Please read full document for important information.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had many serious consequences. 500 MRCI extends its sympathy to all who have suffered, and gratitude to those who have helped mitigate its impact. Having cancelled events since March, we look forward to reopening Kirkistown Circuit to racing from Saturday 25 July 2020. However, virus-related risks remain and must be managed. Resumption of racing is ‘entirely conditional on robust protocols being in place, communicated, fully understood and complied with by all participants’ to quote Sport NI and the NI Executive. This means significant change to how 500 MRCI organises and runs meetings. The Club expects the co- operation of all, and depends especially on Officials and Marshals, in these challenging circumstances. We also want everyone to enjoy their racing and the atmosphere that makes Kirkistown special. This document was drafted by Wendy Young, enhanced with input from officials, and developed by the Club Council to bring together procedures which, if followed, will allow a safe return to competition. It deals specifically with Kirkistown and the 500 MRCI, will be updated as necessary, and should be read in combination with the following which provide more general guidance and apply with equal force:
• ‘Getting Back on Track, with Appendix for Guidance for RACE Venues and Event Organisers’ Motorsport UK, 18 May 2020.
• ‘A Framework to guide progression towards a resumption of sport and physical recreation in Northern Ireland’, Sport NI, 04 June 2020.
This version is for Officials and Marshals; a separate (similar) document will be sent to Competitors.
At present, we envisage six events in 2020:
• Race Meeting 25 July
• Sprint Event 01 August
• Race Meeting 29 August
• Race Meeting 26 September
• RaceMeeting(New) 17 October
• Sprint Event 31 October
All events for the remainder of 2020 (and perhaps beyond) will take place behind closed doors. Members of the public will NOT be admitted, with access to the circuit restricted to those directly involved. Each event will be organised and run as outlined below.
This document builds on generic guidance from Motorsport UK, Sport NI and others. Before the 25 July event a Risk Assessment process has been carried out by the 500 MRCI Council, with a series of virtual meetings focused on measures to mitigate risks from COVID-19. Following the 25 July race meeting (and subsequent events in 2020) this Risk Assessment will be reviewed, updated, and reflected in revised versions of this document and the Competitor version where necessary.
Before Each Event
Competitors will enter via the Rallyscore entry management system, complete an online declaration, and provide licence details by e-mail. These measures will simplify the traditional signing-on and scrutiny processes, and minimise interpersonal contact at the circuit.
Competitors will also be briefed in advance about rules on accommodation in the paddock, social distancing and other virus-related measures for the safety of all.
On Race Day
• Throughout the day, from arrival at the circuit until the last person leaves, now-familiar measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19 will require your full cooperation. These include social distancing, regular handwashing or use of sanitiser, and PPE where necessary. Obvious signage will reinforce each message at key locations.
• Officials and Marshals should sign-on in the Marshals’ Room, maintaining social distance and using their own pen.
• Officials and Marshals will be issued with individual hand-sanitiser bottles, as well as face masks and disposable gloves for their personal use as and when required throughout the meeting.
• A briefing by the Chief Marshal will be held either outside the Marshals’ Room or (if weather dictates) in the Clubhouse bar. Marshals should then make their way to their posts where they should find all of the equipment they require for that location. Any deficiencies should be reported to the Chief Marshal.
• Hand sanitiser dispensers will be prominently placed at entrances to the control tower, scrutiny bay, marshals’ room, garages and clubhouse.
• Additional PPE will be provided, and should be used, where required. Specific guidance on this is provided on the website of Motorsport UK, and should be consulted by all concerned.
• At Race Administration, Wendy Young will be available as Secretary of the Meeting to answer questions. Visitors should wait to be invited into the office and maintain social distancing.
• Access to the Control Tower will be restricted to relevant officials. The upstairs door of the Control Tower will be kept locked during the event, and accessed only by use of a key pad.
• Allocation of work stations within the Control Tower (including Race Control and Timekeepers’ Room) will be notified to those concerned, with no entry to all but essential personnel.
• To maintain social distancing, any competitor wishing to contact the Timekeepers or Clerk of the Course may do so only by dedicated mobile telephone number 0778 334 6787. Parties will be informed of the outcome at the judicial stage.
• Media involvement will be limited. Alan Drysdale has been asked to provide a basic commentary service, primarily to inform competitors and to convey announcements.
• 500MRCI has appointed Rory O’Neill and Duncan McGregor as COVID-19 Officers to ensure that Motorsport UK guidelines are implemented, liaise with stakeholders, and monitor the COVID-19 situation locally. As a condition of a return to racing Kirkistown, Duncan and Rory are obliged to report to the Clerk of the Course any violations of this Protocol. Consequent actions may include disqualification from the event.
• Rory and Duncan are supported in this role by (and will provide feedback to) Dr Paul Trafford, chairman of the Medical Committee of Motorsport UK, as its COVID-19 Medical Officer.
• Duties of COVID-19 Officers will be updated where necessary for future meetings.
• Until further notice, no scrutineering will take place on the Friday evening prior to each event.
• As each competitor will have completed a Pre-Event Scrutineering declaration, physical pre-event scrutineering will be limited.
