Motor Sport, his leadership and sense of initiative scored an immediate hit with the members of the Awards Committee of the Volunteers and Officials Commission.”

Mr. Gray, who has been volunteering with the FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX since 2008, said, “It is a great honour to receive the FIA Best Secretary of the Meeting of the Season award. To start from scratch five years ago was an enormous challenge, and I owe many people thanks in helping me to learn the ropes and carry out my job. The award is a reflection of the hard work put in by the 1,200 volunteers who help run the race and are the unsung heroes of the Grand Prix. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such a fantastic team of committed volunteers.”

OFFICIAL FACTS 

Volunteer race marshals, otherwise known as Race Officials, form an integral part of the FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX. There are a multitude of roles available such as Fire & Rescue Marshals, Flag Marshals, Race Control Marshals, Manitou Operators, Medical Officials, Scrutineers, and many more that require individuals with relevant expertise or simply a willing attitude to learn and serve at one of the world’s most prestigious motorsports event.

1,200 marshals are expected to be deployed at the 2013 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX

29 nationalities were represented among the Race Officials last year, which includes an American, a Colombian, a German, a Hungarian, an Indonesian and a Korean.

32 to 256 hours,or over a month of training are put in by each Marshal per year, depending on their area of responsibilities. 

71 years is the age of the oldest Race Official, Paul Joannes Willemse. Part of the Mustering Team last year, Paul, along with29 others in his team, had to sign on all 1,200 officials, issue them with safety gears and food within 45mins. 

The marshals made 34 recoveries at the 2012 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX weekend, including 10 during GP2’s Feature Race on Saturday alone!

There are 17 marshals with a forklift license to operate the Manitou Crane, enabling marshals to clear the track within 2 laps. Of these, 2 are women.

Definitions of Terms & Roles in Formula One Marshal Operations 

Race Director: The FIA Race Director, Charlie Whiting, is appointed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), works in permanent consultation with the Clerk of the Course and has over-riding authority in a number of matters concerning the conduct of Formula One events, including the starting and stopping of activities on the track, use of the Safety Car, scheduling of activities and discipline of Formula One competitors and drivers.

Clerk-of-the-Course: The Clerk-of-the-Course, Gabriel Tan, works closely with the Race Director and primarily controls all race activities, and other activities where circuit safety and functioning may be involved, in accordance with the regulations and scheduling drawn up for the Meeting. All other marshals report to the Clerk of the Course in respect of the conduct of track activities.

Track Marshal: One of the most versatile marshals around the circuit, a Track Marshal’s duties include helping drivers whose race has prematurely ended, assisting the Fire & Medical personnel, sweeping the track and assisting the Recovery crews. The Track Marshals are also expected to check the track thoroughly between each session in order to remove all debris that could cause a hazard to the competitors using the track. 

Recovery Specialist: Thesemarshals, normally attached to a crane or trailer, are responsible for recovering the stopped vehicles from around the circuit as soon as possible and return them to the Paddock, or Scrutiny Bay as appropriate. 

Flag Marshal: Appointed to each Marshal post around the circuit, the primary role of a Flag Marshal is to relay information to drivers through the use of relevant flags in accordance to signals laid down by FIA regulations.

Fire & Rescue Marshal: A Fire & Rescue Marshal, commonly a professional or civil firefighter trained in fire-fighting procedures, is responsible for fire-fighting coverage in respect of vehicular fires on the circuit. 

Observers: Observers report on incidents during racing and practice, usually by radio in the first instance. They follow that up with a written report, which may cover driving standards and behavior, mechanical problems – spilling petrol, loose bodywork and other safety related issues – or crashes, spin and the like. This reporting process may also be used to identify hazard or engineering matters that require attention.

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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