Motorsport Safety & Rescue - September 2011 report

Motorsport Safety & Rescue are currently in the middle of their second major event in four weeks, with crews looking forward to a break after their most hectic period of the year.

Eight MSR crews are currently in outback Western Australia providing medical and rescue services for the internationally acclaimed Australasian Safari.

The toughest motorsport challenge in the country, the Australasian Safari is supported by the WA Government. After starting in Perth, the event covers 3700 kilometres over some of the most rugged country in Australia, before finishing in the gold mining city of Kalgoorlie.

Twenty MSR personnel are providing support in specially-equipped four-wheel drive vehicles, while two support helicopters are also on standby to provide emergency support. An incident manager and overnight medical centre crew are also following the event.

“Mid-way through the event, things are going really well,” MSR’s Geoff Becker said.

“This is the first time we’ve used two helicopters on the event and it’s working out well. Our guys have already attended to an incident where a bike rider suffered a broken collarbone, but hopefully that’s the last of the injuries.”

MSR’s huge month started with Quit Targa West in Western Australia, with six crews heading across the Nullabor for the closed road tarmac rally.

The event ran successfully, with no incidents to report.

From WA, it was off to Coffs Harbour on the NSW mid-north coast for Rally Australia, Australia’s round of the World Rally Championship. This was the first time the event had been held in Coffs Harbour, and the second time that MSR had provided services for the WRC round.

There was some carnage at the front of the field with World Champion Sebastien Loeb rolling his Citroen, and fellow WRC stars Sebastien Ogier and Evgeny Novikov crashing heavily, but all without injury.

“We had a few call outs to competitors at the rear of the field, but there were no ambulance transporations required,” Becker said.

“We responded to a community member who required medical attention, but other than that it was generally a quiet event.

“From our point of view, the WRC round was a sensational success. It was extremely well run, and it was our privilege to be involved.”

A week later, eight crews were in Adelaide for the first running of Classic Targa Adelaide, the fourth event in the Targa stable, and the first round of this year’s Australian Targa Championship.

Eighty-five cars tackled the event, and although there were a couple of minor accidents, there were no major injuries.

The event was a success for organisers, Octagon, and MSR looks forward to being involved again in coming years.

Adding to the list of rallies covered, MSR also provided medical services for the Marysville Stages event in Victoria, and the Cowra Rally in NSW.

Things quieten down over the coming weeks, but only slightly. After the dust and desert of the Safari, the Victorian Rally Championship’s Akademos Rally is next on the list, followed by the three-day Targa High Country tarmac rally on Mt Buller early in November.

Late in November, the team will attend the Lakes Entrance-based Alpine Rally, which has already attracted a field of over 130 two-wheel drive cars for the gravel rally.

Plus, in a sign of MSR’s commitment to Australian rallying, they will base a set of rescue equipment in both Victoria and New South Wales.

“Being Tasmanian based, we have to do a lot of freighting of our equipment, but this move will ensure that all events get the best support possible, whether they be club rallies or World Championship events,” Becker said.

“We’re committed to providing the best safety and rescue support for competitors, and this will improve our service even further.”