BTCC CAREERS: CHAMPIONSHIP CO-ORDINATOR
Following the launch of the BTCC Careers feature, the first request from one of our fans was to hear from BTCC Championship Co-ordinator, Dan Mayo.
Read his full interview below.
Name: Dan Mayo
Job Title: BTCC Championship Co-ordinator
Years in the Role: 20
Favourite Circuit: All the BTCC circuits are my favourite!
What are your main responsibilities, both on event and pre/post-event?
They are many and varied. There is a lot of planning to do, especially pre-season – timetabling, regulations, organising the season passes, liaising with the circuits, dealing with entries etc.
Pre-event my main role is ensuring BTCC teams and our Support Race championships receive all the information they need in relation to the event as well as planning the paddocks.
On event, and before we even get into the actual race weekend, my main role is to mark up the paddock and oversee the teams’ parking up, making sure everything fits as it should, is lined-up correctly and is neat, tidy and safe.
During the race weekend, I have to keep an eye on the paddock, deal with many and varied inquiries from teams, drivers, guests etc., sign-on drivers and Team Managers, help monitor the Pit Lane during BTCC sessions, oversee the BTCC podium ceremonies, send out any additional official information relevant to the event to the teams and try to help resolve any unforeseen issues that may arise during the event.
Post-event I will send out an official Bulletin to the teams relating to results and judicial hearings, then move on to finalise plans for the next race meeting.
What drew you to this field?
I love motorsport, always have done. I started out as a news reporter at my local newspaper and began doing stories on various drivers in the area (everyone on the sports desk was too busy covering football, rugby, horse racing or cricket, but it was also way of getting free tickets to races and rallies). Then, off the back of that, I was offered the role as PR officer for Vauxhall’s BTCC and British rally programmes, which was great fun. Two years later I was the BTCC’s media officer in the final season of Super Touring and then was offered the Co-ordinator’s role midway through the following season.
What have you found to be more valuable in your career, your education or experience?
I’d say both have been valuable but, the longer you are in job, experience becomes more valuable.
What skills have you found vital to do your job?
Being organised, having an eye for detail and being able to work to a deadline.
Do you have a favourite moment of your career in the BTCC?
I have many fond memories of my time in the BTCC, but I think my favourite would be when James Thompson won the first race in my first event as Championship Co-ordinator (Donington Park 2001). It was because of James that I initially got involved in the BTCC as I covered his racing exploits in the newspaper, so it was quite fitting that the first winner’s hat I handed out in a Parc Ferme was to him. He even signed it for me and let me keep it – and I’ve still got it!
Talking of hats, I once (accidentally of course!) ran over Matt Neal’s hat which had blown off on a drivers’ parade lap at Silverstone. I had Yvan Muller sitting on the roof of my car at the time and I think he chuckled while trying not to fall off. Sorry Matt and Yvan!
What advice do you have for someone new to the industry?
Be enthusiastic, be willing to try your hand at anything and be ready to put in the hours.
What advice do you have for someone who aspires to work in a similar position to yourself?
When I first got involved there wasn’t really a defined route to a role like this, and to some extent that still remains the case, but I know there are a number of degrees and educational programmes that can help qualify and train you these days. In a more practical sense you should endeavour to get involved with your local race club or even directly with one of the teams or drivers. Working on event preparation and the race weekends themselves – in whatever capacity – will provide you with the invaluable experience required for when a Co-ordinator role becomes available.