Motorsport Safety & Rescue - May 2011 report

While May was a relatively quite month in terms of providing support at motorsport events, Motor Sport Safety & Rescue continue to be kept busy with corporate work for various car manufacturers.

During the past month MSR sent two crews to the East Gippsland Stages, the first round of the Victorian Rally Championship. From an MSR point of view the event was trouble-free, but a competitor involved in a crash later required treatment.

“Over the past few events that we’ve covered, it’s become more obvious that competitors involved in accidents need to be very aware of their condition and have themselves checked out by the medical crews at the scene, even if they are feeling okay,” MSR’s Geoff Becker said.

“Soon after an accident a competitor is usually high on adrenalin and it’s often not until later on, when they cool down, that an injury can fully surface.

“Competitors need to be mindful of all eventualities.”

Following the East Gippsland Stage, six MSR crews covered the Australian round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, the International Rally of Queensland. The event was also the second round of the Australian Rally Championship.

The event included a host of international teams and drivers, including Scotsman Alister McRae, and Chris Atkinson, the former Subaru World Rally Team driver.

MSR attended one major incident that required the driver and co-driver to be transported to hospital, with pelvis and ankle injuries.

“The injuries were serious, but not life threatening,” Becker said. “Both competitors were very lucky to get out of the accident lightly as it was quite a substantial crash.”

MSR’s motorsport schedule slows down for the next month or so, before gearing up for a huge couple of months that will rarely see a free weekend.

The tarmac events Targa West (based in Perth) and the all-new Classic Targa Adelaide come first, before two of the biggest events of the year, the Australasian Safari and Rally Australia.

The Western Australian-based Safari will see at least six MSR crews working on what is regard as the ‘Dakar Down Under’, a seven-day off-road event through some of the state’s toughest, roughest and most demanding roads and tracks.

That will be followed by Rally Australia, Australia’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship, from September 8-11.

To be based in Coffs Harbour on the NSW coast for the first time, Rally Australia will pit the world’s best drivers against each other, including Citroen drivers Sebastien Loeb, Petter Solberg and Sebastien Ogier, and Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala. Popular American, Ken Block, will also enter the event.

Between now and then, corporate work will keep the MSR team busy.

Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz F-CELL World Drive, a 125-day circumnavigation of the world, of which MSR played an integral part in the Australian leg, has just finished in Stuttgart, Germany.

The project has been described as a huge success for Mercedes, and Becker says that he and the MSR team are proud of their involvement.

“It would have been great to be in Germany for the finish, and we’ve had a lot of emails from the Germans telling us that they wished we were there.

“We played a big part in the success of the World Drive, and we’re hopeful that our involvement will lead to further events with Mercedes in the future.”