Trainee Marshal

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Congratulations, you're now a trainee marshal:

Being a trainee marshal:

  • Volunteering
  • Kit
  • Sign on
  • Arriving on post
  • Don't annoy the Post Chief.
  • On Circuit
  • Tools of the trade (On Post Equipment)
  • Flag Signals
  • Post Communications


to be completed


Having the correct kit is of vital importance! We can’t nip to the car, the Café or shop at the drop of a hat. The wrong kit can make you soaking wet and freezing cold, or boiling hot and sunburnt. The list of items below is of vital importance mainly for comfort but also for your safety and protection from the elements.


  • Always wear natural fibres (cotton and wool) next to the skin. Materials such as nylon and polyester can melt even under flame resistant overalls.
  • Always keep your arms and legs covered. Overalls provide good protection, especially if they are the orange coloured ‘Proban’ style, which uses a special flame resistant material. These are worn by many marshals.
  • If you don’t have a pair of orange overalls, don’t wear clothing that clashes with the colours of the flags (Yellow and red being the main ones! – No Hi-Viz yellow!!)
  • Welding or Rigging gloves that are loose fitting and ideally waterproof. If not, carry a spare pair you can use if your other set gets wet.
  • A baseball cap and a woolly hat aren’t essential, but, you’ll be surprised how much heat you loose through your head on cold days.
  • A strong set of Hiking or work boots are essential. Trainers aren’t ideal. They’re not waterproof and they don’t provide ankle or foot protection if you need to kick a bit of debris of the racing line.
  • A set of waterproofs. Again, not hi-vis yellow! As we all know, there is no real summer in the UK, and a dry day on post is a seldom seen event. So, good waterproofs are essential!!


  • Ear protection – Either ear defenders or ear plugs.
  • Sun cream – Obvious reasons, it can be sunny in England once in a while!
  • Safety Glasses – Not a must but if you’re posted near a gravel trap, these will stop dust and gravel flying in your eyes
  • Whistle – These should only be used by those in charge of posts to alert others of the presence of cars or other dangers, so if you do have one, keep it in your pocket

Sign on

Find out in advance where you need to sign on, and what time you need to do it! There are many ways of doing this. Normally, your confirmation will include such information, if not, ring the circuit and ask. Sign on is essential for all marshals! So, don’t forget! Some circuits even provide a little gift at sign on such as a choccy bar or suchlike.

Arriving on post

Drive or walk to the post taking all your kit with you. If you do drive to your post (via an access road or via circuit) find out where you can exit and park PRIOR to getting there! Sign on with the Post Chief (PC) or Incident Officer (IO), so they have a record of who’s on post. Hand over your Marshals Personal Record Card (the white booklet) and your specialisation Personal Record Card (Race = Blue, Speed = Green, Kart = Red) so it can be signed as a record of you attending that event, and so the PC or IO can provide a comment on your days performance. You’ll be given a briefing by the Post Chief or Incident Officer. Listen attentively and if you have a question, do not be afraid to ask. There really is no such thing as a silly question!

Don’t annoy the Post Chief

It’s always good to ask questions, but save this for the gaps at the end of or in between sessions. The Post Chief is there to run the post, ensure the teams safety, relay information between the team, communicate info to Race Control and report incidents in detail as they happen. Therefore, their role requires concentration! Don’t continually ask them questions or distract them mid-session. If you have a question, remember it, and ask at the end of the session. Alternatively, ask a fellow marshal; they just may know the answer!

To keep the PC or IO happy and to ensure your safety, follow these three golden rules whilst on post:

  • Number One: Do NOT go trackside unless told to
  • Number Two: ALWAYS FACE oncoming traffic
  • Number Three: If you do nip to the loo, TELL someone (ideally the PC or IO) before you go!

Keep to these simple rules, and you’re bound to get a positive comment at the end of the day!

On Circuit

- Track Inspections - Judges of Fact - Car conditions (Loose bodywork, fluids etc)

What to do if it all goes wrong

We've all seen it, either on the tv or at the race. It does sometimes go wrong, and drivers will park it where you dont want it!!

Let the dust settle – Even in major shunts, if the wheels are still attached and the engine is still running, the driver will be more interested in getting back to the pits than being taken onto the banking.

