“You have to slow them down rather than urge them to speed up.” – Menno Weeda, Zandvoort race circuit
“We post fire marshals along the race track, pits and paddock to make sure that the drivers and officials are safe,” said Menno Weeda, the Sporting Manager of the Zandvoort race circuit. “I was surprised by how well Brandwacht Huren had prepared for this specific service. They knew all the rules by heart and had developed an intervention vehicle especially for our circuit."
The Zandvoort race circuit organises car races, from small events to large international races such as the Dutch Grand Prix. Safety is a vital aspect of these events.
Fire safety along the racecourse
Repressive fire marshals with experience gained in a fire brigade are deployed to ensure the safety of the drivers and officials. These fire marshals have to meet the requirements of the international FIA motor sports association. In 2019, Zandvoort sent out an invitation for tenders which resulted in the assignment being awarded to Brandwacht Huren.
Experts in many fields
“Brandwacht Huren came extremely well prepared,” said Mr Weeda. “They had written down and summarized all the FIA rules to prepare for our first meeting. They knew what we were going to say before I had even said anything. And they developed an RIV (rapid intervention vehicle) especially for our circuit. They thus offered a bespoke solution.”
“The fire professionals of Brandwacht Huren have prevented several fires in the pit lanes. Fires can easily happen, for instance when fuel escapes near hot parts. They have a keen eye for this. They act decisively and they know what they're doing.”
Rapid intervention vehicle (RIV)
Brandwacht Huren developed a rapid intervention vehicle specifically for the Zandvoort race circuit. This fast car, a BMW X6, arrives at the scene of an incident anywhere on the circuit very quickly. The car also has a high-pressure foam system to extinguish large fires. This innovation is not used on any other race circuit yet.
Success through working together
“Safety on a race circuit requires crystal-clear coordination. You must be on full alert at all times and wait until you are called to assist if there has been an incident. The professionals of Brandwacht Huren are masters of this. They fight fires if incidents occur and they maintain a fire safe situation. And they use their hydraulic tools to assist in extracting any drivers that have become trapped in their vehicles.”