Monday, 22 November 2021 17:00

ERC drivers paid tribute to all FIA Volunteers

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Leading drivers and co-drivers from the FIA European Rally Championship have marked the FIA Volunteers Weekend by paying tribute to the work of all the men and women who give up their time to help make motorsport happen.

The 2021 FIA Volunteers Weekend, which takes place from November 20-21, celebrates those who dedicate their time to make motorsport possible around the world. It presents an opportunity to raise awareness and give thanks to the volunteers who carry out the wide variety of essential roles without which rounds of the FIA European Rally Championship, such as the season-deciding Rally Islas Canarias, simply would not take place.

“Volunteers are the unsung heroes of motorsport,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “Without them, quite simply, we would not be able to go racing. It is important for the FIA to recognise their vital contribution, and the occasion of the Volunteers Weekend shine the spotlight on their hard work and dedication to ensuring the safety and success of events the world over.”

President Todt added: “This is also an opportunity to promote the positive benefits that volunteers gain from their involvement and help attract new people to motorsport.”

Russia’s Alexey Lukyanuk, the two-time ERC champion who leads Rally Islas Canarias for the Saintéloc Junior Team starting the final leg of the event, said: “I love our sport, I love rally and I see how many people are involved in the process. It’s hugely complicated to organise and make all the things work together so many, many thanks to all these people. Volunteers play a massive role and we really appreciate and welcome their efforts and help. You are doing a great job and please keep going.”

ORLEN Team’s Marko Marczyk, one of the rising stars of the ERC from Poland, said: “Volunteers are very important because without them we can’t do rally. Each rally is a very big procedure and a very big adventure for everyone. I really appreciate the work they do for us.”

Italian Simone Campedelli, an ERC frontrunner for Team MRF Tyres, said: “Volunteers are amazing. If you imagine the passion they have to stay all day long in the stages with sunny weather, wet or snow. Without them we cannot be here and there have been some bad situations for me when I’ve really needed their help. But we are a rally community and everybody wants to help each other and volunteers show the right way to do it.”

Spaniard Marc Martí, a winning co-driver at FIA World Rally Championship level who is now guiding Nil Solans in the ERC, said: “Without the volunteers the rallies are not happening and that means it’s a very important job. It’s good to have all the people here helping us.”

Throughout the weekend, the entire motorsport community – from volunteers and officials to fans, drivers and members of the media – are encouraged to join in and show their appreciation on social media. Using the hashtag #FIAVolunteersWeekend on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, people can share photos and stories of themselves in action over the two days, connecting motorsport volunteers at all levels from all around the world – from club events to world championships.