Tag Archives: Australian GP

What other ASN’s could learn from CAMS: Confederation of Australian Motor Sport

There’s much we could learn from CAMS: Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and I would hope all international ASN’s are taking note of the things this club is doing RIGHT.

The latest Officials Newsletter ticks all the right boxes for me:

cams officials newsletter marshals wanted marshal training online marshal education

First, there’s a call for action: Marshals Wanted!

I really applaud this national ASN reaching out to their entire membership base, including those of us who are overseas / international marshals and asking for help at a particular event. It is not below them to ask. They aren’t losing any face doing it. There are positions to be filled and they are doing the right thing seeking help from the obvious resource: their licensed members. Kudos!

Second, there’s information about Training!

Brilliant. CAMS is one of the few organizations that I’ve had the privilege of working with that push sophisticated and regular (constantly updated) training modules onto it’s membership base. How appropriate! There’s an organization that recognizes that things change in the Motorsport industry, the change is constant. And they make sure that the membership stays abreast of the all changes by offering standardized training from the national organization down to the individual clubs on the ground like those in the state of Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and others.

Third, the most convenient of training modules: e-Training!

One of the hardest things for any club to organize is to bring its membership together at a time and place for a particular event of significance like Training. Solution? Offer Online training! Simple, effective and convenient to both the organizers and the individuals taking advantage of the opportunity to brush up their skills from the comfort of their own home on their own terms (time/place/mood?).

This is why I like CAMS!

It’s not just because they have trained me from the very beginning of my marshaling career. But because they continue to offer me opportunities to further my career in this hobby by doing things right. And not a lot of ASN’s out there take the time or make the effort to keep their membership base engaged and wanting to participate more.

The last e-mail notice I got from my current local club was a reminder to pay my dues…

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!

2015 F1 Season Spotter Guide FREE Download

Andy Blackmore of Andy Blackmore Design has released his latest creation for the 2015 Formula 1 Season, in time for the Australian GP behold the 2015 F1 Spotter Guide! Free download on Andy’s web site: http://www.spotterguides.com/portfolio/15-f1/

I’m a huge fan of Andy’s work, and as a marshal found his spotter guides to be most useful especially when working as an “observer” to call in vehicles involved in incidents.

The coolest feature of the spotter guide? Andy’s attention to detail:

andy blackmore design 2015 F1 season spotter guide

Thanks Andy for your awesome work! And thanks for making the downloads available for FREE for anyone that wants them.

Download link: http://www.spotterguides.com/portfolio/15-f1/

International Marshals at the Australian GP

Thanks to the dedicated work by our friend Lynne Hunting during Australian GP we could all read the same newsletter that the local marshals get at the mustering tent in Melbourne each morning. And in the Thursday issue of the newsletter I came across an interesting statistic that Lynne is a part of herself:

source: Australian GP/CAMS/Lynne Hunting
source: Australian GP/CAMS/Lynne Huntting

Of the 930+ marshals participating in Melbourne over the four day weekend that we call the Australian F1 Grand Prix, 78 are visiting marshals from countries far and wide (and when it comes to Australia, pretty much everything is far and wide).

Granted, that when compared with the overall number of the marshals that figure isn’t even 10% but when you consider that in 2014 US F1 Grand Prix had only 200+ marshals, having an influx of 78 more people would give the struggling organizer a much needed boost! If only they could get their act together and actively recruit those visiting international marshals… hmm!

Who are the International visiting marshals in Australia? For the most part they are Singaporeans, just a little less than half of them in fact, and there’s a reason for that. CAMS trainers play an important role during the Singapore GP, historically providing senior marshals for guidance to the local post chiefs and sector marshals during the event. The Australian GP serves as a training ground for those Singaporean marshals wishing to take the next step in their careers to become “senior marshals” themselves in order to act as “post chiefs” or “sector marshals” back home in September. So that’s understandable.

The rest of the numbers are quite interesting.

