Michelle’s blog continues with Day 3 and 4.
DAY 3 – 20/9/2013
Seniors briefings are the way we start the days here and it’s great to catch up with the other officials in the Muster area and discuss the previous day’s happenings. I’m overwhelmed by the generosity, kindness and welcoming ways of the Singaporeans. They are all aware of the WAMS exchange program and go out of their way to make me feel welcome and assist me with anything I may need. I feel like a celebrity!
Today I’m off to the Support Paddock for GP2 and Porsche Asia Carrera Cup with the lovely Johnson Wong. There are two separate paddocks so we alternate. Street circuits are known for presenting challenges and when we can all work together as one big team, with the end result of running the event smoothly in mind, we can achieve effective results. Johnson bestowed upon me the privilege of waving the green flag to release competitors onto the track, which was appreciated. It was pleasing to see that the Singaporeans did not stop to consider for a minute that I was a female, they just wanted me to share my knowledge, mentor and work with them to achieve our goal, an attitude that was refreshing. We faced a few challenges and I was able assist in arriving at best practice solutions, which made what we had to achieve safer for officials, competitors and teams, security and spectators.
I made a guest appearance at the Stewards office today, to visit our Australian contingent and inspect their air-conditioned little slice of heaven. Humidity today was apparently 76% – “not too bad” was the Singaporeans’ comment!
From 7pm I was in the Starters & Finishers boxes, which are above pit lane. F1’s Charlie Whiting controlled all options for their light board. The screens showed fastest lap, fastest cars currently on track, and a break up of every car on track by sector timing, which I had not seen before. From here I had a bird’s eye view of the pit lane, which, for someone who mostly works in pit lane and grid, was fascinating.
DAY 4 – 21/9/2013
You guessed it, Seniors Briefing. I’m looking forward to my two days with Nurul and flagging, I love being trackside; there is nothing like the sound of race cars up close, particularly the scream of an F1 car. Our line of site is extremely difficult for blue flagging in practice and qualifying (blue flags are under race control’s instruction in racing), as the effect of multiple fencing eventually equals nil vision. Today I learn the complexities of light boards when used with flag posts.
At midday we had our WAMS/WIMS/CAMS photo opportunity and we are all hoping the publicity will encourage more women in our sport to strive for senior positions and demonstrate that with drive, determination and increasing our skill set that anything is possible, you may even win a trip to Singapore!
Spoiled with vegetarian lasagne for lunch today, and one of the interesting things I note is that, daily, all the officials gather in the Muster area and eat their lunch together. This is prior to the mass briefing and then the individual divisions briefings. Their camaraderie is unsurpassed in what I have experienced, and their enthusiasm, passion and excitement is infectious, not to mention their general craziness! I’m hoping to instill this level of excitement into the Australian officials when I get home, while still maintaining professionalism and developing team spirit.
Our Sector was busy today and the team worked well together considering that a sector consists of a team of flaggies, recovery, fire, observers and track officials, with one Sector working to control and delegate appropriate requirements to all these varied roles. Nurul did a superb job and was well respected in the team and deservedly so. I have learnt from Nurul that to reward the officials makes them more competitive to be the best they can be.
I’m impressed today by seeing different teams/sectors making the effort to design and pay for their own T-shirts & lanyards. They email their ideas to their teams prior to the event, let them know the costs involved and vote for designs. They also have a team scarf, with their sector on the end of it, which is given to the most valuable, or the chosen official, for the weekend. I was fortunate enough to be given the Sector 8 scarf, as were many of the other Australian CAMS Sector Officials. The Singaporeans are very generous in their expression of appreciation for assistance.