Like you, we’ve all grown up watching motor racing on the television. We’ve been on the edge of our seat as the top drivers in the country push their cars to the limit, muscle past an opponent, or spin out of control and see their dreams destroyed in an instant. Watch the telecast closely and you’ll see flagmarshals on every corner of the track. Each of those officials is a highly-trained volunteer reacting to spinning cars, obstacles on the track and even oil spills. Their job is to display warning flags to the drivers, notifying them of the track conditions ahead. They are closer to the action than anyone except the drivers themselves, and nothing compares to the roar of those engines just metres away. It’s a job that anyone can learn how to do, even you!
We give trackside training at real motor racing events in Victoria, assisted by an experienced and friendly senior marshal every step of the way. They’ll explain what to look for on the track, what to do when there’s an incident, how to communicate with Race Control and plenty more. It's easier than you think, and more fun than you can imagine! Watching it on television or from the grandstand will never be the same.
You can start at any point of the motor racing season and you’ll also get lunch provided, a free pass for your mate and end-of-day beers with BBQ snags. Not to mention a trackside experience that money can’t buy!
To become a part of this exciting team, click here.
Where we do it
As a club we attend events at:
It’s God knows what time on a Saturday / Sunday morning. Even the sparrows are still coughing in their beds. Most sane people would glance out of their window on a icy / foggy / rainy day or whatever and snuggle up back in their warm beds, muttering words to the effect like, wouldn’t put the dog / cat / budgie or mother inlaw out in that.
But guess what, down in the bowels of a Motor Race Circuit, are a bunch of cold miserable looking vagabonds, all dressed in white. Vainly trying to stop yawning, stay awake, look intelligent, interested and alive, things that are quite hard to do as they mostly resemble a collection of Egyptian Mummies recently disinterred from their sarcophagi.
After an indeterminate length of time, the CHIEF of this motley crew, who usually resembles a hat shaped object with a bewhiskered growth hanging underneath, appears and opens his mouth to allocate positions. At this precise instant, the Clerk of the Course comes gibbering along at Stage 2 panic, (you know its Stage 2, as his feet are occasionally in contact with the ground), and inanely asks, When are you going out to the points? It never fails, even when we have an hour or so to go to the start of the days proceedings.
So the said CHIEF spends the next 5 minutes calming him down, and after patting him on his ego, sends him on his way. Then when he’s out of range, mutters about the uncertainty of his parents ability to produce intelligent offspring, and the validity, if any, of the said parents wedding certificate.
Again he tries to allocate positions, and guess what, one or more of the following delightful little annoyances happen. The girl on the Pits P.A. has a 10 minute monologue at about 120 db, 3 helicopters take off and hover overhead, Kage and his crash crew start doing hot laps of pit lane and every Race Car within 500 Metres starts up and revs the holy hell out of the engines. It never fails.
Eventually, with a lot of shouting, pointing and a fair slice of luck, most of us finally realise just where we are going to enjoy ourselves for the rest of the day. (HAH!).
Now just who are these misbegotten bunch of human beings called? Its the VICTORIAN FLAGMARSHALLING TEAM Inc; a highly trained bunch of masochists, who take great pleasure in being sunburnt, frozen, soaked and windblown, usually on the same day, sometimes hourly.
We do this to provide safety to another bunch of refugees from the human race, more commonly known as Racing Drivers. They probably don’t realise that to most of us, a flick of a finger, a wave of the hand or a nod of the head is payment enough for a job well done.
Just why do we do it? because we damn well enjoy it, that’s why.
So always show the right flag, and keep them hanging right.
Motor racing is exciting and demanding. Both driver and marshal derive satisfaction from being able to play their part. The difference between the driver and the Marshal is that the driver is an individual and the Marshal can only play his or her full role as a member of a TEAM. The prerequisite for a competent FLAG MARSHAL are:
Motor Racing is Dangerous
A fact of which everyone who attends meetings, is constantly reminded. Marshalling could be more dangerous because of the frontline positions to which the Flag Marshal is exposed. Protect yourself and your partner first.
Flagmarshalling can be uncomfortable
This can be greatly reduced by being prepared. Whatever the time of year, or the weather forecast, sufficient clothing for any condition must be taken with you. Should you join the VFT, you will be given the opportunity to purchase wet weather gear through Aussie Disposals, at reasonable cost. You will also be advised as to what type of clothing to take with you to race meetings.
On-track training is provided to all new officials and further training via special Training Days will take place from time to time, as determined by the Chief Flag Marshal and Training Committee. It is advisable to arrive at the circuit early, in plenty of time to sign-on at the specified time. This will allow organisers to provide you with information you will require to perform your duties, allow you to be covered by Motorsport Australia Insurance and allow the senior officials to check who has reported for duty, so that you can be allocated to a post. Allow yourself time to check your equipment. The time you take now, will save valuable minutes later on, if there is an emergency. Flag Marshals are the main form of communication between drivers on the track and the Officials running the meeting. They do this by displaying coloured flags in pre-arranged patterns. By use of the correct flag signals, the Flag Marshal can keep the driver informed of the state of the circuit, the occurrence and importance of any incident around the course, the presence of extraneous or slow vehicles on the track and the proximity of other competing cars. The flag system can be used to control the flow of the event or in fact, stop the event. It is a vital function and one which takes full concentration to carry out with the accuracy and judgment required. Click here to view a brief explanation of what the flags mean.
Benefits of being a Flag Marshal