BMF sends motor sport officials on overseas training trips

Owen Proverbs checks out the Wall of Fame at the Yas Marina Circuit, home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, BMF President Andrew Mallalieu (left) and Senior National Steward Warren Gollop pictured in Geneva
Owen Proverbs checks out the Wall of Fame at the Yas Marina Circuit, home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, BMF President Andrew Mallalieu (left) and Senior National Steward Warren Gollop pictured in Geneva

With the 2020 motor sport season about to get under way this weekend, the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) has continued its programme of investment in training its senior officials. Owen Proverbs and Warren Gollop have each recently returned from overseas trips intended to further enhance their experience and skill sets as the BMF works to maintain standards and keep up with international developments.

BMF President Andrew Mallalieu said: “It is important that we continue to take the lead in training and to provide opportunities for our officials to keep learning. With Sol Rally Barbados now included in the FIA NACAM Rally Championship, we need to be on top of things, but it is equally important that we keep up the momentum in karting, following the success of the Caribbean Junior Karting Academy Trophy (CJKAT) in 2019.”

With help from FIA Regional Training Providers Ronan Morgan and Gordon Mellis, who conducted sessions at Bushy Park ahead of last year’s CJKAT, the BMF arranged for Proverbs to attend round five of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge (January 24/25) at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Over the race weekend, he shadowed Clerk of the Course Dan Parker, who is Motorsport UK’s Karting Manager, and worked as an Observer, before enjoying a comprehensive tour of the entire Yas Marina facility, home to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Proverbs said: “I gained a wealth of knowledge working with such an exceptional group of people with years of experience between them and I’m looking forward to assisting Karting in Barbados and across the region with what I learned. From our first meeting the day before the race meet, I was immediately made to feel very comfortable working along with them and the guys were super-helpful in any way they could. As well as moving around with Dan seeing how he does things, I also filled in as an Observer and listened in on a few discussions, with some finer points explained by the Stewards.”

Proverbs, who has been a regular Clerk of the Course for the Barbados Karting Association (BKA) in recent seasons, has competition experience on race track and rally stage; in circuit racing, he was BARL Champion Driver in 2001, while he has been a rally co-driver for many seasons, winning historic class titles with veteran John Corbin.

Gollop has been a BMF Steward since 2008, working across the disciplines, at Bushy Park for both kart and car race meetings, also at rallies and speed events. As the island’s Senior National Steward, Gollop accompanied Mallalieu to Geneva earlier this month (February 7-9) for the International Stewards Programme, attended by more than 150 race and rally stewards from around the world. Hosted annually since 2017 by the world governing body, the FIA, this event creates a forum for the sharing of expertise through examination of real-life case studies, covering a wide range of practical aspects of the role, from on-track collisions to alleged parc ferme infringements. Two decisions taken while Mallalieu was Chairman of the F2 Stewards panel in 2019 and at the Sochi F1 race were used as case studies in this year’s programme. The BMF President was also a member of the final panel discussing the route to International Steward appointments for National Stewards from small ASNs.

One of the highlights of the programme was the Competitors’ Panel, comprised of reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Timmy Hansen, Audi Sport’s Formula E Team Principal Allan McNish, Red Bull Racing Sporting Director Jonathan Wheatley and M-Sport Team Principal Richard Millener, who shared their experiences of being on the receiving end of Stewards’ decisions.

Gollop said: “It was phenomenal to have the experience of the world championship Stewards in the room to draw on for general discussion and completion of exercises. At a National level, it was reassuring to know that Barbados compares very well to the practices of other ASNs much larger than ours. Friday was shared with the Race Directors, and it was very important to see the relationship that Race Control and the Stewards’ Room should share, and how it should all play out in the real world of decision making. The weekend Stewards-only sessions were as much about learning as about understanding where we are and where we need to be. Of particular interest to me over the weekend were some of the rule changes and their clarifications for 2020.”

Mallalieu concluded: “I am very pleased to hear such positive remarks from OP and Warren. Facilitating such trips, which add to the experience and knowledge of our senior officials, is an important function of the BMF and I hope will lead to more opportunities in the future. Warren will have the chance now to take the Stewards test; if he is among the top five, he will be appointed to three international events during 2020.”

At the conclusion of the weekend, FIA International Steward Garry Connelly said: “The 2020 edition of the International Stewards Programme has been very intensive. It’s great to see a lot of new Stewards here, new people participating at international level competition. It’s also great to see more women attending. We’ve already had more than a dozen successful graduates of the programme going on to work at FIA championship events and hopefully we are going to have even more from the 2020 class.”

Editor’s note: affiliated to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), which rules the sport worldwide, the Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) is the island’s governing body for motor sport; it represents the interests of its seven Member Clubs in discussions with Government departments which facilitate the sport in the island, in particular the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, which permits road closures for an agreed number of events each year. Away from motor sport, the BMF affiliate which answers the FIA Mobility remit is the Barbados Automobile Association (BAA), which is an executive committee member of the Government’s Barbados Road Safety Council.

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For further information, please contact BMF President, Andrew Mallalieu:


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