Cirrus Research: Breaking the Sound Barrier in Motorsport

The weekend of 24/25 October 2020 marks another watershed moment in our relationship with UK motorsport, as two drivers carrying the Cirrus motif will be competing in the BTCC round at Snetterton. Max Coates will be competing in the MINI CHALLENGE UK competition, followed by Callum Jenkins in the Ginetta SuperCup, both of whom are being supported by Cirrus Research for this televised stage of the world-famous touring car championship.

The event at Snetterton this weekend is yet another demonstration of Cirrus Research’s work within the motorsport industry, following on from our partnership with female rally star Ashleigh Morris, and our continued support of the Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship for the 20/21 season. We can’t wait to see Max and Callum in action at the weekend; we’ll be tuned in to ITV4 on Sunday to find out how they do!

Max Coates pictured with his Elite Motorsport MINI.

There is no denying the fact that being involved so closely with motorsport is huge amounts of fun, and a great excuse to get out of Cirrus HQ and spend some time surrounded by great-looking cars and incredibly talented drivers. But our involvement in motorsport is far more than an excuse for a fun day out. It perfectly underpins Cirrus Research’s mission and demonstrates precisely why we do, what we do.

For more than 50 years, our mission has been to protect people’s hearing and health, and to safeguard the environment from the dangers of excessive noise. But people and the environment aren’t just affected by noise caused by work or heavy industry: noise is an integral part of our everyday lives and often the reason why we enjoy the things we do. And when we’re having fun, we’re less likely to be concerned with protecting ourselves, especially when the thing we need protecting from is all part of the enjoyment. Although we can’t directly influence the noise levels that motorsport spectators are exposed to, we can and have intervened to help make motorsport safer for participants and competitors, as well as the environment.

In 2019, Cirrus Research became the technical acoustic partner of Motorsport UK, the governing body of all competitive racing and rallying in the United Kingdom, which allowed us to provide our noise measurement equipment to event scrutineers. Now, our Optimus+ and CR:310 sound level meters are used frequently at competitive motorsport events across the country, to test the noise levels of competing vehicles. This process of scrutineering ensures that cars don’t breach the noise restrictions prescribed by Motorsport UK, thereby reducing the impact of vehicle noise on competitors, spectators and the environment.

As part of our partnership with Motorsport UK, we undertook a piece of research using our doseBadge noise dosimeters. The study investigated noise levels that drivers and navigators are exposed to during an event, the results of which will be used to understand how to protect competitors from the dangers of excessive noise.

Motorsport scrutineer, Martin Beamish, using an Optimus+ sound level meter to test vehicle noise during the MSN Circuit Rally Championship.

We have installed several permanently fixed environmental noise monitors at several different motorsport venues across the country. These instruments measure and monitor the noise levels produced on event days to ensure that restrictions aren’t being broken. These restrictions are in place to help protect nearby residents and the environment from the damage that can be caused by noise pollution.

We have also developed a brand-new product that has direct links to the motorsport world. The new Optimus+ GPS-enabled sound level meter, was tested at a world-famous circuit in the UK as part of an action-packed race weekend for a global motorsport competition. This new instrument allows scrutineers and environmental consultants complete transparency when it comes reporting on noise levels in and around motorsport venues, providing them with the information they need to make better-informed decisions on how to reduce noise and protect people and the environment.

Throughout our 50-year history, we’ve been associated with the wider automotive industry, providing acoustic measurement solutions to some of the sector’s biggest names, including Triumph Motorcycles and MSport. There are plenty more, but sadly due to confidentiality rules, we’re not allowed to say!

Moving forward, Cirrus Research will continue to support the motorsport industry, breaking barriers to people’s enjoyment by providing the equipment needed to protect people’s hearing, health and wellbeing, and to safeguard the environment from the dangers of noise pollution.

Clarke Roberts

Senior Marketing Executive at Cirrus Research plc
Clarke is a Senior Marketing Executive and is responsible for helping people to find Cirrus Research's innovative noise measurement solutions by using all aspects of the marketing mix.

He particularly enjoys writing content about product applications, including noise nuisance, occupational noise and environmental noise pollution.