with specific remit for environmental issuesThe Motor Sports Association is delighted to confirm the promotion of John Symes to the role of MSA Technical Director with immediate effect.
Reporting directly to the MSA Chief Executive, Symes will take a more strategic role in setting the MSA's future policies on technical and risk management issues, but in recognition of the growing importance of the environment within motor sport, he will also become responsible for the MSA's environmental positioning. As Technical Director, John will represent the MSA at government, FIA and international forums, bringing his wealth of experience on these issues to the fore.
Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive, said:
"We are delighted that John has accepted this important position. He will be responsible for addressing potentially the two biggest issues in UK motor sport - safety and the environment. His vast experience in safety and risk management will help him to set workable long-term strategies to manage the sport's development, while the need to assess and address the environmental impact of our sport on its surroundings is crucial for the sport's future health."
One of Symes' first tasks will be to work towards the implementation of a major environmental impact study which will be vital in planning how motor sport moves forward over the next decade.
John Symes, MSA Technical Director, said:
"The environmental issue is a real challenge that I am very much looking forward to. The first thing we have to do is to establish where we are with the sport's impact on the 'environment', and by that we mean its surroundings, not just the atmosphere or CO2 emissions. Once we have completed this audit, we will start to look at the pro-active initiatives that we, as a governing body, can make to our own activities, as well as how we can minimise the environmental impact of competitors and events.
"The environmental challenge is a huge project and I think it is unlikely that there will be any major announcements in the short term. However, the MSA is taking the matter very seriously and there is a growing consensus within the sport that we have to take the initiative in this increasingly important field of work."
As Technical Director, John will maintain a watching brief over the day-to-day operations of the MSA Technical team, which will now be led by John Ryan and directed by Rob Jones. The department will continue to uphold its revered reputation and will liaise with the MSA's insurers, the Health and Safety Executive and various authorities, as well as undertaking around 50 venue inspections each year and providing the MSA's affiliated clubs with advice on technical, safety and environmental matters.
About John Symes
John Symes developed an interest in motor sport from a very young age and combined an early career in engineering with participation in a wide range of club level competition and marshalling before becoming more involved in the organisation of events. He rose through the ranks to become an MSA-licensed International 'A' Clerk of the Course.
In 1986 he gave up a managerial position with an engineering firm to join Brands Hatch Circuits initially as Events Director but soon afterwards became Technical Operations Director. John joined the MSA in 1993 as Safety and Environmental Executive to oversee circuit and venue safety throughout the UK, a role which was later expanded to include technical issues as Technical and Risk Control Manager.