Remember, ACT AS A TEAM

Decide on a strategy – The main priority is to extricate the driver to the banking. If the car is in a safe enough place, it’ll be recovered it at the end of the session. If this is not possible, the PC or IO will decide on the method of recovery. Either marshals trackside pushing the car into an escape lane, or a straight tow, or full lift.

If more than one car is involved, split your resources - The least active driver is usually the one who is worst off.

Use the car involved in the incident for protection – Keep it between yourself and the oncoming traffic.

Look and listen for danger - If you hear a whistle, look up, see what is happening and take appropriate action.

Use the safest route to get to the vehicle – This will normally be along the barrier until the last possible moment. Speed isn’t essential and you don’t need to sprint. Be aware of rough ground and slippery grass as you’re getting to the car. Make sure you approach the driver from his front if you can, as this will allow him to know your there, and you can look in and see if he can self-extricate or will require the use of a Rescue Unit. If he’s conscious and capable of moving, give him time to collect his thoughts, don’t pull at him, but provide help and support if it is needed. Summon assistance if necessary, by using the universal hand signals. Any driver involved in an incident must not be allowed to wander off and drivers involved in substantial impacts should be taken to the medical centre by ambulance or medical car at the end of the session for precautionary checks.

Always take an extinguisher - Leave it to one of the experienced marshals if you’ve not used it before!

Isolate the car’s electrics - Get the driver to isolate the car if possible. He should know exactly where the isolator is and how to

Electrical Isolator Switch Marking. This switch makes the car Electrically Dead.

operate it. If not, look for the Electrical Isolator markings on the car.

Tools of the trade

On Post Equipment including: Fire Extinguishers Flag Signals (SC/Hazard Board) Oil Dressing

Fire Extinguishers: Coming Soon!

Fire fighting medium Colour Use
Dry Powder Example Example
AFFF Example Example
CO2 Example Example
Water Example Example
Halon Example Example
Example Example Example
Example Example Example

Flag Signals:

Flag MSA Meaning FIA Meaning
Red Immediately cease driving at racing speed and proceed slowly, without overtaking, and with maximum caution to pits or start line obeying marshal’s instructions, and being prepared to stop should the track be blocked. To stop a practise session or race. All drivers are required to slow down immediately and proceed to the pit lane (or the place foreseen by the regulations of the Event), and must be prepared to stop if necessary. Overtaking is not permitted.
Yellow Stationary: Danger, slow down sufficiently to ensure that full control of the

vehicle can be retained. No overtaking.

Waved: Great danger. Slow down considerably. Be prepared to suddenly change from the projected racing line, or take other evasive action including stopping if necessary. No overtaking.

Single waved: Reduce your speed, do not overtake and be prepared to change direction. There is a hazard beside or partly on the track.

Double waved: Reduce your speed, do not overtake and be prepared to change direction or stop. There is a hazard wholly or partly blocking the track.

Green All clear, at the end of a danger area controlled by yellow flags. Also used to signal the start of a formation lap and shown at all posts during first lap of each practice session and during the formation lap. This should be used to indicate that the track is clear and should be waved at the observation post immediately after the incident that necessitated the use of one or more yellow flags.

It may also be used, if deemed necessary by the Clerk of the Course, to signal the start of a warm-up lap or the start of a practice session.

Blue Stationary: Another competitor is following close behind.

Waved: Another competitor is trying to overtake.

This should normally be waved, as an indication to a driver that he is about to be overtaken. It has different meanings during practice and the race.

During practice: Give way to a faster car which is about to overtake you.

During the race: The flag should normally be shown to a car about to be lapped and, when shown, the driver concerned must allow the following car to pass at the earliest opportunity.

A stationary flag should be displayed to a driver leaving the pits if traffic is approaching on the track.

White A service car or slow moving car is on the circuit. The white flag will be waved to indicate the sector of the track that the slow moving vehicle is in, and held stationary whilst the vehicle is in the next sector. This flag should be waved and is used to indicate to the driver that there is a much slower vehicle on the sector of track controlled by that flag point.
Red & Yellow Striped Stationary: Slippery surface ahead.

Waved: Slippery surface imminent.

This should be shown motionless to inform drivers that there is a deterioration of adhesion due to oil or water on the track in the area beyond the flag. This flag should be displayed, for at least 4 laps unless the surface returns to normal beforehand.

Hand Signals: