Motorsport Safety & Rescue - August 2010 report

There never seems to be any let up for the guys and girls at Motorsport Safety & Rescue, with another hectic month of events behind them, and even busier times ahead.

The past few weeks has seen the crew providing safety and rescue services for several rallies, the biggest being the Asia-Pacific Championship and Australian Rally Championship-qualifying Rally Queensland.

This event attracted the cream of rallying talent from the region, including former World Rally Championship stars Chris Atkinson (a Queensland local) and Scotsman Alister McRae.

Eight MSR crews worked the event, and while they attended several accidents throughout the two-day rally, only two competitors required ambulance transport, for minor injuries.

State level rallies were also covered in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales. The George Derrick Rally counted as a round of the Victorian Championship, the Hellyer Rally formed part of the Tasmania Rally Series, while a round of the popular AMSAG series in NSW was also attended.

No major injuries were reported from any of these events, which each had one MSR medical crew on hand.

This weekend will see five MSR crews heading to Western Australia for that state’s biggest tarmac rally, Targa West.

Targa West differs from many of the other tarmac rallies in Australia, in that its stages are a lot faster because of the different terrain that the event utilises. However, it has grown in popularity every year and will again feature a strong field, headed by motorsport legend Jim Richards in a Porsche.

The highlight of Targa West will be a new 3.23 kilometre special stage in Perth’s central business district. Competitors will drive the stage three times at the conclusion of the event, ensuring an exciting finish.

Following Targa West, MSR will supply six crews for the punishing Australasian Safari, to be held in outback Western Australia at the end of September.

Featuring both cars and motorbikes, this is the toughest event on the Australian motorsport calendar, and has this year attracted V8 Supercar driver, Craig Lowndes, in a factory-backed Holden.

MSR will utilise six First Intervention Vehicles on the event, as well as a patient transport vehicle and a helicopter crew. Overnight medical services will also be provided.

“The Safari is one of our most challenging events of the year,” MSR’s Geoff Becker said. “Because of the areas that the event goes through, and the fact that we have a big field of motorbikes competing, we often attend many incidents each day.

“It is imperative that we have enough FIVs to cover the event, and have the facilities to provide medical services at the end of each day, should a competitor require further treatment before being transferred to hospital.

“Having worked on the Safari for the past three years, we have fine-tuned our operations and we’re looking forward to what will hopefully be a safe event for all competitors.”

Late nights and early mornings are one of the certainties of the Safari, and the MSR crew will have well and truly earned a rest after seven days in the Australian outback.

The Safari will be followed by an all-new tarmac rally, Targa High Country, to be held in north east Victoria in November, and Rally Victoria, the final round of the 2010 Australian Rally Championship, ensuring little time off for the MSR team.

An increase in corporate work is also keeping the team on their toes.