Meeting our Marshals

Monday 29 April 2024

Volunteers are the beating heart of our motorsport community, dedicating hours of their time to turn what often starts as a passion into invaluable support at our events. Meet Nikki Hazelwood and Dawn Butcher, who share how they have now become part of the Licenced Rescue Crew with the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC).

For Nikki, a day out at the Autosport International show turned into signing up for a taster day at Castle Combe, the rest, as they say, is history – with Nikki even meeting her partner at Donington Park, in addition to connecting with new friends and going on to win the Sir Clive Bossom trophy for the most days marshalled with BARC.

“The camaraderie on post was fantastic,” expressed Nikki. “People I’d never met before would be friends by the end of the day. They’d give hints and tips about how to be a marshal- on post training is great. You don’t realise how much knowledge you gain and pass on, and then have a laugh and watch cars. You learn to notice things, like someone trying too hard, or not quite getting the right racing line. The wonky wheel, and the difference between a flexing bonnet and a loose bonnet.”

Cake consumption aided the hard work for Nikki to go on and obtain her rescue licence after two years of hard work and training, yet she still flies the flag for her experiences as a marshal which have seen her attend the British Grand Prix, Goodwood and even events in Portugal and Malta.

“This flexible hobby, which allows you to do as little or as much as you want, while having some incredible experiences, meeting incredible people, is going to continue to be a passion of mine for some time to come… and without the excellent training from Martin, Fitzy, Trunk, Fringe and the rest of the HQ rescue guys, I wouldn’t have been able to successfully get through the two years of training and pass my assessment.”

Dawn Butcher started her career as a racing driver in the 2004 Formula Women, progressing from a Caterham to a Fiesta, with Mini Challenge and now a MK5 Golf amongst some of her experiences.

“At a training day in 2022 BARC offered a trial day to see what rescue was all about. I’ve held an interest in first aid since 1991, after losing my brother in a car accident, not being there to help has always played on my mind, I thought it could be a way to learn more and enhance my hobby and just perhaps be there to help someone else. I consider it a step up.”

If you are still on the fence, she adds, “Being the only girl on the race track didn’t bother me, marshalling has lots of girls and everyone is treated the same, it’s much the same in rescue. If you can muck in and get on with people (as you’re stuck in a small van all day you have to fit) then it could be for you.”

Dawn is now a crew member for BARC and is looking forward to more days on the unit.

Find out more about getting started in marshalling here and hear from some of our team.