As I said in my blog ‘Five ways to make 2019 the marshalling year for you’, the season is very much approaching and your calendars are probably starting to look a bit full. Before you do fill them to the brim, here are a few tracks to look into for the upcoming season and a stand out race that you may want to venture for.
Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England
We’ll start with the big one, the home of the British Grand Prix and a name that rings out around the paddocks of the World Endurance Championship and Formula One Championship. Britain’s longest track boasting a 3.661 miles circuit. It seemed like a no brainer to start here.
It is also a good taste of what an FIA approved circuit feels like, lots of run off means cars will carry more speed into the corners and if you want a challenge then you should give flagging a try here.
There is a jewel that occurs at this circuit though, once a year it plays host to the Blancpain GT, XX cars thundering around just inches away from each other is a spectacle to not only watch, but hear.
ALIO Rating: 7.5/10 Oranges
Meeting to attend: Blancpain GT – 11th/12th May
Croft, North Yorkshire, England
England’s most Northerly circuit without ending up in Scotland Croft is flat and fast. Attending it for the first time last year and only seeing it through the windscreen of a rescue unit I was amazed by how much racing I could see across the circuit.
There is a chance for good flagging here as you have time to see the race develop. For incident marshals the prospect of speed means the crashes could be big and if they go off the circuit you may have to get through a field to get to the car, always a fun addition to have.
I’ll certainly be back this year.
ALIO Rating: 7.0/10 Oranges
Meeting to attend: TCR UK – 6th/7th July
Knockhill, Fife, Scotland
It’s time for a trip across the border and just North of Edinburgh, not only does Knockhill provide one of the most stunning views and locations for a race tracks the racing is top drawer too.
It was 2013 when I last visited for the British Touring Car Championship; Aiden Moffat made his debut, Paul O’Neill put in a cameo and let’s not forget Rob Austin’s maiden Pole Position.
It provides a very friendly atmosphere for any marshal who is will to travel to this circuit, and the nature of the track means you could have something to do in the day, if not just enjoy the racing with the stunning backdrop. Oh and you of course get a warm pie for your lunch too which is always a bonus.
ALIO rating: 8.5/10 Oranges
Meeting to attend: David Leslie Trophy and Superkarts – 21st/22nd July
Trac Mon, Anglesey, Wales
Another trip across another border and this time we are off to one of the two circuits that reside in Wales. Trac Mon or Anglesey Circuit not only rivals Knockhill for the best look back-drop but, I think just about beats it.
Pair that with names of corners such as Target, the first corner on the circuit, Rocket a 90 degree blind left hander at the top of a hill and Corkscrew which is erm, a corkscrew you have one of the best laid out tracks in front of the best view in British Motorsport.
The place has a very pleasant and laid back feel to it and you will always have something to do. Flagging is a dream here as you can follow the racing almost all the way round the circuit so you can pick the supreme time to put out a flag. Be warned though when the weather comes in, it comes in hard.
ALIO rating: 9.0/10 oranges
Meeting to attend: Race of Remembrance – 8th – 10th November
Donington Park, Derby, England
I’m certain you can still hear Murray Walker’s commentary bounce around the grandstands from when Ayrton Senna danced around the pack in the rain from that ‘Lap of the Gods’ during the European GP in 1993.
Whilst Donny, as it is dubbed, is stooped in years of history it’s future looks bright as modern improvements around the circuit are making it even better. I still can’t get over the fact it has taken me over eight years of my marshalling career to finally get on the bank here.
There’s not a single part of this circuit that is dull to marshal as each point has its challenges. As is the way with old circuits flagging is tough as the cars appear on top of you out of nowhere and the challenging nature of the track makes an incident very likely.
ALIO Rating: 8.0/10 oranges
Meeting to attend: British GT – 14th/15th September
If your local track hasn’t made this list fear not as I am planning to visit more circuits this year and who knows it may just take my breath away enough it muscles it’s way onto the list.