This morning I attended the Australian Institute of Company Directors annual Essential Directors’ Update. [I hear thousands of responses already…….”BORING!”]
Well, it may not seem immediately relevant or interesting with respect to motorsport, but high standards of governance are an essential requirement for ARDC’s ongoing occupation and management of Sydney Motorsport Park. As I have said in this column before, we are responsible for a premium tax-payer asset, and we need to deliver excellence in our operations. A key area of focus in the 2019 Directors’ Update was on non-financial risk. All competently-run organisations have a high level of sensitivity to financial risk, but in recent years there has been increased focus on non-financial risk areas, such as conduct risk or operational risk.
ARDC is the same: while we are very sensitive to correct financial management, we spend plenty of time focusing on areas of risk that are not primarily financial in nature but can ultimately impact on our financial position and potentially reputation.
A key example is the ‘serious incident heat-map’ that we have been developing this year to provide a better understanding of the high-risk points at Sydney Motorsport Park. Generally, we are confident that our management of on-track risks is as strong as possible, allowing of course that motorsport is dangerous. But serious injuries (i.e. requiring ambulance transport) still do occur and anything we can do to improve our risk mitigation, while not impinging on the nature and enjoyment of motorsport, must be considered.
So, at this point here is some information for our competitors:
- Four wheels are safer than two. [doh!] Our heat-map for 2019 shows 8 serious incidents involving cars (to the end of August) and 21 involving motorbikes. That’s just the raw data and isn’t adjusted for the fact that there are many more events for cars than for bikes.
- For cars, so far this year, the most likely place for a serious incident is at the start.
- For bikes, entry to Turn 1 is most likely, closely followed by entry to Turn 15 and exit from Turn 2.
- Turns 4 and 6 have not seen a serious incident at all this year, on two or four wheels.
I know we are all diligent in our preparation (of car/bike and driver/rider) and no-one goes on to the track anticipating an incident, but every little bit of information helps. And, before anyone suggests I am disparaging bike riders: not so – they are far more heroic than me in my steel cage – but the statistics say what they say! We will continue to collate this data and I’ll provide another update in a year or so.
World Time Attack is just around the corner on 18/19 October featuring the new Brabham BT-62 to add to the enormously competitive and exciting entry list. See you there!