VFT News

  • 9 Mar 2021 10:34 PM | Deleted user

    I was excited in June when I received the news that I had been accepted to flag marshal for the Singapore Grand Prix. It was to be my first event to officiate overseas. During those months, I got to know the other people I was to work with on my flag point and we shared knowledge with each other in preparation for the event. So, September rolled around and I met up with my fellow Singapore marshals a few days before the event. Trying out some local specialities in the hawker centres.

    As we got to Friday I was very excited to be trackside. Each point consisted of about a dozen marshals for various roles. My lead flag marshal Serene was very professional with her briefings for us flag marshals. The flag point was something completely different to what I was used to back home, as you were basically put into a cage to flag from, barely able to put 2 arms through the gaps! The cars looked amazing under the bright lights of the Marina Bay street circuit. Sometimes you could be mistaken for thinking it was actually daylight which shows how good the lights really are! Another tough thing to battle with was the weather! During the week, Singapore was inundated with haze from neighbouring Indonesia which had to be closely monitored during the race weekend. It was also tough wearing the overalls in 30+ degrees plus humidity! Luckily, we had generous amounts of ice-cold water to keep us well hydrated.

    As we finally got to Sunday all of us officials came together for a big group photo and doing a touching tribute to Charlie Whiting by singing his favourite song “Summer of 69.” All up I thoroughly enjoyed the Singapore Grand Prix. It’s an amazing circuit and the Singaporeans were some of the most professional marshals I have worked with. Their attention to detail was amazing and something that should be admired worldwide.  I highly encourage all members to try and go along to officiate at Singapore or any other international event. The lifelong friends you make from this experience is something that is absolutely priceless!

    Patrick Harding

  • 1 Jan 2021 10:28 AM | Deleted user

    On Monday 23 September 2019, I looked at my calendar and realised we had a complete weekend off coming up. WOOHOO! This was short lived when I turned on my computer to see that VFT  needed helpers for the VMCI State Round at Philip Island - due to the Grand Final and it being a long weekend, they were short on flag marshals. A quick chat to Graeme and we decided that we will put our hands up and help.

    Thursday night we went to the VMCI (Victorian Mini Club Inc) members meeting and they also mentioned that they were desperately short of officials for the weekend. Out came my phone and I sent approximately 50 messages out to our members and officials asking for help, at very short notice.

    Before the meeting had finished, I managed to get 6 accept and by Friday morning I had close to 20 of our wonderful members giving up their long weekend to help. I am very proud of them all for their hard work and dedication on the day and this made life so much easier for the senior officials, to run this brilliant race meeting.

    To become a CAMS/Motorsport Australia official, all you need to do is go onto the CAMS/Motorsport Australia web page and complete the General Official's application, which will take you approximately 20 minutes to complete. Then go to the Working with Children’s Check web page and fill that in and Bob's your uncle, you are ready to start helping out at any race meeting. These applications do not cost you anything but time - as we are a Not-for-Profit organisation, it all comes free.

    There are a lot of people out there that love motorsport and it is as simple as the above to get up close and personal to all the action. I currently hold a Bronze CAMS official licence in pretty much all areas except scrutineering, and am waiting to be assessed for my Silver Upgrade, which will possibly take close to 12 months to complete.

    I started volunteering because of our involvement in motorsport and wanted to give back to the officials who stand out in all conditions, so that my extended family can do the thing they love, RACE. I get so much enjoyment out of knowing that I am a small cog in the large wheel that make these events happen.

    Even if you are a competitor, it is also important for you guys to step on the other side to just see what it is we do; learn the fundamentals of officiating and you never know you might just have as much fun as we do out there. Without officials, you guys cannot compete. There are days when you are not racing - check what race meetings are on and see if you can help out too.

    One of the big bonuses of being a CAMS/Motorsport Australia official is you can also volunteer at the Supercars and the F1 and you can’t get any closer than we are to all the action.

    If you love motorsport or have a loved one who competes in motorsport, think about becoming an CAMS/Motorsport Australia official and helping your club, other clubs and all the members who enjoy getting out on the track to continue to do so.

    If I can help anyone to become a CAMS/Motorsport Australia General Official, please do not hesitate to give me a call on 0412 661 900 and I will be only too happy to assist.

    Jo Mawson
    Vice President/Events Co-Ordinator, BMW Drivers Club Melbourne & Member of the VFT

  • 1 Jul 2020 12:31 PM | Deleted user

    On behalf of the BMWDCM committee we would sincerely like to thank you for volunteering to help us at our Come and Try day on Sunday 14 June 2020, under the new Back to Racing Rules.

    As you can imagine and some of know, running a motorsport event is not just turning up on the day and letting cars out on the track, there is weeks, sometimes months of planning beforehand and with the COVID changes this event was made even harder for us.

    It was overwhelming to have so many of you volunteer to help out on the day and I can honestly say, without you we just can't hold these events.

    It was lovely to have people just pitching in and doing stuff, I don’t need to name names, as you all know who you are.

    Some of you may have felt you didn’t do much but your presence at the track was invaluable and we thank you.

    The VFT Flag Marshals and Senior VFT members all did a great job, I am a little biased as I am a proud VFT member and love working with you guys.

    Our pit lane officials were fantastic at helping drivers and making sure all ran smoothly.

    Our recovery luckily didn’t have to do much but that is what we want, but thank you guys again, without you all we cannot run these events.

    Our COVID checkers were worked off their feet, as we are all unfortunately not used to social distancing and it is not part of most of our DNA and we all just like to get up close and personal and have a chat, and I know most were so keen to see fellow racers and officials, they just needed to be reminded a few times.

    Our Officials at the gate had a hard time having to take temps and check the COVID forms before letting entrants in, but this was how we were instructed to do it, but with our next event we can hopefully speed things up.

    My scrutineers who had to run up and down pit lane, you guys were awesome and we were very lucky to not have many issues with cars on the day, so this made your lives easier than normal.

    My wonderful Admin staff, without you, I would have had a mental break down, you were all fantastic and very very patient with some of the entrants, who just did not understand what all the COVID paperwork was about, but in the end, we did it and I am so proud of you all.

    My timing staff, who were VFT flaggies, you guys just rocked and you are more than welcome at any of our events again, but saying that, you all rocked and you all are more than welcome at any BMWDCM event. Thank you.

    We would love to see you there as either an entrant or an official, but understand it is a little further out for some of you to travel. We use the lights at the flag points at Winton, so will not be needing flag marshals, but you are still welcome to come along and help, we will still be needing general officials, scrutineers and admin.

    I would like to apologise to any official I did not get around to talking to on Sunday, I was just a little bit busy and please know that we really appreciated all your help.

    Thank you again.

    Jo Mawson
    Vice President/Events Co-Ordinator, BMW Drivers Club Melbourne & Member of the VFT

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