Chinese marshals getting ready for action 20 Aug 2004
A team of 900 volunteer marshals is approaching the end of an intensive training programme to prepare them for the Chinese Grand Prix on 26 September.
Under the guidance of specialists from the Motorsport Association of Portugal, 600 track, 150 fire and 150 medical marshals have been put through a rigorous regime to equip them with the skills and knowledge they will need for Shanghais race. The specialist trainers were chosen for their tuition skills and their extensive race experience.
The marshals preparation began back in March this year, with an introduction to racing and safety. Then, at the China Circuit Championship rounds, the volunteers had the chance to put their training into practice, carefully supervised by Portuguese Eduardo Pinto and Louis de Pinto, who gave the volunteers their support and advice throughout the races.
The Portuguese are due back in Shanghai later this month to carry out further specialist sessions which will include instruction on incident clearance, fire-fighting, communication systems and racing terminology, with marshals attending lectures and practical sessions using the Formula One track which will be used during the Grand Prix.
To supplement their programme, key members of the team have also visited other circuits to see their counterparts in action, with marshals attending the Australian, Canadian, French and British Grands Prix to broaden their experience.
Describing the extensive training that has been given to all marshals, Mr Edward Guo, Shanghai International Circuit Race and Event Manager said: Through an expert programme provided by the Motorsport Association of Portugal, we have constructed a highly-motivated team of marshals who will strive to be among the best in Formula One.
In a related development, race organisers have announced that they will host the official 2004 Chinese Grand Prix Ball on Friday September 24. The event will take place at Shanghais premier ballroom, located at the Oriental Riverside Hotel and is set to be the social highlight of the citys Grand Prix week.
Guests will include senior Chinese government dignitaries, Formula One drivers, team principals and representatives from the organising committee, as well as an array of international and Chinese celebrity guests from entertainment, fashion and sport.
The Ball will include a charity auction of autographed racesuits, helmets and other memorabilia and dinner will be an exciting blend of eastern and western cuisines, with a renowned British chef working alongside a leading chef from Shanghai.