Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
The Dubai Autodrome complies with the FIA’s strict regulations on safety, with more than 100 volunteer marshals in attendance for last weekend’s Dubai Motorsport Festival.
The Dubai Autodrome complies with the FIA’s strict regulations on safety, with more than 100 volunteer marshals in attendance for last weekend’s Dubai Motorsport Festival.

Dubai Autodrome ticks all FIA's boxes

Richard Birch describes the safety preparations at Dubai Autodrome as being "like a military operation".

DUBAI // Richard Birch describes the safety preparations at Dubai Autodrome as being "like a military operation".

The track and venue executive at the circuit said nothing is left to chance.

For last weekend's Dubai Motorsport Festival there were 16 medical staff, many of them brought in from the nearby Rashid Hospital trauma centre. The track's medical centre, built to FIA standards, includes a resuscitation room, an X-ray department and a burns unit. Any patients can be transported to hospital in six minutes in a helicopter and 20 minutes by ambulance.

More than 100 volunteer marshals were in attendance, they arrived at the venue at 7am, two hours before the first car left the pit lane. The volunteers helped man 26 marshal points around the circuit while there were 11 fire-tender areas.

At two separate points, on the start-finish line and also on the back straight of the 4.2km international circuit, an ambulance, an extrication team, a medical car and a recovery truck sat trackside in readiness should there have been a crash or one of the cars had a problem which required rapid assistance.

There were four ambulances and three doctors on site for the weekend to ensure full medical coverage.

"We have to run like this as we have to meet FIA [Federation Internationale de l'Automobile] standards. There is a FIA steward here, at every event we hold, and we have to ensure that the track and our safety standards remain high at all times," Birch said. "Nothing is left to chance when it comes to safety."

Drivers are given a safety briefing before they race. They are given a map well in advance detailing all the marshal and medical points around the track.

"It can be useful for them as if they have a problem and need to stop out on the circuit, depending on where they are, it may be worth them driving on another 100 metres and stopping at a marshals post so they can get immediate attention."

Before the cars are allowed out the circuit has to be deemed clear by Fraser Martin, the clerk of the course. Half an hour before the start of the first race, Martin and Michael Prophet, one of the race stewards for the meeting, drove around the circuit in a course car.

They inspected the track, checked the gates in the fencing around the course were shut and made sure that every marshal's radio was working so they were all in contact with race control.

They did this through a flag check with the marshals at each point waving one of the various safety or caution flags that Martin had asked to see.

"We are ready to deal with anything that happens, but the ideal weekend is a quiet one where there is nothing to do," Wayne Bishenden, the Autodrome's senior circuit parademic, said.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike puts Al Jazira on verge of qualifying for the last 16 of Asian Champions League

All to play for across East Asia during final round of group phase.

 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany reacts after being sent off by referee Lee Mason during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KC stadium in Hull, northern England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Man City’s Manuel Pellegrini says Vincent Kompany is an important player

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends team captain and talks about team's injuries ahead of clash with Sunderland at home on Wednesday night.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Latifa Ali Al Shamsi of UAE fights compatriot Boshra Ghanem Al Zadjali in their 38.5kg match at the Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Christopher Pike / The National

Competitors at Abu Dhabi Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship target world domination

All of Wednesday’s winners at the tournament, being held in the UAE capital, are ambitious enough to target a black belt and reach the pinnacle of the sport, Amith Passela reports.

 Jacques Kallis top-scored with 72 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pawan Singh / The National

Kallis kicks off IPL 7 with fifty as Kolkata thrash Mumbai

South African legend shows class is permanent as Knight Riders beat defending champions by 41 runs. Osman Samiuddin reports from Abu Dhabi.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National