My French marshaling experience is limited to a single event, yet it is the biggest event in the world of motorsports: 24 hours of Le Mans! To become a commisaire or a signaleur at the Circuit de la Sarthe you must go through all the paperwork with Automobile Club del’Ouest (ACO) which has become even more stringent now that they have closer cooperation with the FIA. Which means an already difficult race to get into has become even more so because of apparent reduced marshaling body requirements from the organizing body.
Like the British GP I planned my first trip to Le Mans on the Ten-Tenths Forums. Where I was advised the only way to get in is to know a chef de poste (post chief) at one of the many corners around this 18km race track. Of course I knew no one so it helped getting a few referrals both from people that I knew and worked with and complete strangers. The marshaling community on the Internet is very helpful and I’ve been spared a lot of grief and runaround thanks to the kind people that offered their assistance. Some even offered rides, food and lent me their tents to make my visit to Le Mans comfortable, and for that I am forever grateful. With that in mind the goal of my web site is to offer similar help to others, when I can. Even if it is just by sharing information.
The beauty of working Le Mans is you get a set of pretty nifty overalls that you keep. Which hands down beats the tabard you get as a souvenir at all the F1 Grand Prix. But unlike the spectacle that F1 draws to itself around the world, Le Mans brings the world to a little town in France, and the atmosphere is incredible. Especially the fans, the fans are fantastic!
Actually marshaling the event is easy in comparison to events I’m used to working. I think the combined hours I spent on duty over the weekend equal less than total hours in a day at a typical GP. That’s kind of cool though I tend to get antsy. But what it really does is gives you an opportunity to pursue all the touristy things on your visit, photo taking, shopping, etc. Which if you read my complaint about the Canadian GP is seriously appreciated.
There is a French ASN: Fédération Française du Sport Automobile (FFSA) that is responsible for marshals around the country but dealing with the ACO I never had any need to contact it. So if Le Mans is what you’re after in France, do reach out to the ACO directly: http://www.autoclub.fr/ Otherwise, contact the FFSA here: http://www.ffsa.org/