ACU official stands down in tracker row
Malcolm Offline
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#1
ACU official stands down in tracker row
[Image: ShaunCounsell.jpg]
Shaun Counsell who has stood down from his role as course inspection officer at the ACU

The TT course inspection officer has stood down from his role - after a tracker system showed him apparently driving at over a safety-imposed speed limit.

But Shaun Counsell, who had been course inspection officer for the Auto Cycle Union since 2005, says he has been wrongly accused of speeding by a system that he believes is not working correctly.

The tracker system was introduced following the accident during last year’s TT when Steve Mercer was critically injured.

Mr Mercer was among a group of red-flagged riders who were sent back to the Grandstand the ’wrong way’ round the course and hit a course car heading to the crash which claimed the life of Manx TT star Dan Kneen.

That course car was driven by Mr Counsell, who says if it hadn’t been for his actions behind the wheel all six riders could have been hit - and the consequences would have been catastrophic.

Following the accident, an 80mph speed limit was placed on course cars travelling over closed roads and 100mph over the mountain.

Mr Counsell, who has been involved in motorsport for 36 years, was tracked going over the speed limit on the lower part of the course while going to the crash at Ballaugh Bridge that claimed the life of Chris Swallow on the opening lap of the Senior Classic TT.

He said: ’I was sent to the scene by the clerk of the course. I got permission to enter the course and was informed it was safe to continue.

’But I was tracked at three locations saying I was exceeding 80mph. But the speeds I was tracked at were incorrect.’


He accepted that when you are driving at speed it is very difficult to monitor your speed.

’You are not constantly looking at your clock. But the speeds they are saying would be impossible to do in those areas,’ he said.

Mr Counsell said the next day he was emailed by clerk of the course Gary Thompson saying he had been informed by the government’s head of motorsport David Morter that he had been speeding.

On the Monday, he did his normal inspection lap of the course and then went to the scheduled meeting with key officials at the Grandstand.

After that meeting he was advised he would be driven round for the remainder of the week by another course car driver.

Mr Counsell said: ’I said "no". I’m not going to be accused of something I have not done.’

He said he believes the system is flawed. He said he was told during the TT by the head of motorsport that it was 85-90% accurate.

Mr Counsell said during the TT he was tracked at Handley’s Corner when he was actually driving through Michael village, and at the 33rd Milestone when he was actually going through Hillberry.

He claimed other course car drivers and travelling marshals have been tracked at speeds they claim are inaccurate.

He has asked to be supplied with a print-out of his speed at the locations where he is accused of speeding and a copy of the calibration certificate but has been told that this is an issue between him and the Manx Motor Cycle Club.

But Mr Counsell said: ’I’m not going to back down over this. I want this information. My issue is not with the MMCC, it’s with the system that the head of motorsport and the DoI have implemented. I have no issue with Gary Thompson.

’I’ve been accused here of doing something through a system that isn’t working correctly.’


He said the trackers are simply plugged into the cigarette lighter but believes they should be wired into the car’s electronic control unit.

Mr Counsell revealed that he was cautioned over his role in the Steve Mercer accident but the Attorney General’s chambers ruled he had no case to answer.

He said: ’I’ve been upfront and honest about the Mercer incident.

’What happened to him was unfortunate and I hope he makes a full recovery. I had two police officers in the course car with me. It was classed as an emergency vehicle. Media reports saying the course car was absolutely flying are not true.

’Had I not taken the actions I did I would have hit all six riders. It could have been catastrophic. I was praised for those actions by the police.’


He said the accident had affected him and he has had a number of flashbacks.

Clerk of the course Gary Thompson said:

I can confirm that Shaun Counsell no longer holds the position of course inspection officer for the Isle of Man TT Races or the Festival of Motorcycling.

’I can also confirm this was Mr Counsell’s decision to stand down from his role and not a decision imposed on him by ACU Events Ltd or the Manx Motor Cycle Club.’


In a statement, the Department for Enterprise said this was not an isolated incident - and official TT drivers had been ’clearly warned’ about exceeding the safety-imposed speed limits.

A full story on the DfE’s statement appears in this week’s Manx Independent.


