Category Archives: Phillip Island Circuit

Phillip Island, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Team Medical Phillip Island is Looking for Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics and Students (Medical, Nursing, etc.) Great Perks!

If there was ever a time when I regretted making a career choice, this would be it. Why couldn’t I go to medical school? Or why haven’t I followed thru with becoming a Paramedic?

Don’t know… but my Information Systems degree is useless.

If you are however a Doctor, Nurse or a Paramedic. Or even if you haven’t become one yet but are studying to become one, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit wants YOU!

Check out this ad I saw posted on facebook:

medical team wanted phillip island victoria australia

Unlike the rest of us plebs volunteering for a soggy sandwich and swag, the medics get Accommodation provided, which is a big deal.

If you are local to Melbourne or Victoria in general or have the means to travel there, I’d urge you to sign up! I was lucky enough to work several events at Phillip Island in 2013 including the SBK Superbikes and it was a fantastic experience!

Invitation to Marshal SBK Superbike Championship at Phillip Island, Australia

Every year, without fail, I get a thick envelope in the mail from Australia inviting me to marshal the SBK Superbike World Championship round at Phillip Island. And since I’m invited, you’re invited through this blog post!

It’s such a heartwarming experience opening the envelope and seeing the invitation letter and application forms… it’s awesome! No other organization has had such a great follow up like the team staffing this FIM event at an incredible racetrack: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit about 2 hour drive outside of Melbourne, Victoria. And I wish I could have tacked on this event to my upcoming trip to Bathurst in 2016, but there’s just too much time between the two events.

sbk superbike world championship phillip island marshal invitation 2016

The last time I participated at Phillip Island for this event was 2013, working rescue at “Siberia” turn. It was incredible!

I highly recommend this event to anyone interested in marshaling. The racing is fantastic. The crowd of spectators is huge and very enthusiastic. And the marshaling team treats you really well.

Interested? Get in touch, I’ll forward on the application paperwork.

Wish I could go…

Happy Birthday to ME! from Confederation of Australian Motor Sport

Well aint’ that something…. I got a birthday card e-mail from the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, probably the nicest thing anyone in this marshaling hobby has done for me on an ASN level. Good on you CAMS, and Thank You!

We heard it’s your birthday this month…

Dear Russ,

To celebrate your birthday this month the CAMS Shop would like to offer you a special birthday offer: a 10% discount on all purchases over $20.

To redeem this offer, simply enter your own unique code: (want the code? ask me, I’ll share) at the shopping cart screen of the CAMS shop, before the 30th of September.

To access the CAMS Shop, Click here.

This code can only be used once, and cannot be used in conjunction with any other discounts or special offers. Stand 21 Club Series HANS Device and Stand 21 Posts also excluded.

From all of us here at CAMS, we wish you a very happy birthday.

 

Kind regards,

The CAMS shop

Granted, this is a marketing e-mail, obviously encouraging me to buy stuff from the CAMS shop. And the offer of 10% off is a big deal, Aussies aren’t often as generous as America is with it’s frequent discounts. But I’m quite impressed with their effort to keep the organization relevant in my mind, they keep reminding me that CAMS exists even though they know that I’m an international member and that I live on the other side of the world.

My home ASN, the SCCA couldn’t give two fucks that I exist. No birthday wishes from them. No invitation to marshal local events at Lime Rock, NJMP or elsewhere (except the personal invite from Jessie to help out at Palmer Motorsports Park with the New England Region). Nope, nothing of the sort… except they’re quick to send repeated e-mails reminders when my fucking $95 annual membership (or $65 now that I’m with Guam region) is due. Greedy fucks! I’m sure I’ve offended them deeply by speaking out about the lack of training, sure I did. So the obvious solution is not to offer the fucking training, but to pretend that I don’t exist and that I am no longer welcome in their club, except of course for that time when the membership fees are due, they’re still very happy to take my money… ugh!

I wish I lived in Australia again… that was some of the best time of my life and you don’t even have to pay a membership fee to be a part of CAMS… imagine that!

CAMS Officials Training Modules Invitation

For all those times I bitched and moaned that my local club was doing it wrong by not offering training, allow me to point out a club that keeps doing it right time and again. I got an invite from CAMS to participate in one of their many training modules available around the country. What would it cost SCCA to scramble one of these e-mails together and blast it to all it’s marshaling members? Can’t be that much… right?

