Motorsport Safety & Rescue - June 2011 report

Motorsport Safety & Rescue are in the middle of a huge training phase as they build up to their busiest month of the year, with four major events looming on the horizon.

The events include two of the biggest tarmac rallies on the Australian calendar, a round of the World Rally Championship, and Australia’s ‘Dakar Down Under’.

Over the past month the MSR team have worked at state and club events in Victoria and New South Wales, but beginning on August 25, Targa West is the first event in their ‘massive month’.

To be held in Western Australian from August 25 to 28, QUIT Targa West starts and finishes in the capital, Perth, with a Super Stage Stage on the Swan River foreshore to conclude the event three days later.

Western Australia’s biggest tarmac rally, it offers competitors four days of action-packed rallying in some of the best locations in Perth, Kalamunda, Toodyay and Bullsbrook.

MSR have covered the event for many years, and will provide eight safety and rescue crews in 2011.

A week later, another eight crews will work on Australia’s round of the World Rally Championship, Rally Australia, from September 8-11.

Based in Coffs Harbour on the NSW mid-north coast, Rally Australia has attracted the best teams and drivers in the world, and will also include a round of the Australian Rally Championship, and a special event for classic rally cars.

The fast, open stages are expected to provide exciting viewing for spectators, with drivers such as Sebastien Loeb, Mikko Hirvonen, Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Ken Block in action. Australia’s former WRC star, Chris Atkinson, is also hoping to secure a drive in his home WRC round.

The following week, September 14-17, eight MSR crews will work at the inaugural Classic Targa Adelaide.

Formerly known as Classic Adelaide, the event has been taken over by Octagon, the company in charge of Targa Tasmania, and a huge field of competitors are expected to enter.

The event will be based in Adelaide and head up into the hills around the Barossa Valley, offering a challenge not only for drivers, but also for the MSR crews who are providing safety and rescue services for competitors.

Just five days after the Adelaide event, the MSR crew head back to Western Australia where 20 personnel will cover the eight-day Australasian Safari – an event that is widely regarded as the toughest motorsport challenge in Australia.

MSR’s team will follow the event in specially equipped four-wheel drive vehicles, while two support helicopters will also be on standby provide emergency support.

The Australasian Safari starts in Perth and finishes in historic Kalgoorlie. In between there are seven long days that will take competitors north of Perth and then east to the outback region, covering more than 3700 kilometres.

On the corporate front, MSR are about to start a 14-day trip across the Canning Stock Route in outback Australia with Mercedes Benz and their new G-Wagon.

The trip will see 14 journalists (nine from overseas) driving the G-Wagons in some of our country’s harshest and most inhospitable conditions.

Mercedes-Benz will deliver 1200 specially-built G-Wagons to the Australian Defence Force over the next three years. A range of modules including Canine, Cargo, Command Post and Ambulance will also be delivered.

Finally, MSR would like to congratulate Aussie Chris Atkinson on his victory in the recent Rally of Whangarei in New Zealand. Driving for the Proton team in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, Atkinson now has a stranglehold on the title. We hope to see Chris in action in September’s Rally Australia.