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06-09-2019, 01:51 PM
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Splashdown Offline
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#2
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
Is this the same Shaun Counsell of whom it was said after the 27th Milestone fatality in 2007, " should no longer take part in any official capacity in any future Isle of Man motorsport events"?
06-09-2019, 02:13 PM
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Malcolm Offline
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RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
Is this the Incident you refer to Splashdown - REPORT

Note the 4th Paragraph !!!
06-09-2019, 02:40 PM
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BenjiesDad Offline
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#4
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
Many thanks for the update Malcolm,
And also to Splashdown for reminding people of mistakes not learnt,

That's all I will say on this matter in a open forum,
Regards Benjies Dad
06-09-2019, 07:50 PM
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Malcolm Offline
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#5
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
[Image: ShaunCounsell.jpg]
Shaun Counsell who has stood down from his role as course inspection officer at the ACU

This wasn't an isolated incident

Official TT drivers had been ’clearly warned’ about exceeding the safety-imposed speed limits, it has emerged.

A statement has been issued by the Department for Enterprise following the front page story in this week’s Examiner about the departure of course inspection officer Shaun Counsell.

Mr Counsell has stepped down from his position with the Auto Cycle Union after a tracking system showed him apparently driving at ’excessive’ speed limit while on his way to a fatal crash at Ballaugh Bridge on August 24.

Mr Counsell said the system was not working correctly and the speeds he was tracked at were incorrect.

However, the DfE said it was not an isolated incident and official drivers had been ’clearly warned about exceeding the speed limits’, both at the TT and earlier in the Festival of Motorcycling, due to the ’obvious safety implications’.

A spokesman said:

’Shortly after an incident during the Senior Classic TT Race, director of motorsport David Morter received a verbal indication from an official that the course inspection vehicle, whilst responding to the incident, was seen to be travelling at "excessive" speeds.

’Later that day, on checking the tracking system history, it was found that there were a number of areas between the Grandstand and Ballaugh, where indicated speeds were recorded above the limits imposed by the racing authorisation, which was relayed to the organisers.’


Mr Morter advised clerk of the course, Gary Thompson, of the situation in regard to the indicated speeds as it could lead to an infringement of the racing authorisation.

The spokesman insisted that any decision as to what action was to be taken was that of Mr Thompson and the race organisers, and not one by either Mr Morter or an official in the DoI, as Mr Counsell had claimed.

’It is clear from the article that the course inspection officer took matters into his own hands by walking away from his role,’ he said.

’Ultimately any consequence of this discussion is a matter between the organiser and the individual.’


The DfE spokeman said the speed limits within the racing authorisation are very clearly defined and set specific boundaries.

Any failure on the part of the organisers to ensure these requirements are being adhered to has the potential to increase the risk of the authorisation being withdrawn and potentially putting further authorisations - and therefore the events at risk.


The spokesman said the trackers are not being used to monitor speed.

He said:

’The tracking system is an additional safety system that is being introduced in phases to show the status of moving vehicles at any particular point and is not designed for, nor will it be used as a speed monitoring system.

’It is important to note that the original concern came from an official at the event on behalf of the organiser, with the tracking system upon interrogation subsequently indicating there may have been excess speed in a number of areas.’

He added: ’The department fully supports the requirement for speed limits on non-competing vehicles and the decision taken by Mr Thompson to raise the issue with the course inspection officer.

’Any further comment or action is between the organiser and the officer concerned.’


The tracking system was introduced following the accident during last year’s TT when Steve Mercer was critically injured.

He was among a group of red-flagged riders who were sent back to the Grandstand the ’wrong way’ round the course and hit a course car, driven by Mr Counsell.

An 80mph speed limit was placed on course cars travelling over closed roads and 100mph over the mountain.

Mr Counsell said after being tracked going over the 80mph limit at three locations on the lower part of the course on August 24, he was told he would be driven round for the remainder of the race week by another course car driver.

But he claimed the tracking system was not working correctly. He said during TT he was tracked at Handley’s Corner when he was actually driving through Kirk Michael, and at the 33rd Milestone when he was actually at Hillberry.

Mr Counsell said he has had a number of flashbacks following the Mercer crash - and if it hadn’t been for his actions the incident would have been ’catastrophic’.



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10-09-2019, 11:59 AM
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HammerHead Offline
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#6
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
Wow, that last line! I wonder if Steve Mercer will agree that it wasn't "catastrophic"!


"There is nothing so momentary as a sporting achievement, and nothing so lasting as the memory of it."
10-09-2019, 12:48 PM
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c iom tt Offline
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#7
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
(06-09-2019, 02:13 PM)Splashdown Wrote: Is this the same Shaun Counsell of whom it was said after the 27th Milestone fatality in 2007, " should no longer take part in any official capacity in any future Isle of Man motorsport events"?