Personally, I would be very curious to learn who that single Ukranian marshal is. And in what capacity do they participate back home in Ukraine? Or perhaps it’s an Ozzie marshal of Ukrainian background (much like people refer to me as an American marshal born and raised in Ukraine) that simply choose to identify themselves as Ukrainian even though for all practical purposes they’re Aussie.

It’s nice to see the number of Americans participating growing. A few years ago when I was volunteering there: Lynne, James and I were the only three “Americans” at the event. I’m glad more are taking the time to experience Australia and their F1 season opening event in Melbourne.

I am also quite surprised with some of the stats on the chart Lynne published. For example, only four (4) Kiwis. Now I could assure you that out of the 930+ marshals there are a lot more than 4 New Zealanders present, but with special work and travel visa arrangements between the two Commonwealth nations, many Kiwis call Australia home and therefore are not represented as visiting marshals from NZ. But with only 4 flying across the ditch to participate in the event, those numbers seem very low.

Similarly, there are 2 people from the UAE and none from Canada. I am surprised by that because I know many expats living in the UAE are avid F1 fans and marshal around the world including US, Singapore and Australia. So I wonder whether one of those UAE residents is actually a Canadian citizen, but the AGP considers them a visiting marshal from the UAE.

At any rate, it’s great to read all the important work Lynne Huntting publishes because it obviously provokes thought and sheds some light on the scores of marshals that love the sport so much they would travel half way around the world just to participate in this wonderful experience. Cheers to them!

Also kudos to CAMS: Confederation of Australian Motor Sport the organizer of volunteers for Australian GP, for this:

australian gp 2015 cams awesome marshalsNot only is the number of volunteers in the picture very impressive, and as I compared with the US version, it’s about five times the size of the volunteer base. (And yes I’m aware that a street circuit requires more personnel than a permanent circuit, the same scenario can be seen in Singapore GP (1,200 marshals) vs. Malaysian GP (330 marshals)). The organization went ahead and shared their appreciation on their social media page giving recognition and thanks to all those participants whether domestic or international visiting marshals. And that act is very respectable. In my three years of membership with the SCCA I have not once seen them do a similar act for a non-club event. And maybe they should? Of course they should!

Application Process: CAMS (Australian GP) & MSA (British GP)

Dear friends,

This is a general call for volunteers should you wish to participate in the Australian GP in Melbourne, March 2015 or the British GP at Silverstone, July 2015. For the American readers, you may not be accustomed to the idea of applying to an event taking place next year when our home USGP is still recruiting people a month before the race, but that’s how the world works. Don’t think for a minute to go on a whim to the UK or to Australia last minute and expect to be welcomed as a marshal. Please follow this application process for a better chance of actually getting accepted.

australian gp 2015

To apply for the Australian GP you should visit the CAMS web site and fill out your online application here:  www.camsvms.com/SignUp/Signup.aspx Once you’ve done this step don’t forget that you may need a visa to visit Australia and an electronic permit is easy to obtain at a cost of about $20 from the Australian Department of Immigration.

british gp 2015

The British GP application can be downloaded on the MSA web site and e-mailed to the appropriate party:  www.msaevents.co.uk/bgpmarshals.php The application process for the GP at Silverstone consists of getting nominated, then your name is voted upon and if you’re accepted you will receive a notification e-mail. Unlike Australia, no visa is required for Americans visiting the country.

Remember to submit your applications early because unlike other events that are desperate for people, Australia and United Kingdom get oversubscribed and many applicants are turned down.

Good luck!

2014 Formula One Application Forms

For anyone considering participating as a marshal in Formula 1 during the 2014 season, the application process has opened for the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park to be held next March. The online application is again handled by CAMS and is a fairly quick and painless process. For anyone requiring a recommendation please don’t hesitate to ask though I highly encourage their home ASN to provide an official letter of recommendation for something as prestigious as F1.

The nomination process for the British Grand Prix is also open. A nomination form must be filled out and accompanied by supporting documentation to be considered as a marshal during the British GP. A vote is then taken to approve or deny candidates. I would highly encourage folks to follow the instructions on the application. When it says tick one box for specialty do not tick two… I made this mistake this year selecting both flag & track specialties… because you know… I can do both… I was assigned “track” but due to my injury early before the start of the event, ended up doing “flag” anyway. Again, if anyone requires a referral, don’t hesitate to ask.

