Being a Motorsport Official
Since joining the Bell Motorsport family, I have been increasing my knowledge of Motorsport and upgrading my CAMS licences to suit the areas I wish to volunteer in.
To start with, I did the basic General Officials licence which is an online module. It allowed me to help in a general capacity at any event. I also got my Working With Childrens Check done, as all CAMS officials now need one.
After falling into an administration role, I found this was one area I loved and enjoyed, so I upgraded to my bronze. This involved another online module and an assessment at an event by a recognised CAMS assessor.
Shortly following this I upgraded to my Bronze Circuit Licence, which involved a 2-day stint on a flag point at a State level event. I did this at an August Access Phillip Island race meeting, being assessed by VFT. While out there I found I really was enjoying this role and joined as a volunteer flag marshal. VFT (Victorian Flag Marshalling) are a great group of poeple and welcomed me with open arms. They set me up on a 10-day training schedule, where you get accessed by your peers and officials after the event has been completed. This has allowed me to volunteer at V8 rounds and get up close and personal to some amazing racing.
My final upgrade was Bronze Event command, which was assessed at Haunted Hills early this year, and it was also preceded by an online module. Event command (Clerk of Course) is basically the head of the event so you oversee all the other officials and volunteers and control the event, along with the Event Secretary.
This past weekend both Graeme and I volunteered to help at the AROCA 12-hour regularity event at Winton Motor Raceway and it was a busy weekend with lots to keep us on our toes. Graeme was the Chief Scrutineer for the event, so he was busy Friday afternoon until the end of the event on Sunday afternoon.
I was officially in administration, so that meant check in on Friday and Saturday morning but a few weeks before the event. A few weeks before the event I also volunteered to assist with flagging as well. This I was able to do after lunch on Saturday once I had managed to get all drivers checked in and all the team manager packs back. I also received a lovely note from a team to say thank you for my efforts.
Once my administration assistance was done, I was put on turn 9, which is just at the back of the track, after the cleavage and was kept extremely busy blue flagging and black flag relaying, calling defects on cars.
Sunday, we went out at 8.15am and were out on points all day until 4 pm. Some of us were on our own, others had trainees helping. Sunday was massive and by the end of the day I hardly had a voice left with so many different calls back to Race Control, but I loved it.
These events are amazing and without volunteers they don’t happen. I urge you to come along to anyone of our motorsport events and talk to us or anyone else that is volunteering and see if there is any area you might be able to help in.
To become an official there is not cost but your time. I find it very rewarding and love every part of it and only wish I could do more.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice there are plenty of areas at a motorsport event for all sorts of people, we would love more helpers to allow senior officials the chance to dedicate themselves to making the event run smoothly.
Jo Mawson | Member #2 - Vice President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne