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2023 Friday Conference Summary

The 76th MotorSport New Zealand Conference, AGM & Awards Evening takes place this weekend in Wellington. Over 50 Member Clubs have descended on the capital for a range of seminars and workshops with a theme of “Inspiring the next generation”.

Each Advisory Commission presented a 60-minute seminar during the day, along with additional seminars on Event Safety, the new MotorSport Online platform and an update from the Techincal Department. A summary of these seminars and discussions are below:

Race Advisory Commission:

The Race Advisory Commission held discussions on the use of technology and how to utilise new innovations to improve officiating and safety of race events. A constructive discussion was held around the use of Accredited Series and the benefits of classes becoming an Accredited Series.

It was identified that testing opportunities for race cars are becoming more limited due to commercial, social and availability factors. Some future discussions will be held on how to alleviate some of these pressures and increase test day availability.

Driving Standards education was to be a focus point with the rollout of the new Schedule Z regulations. A new driving code of conduct will be released with clearer guidelines on the rules of engagement for drivers and what is considered appropriate driving and racing behaviour.

Rally Advisory Commission:

The Rally Commission provided a productive seminar that covered topics that gathered a lot of discussion and engagement from the delegates.

Hot topics covered were how to improve the pathway to Rally, particularly on how we can better engage youth in our sport. Promotion through social media was a strong recommendation, as well as working with local communities to build awareness around the events we hold.

Other topics covered included the guidelines and implementation of Event safety and how we can improve the repeated safety concerns that arise throughout different events up and down the country.

It was also agreed that the definition of a Rallysprint is not clear enough to all clubs and some events operate under the wrong permit. A lot of productive discussions was had on how to better educate our clubs around this topic.

ClubSport Commission:

The ClubSport Commission had a great turnout with many topics covered. “ClubSport is our best kept secret” was a great quote that sparked discussion on why is this the case, and how do we promote it more?

Improving the promotion of ClubSport and engaging with schools to increase youth participation were two ideas that sparked great discussion. It was agreed that this is an effective way to increase our ClubSport participation and finding ways to tap into youth pathways to ClubSport is crucial.

The ClubSport Commission is also working on hosting our Goldstar ClubSport and Hillclimb Championships in opposite islands, to help save on travel costs for our competitors whilst providing an opportunity to participate in a highly respected event.

The Inclusive Motorsport Commission:

The Inclusive Motorsport Commission held an engaging seminar where the delegates were able to positively contribute and provide feedback on how we can help the Commission achieve their EDI strategy.

The Commission also introduced its latest member, Lee Warn who has many bright and positive ideas on how he can contribute and help achieve this strategy.

A lot of positive talking points came out of this group discussion and the Commission look forward to taking these on board and tweaking a few things, where they will then form a “road map” that will contribute to achieving their strategy.

The Volunteer Commission:

An insight into the improvement of our Volunteer statistics was highlighted, particularly around the amount of Volunteers that now hold a MSR licence. Since July last year, a 12% increase has been observed of our Volunteers who now hold MSR’s.

Group discussions were held on how clubs can improve their Volunteer engagement and retention. Some positive ideas were held. Key themes included working with your local communities to engage new Volunteers, and getting creative to find ways on how we can recognise and reward our Volunteers.

The Technical Department:

The team from the office spoke about our fuel regulations the areas for improvement across the board. Highlighting that this is a big safety concern and something that our Clubs are actively looking to support.

Fire safety and the most recent FIA (8856-2018) Clothing Standard was the next point and some education around this was provided and its improvement, highlighted.

Electric Vehicles were covered with some insight into the ongoing learnings that we continue to take on board in this space. Lithium Ion batteries and their risks were also covered and just how much of a risk they pose if we aren’t educated in this space.

Event Safety:

Key learnings included data and reporting, accident analysis as well as circuit infrastructure.

The sport is actively looking for opportunities to improve the system in this space. It was indicated that a need for an improvement across event safety plans is a key item moving forward.

The Historic Commission:

This seminar covered the topics of improving groups within Schedule T&C, COD (Certificate of Description) and audits and the desire to engage more youth in this space.

The Commission spoke on COD Audits and provided some education in this space, and the benefits of attaining one. The want and need for more youth to join this space was identified, and the Commission looks forward to finding ways to improve this.

MotorSport Online:

An update on the implementation of the new MotorSport Online platform was delivered to all delegates. A ‘go-live’ date for 5-6 July has been set, meaning the current POSSUM system will go offline on 3 July. The Member Club onboarding process was outlined along with training opportunities for Volunteer Officials and Competitors. Webinars will be held prior to launch for all Member Clubs, Volunteer Officials and Competitors – dates for these will be communicated with each group in due course. A dedicated support website has also been launched (support.motorsport.org.nz) where support and training information will be, including a full range of helpful videos and guides.

All delegates were also given a FAQ sheet about the new MotorSport Online platform.

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