Boring, Slow and Nothing to do…. Yeah right!
Cars circulating as though they were on rails and little drama occurring made the first hour and a half of marshalling on Saturday very dull and dreary. As soon as the first Fun Cup race of the weekend started that summary of the day completely changed. It was on lap three of the race when this turned as three cars went nose to tail and crashed out the race.
A sunny and peaceful day, until the racing started.
A slow-moving car on the exit of Banking hairpin mixed with the bunch of cars from the start of the race resulted in two cars being unable to avoid impact. One car was sandwiched between two others before they scattered themselves across the grass. For the first time ever, I had to request a Rescue Unit to the scene of the incident as one driver was complaining of back pain twinned with the fact that one of the drivers was from Team Brit (A team based around former military personnel) he and was a double leg amputee it was time to think about what the best plan of action was.
After a quick chat with the Rescue team, they took charge of the injured drivers and I went to assist with the recovery of the stricken cars. Two of the cars were simple to sort out, one was a winched onto a flatbed truck and the other was a suspended tow.
Whilst waiting for a recovery truck to return to remove the final car the Clerk and I decided what was best to do with it. The only thing that would speed up the process of recovering the stricken car would be if someone was behind the wheel steering what was left and let the two recovery marshals deal with everything else. I’ve always wanted to drive a Fun Cup car and turns out I fit in them quite well!
Recovery all cleared up and adrenaline running there were only a few little bits and pieces to clear up on the remainder of the racing on Saturday. The effort would start all over again on Sunday.
Starting all too similar with everything being subdued, only the odd bit of contact occurred meaning I was helping the Post Chiefs in case they missed a number of cars that could have run wide or to summarise exactly what happened if two cars made contact and continued.
It was during the Alfa Romeo race that everything turned when a car at Rocket Out was stranded in the middle of the track. As myself and another incident marshal headed over to lend a hand we heard an almighty bang, another Alfa had joined it in the middle of the track after it was unsighted due to it following cars closely in battle (the footage shows the impact, be warned it is very sudden and may not be appropriate for all viewers)
So, what was a jog had now turned into a sprint as we rushed to the aid of the drivers in the car. This became the second time in the weekend that the Rescue Unit was called to the scene and it became evident that a major clean-up operation was required. Circuit staff, the sweeper, a fire truck and all the recovery trucks were in attendance as we set about dealing with it. I found myself behind the wheel of another car as I helped steer it onto the flatbed again never had the force of an impact been so clear to me as both the seat and the steering wheel were very loose.
The final incident of the weekend was in the Formula Ford race when two cars tangled and broke their suspension. A quick split up of our incident marshals meant the drivers were out of the cars swiftly and the recovery was done quicker than the previous incidents. To help speed it up even more myself and a fellow marshal lifted the front of one round to make it more accessible for the recovery truck. A good display of strength and team work, even if I do say so myself.
All in all, it was a good weekend with a lot of learning involved, but also one which had the right amount of laughter and fun something which has set me up for the remainder of the season.