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The Marchalling team helping an injured man

Marshals & Rescue


Why Marshal?

Whether the event is a Formula One Grand Prix, a national or club event it needs volunteers to run and for those wishing to become involved with motor sport but not as a competitor, there can be no better introduction than as a marshal or official.

From pits and paddock to trackside and stage, volunteers make motorsport happen. From service halts to stop lines, they keep rallies on the rails and at sprints, hill climbs, kart races and trials they will be doing everything from providing life-saving safety cover to essential administrative work.

To organise and run any event requires significant numbers of volunteers, usually many more than the number of competitors. These volunteers carry out a wide range of duties, all of which contribute to the overall efficiency and success of the event.

Whatever you choose to do, your presence will be welcomed and appreciated. As a marshal, you will join a band of enthusiasts who enjoy their motor sport by actively participating.

Give it a try !

Signing-on as a marshal is easy

There is no requirement to commit yourself to more than your first event

There are very few minimum requirements

You do not require training to attend your first event

What can I do ?

You can develop or use specialist skills in crewing Rescue, Recovery or Response vehicles

There are lots of clubs and guidance to help you decide – need more information?

Signing On

- First you need to find out about the events you are interested in.

- Find a local club 1 or the organising club through an event website. There are a number of event locator websites: www.itsmymotorsport.co.uk is an example.

- Contact the event Chief Marshal who will be organising and coordinating all marshals.

- Turn up on the day, have fun!

Link to the Motorsports Association UK Website


- You are a volunteer! You can attend as few or as many events as you choose.

- All that organisers would ask is that if you commit to an event and then can’t make it, you let them know.

Minimum Requirements

In general terms, there are none. Full provision is made for all volunteer officials over the age of 16. There are opportunities, to include Cadet Marshals for volunteers of 11 years of age and over, although the duties of young people may be limited in certain situations.

Motor Sport offers "equal opportunities" at all levels, although there are a few legal exemptions, including certain competitor disabilities and minimum ages for both competing and officiating.

If you already have special skills - technical, mechanical, rescue, vehicle recovery, medical, first aid or administration; you may wish to use those skills as a volunteer in motor sport.


Many people attend events without formal training but one way to get more closely involved is to attend one of many special training days throughout the year.

The RAC MSA and local clubs organise a range of training days and seminars.

The RAFMSA also provides training for Service personnel, dependants and associate members: for more information contact the Marshals Comp Sec via the contacts page of this website.

After you have gained some experience as a marshal, you might like to consider one of the many other duties:

Rescue, Recovery and Response

Safety Radio


Event Official

Technical scrutineering

or even training the Marshals of the future!

In the event of any problems telephone Allan Dean-Lewis at the Motor Sports Association on 01753 765000

What can I do ?

Pits, Paddock and Service Area marshals ensure that the safety regulations, e.g. regarding refueling, are observed; direct competitors to their allotted places; guard vehicles that have been involved in an incident and require the attention of a scrutineer; check that competitors have the right paperwork to permit them to start; and generally ensure the smooth running of these important areas.

Start Line marshals ensure that the competitors line up in the correct place; that helmets and seat belts are on; and generally assist the timekeepers in ensuring an orderly start.

Observers and Flag marshals are used at speed events to give warning to the competitors regarding incidents ahead; other competitors requiring to overtake, etc. The observers report to the Clerk of the Course on any dangerous driving and how significant incidents happened and were dealt with. At autotests and production car trials observers check that the route has been followed and penalty markers have not been hit.

Timekeepers check that competitors have arrived at control points at the appropriate time; give the starting signal to competitors; and note the time at which each competitor finishes. Race and speed events usually require that all the timekeepers be MSA licensed officials but for events like rallies and autotests only the Chief Timekeeper is a licensed official, all other timekeepers coming from the general marshalling force.

Radio operators act as the eyes and ears of the organisers around rally stages and wherever communication is needed but cannot be done by fixed telephone lines. They keep notes of which cars have passed and in what order so that should a car go missing its last known location can be quickly determined and appropriate help sent.

Course marshals are spread around the course to control spectators; protect the scenes of incidents; locate competitors who have gone off; if possible, assist competitors back onto the course if they go off; relay details of incidents to the nearest radio operator; etc.

Stage Safety Officers assist Stage Commanders in ensuring that all appropriate safety measures are in place in a rally special stage. They also attend and take charge of all incidents, making a report afterwards to the organisers detailing what happened and how it was dealt with.

Stage Commanders lay out special stages in accordance with the route planned by the Clerk of the Course. During the event they are responsible for the smooth running of their stage and make the final decisions as to whether or not to halt a stage in the event of an incident.

Rescue, Recovery and Response

Rescue: The vehicles are required to be licensed by the controlling body of UK Motorsport, the Motor Sports Association (MSA). The MSA regulations specify the minimum level of equipment to be carried by a Rescue Unit although the majority of vehicles are equipped well in excess of this minimum specification. A Motorsport Rescue Unit carries a comprehensive amount of medical equipment together with tools specifically designed to assist in removing a trapped driver from his vehicle.

Rescue Units are manned entirely by unpaid volunteers and all crew members are required to hold current MSA Rescue licenses, and in some instances have added to this basic requirement by taking additional recognised emergency aid courses, such as First Aid at Work, usually in their own time. The MSA has a recognized scheme for people who wish to train for a Rescue License

Recovery Units: There are many types of Recovery dependant on the motorsport discipline. In Rallying/Off-Road there are two categories of Recovery Unit – Light and Heavy, both need volunteers to train as the units are licensed by the RAC MSA for the recovery of damaged vehicles.

Response/SSU: The role of the Response unit or Stage Safety Unit is to provide essential safety personnel to the scene of an incident at a greater speed than the Rescue Unit. Usually crewed by a licensed crewman, a Dr. or Paramedic and possibly one other, it is equipped with medical and mechanical equipment sufficient to commence any Rescue activities in the knowledge that assistance is on its way.

For more information see the RAC MotorSports Association website.

Need More information?

See the Royal Automobile Club Motorsport Association websites


RAF MSA Website Home Page

See www.volunteersinmotorsport.co.uk for contact details and further information.

British Motor Racing Marshals Club and British Rally Marshals Club

See www.marshals.co.uk for contact details and further information.

Scottish Motorsport Marshals Club

See www.smmc.org.uk for contact details and further information.

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