Join Date: Jan 2011
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I thought I would add a few follow up tips.
First off bike or car marshaling. Pick what tickles your fancy, I am involved with both.
You may get some people that will try and get you to join a club to marshal. Just to clarify that you do not need to join any to marshal. I do both bikes and cars the clubs I use manage my paperwork for free. Obviously most of my time will be for those clubs in return. They will then deal with the paperwork for the ACU or MSA.
So for bikes and cars you do need the help of a club to manage the initial paperwork. So how do you choose the club? Well, it is worth thinking about which circuits you wish to go to the most (local or national) or which type of meeting. For me, I travel around the UK with my two main clubs, have motorhome will travel as they say. I just pick the dates and locations that suit me. You can do as many or as little as you can fit in. I know club level racing will not turn you down if you only do one meeting a year or the whole season.
If you wish to be circuit specific then find out which clubs race at that circuit the most and contact the chief marshal. If there are certain race meetings such as BSB (racesafe) or BTCC (BARC) you want to marshal at then you need to contact the chief marshal at the clubs that runs those meetings.
So, now we are in the quiet season and there are numerous training days around the country. If you go along they will sort the paperwork out and teach you the basics.
They will then provide you with the list of dates for the season and you can pick which meetings you would like to attend. If like my wife and I we do shift work that can change very quickly. My club is aware of that and make allowances for last minute attending. Be aware that the big meetings are heavily subscribed and may limit the number of trainees.
Generally most race meetings are two days, some people arrive Friday or Saturday morning and then depart Sunday after racing. If you can only make one day then do not despair at club level racing you will be welcome.
If you can not make the training days, well that does not stop play. Chief marshals at club level racing will arrange for you to be shown around and looked after at the first meeting and you will not be thrown in the deep end.
I would avoid buying lots of marshaling kit until you know if it is for you. You do need some basics such as gloves and waterproofs. Orange overalls can be picked up very cheaply, you do not need super dooper race protection overalls. Ideally not man made fibres that melt at contact with heat.
Once you are happy with marshaling you will get an idea what other bits and pieces make you more marshaling more comfortable.
What about other halfs? Well, mine comes along, usually we race together. Some come along and for the social side as opposed to the racing. So during the day they hang out with the other 'other halves' or might disappear off circuit to do stuff. For the F1 this year my wife was the official and I was the hanger on. So spent the four days enjoying the silverstone sights and chilling.
I tend to officiate now with two clubs, one for bikes and one for cars, but help out others if it suits me. I have in the past been with many different clubs some good, some bad over the years. So pick ones that suit you, if it does not work out then try another.
Hope that helps a little.