A longtime fan of the sport, Gary Barnard began his trackside career as a Marshal at Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) club races in 1973. He started marshaling at professional events in the late 1970’s and worked at Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) events as a Marshal and Course Observer in 1982.
Gary went into CART race control in 1990, serving as Safety Team Dispatcher, Chief Observer, Operations Communicator and Steward. In 2005, he returned to the Champ Car World Series as a steward until unification with IndyCar. He served in Atlantic series race control in 2008.
In 2012, he joined IndyCar as a Steward. Gary currently is an Official in the Verizon IndyCar Series Race Control.
5 QUESTIONS WITH AN AMBASSADOR
1) What do you consider to be the single greatest advancement in motorsport safety in the last 50 years?
I can't really decide between them, so I have to go with 2: the SAFER barrier and the HANS device.
2) You can either implement one new motorsport rule or get rid of an existing one. Which option do you choose and what rule would it be?
I would implement a consistent rule against blocking to be implemented in all racing. Blocking leads to accidents, and unfortunately, it is not only legal in some forms of racing, it seems to be encouraged.
3) What is your favorite racing circuit and why?
Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. It is where I saw my first race, and the start of the Indy 500 is still the most exciting moment of the year to me. Being a small part of it is a big privilege.
4) Who is your hero?
Rick Mears. A great driver and a great gentleman.
5) What do you hope to accomplish as an MSF Ambassador?
I hope to encourage greater protection for marshals, as well as to encourage safer procedures for marshals via training and review. They are a very important part of what we do, so we need to be sure they stay safe.