At a meeting of the ORCi Promoters last week the new Benevolent Fund was discussed and the basic format of the Fund agreed. There has been much speculation and rumour on the matter, which I now wish to address by confirming the decisions made, and calm those many unfounded rumours.
The ORCi Ben Fund is for track staff and drivers of all ORCi formulae working or racing at ORCi tracks. This will include ORCi day licence drivers.
All other established driver Ben Funds will remain as they are and run alongside the new ORCi Fund. Track staff will be covered for any accident occurring while these formulae are racing on ORCi tracks.
ORCi Promoters will keep their existing personal accident insurance policy in place certainly for the next three years as a minimum, as this offers an excellent package. To demonstrate their commitment to driver welfare, Promoters agreed that death benefits under this policy will be increased from £5000 to £15,000, and likewise for serious injury, which is a major boost to the cover provided.
The ORCi Ben Fund will NOT be run by the ORCi. It has been commissioned by the ORCi and authorised to operate exclusively at ORCi tracks, providing benefits for ORCi drivers and staff. It will be run by a team of five Trustees headed by myself, set up as an independent legal body.
The Fund will be set up as a not-for-profit limited company to protect its Trustees from personal liability should claims exceed revenue. It will also be able to apply for Charity registration immediately, thanks to the starting generous donations from the Promoters, for which I am extremely grateful and once again confirms their commitment to driver welfare. Charitable companies are governed by the same rules as charities under Trust, meaning that Trustees cannot be paid or benefit financially from their position.
Due to the scale of the work involved, especially in setting this up, I will need the assistance of the Trustees and a secretary.Hence, I am now in the process of recruiting suitable people for these positions and I can confirm I shall be approaching some retired drivers with a view to them being considered as Trustees.
All claims will be paid a weekly amount (figures to be confirmed) on top of the £50 from the Insurers. On top of this, I will be working to set up a Hardship Fund, which will be available for those in difficulties. Payments will be discretionary but the intention is to help those in greater need.
I intend to put in place an appeals system for claimants in case of disagreements. There will also be a Crisis Assistance facility; this might for example help the family of an injured driver with getting home if he/she is hospitalised, etc.
Benefits will be reviewed regularly and may be increased as the Fund grows.
The Promoters have agreed to make a one-off donation to the Fund to help it get started. Each ORCi track will hold a minimum of one meeting each year in aid of the Fund.
The £1 levy remains unchanged to fund vital health and safety work. At some stage the ORCi may review this to decide whether to use some or part of this revenue for the Ben Fund.
The current restriction on BDBF collections at ORCi tracks will remain in force at present.
I assure you that the ORCi and its member Promoters are fully committed to driver and staff welfare and are indeed putting their own money into the Fund. As for my ongoing connection to the ORCi, I have resigned as Director at Buxton Raceway and as Director on the ORCi. I have no further connection to the ORCi and no financial interest in it.
PLEASE NOTE Drivers holding a full ORCi licence will be ineligible for a claim to the ORCi Fund, when racing at non ORCi tracks.
More information will be passed on as progress is made.
The anticipated launch event will be Bristol on Easter Monday.
3rd February 2011