Nov 28, 2020
*FIA ERC season decider among events celebrating important occasion from November 28-29 *Rally Islas Canarias relies on 700 men and women volunteers to run safe and successfully *ERC event winner Mikkelsen: “They work all day to make events run, what they do is amazing”
Several FIA European Rally Championship drivers are using Rally Islas Canarias to support the FIA Volunteers and Officials Weekend, paying tribute to the many men and women who give up their time to help make motorsport events happen.
As part of the occasion, the FIA has presented a number of volunteers with awards that recognise the essential role they play across a wide spectrum of disciplines for National Sporting Authorities (ASNs).
During his visit to the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend, FIA President Jean Todt is meeting marshals and medical staff on duty at the event. He has also offered his congratulations to the eight officials and marshals who received awards for their hard work and dedication.
“I congratulate all the volunteers who generously devote their time and energy to ensure the safety and success of every FIA motor sport event,” he said. “Without them, we would not be able to go racing. In this unprecedented period, I pay a special tribute to the medical volunteers who are instrumental in playing a part in the battle against COVID-19.”
ERC drivers pay tribute to marshals, volunteers and medical staff
Andreas Mikkelsen, a winner in both the FIA World Rally Championship and FIA European Rally Championship, is competing on Rally Islas Canarias this weekend. He said: “We have to give volunteers more credit for the job they do. They are working all day to make the events run and what they do is something amazing. They’ve helped me both on stages and off stages when I’ve had some issues, always with a helping hand and positive attitude, when it’s full rain outside. It’s something you have to admire.”
Nineteen-year-old Oliver Solberg, one of two drivers in contention for the FIA ERC1 Junior title on Rally Islas Canarias, said: “Without them we couldn’t go racing and I’m very grateful to them for helping us out.”
Ireland’s Craig Breen, a winner of five FIA ERC events in the past, said: “It’s a huge thanks to all the guys and girls who are allowing us to go and do our job, especially when they can encounter all sorts of weather.”
Callum Devine, whose FIA ERC1 Junior campaign is supported by the Irish ASN, Motorsport Ireland, has volunteered on events in the past. “It’s great what they do and it’s really appreciated,” he said. “In Ireland they’re usually standing out in the rain rather than the sun so hats off to them, they do a great job. I’ve volunteered on a couple of local rallies close to home, it’s important to try to help when you can.”
Like Devine, 2019 FIA ERC champion Chris Ingram has volunteered on events, and is calling for other drivers to follow suit. He said: “All drivers should volunteer on one event a year, it’s very important.”
Germany’s double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel added: “All I can say is a big, big thank you. In rallies you need a lot of volunteers and people who love the sport and help to do it. Without them it would not be possible so thanks a lot to all of them.”
Seven hundred men and women crucial to success of Rally Islas Canarias
Some 700 men and women are volunteering on Rally Islas Canarias with 25 of those working as part of the expert technical team alone, such is the extent of the support required to enable motorsport events to take place.
Volunteers honoured at events around the world
In addition to Rally Islas Canarias, the deciding round of the 2020 FIA ERC season and the Bahrain Grand Prix, volunteers and officials are in action this weekend at Kyalami in South Africa for the FIA Intercontinental GT Challenge, at the FIA Super GT event at the Fuji International Speedway in Japan and at FIA Formula E pre-season testing in Valencia.
Anyone wishing to find out more about becoming a volunteer is encouraged to contact their local ASN.
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