Anyway, look at this amazing e-mail I got:

cams officials training e-mail

Upcoming Officials Training Modules

More courses will be organised for 2015 around Australia and the course information will be updated on the website as it becomes available.For the most up to date information on courses that are available for you to attend, please visit theCAMS website

A full calendar of training courses can be found here

Victoria

  • Bronze Scrutineer (Vermont) – Saturday/Sunday 11-12th July
  • CATO (Melbourne) – Wednesday 30th September
  • Stewards – See South Australia for Training event on the border (Mount Gambier)

For more information or to register now: vic@cams.com.au

New South Wales

  • Scrutineering (Bathurst) – Saturday 8th August
  • Club Chief (Canberra) – Saturday 29th August
  • Bronze Scrutineering (Newcastle) – Saturday 19th September
  • Scrutineering (Wagga Wagga) – Date TBA September

For more information or to register now: nsw@cams.com.au

Queensland

  • Club Chief (Brisbane) – Sunday 19th July
  • Course Presenter Upskilling – Monday 27th July
  • Unravelling the CAMS Manual – Monday 28th September

For more information: qld@cams.com.au

South Australia

  • Stewards (Mount Gambier) – Saturday 25th July
  • Scrutineering Theory (Adelaide) – Friday 28th August
  • Scrutineering Practical (Adelaide) – Sunday 30th August

For more information or to register now: sa@cams.com.au

Tasmania

  • Mentor – Saturday 18th July
  • Silver – Sunday 16th August

For more information or to register now: tas@cams.com.au

Western Australia

  • Bronze Scrutineering (Collie) – Sunday 12th July
  • Stewards (Perth) – Saturday 5th September

For more information or to register now: wa@cams.com.au

Modules Available Online

  • Introductory module
  • Bronze Circuit Official
  • Bronze Event Administration
  • Bronze Event Command
  • Bronze Rally Officials
  • Off-Road Officials

For more information or to register now: Call CAMS Member Services on 1300 883 959 or email our Member Services team at: memberservices@cams.com.au

Event Assessment Process

  1. Booking an Event Assessment
  2. Planning the assessment
  3. Conducting the assessment
  4. Submit forms

For more details on each step, please see here

cams officials training e-mail

cams officials training contact

For any of you Aussies in position to take advantage of this opportunity, I encourage you to participate in the training. I know I certainly would if I had a chance again!

Invitation to Marshal the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP at Phillip Island)

Every year I get a thick envelope from Australia containing several sheets of an application to register for a Phillip Island motorcycle event. This year I’ve gotten two of them, one for World SBK superbikes an event that I volunteered in 2013 and another for the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix featuring MotoGP on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

This is an incredible opportunity for any Motos fans out there. Australia embraces it’s motorcycling culture (both legitimate and the bikey gang subculuture) and these SBK/MotoGP events are attended in huge numbers.

The event where I worked Siberia corner we had a whole display of spectator bikes parked up behind the turn with all the attendees watching the racing and admiring each other’s bikes. It was so cool.

australian motorcycle grand prix invitation

To apply send me a quick note via facebook and I will forward my application to you. If you are considering this event from outside of Australia or New Zealand consider that Malaysian MotoGP is back to back with the event at Phillip Island. And if you think Australia is bike crazy, you can only imagine how big the event is at Sepang International Circuit (it’s huge both from spectator perspective as well as from the marshal’s point of view).

Go register now!

You will absolutely enjoy it.

 

Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix web site:  http://www.motogp.com.au/

MotoGP web site: http://www.motogp.com/

Motorcycling Australia web site: http://www.ma.org.au/

Congratulations CAMS on growing Volunteer base!

The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has recently posted a really kind message on their web site thanking the growing base of volunteers in their organization: “CAMS Gives Credit to Volunteer Officials for 2014 Milestone” read all about it: click here.

To quote the best part of the article:

“CAMS has witnessed a 21% increase on the 2013 number of officials. Remarkably, 1647 more have obtained a CAMS Officials License in 2014, with the overall membership now totaling 9374.”

That is fantastic news! 21% or 1647 more volunteers is a big BIG number especially for a country whose size is similar to Continental US but the population is closer to that of the NYC Metropolitan area. CAMS is fortunate with the great success of it’s home grown V8 Supercars series as well as the Australian GT championship with it’s amazing Bathurst 12 hour headliner event which undoubtedly attracts race fans and enthusiasts to put their hand up and volunteer. But CAMS also attracts people by offering FIA accredited training, uniforms and swag at various events, and typically little or no membership fees to participate.

I mention this aspect because while I was marshaling in Portugal I received a message from an SCCA official that I have been communicating back and forth about my issues with my home organization. He suggested I should leave the F&C (flagging and communications) part of the club. He recognized I am not happy with the lack of training in my local region, and it would be better for me to leave so I can be happier. So after three years of paying $85/year membership fee, and getting no formal training whatsoever in return, it’s the end of the road. Or is it? I’ve posted a request on the SCCA marshals facebook group to see how I can improve myself based on the grievances people have of me. And the only response suggested that I should stop “bragging” about where I’ve been and change my tone of voice and choice of words when I talk about the club.

