It was a case of back to school for Team Castrol Toyota off road navigators Robin Houghton and Chris Birkin when they recently sat for the Motor Sport South Africa Clerk of the Course examination.
The pair and Serge Damseaux’s navigator, Robert Paisley, passed the tough, two-hour examination with flying colours.
This strategic initiative on the part of Team Castrol Toyota was aimed at ensuring that the navigators were au fait with all aspects of event organisation and the role of the Clerk of the Course.
“We believe it is of vital importance that the navigators we employ are fully versed in all aspects of event organisation and management,” said Toyota Motorsport manager, Wammy Haddad. “The subtle nuances in event regulations and other official documentation often result in crews misinterpreting the facts, which can prove to be costly.”
“Having navigators who are fully accredited Clerks of Course is a distinct advantage and a means of protecting our sizeable investment in motorsport.”
Five times SA Off Road Co-drivers Champion, Robin Houghton, has always been well versed in all documentation aspects of events but found that preparing for the examination involved having to go into far greater detail to fully understand the subtle nuances.
“We will definitely benefit from having passed the examination in that we now have the confidence to make decisions on the move,” said Robin Houghton. “The new experience we have gained will also give us the administrative edge over our rivals in that we will be able to react swiftly and confidently to any situation that may arise during an event.”
The Team Castrol Toyota navigators were one of the first groups to write the new examination and had no idea what expect.
“The previous examination paper had been in use for many years and was a walkover compared to the extremely difficult new one,” said Chris Birkin. “One was required to make a decision based on hypothetical situations and then substantiate the decision by means of the appropriate General Competition Rule or Standing Supplementary Regulations.”
“Making the correct decision was reasonably straight forward but identifying the applicable regulation within the allotted time was considerably more difficult.”
The Team Castrol Toyota navigators will put their newfound skills to good use during this year’s Absa Off Road Championship and Sasol Rally Championship.
Original article from Car