Following the publication of the Motorsport Event Safety Review (MESR) in January the MSA has held detailed discussions with the Scottish Government and the Forestry Commission, while also holding forum-style ‘road shows’ around the country.
Implementation of the MESR’s recommendations is now under way, with key objectives defined and anticipated timescales set for a project designed to further improve the safety of UK stage rallies and help ensure a future for the sport.
The MESR was established by the Scottish Government following the tragic events of the 2014 Jim Clark Rally. It presented 29 recommendations, which the MSA has committed to implementing in a staged manner over the next two years. These recommendations are outlined here.
The implementation project has been sanctioned by MSA Chief Executive Rob Jones, with details provided to the Scottish Sports Minister. Senior MSA Executives, including Rallies Executive Ian Davis, Technical Director John Symes and Director of Training & Education Allan Dean-Lewis, have individual departmental responsibility and the project is being managed overall by Scottish Government civil servant Jacqueline Campbell, who has been seconded to the MSA.
While changes are already being made the whole project will take until 2017 to complete, as some issues will take longer to implement than others. The next key step will be the publication of rally safety requirements for 2015, which will apply across the UK from June this year; Scottish multi-venue rallies are already working with the Safety Delegate to comply.
Jones said: “Implementing the recommendations of the MESR is one of the most important projects ever undertaken by the MSA. It is a huge project requiring significant resourcing but it is absolutely vital for the future of stage rallying in the UK. In fact this is not just a matter for British motor sport; the eyes of international motor sport and in particular the FIA are upon us – once again the UK is paving the way for others to follow as we seek to learn from the past to create a stronger future.
“Of course, we cannot hope to do this alone and while the MESR has divided opinion in some quarters of the UK motor sport community, I am delighted that overall the majority of stakeholders are firmly behind us. With their support, whether they are competitors, volunteers, organisers or the media, I am sure that we can succeed and ensure the long-term future of one of the cornerstones of UK motor sports.”
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