Motorsport Safety & Rescue - April 2011 report

Motorsport Safety & Rescue have just finished their busiest start to a year yet, with not only motorsport, but event organisation playing a major role.

Mercedes F-Cell World DriveOver the past two months MSR have provided safety and rescues services for Rally Bonnie Doon (Vic), the Longford Revival (Tas), the Quit Forest Rally (WA) and the Oberon Rally (NSW), as well as their biggest event of the year, Targa Tasmania.

Thirty-two people, making up 16 crews, worked on the seven days of Targa Tasmania – the 20th anniversary of the iconic tarmac rally.

Weather conditions were good for the majority of the event, with very few incidents among the 340 entries.

Two incidents required competitors to be transported to hospital with non-life threatening spinal injuries, but other than that, there were no injuries in the event.

During this period MSR also organised the Australian leg of the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive, a 125-day circumnavigation of the world that started in Stuttgart, Germany, on January 30.

Mercedes F-Cell World DriveMSR played a significant role in the logistics side of the Australian leg, as well as providing all medical support for the event, which used three Mercedes-Benz B-Class vehicles featuring local zero-emission fuel cell drives.

“The event went exceptionally well,” MSR’s Geoff Becker said. “We supplied a big team of people, including two paramedics, eight people for logistics, four truck drivers and a catering crew.

“We met some really great people from Germany, and built some very good friendships over the 12 days of the drive.

“Driving the fuel cell car has changed my thoughts on motoring,” Becker added.

Mercedes F-Cell World Drive“I think hydrogen powered vehicles will come onto the market quicker than people think. Once it gains momentum it will be very popular.

“The cars have a good fuel range, and the vehicle performance isn’t compromised either.

“The cars will do up to 175km/h, and they have no trouble maintaining speed limits.”

He added that the difficulty at the present time is filling the cars up, particularly in Australia, although hydrogen fuel is available from service stations in parts of California and Europe.

“Four hydrogen cars were used in the drive from Sydney to Perth, and all performed faultlessly. The whole program went off without a hitch,” he said.

Mercedes F-Cell World DriveThe Australian leg of the World Drive finished with a tent city set up on the outskirts of Perth, with 55 tents erected for those on the tour – many of whom had never camped before.

Dignitaries on the tour included Dr Andreas Truckenbrodt, one of the world experts in alternative energy fuel. A large number of international journalists also followed the various legs of the Australian drive.

Coming up in May the MSR team have a busy weekend on May 14 and 15, starting off in Victoria with two crews attending the East Gippsland Stages, the first round of the Victorian Rally Championship

In Queensland, a further six crews will be on hand for the second round of the Australian and Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, the International Rally of Queensland. The event will include Australia’s best rally drivers, including international stars Alister McRae (Scotland) and Queensland’s own Chris Atkinson in their factory Protons.