The British Automobile Racing Club will install FIA High-Tech Light Panels at both Croft and Thruxton circuits this year after the confirmation of an agreement between Motorsport UK, the British Motor Sport Training Trust (BMSTT) and UK circuit owners.
Thanks to this safety initiative, all UK race circuits that have FIA International Grade 3 status and above will have the panels, from leading motorsport safety solutions provider EM Motorsport, installed as soon as possible.
Competitors and marshals will be able to participate in events safe in the knowledge that the most up to date and internationally recognised technology will be fully visible, regardless of weather conditions, to augment the traditional flag signals that marshals use to relay critical safety messages to competitors.
Ben Taylor, BARC Chief Executive, said: “The increasing use of light panels has been considered by circuits for a number of years, but this represents perhaps the single biggest step forward in circuit safety for decades.
“It is a very sensible and welcome move from the governing body and BMSTT to support the venues to prevent a VHS/BetaMax-type situation with circuits having different systems. The benefits to the sport from a single system are likely to be felt in the coming years, as complementary solutions are developed that will be able to integrate with the technology at all circuits.”
Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK, added: “Providing a safe environment for our sport to thrive is at the heart of Motorsport UK. It is essential we provide safety for competitors and volunteers alike who deliver the sport every weekend throughout the UK.
“The rollout of FIA High-Tech Light Panels represents a significant step forward in modernising UK race circuits by adopting the latest and most advanced technology.
“Motorsport UK is committed to improving safety and we thank BARC, MSV, Knockhill Racing Circuit, the British Motor Sports Training Trust and EM Motorsport for their engagement and commitment.”
Rod Parkin, Chair of the BSMTT, commented: “The British Motor Sports Training Trust (BMSTT) was formed as an UK Registered Charity in 1977 with the aim of supporting the training of volunteer motorsport officials and further enhancing medical and safety aspects of our sport.
"Since that time the Trust has regularly committed significant funds annually towards such initiatives. This new partnership support for the funding of light panels provides an ideal opportunity for the Trust to continue delivering its objectives in respect of both marshals and race circuit safety, promote our activities and raise awareness of the Trust.”
After the installation at these initial venues, it is intended, where practical, to extend the project so that all 17 Motorsport UK licenced race circuits will benefit from the increased safety the FIA High-Tech Light Panels provide.