Yes, Coroner Michael Moyle said that!
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12-09-2019, 08:33 AM
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c iom tt Offline
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#8
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
Apparantley, he went back in to change his mind about leaving but was told his resignation had been accepted.
Wonder why?
How about a salary of £70k per year for driving a car 4 weeks a year on closed roads.
You could not make it up.
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12-09-2019, 08:36 AM
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taxman Offline
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#9
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
I'm no SC fan nor am I his public defender however there've been a couple of things pop up in this thread which are not supported by the evidence.

Firstly, the Coroner of Inquests didn't name SC as someone who shouldn't be involved in IOM Motorsport. he said

"1. I have no power to ban or exclude those officials or marshals whose conduct I have seriously criticised. In any event, it must be that their positions are untenable and I have no doubt that they will do the decent, honourable thing and have no significant involvement in the Manx Motorcycle Club or marshalling for future events".

Mr Moyle was very theatrical in his deliveries and liked the headlines. I'm not saying he didn't mean SC, just that he didn't name him.

Secondly, I've seen the £70k number bandied about on Manx Forums but it appears to have been totally invented. I've not seen a single shred of evidence to show that SC was or wasn't paid £70k. There is however a Government pay scale for the IOM Director of Motorsport is between £77k and £90k https://hr.gov.im/media/1040/ntnsp-pay-a...n-2019.pdf see payspan 38. It seems unlikely that the Director is on this banding and SC was getting £70k.
12-09-2019, 01:51 PM
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c iom tt Offline
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#10
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
(12-09-2019, 01:51 PM)taxman Wrote: I'm no SC fan nor am I his public defender however there've been a couple of things pop up in this thread which are not supported by the evidence.

Firstly, the Coroner of Inquests didn't name SC as someone who shouldn't be involved in IOM Motorsport. he said

"1. I have no power to ban or exclude those officials or marshals whose conduct I have seriously criticised. In any event, it must be that their positions are untenable and I have no doubt that they will do the decent, honourable thing and have no significant involvement in the Manx Motorcycle Club or marshalling for future events".

Mr Moyle was very theatrical in his deliveries and liked the headlines. I'm not saying he didn't mean SC, just that he didn't name him.

Secondly, I've seen the £70k number bandied about on Manx Forums but it appears to have been totally invented. I've not seen a single shred of evidence  to show that SC was or wasn't paid £70k. There is however a Government pay scale for the IOM Director of Motorsport is between £77k and £90k https://hr.gov.im/media/1040/ntnsp-pay-a...n-2019.pdf see payspan 38. It seems unlikely that the Director is on this banding and SC was getting £70k.
MM DID mention him by name at the original Inquest. SC is/was paid by the ACU.  Payscale came from a VERY reliable source. It will all come out in the wash.
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12-09-2019, 06:33 PM
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taxman Offline
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#11
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
(12-09-2019, 06:33 PM)c iom tt Wrote: MM DID mention him by name at the original Inquest. SC is/was paid by the ACU.  Payscale came from a VERY reliable source. It will all come out in the wash.

The limited accounts for ACU Events Limited are here and specifically say NO employees. https://s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/docum...8830e8a0ee
13-09-2019, 01:11 PM
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c iom tt Offline
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#12
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
That link is broke, and I didnt say ACU Events.
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13-09-2019, 02:32 PM
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BenjiesDad Offline
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#13
RE: ACU official stands down in tracker row
Just as a footnote to this story,
There will be no more Racing at Jurby this year,
Due to lack of entry's, for the 2 day meeting due to be run in 2 weeks time,
And they have also pulled the plug on the very popular end of season endurance race, for riders both on the Island and the UK,

Common theme here,
Jurby racetrack or what ever it as known as, And the local club that uses it,
Are both run by the same person, with help from a few others,

People starting to vote with there feet, by not riding there ?
And not just this year or last,
Think this has been grumbling along for 5 years or so, since certain people got involved up ther,

But never mind !!
You can still hire the track out for your own pleasure,
At a price I bet,
Very few Marshals about, and if you are lucky maybe a doctor ??
Just my thoughts, And feel free to comment on them !! I have got very Broad shoulders after all these years ! LOL
13-09-2019, 09:04 PM
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