Marshals at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland – volunteers with passion and responsibility

Marshals at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland – volunteers with passion and responsibility

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marshals, ADAC Rallye Deutschland
photo: ADAC Motorsport

The ADAC Rallye Deutschland blends spectacular motorsport and outstanding safety. To take both to top levels every year, teamwork is the key to success: all of the 18 ADAC regional clubs are involved in the planning and implementation of the German event to the FIA WRC. Again this year, some 3,000 volunteer helpers will flock to the Saarland and neighbouring regions to support the rally that takes place between 16 and 19 August; most of them belong to the ADAC local and motorsport clubs across Germany. This makes the German WRC rally ADAC’s greatest collaborative motorsport accomplishment.

The marshals play a key role in the success of the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. This year’s event needs some 2000 helpers with a special training. As marshals, they will provide optimal support at the 18 Special Stages (SS), which have a total length of approx. 330km. The yellow vests of the marshals will be a common sight also at the AUTODOC Service Park, at the Shakedown as well as at the opening ceremony (16 August) and podium ceremony (19 August) in St Wendel.

marshals, ADAC Rallye Deutschland
photo: ADAC Motorsport

It is the job of the marshals to ensure that the ADAC Rallye Deutschland runs smoothly

Their main task is to ensure the safety of the track and spectator areas. In their allocated areas, they make sure that the applicable rules are strictly complied with, keeping a special eye on no-go areas. In addition, they maintain efficient communication with the rally headquarters in the event of an accident, issue warnings to the vehicles behind and ensure immediate access to first aid. As competent contacts for the people on site, they also handle the important task of spectator management.

To ensure maximum safety at a Special Stage, intensive staffing with marshals and radio marshals is essential. To this end, they always work in teams so that there are at least two marshals at each post. The Special Stage chief official, usually recruited from the motorsport club in charge of the respective SS, coordinates the helpers.

marshals, ADAC Rallye Deutschland
photo: ADAC Motorsport

Very long Special Stages usually keep over 300 marshals and more than 40 radio marshals busy

In 2018, in addition to the Panzerplatte stage (18 August), this will be the case at the almost 30km Grafschaft SS on Sunday (19 August), which is under the auspices of the ADAC motorsport club Melsungen e.V. Besides the marshals, the team of volunteer helpers for the Grafschaft SS alone includes three first aid points, three mobile medical teams and over 100 firefighters – all coordinated by the club’s SS chief official.

Being a marshal at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland means working long hours. The marshals have a briefing already three to four hours before the first rally car passes. Special Stage chief officials give all the necessary instructions and then everybody moves into their posts along the track. Since a Special Stage is usually run twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, this means that they are on their toes all day long. The clubs and their members are also in charge of setting up and removing the Special Stages. That includes signposting and safety measures. This year, some 70 ADAC local clubs and motorsport clubs will be at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland to perform all these tasks.

Rallye DeutschlandThe clubs are the first place to go for all motorsport fans interested in becoming a marshal at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland

However, having a passion for rallying is not enough: a marshal needs to undergo multi-stage training. To obtain the ADAC official’s licence, successful completion of two seminars is mandatory (basic and advanced training). A requirement for working at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland is the attendance of a crash course to enhance theoretical knowledge and practical skills. There is also a written exam to obtain the DMSB steward’s licence. Marshals must attend repeat training sessions every three years and prove annual hands-on activities. This way ADAC ensures that all marshals at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland have high-quality, modern and hands-on training.

The marshal training is free for ADAC members. Attendants must be at least 16 years of age. Experienced marshals who are at least 20 years old can attend further training to become SS chief officials. Volunteer marshals at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland get a special bonus: off duty, they are granted free access to any other SS at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland with their marshal’s licence.

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