On the safe side – safety team successfully renews DMSB certification
The BILSTER BERG is one of the most popular circuits in Germany, known for its challenging topography with many curves and a gradient of 26%. Every year hundreds of motorsport enthusiasts from all over the world take part in events at the BERG. It goes without saying that their safety must be guaranteed as well as the risk of accidents minimized.
“You can’t compare a race track, where very special safety equipment is required, with a public road. Anyone who thinks that you can race as much as you like on the BILSTER BERG is mistaken. Safety always has the highest priority,” says Frank Igelbrinck, authorized signatory and head of operations and technology at the BILSTER BERG.
Special safety devices
In addition to the gravel bed, tyre stacks, triple guard rails or FIA safety fences, the important safety precautions also include track marshals, mobile track safety or the “Electronic Marshal System”, i.e. light panels that display visual signals analogous to the flag signal to inform the drivers of dangerous situations on the track. This is a system that is also used to a comparable extent in Formula 1. And despite these various safety devices, according to Frank Igelbrinck, the most important thing must never be missing: “maximum concentration during the entire driving operation – by everyone involved”.
Being able to use all these systems correctly is not a matter of course. That’s why Frank Igelbrinck and Christian Rieke, who along with Philip Hagemann are responsible for safety at the track, regularly renew their certification from the German Motor Sports Federation (DMSB). Thanks to this programme, they are always up to date regarding the latest safety protocols, ensuring a safe and enjoyable driving experience. The recent training course covered important topics such as accident prevention, hazard identification, risk management, vehicle and track safety, fire safety, first aid, emergency procedures and communication. The BILSTER BERG employees thus refreshed their theoretical and practical knowledge in order to react quickly and correctly in an emergency.
High safety standard at the BILSTER BERG
For Frank Igelbrinck it was particularly important that the current safety concept at the BILSTER BERG was confirmed by the training. The focus is always on adapting to current standards. At the same time, the BILSTER BERG often goes one step further: If there is an accident, the lights on the track turn red. This means stopping all track operations, all vehicles must immediately reduce their speed and leave the track. Often, at race tracks, only the speed is reduced at the danger spot, but operation is not completely stopped.
The safety protocols implemented on the BILSTER BERG have been developed with the German Motor Sport Federation (DMSB) and other industry experts. This ensures that they are in line with best practices and the latest developments regarding driving safety at a circuit.
In addition to track safety, the race control also constantly monitors the sound emissions generated during the race. If the level exceeds a threshold set by the authorities, measures are taken immediately to minimise it. This ensures that people and animals at the BILSTER BERG and in the surrounding area are not harmed.
In its 10-year existence, the BILSTER BERG has earned a reputation as one of the safest tracks in Germany. This is largely due to the commitment of the track safety team, but not only, “because the participants also have to actively listen during the driver briefings and implement what they have learned,” says Frank Igelbrinck. A special role is also played by the organiser, who has a great influence on safety with the quality of his briefings. In short: safety is teamwork.