There are very rare occasions at marshalling where you don’t have much to do in a full race day. Even my pairing up at Shell, a very busy hairpin, didn’t even have a single car pull off throughout the day.
It was a very odd occurrence indeed and the quietness of the day left me reflecting on what our post chief said to us at the beginning of the day. He said; “the main thing is to enjoy yourself; I want you to go home and say, Yeah! I really enjoyed that.” So how on this rare occasion, where we had no incidents to deal with, did we manage to do just that?
Well quite easily, because as marshals, we have the best seat in the house and we were able to watch the action for the day, just inches away from it. There was also opportunity to get to know more about our fellow marshals on post, something that I would highly recommend as it makes the marshalling community a more tightly knit group.
With the excitement of over 65 Mazda MX-5’s lighting up Oulton Park, it was certain to provide more excitement for us marshals. We were treated with the drivers doing some Touring Car-style overtaking as they certainly weren’t afraid to rub shoulders with one another.
We also had the enjoyment of watching a small incident in the Alfa Romeo race, when one of the drivers decided that everyone knew where Shell corner was, so took out the marker board by running wide! Maybe he was trying to get the upper hand on the other competitors or maybe his talent deserted him for a while, either way he provided much entertainment even if he did end up in the gravel. Cleaning that marker board up was the only thing I had to do all day; it was quite a work out too as I had to collect about a million pieces of this polystyrene turning board.
Myself and my marshalling partner for the day, Roger Allan, started to discuss the last time we were up at Shell. I had to think back to 2014, when the British Touring Car Championship used the full International configuration of the circuit.
That weekend was stark contrast compared to the BRSCC meeting that just passed. Instead of having nothing to do, it was the busiest weekend of my marshalling life as we had around 20 incidents, some of which were spectacular, to deal with.
Two years ago the rain came down heavy, and with oil spilled on the race track, it had mixed with the rain to cause a slippery surface to drive on. This was evident as we ended up clearing up five Ginetta Juniors, two Clio’s, one of which was on its roof, and three Formula Ford’s, one of which was Sam Brabham’s after his scary roll. Those are just to name a few as we had numerous pull offs and trips into the gravel traps to recover cars too.
Don’t let quiet days put you off though because for every quiet day you get a busy day, so really marshalling will balance itself out over time. If you do want to become a marshal, please follow the link here, to find out more and find your closest taster day and give it a go.
Written By – Robert Lee (@RobLee559 – Twitter and Instagram)