Wednesday 26th November 2014 – 10.15am – Suzie Wheaton.
When Stoke-on-Trent Ambulance Technician, Mark Mitchell, hangs up his uniform at the end of his shift he is often found reaching for his Marshalling overalls.
Forty-eight year old Mark from Stoke-on-Trent can regularly be found at the side of the race track, with one of his most recent experiences being in America, marshalling at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
Mark has been a volunteer motor-racing marshal for over 20 years and is a qualified Examining Post Chief. The Post Chief role encompasses a whole range of duties including mentoring less experienced marshals, firefighting skills, first aid, communications, enforcing regulations and actioning emergency responses to incidents.
Over the years Mark has marshalled at around 16 Formula One events. This year alone, he has headed up crews comprising of marshals from the USA, Canada, Monaco, Brazil and India, as well as carrying out at least 30 more days marshalling at most UK circuits.
Talking about his marshalling, Mark said: “Motor racing is an extremely expensive sport and therefore it’s difficult to compete myself. Marshalling allows me to still be very close to the action and be part of a sport that I love.
“Over the years I’ve met some wonderful people including some drivers, a number of which have gone on to be quite successful, including two ex, and one current Formula One World Champion.
“My first F1 experience was at Silverstone in the 90’s whilst working for my local radio station, and I suddenly found myself in a melee of other journalists posing questions to Michael Schumacher and Johnny Herbert.
“The skills learned from marshalling gave me good grounding when I decided to apply for the position of Ambulance Technician with WMAS, and now, the two roles complement each other very well.”
This year, Mark has also had the privilege of being been involved in a charity project to raise funds for skin cancer charity, Melanoma UK. The project saw him being photographed alongside the likes of Damon Hill, Bruno Senna and Martin Brundle for a charity calendar*.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the project can visit http://www.charitymarshal.org. Calendars can be ordered via http://www.andrea-pennington.com at a price of £10 including postage and packing.
Picture: Mark pictured in orange, second from left. If used, the picture must be credited to Andrea Pennington.
* The Marshals Charity Calendar 2015 is the brain child of Oulton Park based marshal and BRSCC North region race secretary, Paul Sutcliffe. Paul has been a lover of all motorsport since he was a small boy and a marshal for the last 8 years. In 2008 he was diagnosed with stage 3 Malignant Melanoma which has been removed and since returned twice, following major operations to remove it. Malignant melanoma is prevalent amongst groups who spend a lot of working time outdoors, like motorsport Marshals.
Since having the disease, Paul has been involved in a charity called Melanoma UK and has wanted to create a marshal based charity calendar. Now alongside Motorsport PR photographer Andrea Pennington and Photographer Gaynor Stocker it has all become possible.
Designed by Faye Neo, the calendar will be A4 and open up in to A3 size. All monies raised will go to the Melanoma UK charity (www.melanomaUK.org.uk).
Social media links:
Twitter @CM_2015 @suttie50 @andreap_tog