Best of luck!

Australian GP link: http://camsvms.com/signup/Signup.aspx

British GP link:  http://www.msaevents.co.uk/documents/Nomination_Form_MASTER.pdf

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!

Post card from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Greetings from Melbourne. Had to collect my F1 credentials early thanks to a last minute trip planned early next week to Sydney to visit my old job. And thanks to Phillip Island historics this weekend, won’t have much time to return to the mustering tent.

Had an excellent time walking the paths at Albert Park, up to the pit lane area for both F1 and V8 Supercars. Got my cool F1 AGP cap, poster, stickers, program, and two guest passes for friends and family.

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Winter/Summer North/South Hemisphere

2013 is already promising to be an incredible year. I’m particularly excited about the planning process of my next big trip this February and March. I’m not sure what I’m thrilled about the most… maybe its the prospect of flying again. Sure, I love flying! Or perhaps its the prospect of doing some more racing events in the Pacific. Yes, I love Australia and New Zealand racing series a lot, that’s where I got my education. Or maybe I’m just craving a double double with fries animal style? Hmm…

For anyone not familiar with the west coast chain In-n-Out, you don’t know what you’re missing. Well, maybe it doesn’t matter. To be honest, the fast food chain isn’t ridiculously different from any other fast food chains we have on the east coast, like Five Guys Burgers. But they do offer a secret menu and have a cult-like following so every time I get a chance I pay a visit to their establishments. (I think last time was in Las Vegas when I went for the SEMA show). I specifically arranged my flights to LAX in a way that would allow me to have enough time to visit their South Sepulveda location for a nice juicy burger, fries and some half-strawberry half-chocolate milk shake. I do plan to walk to and fro the restaurant to burn off some of the calories.

After I’m properly stuffed with the So Cal experience, I’ll be taking my comfy Qantas A380 flight off to Sydney. Its been a while since I’ve been there, save for of course the quick transit at SYD airport I did on my way home from New Zealand earlier this year. I will be visiting the Blue Mountains in NSW for my first race there. The 12 hours of Bathurst enduro series featuring some Mercedes-Benz SLS, Lambourghini Gallardo, Ferrari 458 Italias and a bunch of others including some Fords and Holdens that will have a GT race within the race running only for the first hour of the event. How cool?

Immediately after the race I plan to make my way over to Auckland for the opening season of New Zealand V8 SuperTourers at Hampton Downs. This would be the second year in a row I’ve volunteered for this event, so I’m especially looking forward to seeing all the folks I’ve worked with earlier this year. Whilst in NZ I plan to do a few trips to the South Island, an experience I missed out on while living there in 2012. Hopefully with the December 12 days of Christmas special I’ll be able to book some cheapo flights to Dunedin or Queenstown on Air New Zealand to make it happen. A visit to Taupo or Manfeild may be in the cards also.

Kiwi land may be the place where I will finally and possibly tragically run out of my savings. But it will not stop me from going. On the way back I plan to return to Australia for the Formula 1 race at Albert Park in Melbourne. A week before there will be another event at a track I’ve been wanting to work since the first time I visited Philip Island. Visiting some friends in Victoria should make an experience memorable as usual.

Retracing my F1 calendar of this year I plan to take a cheap Air Asia X flight to Malaysia for another amazing Formula 1 race at the Sepang Circuit. The flights have already been booked but the confirmation has yet to come, fingers crossed I won’t have any trouble like I did this year. Any visit to Southeast Asia turns out to be a fantastic experience and it would be a great way to end this two month journey.

The excitement will keep me going through the cold Northeast winter we’ll be having in the NYC / New Jersey area, where we just had our first snow not even a week after the superstorm Sandy had her way with us… yikes!

PS. No return flight has been booked yet. It may turn into another epic adventure of a trip!