Motorsport marshalling in the early days

MOSPORT-1962-Can-GP-Dailu-mk-I

By the late Leighton Irwin, originally published in The Garage Blog in 2010.

Mosport was a different place in the beginning. To start with it was 10 feet narrower. The top of 7 was ten feet higher and back flips were a real danger. Only run off, if you could call it that, was bottom of 2 where you might get stuck in the swamp. Single row guardrail was at the tunnels at 1 and 9 and at bottom of 4. Tunnels were shorter and no room for error. Jim Hall at 9 and John Surtees at 1 both went over. Both Paul Cooke and Jack Boxstrom went for a swim at 4. Earth banks surrounded the track as protection and cars surmounting them was not unknown. Race Control was the bottom floor of the tower on the inside just past 10. Those working in the pits were well protected from errant cars by a white line painted on the track. All Starts were standing.

At the pro races, spring and fall CRCA would have about 300 marshalls on raceday which was Sat. Fri. practice was another matter but still about 60 to 70 people. Club races would have in excess of a 100 marshalls on Sat. and about 40 on Fri. No Sunday racing back then.
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Canadian Race Communications Association

Inducted 2009

While the drivers get all the attention, auto racing would not exist without the help and expertise of the behind-the-scenes groups, groups that organize races and provide all the logistics and safety aspects.

And road racing in Canada is fortunate indeed to have the Canadian Race Communications Association, formed in 1959 to initially provide marshalling services.

In 1960, with 125 members, the CRCA was a welcome part of road racing, and grew with the sport as it entered its modern-day era with the running of events at Mosport Park.

Throughout its 50-plus year history, the CRCA has provided timing, scoring, communications, safety, and fire fighting and rescue services for major Canadian road circuit events, including Formula One, Can-Am racing, karting, the Indy car race in Toronto, and major motorcycle events.

Without the services of the CRCA, racing would not be a safe, well-organized experience for competitors and fans alike.