British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden has helped the MSA to launch its 'Year of the Volunteer', with the governing body of UK motor sport revealing the new initiative at the Autosport International show in Birmingham at the weekend.

The Honda Yuasa Racing driver launched the new initiative alongside MSA chief executive Colin Hilton, and Richard Egger, Go Motorsport's Regional Development Officer in the East Midlands.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage extra involvement in motor sport, with Shedden insisting that the volunteers who give up their time to help out at circuits are a valuable part of the racing scene.

"They really are a key part of the action and it really is a great way to be involved in this sport," he said. "My car was a bonfire [at Snetterton last year] and, if it hadn't been for the swift action of some fire marshals, my season would have been over there and then.

"Whether I won the championship or not came down to those ten seconds."

Hilton meanwhile added that it was important to pay tribute to those figures he described as 'unsung heroes'.

"We are celebrating the invaluable work carried out by these all-too-often 'unsung heroes' without whom motor sport wouldn't function, as well as showing others how they can get involved," he said. "Every year there are more than 5,000 motor sport events staged all over the UK and, whether a 12-car rally organised by a local motor club or an international race meeting at Silverstone, they all need volunteers."


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