Like many ‘Manx’ Doctors before him, Doc Stevens became a Medical Officer at the Southern 100 Road Races, in David’s case for the first time in 1984 and remained an integral part of the race organisation up to and including 2015 – some 31 years!
As one of the Medical Officers under the then Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Brewis, who took on the role in 1981, retiring after the Southern 100 in 1998, Dr Stevens took on the position of CMO in 1999.
With his involvement with the Rob Vine Fund and Motorsport Medical Services David took on his new position with a new vigour, adapting an already well organised medical facility for road racing for a new era.
The existing efficient safety regime was overhauled, and additional equipment was added to the Medical Boxes at each of the Marshals points around the 4.25-mile Colas Billown Course.
During his tenure, the emergency Airmed Helicopter was also brought to the ‘Southside’ Course, having previously being only made available to events on the Snaefell Mountain Course.
Photo courtesy of Mark Falconer
Clerk of the Course during David’s time as Chief Medical Officer, Phil Taubman MBE recalls
the first effect of ‘DBS’ as he affectionately become known (his initials) when he took on the position:
‘Prior to David taking up the position of CMO, the organisation of the Doctors, Medics, First Aid etc was the responsibility of one of the committee, which put a lot of strain on the person involved, especially once the races were underway, with designated people not being able to turn up because of domestic medical emergencies and the like, although I can’t recall a practice session or race being lost through lack of personnel, there may well have been an odd delay awaiting the arrival of medics, ensuring we had the necessary numbers.
‘David took over this task from the start and with ‘increased’ numbers appearing to be available to him, there was never a time we were short of Medical Personnel, which even as minimum requirements were increased in line with ever improving safety measures amazed the other committee members!’
Emergency medical practices are advancing continuously none more so than in motorcycle road racing with regular training now for all marshals in the basic first aid, much of this was brought in by Dr David Stevens during his time with Southern 100 Racing.
‘Doc Stevens’ was also held in high esteem by the competitors for his no-nonsense approach to their care and safety when in a racing environment.
Away from the Billown Course, DBS was also Chief Medical Officer for the Manx Grand Prix and TT Races.
He was also on the F.I.M. Motorsport Medical Commission, instrumental in ensuring the best medical practices were available to all taking part in motorcycle sport, whether club, national or international status.
He was awarded the MBE in 2003 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Motorsport Medical Facilities.
David was elected a Vice President of the Southern 100 Club in 2016.
The now Club President, Phil Taubman concluded:
‘David Steven’s contribution to the continued success and safety around the Colas Billown Course is immeasurable and his legacy continues through his successor, Dr Sally Simmons.