Motorsport Safety & Rescue - December 2009 report

The Motorsport Safety & Rescue team are winding down after a hectic 2009 season – their busiest so far.

After a full season of sporting and corporate business, the MSR team will rest up over the Christmas and New Year period, before another full program in 2010.

In November Geoff Becker headed to China for the final round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, where the MotorImage Rally Team capped off a brilliant year by claiming first and second in the championship, with Cody Crocker and Emma Gilmour.

MSR treated several team members (and some from other teams) with stomach bugs, and co-driver Ben Atkinson even got a dose of food poisoning during the rally. But the biggest drama was when Kiwi driver, Emma Gilmour, damaged her wrist when the Subaru’s steering wheel spun back suddenly.

Emma broke a bone in her wrist, but was determined to finish the rally in order to take second place in the APRC. MSR’s job was to minimise the pain, which then allowed Emma to complete her goal.

“ I’d like to thank Motor Image for giving us the opportunity to be a part of their team over the past three seasons,” Becker said. “We’ve learned a lot from working in the extreme conditions of Asia, and we hope to continue our involvement with them with some corporate work in the future.”

2010 should also see MSR with an increased presence in Asian events, with more details to be announced shortly.

Following the China event, MSR provided a paramedic crew for each site at the 2009 Wild Water World Cup canoeing event in Tasmania. Fortunately there was only minor work to be done during the event, but Becker says their motorsport experienced has been a real benefit for this sort of work.

“It was a great event with lots of competitors from overseas. The general consensus was that it was very worthy of its World Cup status.”

MSR team members have also been out competing in rallies themselves, but both Benji and McGrath found themselves on the wrong side of accident treatment recently. It’s hoped that they have both come to their senses and realise that there time is best spent outside the rally cars, not in them …….

The competition year ended sadly with the deaths of long-time competitors Gary Tierney and David Carra in the Classic Adelaide event. While MSR weren’t working at the rally, both Gary and David were well known to the team after competing in tarmac rallies for many years.

Former Targa Tasmania and Rally Tasmania clerk of course, Ken Rodham, also passed away suddenly after a severe heart attack. Ken was well known in Tasmanian rallying, and he will be sadly missed.

MSR sends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of three of rallying’s great ambassadors.

Planning for 2010 is now under way with many events already scheduled. First up will be Targa Wrest Point at the end of January, with over 160 entries already received. Seven FIV vehicles and one incident control vehicle will cover the two-day event.

On the same weekend a team of six will cover the Pure Tasmania Wildside MTB mountain bike event in the north of the state. Over 400 competitors have entered the bi-annual event, which moves from Cradle Mountain to Strahan, via the west coast. The event attracts the cream of mountain bike riders from around the world.

Rally Tasmania follows in late February, before Targa Tasmania and the Forest Rally in WA.

“It’s already looking like a very busy year, and we hope to diversify into other sports in 2010, including surfing,” Becker added.

“We will also have another big year of corporate work as the business continues to grow.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff members for their great work and great support during 2009, and wish all our staff, customers, supporters and the rallying community a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”