Island officials attend on-line FIA Seminars

Four members of the island’s motor sport community participated in on-line seminars this month organised by the world governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

Facilitated by the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) as part of its on-going training programme, the Race Director Seminars were attended by the Barbados Rally Club’s Neil Barnard and Bushy Park Operations Manager and Radical Caribbean Cup co-ordinator Kurt Seabra, while Warren Gollop and Ron Layne attended the International Stewards Seminar.

BMF President Senator Andrew Mallalieu also attended the Stewards Seminar both as a participant and as a facilitator for breakout groups. These seminars were initiated by the FIA’s former Race Director, the late Charlie Whiting, and Mallalieu has attended each one since the first, in Geneva, in February 2017. It is now a requirement for all Stewards appointed to World Championship events.

The Race Director Seminar started with a welcome from recently-elected FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem and introduction from FIA F1 Race Director & Safety Delegate Michael Masi, before participants were introduced to the first edition of the Race Director Tool Kit.

The preface to the 102-page document explained: “It has been a longstanding wish of us at FIA to provide you with a set of documents that could support you in your daily management of track activity and are thrilled we are finally in a position to do so. We wanted to deliver practical support to you, that we hope you will find useful as guidance. We aimed to be descriptive where possible, whilst ensuring flexibility remains to adapt these documents to your own specific needs. As the members of the organizing committee all come from different motorsport backgrounds, we are all conscious of the traditions and circumstances that make our sport as unique as it is and the space you need to accommodate for these.”

Presentations were then made on subjects ranging from Track Limits to Working Relationships, followed by a series of Case Studies. Among the contributors were FIA Head of Circuit & Rally Safety Stuart Robertson, F1 Chairman of the Stewards Tim Mayer, Race Directors Scot Elkins (Formula E) and Peter Roberts (Porsche Supercup).

Presentations were then made on subjects ranging from Track Limits to Working Relationships, followed by a series of Case Studies. Among the contributors were FIA Head of Circuit & Rally Safety Stuart Robertson, F1 Chairman of the Stewards Tim Mayer, Race Directors Scot Elkins (Formula E) and Peter Roberts (Porsche Supercup).

Barnard said: “I found the seminar to be very useful, particularly Tim Mayer’s presentation on Working Relationships, but also the discussions on the importance of Teamwork and of course Race and Rally Safety. Even though my primary focus is rally events, it confirmed that the core principles of safety, organization and decision making do apply across all racing disciplines. However, we don’t have quite the same challenge of ‘track limits’ in rallies that race directors do in circuit racing!

The Stewards Seminar followed a similar format, but concentrating more on the judicial system, the role of Stewards, decision making and rights of review and appeal. Among others, participants heard from International Stewards Garry Connelly and Philippe Lackman, the Permanent Steward for FIA Karting, FIA Senior Legal Counsel Marianne Saroli, and Christian Horner, Team Principal of Red Bull in Formula 1. There were Case Studies from both circuit racing and rallying.

Gollop said: “This is my third year attending the FIA International Stewards’ Programme, and as usual, I found the whole event to be very beneficial to my development as a Steward. This year, it was good to get my mind back in a motorsport mode, as last year didn’t give much opportunity to put into practice new knowledge gained. It is also very useful to interact with my peers and those on world championship stages to make new connections and learn more from their experiences. It is always helpful to have sessions on those areas which are new or on which the FIA would like stewards to focus for the upcoming year, and to give clarity and guidance on what is expected for global implementation. Coming out of the sessions I feel quite energised for motorsport to resume and to be able to continue to make a positive contribution.

“I always like the sessions with the motorsport competitors, for the viewpoints which are put forward, and gaining some insight into how the competitors think at the world level. This year we got to spend considerable time with Christian Horner in his single person session and then on a panel which also included Jari-Matti Latvala, Charles Leclerc, Antonio Felix da Costa and Adrian Fournaux.”

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