Motorsport Safety & Rescue - Sept/Oct 2009 Report

Motorsport Safety & Rescue have endured one of their busiest months yet, with major events across Australia and Asia, and with a hectic schedule between now and the end of the year as well.

At the beginning of September, 30 MSR team members gathered to provide rescue, medical and FIV services for Repco Rally Australia, Australia’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

As the premier event in their discipline in Australia, many of the MSR team have aspired to be a part of Rally Australia, and their experience at a round of the WRC is a real feather in their caps.

“The event went exceptionally well for us with no issues at all,” MSR’s Geoff Becker said.

“We got a very favourable report from the FIA medical delegate, who told us that the service that we provided was of a world class standard.

“From an operational point of view I was very happy with all aspects of the event that we were involved in. Everything went to plan, with no hitches whatsoever.”

Becker said that the interaction between MSR and the NSW Ambulance service was exceptional and made the job much easier.

During the event there was only one incident that required medical intervention, but the stage was running again soon after with little disruption to the rally.

“It was a long event, but a quiet event where all our pre-planning came together,” Becker added. “What was promised to us was delivered, and Gary Upson, Bob Newman and the whole Repco Rally Australia team did a brilliant job.”

A number of medical officers were happy to assist MSR in the event, and the contact with these people should help to grow the pool of MSR team members at future event in Australia – all for the benefit of the competitors.

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Next up was the hot and steamy Rally of Indonesia where Becker attended to assist the MotorImage Rally Team, and team members Cody Crocker/Ben Atkinson, and Emma Gilmour/Claire Mole.

This was the fourth year that MSR had been to Indonesia, and the experience of previous years proved beneficial in managing the competitors in such hot and humid conditions.

“People underestimate how tough the conditions are,” Becker said. “It was 40 degrees outside the cars and 60-70 degrees inside. We used a variety of cooling methods to keep the crews comfortable, and they worked well.”

On her first visit to Indonesia, Gilmour suffered the most, but still managed a brilliant third place on her debut.

But the big success went to Crocker and Atkinson, who secured their fourth consecutive Asia-Pacific Rally Championship title after a dominant performance.

“Cody did a fantastic job once again. He put in an intelligent, calculated drive and thoroughly deserved the championship victory.”

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Later in October, MSR supplied two crews to the Akademos Rally, the final round of the Victorian Rally Championship.

Crews attended three incidents, but no injuries were sustained.

Two of our team members did well last weekend (October 17th and 18th). Graham McGrath had a first in the BOG A DUCK Trial, run in conjunction with the Akademos Rally, and Chris Benjamin came 13th overall in his first rally at the LSM Advance Composits Rally in Queensland.

“It’s great to see our crew competing themselves, but if too many more get involved, we won’t have any crew members left,” Becker joked.

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Next up is the final Asia-Pacific Rally Championship round in China, followed by a round of the AMSAG series in NSW, and a club event in Victoria. Additional work will also be undertaken in Indonesia, making this the busiest year in MSR’s history.

Off the motorsport theme, MSR will also provide medical services for the 2009 ICF Wildwater World Cup in Tasmania. The event runs for three weeks.