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Jackie Stewart to give advice on safety after deaths at rally

MOTOR racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart will provide expert advice to a safety review being carried out after three spectators were killed in a rally car crash.

EXPERTISE: Sir Jackie Stewart.
EXPERTISE: Sir Jackie Stewart.

The review, which will examine safety at all motorsport events, was announced after the fatal accident at the Jim Clark Rally in the Borders.

Iain Provan, 64, Elizabeth Allan, 63 and Len Stern, 71, were killed in the second of two crashes at the popular event last month.

The review will have a particular focus on safety for spectators, and will look at all types of motorsport that takes place in Scotland including motorbiking, karting and car rallies.

Iain Provan, who founded the Motorsport Scotland website, and his partner Elizabeth had travelled to the event from Barrhead, East Renfrewshire. Mr Stern, 71, came from Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire

Sir Jackie, a former Formula 1 champion, has agreed to provide expert advice to the study, based on his decades of experience of working to improve race safety around the world.

Sports Secretary Shona ­Robison said: "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.

"The Review of Motorsport Event Safety is critical to make sure we learn lessons and never again have to witness the tragic events of last month, where three spectators sadly lost their lives."

The safety review was announced by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill just days after the fatal crash.

"Spectator safety must always be paramount," he told MSPs at the time. "In the light of the deaths, the Scottish Government will commission a review of motorsport event safety in Scotland, drawing on safety experts and the knowledge and expertise of the motorsport community."

The review will be chaired by the Government, with leading figures from the Motor Sports Association, the Scottish Auto Cycle Union, Police Scotland, Scottish Borders Council and the Health and Safety Executive. Others are being sought to add their expertise, including a drivers' representative.

As part of its work, the review will examine the range of guidance that already exists from bodies such as FIA motorsports.

Ministers have asked for the review to make its interim ­recommendations before the Isle of Mull rally takes place in ­October, with the clerk of the course for this event also included in the review's expert group.

Final recommendations are due by December, and the organisers of the Jim Clark Rally have been told that as part of the conditions for next year's event they must demonstrate how any proposed changes will be put in place.

About 250 competitors had been taking part in the rally, which is said to be one of the largest in the UK. Thousands of spectators watched the action but the event was immediately abandoned after the fatal crash.

Police have already launched a review of safety at public events in Scotland following the deaths.

The rally is named after ­Scottish Formula One driver Jim Clark, who grew up in the Borders and was killed in an accident in Hockenheim, Germany, in 1968.

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