Sir Jackie Stewart takes on review role

Sir Jackie Stewart visiting the Jim clark room in Duns
Sir Jackie Stewart visiting the Jim clark room in Duns
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Sir Jackie Stewart is to join the motorsport safety review following the death of three rally spectators at this year’s Jim Clark Rally.

Elizabeth Allan, 63, died along with partner Iain Provan, 64, and Len Stern, 71, when a Citroen DS3 ploughed into the crowd at 100mph during last month’s event.

Following the accident, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill ordered a safety review and the Scottish Government have confirmed that Sir Jackie, 75, will provide expert advice, stating: “Sir Jackie will provide expert input based on his decades of expertise of improving motorsport safety around the world.”

The review will focus on safety, in particular spectator safety, at all types of motorsport races, events and competitions that take place in Scotland, including bike races, kart and car rallies.

Sir Jackie, from Milton, Dunbartonshire, won 27 Grand Prix races and was Formula 1 World Champion three times. Following an accident which almost killed him in the sixties, he campaigned for mandatory seat belts and full-face helmets for drivers. He is honorary president of the Jim Clark Trust.

He also led driver boycotts until track safety barriers, car run-off areas, fire crews and medical facilities were improved.

Sports Secretary Shona Robison said: “The review is critical to make sure we never again have to witness the tragic events of last month.

“Sir Jackie Stewart has a distinguished record of improving safety for drivers in Formula 1, so I am very pleased that he has agreed to share his experience to ensure that all those who want to enjoy motorsport events in Scotland are as safe as possible.”

Ministers have asked for interim recommendations prior to the Isle of Mull rally in October, with final recommendations by December 2014.

Organisers of the Jim Clark Rally have also been informed that, before next year’s event, they must demonstrate how any recommendations made by the review will be implemented.

Earlier this week organisers of this weekend’s Scottish Rally in Dumfries announced they were tightening up safety after the Jim Clark Rally tragedy.

Organisers said that following “recent events” spectator safety would be a “prime concern” over the weekend.

A dedicated spectator safety number is being introduced which will link directly to staff at rally headquarters.

Anyone with a concern about their safety - or that of other spectators or competitors - can call to raise the issue which will be “followed up and investigated”.

The safety line number will be advertised in the spectator programme and on the stages.