• Throughout the event, scrutineers will carry out random checks on cars or karts from each race (as well as helmets and complete race suits) to ensure that they match the information declared.
In the Paddock
• Social distancing among everyone at the circuit is crucial. In specific situations where team- members are temporarily unable to maintain social distance, competitors are responsible for providing appropriate PPE of their own to ensure that those involved are able to work safely.
• Where two or more vehicles share the same awning or paddock space, there must be adequate distance between vehicles to allow them to be worked upon with social distancing.
• Sharing of tools and equipment should be avoided. In exceptional circumstances, sanitisation must take place between different users.
• Assembly and grid marshals will receive grid sheets as usual via WhatsApp.
• It is each competitor’s responsibility to ensure that a transponder is fitted and working.Transponders will NOT be available from 500MRCI.
• Away from the track, minimising risk from COVID-19 is the shared responsibility of everyone. Face masks/coverings must be worn where social distancing is not practical (e.g. mechanics working together on a car, or physical checks as part of scrutineering).
• Those staying on-site overnight are NOT permitted to share accommodation unless they are from the same household. Guests or friends must make their own arrangements, or stay elsewhere.
• Providing food and drinks for team members and others directly involved with a competition vehicle is permitted, provided social distancing and other safety measures are respected.
• Medical support will be provided at the circuit as ever. However, the medical centre is primarily for competitors and should not be used as a drop-in centre for minor injuries. Competitors should carry a first aid kit to deal with minor injuries themselves.
• Anyone feeling unwell with COVID-19-like symptoms should NOT attend the medical centre; rather they should inform Race Administration of their concern before leaving the venue to contact their doctor or call the NHS helpline 111.
On the Circuit
• On-track rules and regulations remain unchanged, together with Motorsport UK’s ‘Blue Book’.
• Track limits, in particular, still apply.
• Should a vehicle stop trackside as a result of a problem or an incident, then a marshal will approach the vehicle from the front where possible. The marshal will look for the ‘thumbs up’ signal from the driver to indicate that they do not need assistance. If this signal is not received then the marshal will call for additional help to assist the driver, and to relocate his or her vehicle. At all times, marshals should only approach a vehicle when it is felt safe to do so.
• Once a marshal has indicated a problem on-track, emergency and medical intervention will be mobilised to deal with the incident. If the incident is serious in nature, then the Rescue and Medical staff will take charge. In this case, assistance from marshals, Chief Observer and other officials is unlikely to be required.
• The Snatch Operation may still be undertaken where authorised. Those involved will receive a specific briefing on this procedure, including the wearing of protective face masks and gloves. Vehicle recovery will take place as usual, and marshals are not expected to be involved in that.
• Specific arrangements for Rescue and Medical personnel will be provided separately to those concerned, based on procedures developed by Motorsport UK.
• Assembly, paddock, pit lane and start line marshals will continue with their usual duties, but must maintain social distancing at all times.
• At the end of each session all vehicles must go to Parc Fermé. Once there, competitors may get out of their vehicles but must observe social distancing at all times. No others are admitted to Parc Fermé. Scrutineers will retain any vehicles they wish to check, and send others back to the paddock.
• Qualifying times and race results will NOT be printed out at events, but will be available via online via the myLaps website or via the URL timing.rhwright.co.uk.
After the Race
• It may be necessary to undertake judicial action to deal with people breaching the regulations. In order to observe social distancing, these actions will take place in the Marshals’ Room which has more than adequate space. This means that penalties will be announced verbally, then sent to those concerned electronically. Any protests or appeals must also be submitted electronically and fees or fines paid electronically.
• Any competitor wishing to make a protest should do this by dedicated mobile telephone number 0778 334 6787. The parties will be informed of the outcome at judicial stage.
• Trophies will be left on a table in the garage beside the race office with names displayed on the boxes. Winners are responsible for collecting their own trophies.
• At the end of the event all equipment (flags, fire extinguishers etc.) should be returned to the location where it was found at the start of the day. From here it will be collected, sanitised, and made ready for future use.
• The safety of everyone at the event will be uppermost in the minds of the organisers at all times. Procedures to deal with on-track incidents may differ from previous experience, and will follow Motorsport UK guidelines.
These rules are mandatory. They apply in the context of a serious pandemic, and have been developed with reference to guidelines from Motorsport UK and the NI Executive. Failure to comply may result in an entry being denied or a competitor being disqualified from the event.
Competitors are responsible for their own actions, as well as the actions of team members or others accompanying them to Kirkistown. COVID-19 adds additional risk to our sport. By attending the circuit, competitors and others are deemed to acknowledge and accept this additional risk. If anyone does not feel safe or comfortable in the circumstances outlined above, they should not attend the event.
As always but particularly now, 500 MRCI is grateful to the officials and volunteers who make our race meetings so successful.
Feedback and suggestions to improve this document, or the procedures it describes, are welcome. Please email
Thank you for your understanding, we wish you very enjoyable race meeting.
PAUL McMORRAN, Chair, 500MRCI . RICHARD YOUNG, Events Co-ordinator