So maybe this is a good opportunity to address the actual complaints I’ve had against me. Though none of them were addressed with me face to face by the senior staff in the club who accused me or even by the DA that send me the message to leave the SCCA. Instead everything has been done secretly. Same time last year I found out about some of the accusations strictly by accident, because I needed an SCCA release to marshal the Le Mans 24h with the ACO in France. And the outcome was for me to lay low, keep hush and things will blow over. They haven’t, since there were still no training and no sign of it being offered in the near future I published a few posts about it and made some comments on facebook pointing out the incompetence of the people that run the club, and it seems I’ve hurt some feelings. The powers that be would rather get rid of me than actually solve the problem of the lack of training.

So what have I been accused of? And what have I done to resolve it?

1). Taking photos at pro events. Specifically at the Canadian GP. My SCCA post chief warned me against it. I took some shots anyway when I saw a local Canadian whip out a DSLR and blatantly disregard the photo rule. And I got caught posting my pix on facebook. The SCCA post chief claimed to lose all trust in me and refused to ever work with me again. The Canadians invited me back the next year under probation to work with a different post chief, so long as I didn’t take any pictures. But couldn’t guarantee that I will have an opportunity to take some photos to keep as a souvenir. So I didn’t go back. Since then however I have cut my picture taking down almost completely. I’ve discovered that visiting the paddock and pit lane gives me an opportunity to take all the pictures I would ever need. (And not just mental pictures like the Canadians suggested, real pictures) Problem solved!

2). Taking pictures in the paddock has introduced a new problem. I’ve been accused of being late to the station. Specifically at Lime Rock and more recently at Daytona 24h. But at both events I was there early enough for the shuttle vans but the vans weren’t big enough to take all the workers to a station. Especially at Daytona, our 6 passenger van was meant to take 10 people to the turn. I didn’t fit. The post chief and his wife jumped on a golf cart when one showed up, leaving me and another marshal behind. Later I discovered that the post chief started the morning meeting as soon as he arrived which I and the other marshal missed. This begs the question: if he left us behind why the hell would he start the damn meeting? So maybe some basic people management training is in order. I certainly need to improve my time management myself. But trying to contort myself to cram into a tight van typically results in me ripping my pants or shirts. And since the SCCA doesn’t pay for my uniforms I don’t want to do damage to my own property.

I’ve also requested to work Start/Finish, this way I am not always on duty and with any free time I could take all the pictures I want. But the few events I did with the club this year, the flag chiefs either forgot my request or disregarded it. So maybe I’m expected to kiss more ass, or maybe the Starter role isn’t as accessible as people claimed it was, by simply asking to do it.

3). In Daytona I got kicked off my station. The post chief that accused me of missing the morning meeting didn’t trust any of us on his team to assume the leading role when he went off station to take rest, so he requested the local Central Florida Region to provide a temporary post chief. And the guy they sent started cracking the whip and barking orders at us. To me he said not to blue flag, which was the main reason I came to Daytona, so I didn’t appreciate it at all and wished I was at a different station where the post chiefs were more reasonable. Long story short there came a point where I’ve had it with the orders, and I refused to listen. I considered walking off the station and asking to be moved, or refusing to listen to the orders and hoping I be moved at the post chiefs request. I figured the latter would be less bad of the two horrible options, and so it happened. The flag chiefs of the event moved me to a better station, and said personality clashes were common and it was a simple solution. But what happened in Florida didn’t stay in Florida because I stand accused to this day, and have heard people talking about it not just in the US but also in France during Le Mans. So what did I learn from this experience? There’s no reason to work with an asshole when volunteering. If I see a personality clash possibility I request to be moved immediately, and if it’s not possible I would rather go home than be abused. It absolutely sucks paying money to fly to another part of the country, spend more money for transportation and accommodation only to have a shit time. Or be punished, unfairly.

