On Friday the 23rd of March members of Mayo & District Motorsport Club were on hand to assist club member Marian Gibbons when she facilitated an ‘Introduction to Rally Safety’ demonstration for the students of Youthreach Ballinrobe. The aim of the day was to show the students how much time and work goes into hosting a national stages rally, for both the competitors and the rally organising team.
David Healy was on hand to give an introduction to safety from an organisational perspective, talking the group through the process of P.R, the safety plan and set up. Some volunteers from the group took part in role-play and gave everyone a first-hand view of an initial P.R. meeting between a stage
commander and a resident while at the same time giving the students the opportunity to flex their charismatic charm. It also proved entertaining when David himself was brought face to face with an unconvinced and unimpressed ‘resident’ brought to life by one of the teachers.
The students were then given a short introduction to the ‘what and why’ of the safety plan. After explaining the various elements of a rally stage location using examples from the safety plan for the Mayo Stages Rally 2018 (Achill). The students then had a chance to set up their own rally stage location
(junction) when they were given a blank ‘square left’ junction and had to work as a team and discuss how they would set it up safely.
Pat and Patrick McEveney gave an introduction to rally safety from a competitor’s perspective covering recce, pace notes and scrutiny. The students were then taken through the pace notes from Achill 2018 and shown a short clip from an in-car camera to demonstrate how much road is covered in a single page
of pacenotes. Following the presentation, the students were brought out to see the McEveney’s Toyota Corolla rally car and David Healy’s autocross Primera up close and were shown the various safety features, from demonstrating the engine kill switch to inspecting the roll cage, rally suits and fire
extinguishers. Everyone was given the chance to be strapped into the cars to see first-hand how tight the six point harness is and how little room for movement there is.
Overall the day was a resounding success, with a number of participants making enquiries about how to get involved in motorsport and rallying. Many thanks to the club members who gave their time and equipment to make this day happen – David Healy, Pat and Patrick McEveney for coming along to give their presentations, answer questions and showcase their cars; Michael Loughney for the use of his helmet and HANS device, Killian Duffy for pacenotes and the Mayo Stages 2018 team for their help and support in gathering various paperwork and information.