4). The most recent accusation that arrived with the suggestion to leave the SCCA was that I claimed participation credit for an event that wasn’t SCCA sanctioned. It happened in Pocono, SCCA had a three day race weekend, but since I work Saturdays and Sundays at my job, I only came to marshal on Friday. Turns out Friday was a track employee day and even though I stood there for the whole day waving flags at incidents, it didn’t really happen. As far as the SCCA is concerned I wasn’t there, even though I spend $50 in fuel and tolls to get there. When I signed up for the event through the MotorsportReg.com web site nowhere did it say that SCCA didn’t welcome me, but it turns out it didn’t. Fine! I’ve seen this before overseas, I understand. The difference being overseas we used a physical Log Book, and if the flag chief didn’t sign off in your Log Book, the event wasn’t club sanctioned. Of course the SCCA doesn’t do the log book anymore, because if it did I wouldn’t be accused of trying to steal $5 that I could only use towards my outrageously high $85 annual membership fee and nothing else. Bring back the Log Book dear SCCA and this problem is nipped in the bud. But No! We do things secretly! Nobody is told anything in fear of losing them as volunteers, but everyone that does something that the upper management doesn’t agree with they get torn a new asshole, and then nothing happens except more secret abusive treatment and bullying. Unless of course you’re me, then I get asked to leave and not cause problems. Because you know, training is so detrimental to everyone. We’re only dealing with safety, human lives… no big deal!

Why can’t the SCCA be more like CAMS in Australia so I can be proud of it? Why not give back to the volunteering officials? The main reason I must have been asked to leave is because I was criticizing how SCCA spends it’s money both from my membership dues and from fees billed to the venue for providing marshals, like me. Pro events pay the club for the marshals, that money rarely finds it way back to the marshals instead the SCCA uses it as scholarships and incentives. Funds to grow car fields in club racing and to help up and coming drivers. I think that’s pretty ridiculous considering how bad the volunteer situation is in the US. In New Zealand the drivers not only took care of the marshal club needs, but provided food and drinks and even did hot laps at the end of the race day to show their appreciation for the volunteers. In the US, forget the volunteers we need bigger car fields… Good riddance.

I wish the SCCA was more like CAMS! Especially since SCCA holds the monopoly on issuing marshal licenses like the one I need to volunteer overseas. From my recent post about helping me choose a different license, I discovered no one but SCCA can actually give me a marshal license, even though in the eyes of the SCCA the highest you can go as a marshal is to a “National” level… because you know, USA is a bubble, there’s no such thing as “International” level.

Invitation to Marshal the 2015 SBK Superbikes at Phillip Island

Dear colleagues,

You are invited to participate in next year’s SBK Superbike event at Phillip Island in beautiful Victoria, Australia.

This is the reason why, for the most part, they are not hurting for volunteers. Unlike some events, like say the US Grand Prix – which struggled to meet the minimum staffing requirements, early registration invites like these work…. and for the few bux that it costs to do it properly, I believe it’s certainly worth the effort to make an event run smoothly and safely.

SBK superbikes invitation Phillip Island

When I get mail like this (especially from Australia because they are basically the only ones still doing this) it’s like a Christmas gift. Even when I doubt I’ll be able to participate, a big part of me really wants to sign up. The reason I post this is to help spread the word and hopefully you will sign up as a result. Feel free to contact me for details or reach out to the Phillip Island organization directly.

Enjoy the race, it’s fantastic!

Registration for Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix is open

I love getting snail mail invites to marshal an event. I realize this is an old school concept and quite expensive for the organizers, but it’s awesome! I just received my invitation to marshal the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island in October.

Unfortunately I will not be in Australia, but I have worked an SBK Superbikes event at Phillip Island and it was absolutely fantastic. Working at the Siberia corner, you get spectacular views of the track, the bikes speeding towards you, and the beautiful turquoise waters of the ocean in the background. Breathtaking view.

phillip island sbk 5

I highly recommend this event to anyone! If interested, do get in touch and I will forward you the application to register.

australian motorcycle grand prix

Pure Sound: Motorsport Marshalling in Australia

Any closer to the action and you’ll be in the driver’s seat for the race. Experience the sounds of Australian Motorsports from a marshal’s perspective. Enjoy, discuss… interested in marshalling?  Get in touch!

Shannon’s Historics at Phillip Island debrief

Sensational weekend spent at Phillip Island with the Shannon’s Historics races, featuring a bunch of British cars, a bunch of Italian cars, and even a bunch of American cars. Everything from Mustangs to Corvettes, Alfa Romeo’s to Jaguars, and one of my favorites: Bug Eyed Sprites 🙂

I had the luck of having a “personal photographer” this weekend. My friend Ian took some awesome shots of me in action flagging at station 9.1 overlooking spectacular scenery that is Phillip Island.

shannons 5

shannons phillip island 1 shannons phillip island 2

shannons phillip island 3(favorite Aussie food: Fish & Chips!)

shannons 6

shannons phillip island 4(New Yorker a long way from home…!)

Did I mention blue flagging for Porsche Can Am cars was my favorite event? Yes it was!

phillip island shannons historics 1

phillip island shannons historics 2

phillip island shannons historics 3

phillip island shannons historics 4