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Old 09-21-05, 02:04 PM
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Flagging

Ok i'm going to be flaging at the Grand Am race at VIR in October. I've never done it before and was just curious if anyone had any good advice or pointers they could give me before i go. Thankx!

Last edited by DamonB; 09-29-05 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 09-24-05, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 90WhiteVrt
Ok i'm going to be flaging at the Grand Am race at VIR in October. I've never done it before and was just curious if anyone had any good advice or pointers they could give me before i go. Thankx!
BLACK FLAG ALL FORDS & ANYTHING FWD
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Old 09-24-05, 04:26 PM
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My advice is to go out to a couple of SCCA/NASA races and volunteer. Tell them you were invited to flag at VIR for the Grand Am race and would like to learn a few things before hand so you don't make a fool of yourself.
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Old 09-26-05, 07:14 AM
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There are alot of people depending on you as a corner worker. Please glance through some of these link to help you prepare to communicate with other workers.

http://www.scr-scca.com/content/workers/handsignals.php

http://www.scr-scca.com/content/work...efinitions.php
(you problaby know these already)

http://home.earthlink.net/~mrmo/

http://home.earthlink.net/~mrmo/

http://www.scca-milwaukee.org/FC/hs2.htm

http://www.scr-scca.com/content/work...oandattire.php

I hope this helps. Thank you for helping.
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Old 09-26-05, 10:05 AM
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The most important thing to remember is that your piece of track is between the flag station you are standing at and the one after yours. You should be watching that part of the track. Most rookie flaggers will look at the cars coming at them, which if you think about it is kinda dumb. if there is an incident before your station, don't wave the yellow flag! There are exceptions to this rule, like a blind corner or something, you may have to radio and tell the previous station to go yellow.

Also know the difference between a standing yellow and a waving yellow. the waving yellow should ONLY be used if there is a hazard on the racing surface. if there is a car spun off into the grass, a standing yellow should be used. small woodland creatures that wander onto the track do not require a waving yellow flag, a debris flag should be fine.

If for example a car pulls off course in a safe location and does not continue the race, show a standing yellow for one lap only. don't keep the yellow up the entire session.

Try to keep the flags out of view of the drivers when there is no yellow, i've seen yellow flags waiving in the wind more then once.

and like its66 said, Thanks for working!
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Old 09-26-05, 06:59 PM
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Don't throw a blue/yel stripe flag on the first lap unless you are about the last station before the start/finish line. Now there are exceptions to this suggestion but use your noggin, drivers have enough going on in front of them, and to both sides, usually for the first lap.

And thanks for making the race possible by working!
You'll have a blast.
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Old 09-27-05, 02:20 PM
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I'm a rookie flagger myself. I have flagged the Grand Am at VIR the last couple years and had a blast. Here is my advice:

1) Show up early. I believe that Chuck Stanley will be running the show. Go up to him, introduce yourself and let him know that you're a rookie.

2) Chuck will assign you to a station. There will be a captain/chief at that station who will tell you what to do. Listem to him and do exactly what he says.

3) Dress in white (or as close to it as you can get). White long-sleeved t-shirts are good.

4) Bring sunscreen and a hat.

4b) Bring rain gear ;-)

5) Bring hearing protection (earplugs at a minimum)

6) Bring a small cooler, snacks and lots of water. The track will provide lunch (although it may be thrown at you from the back of a moving truck ;-)

7) Take some time and review the flag meanings and hand signals given in the links above.

8) Read rule #2 again.

9) Get plenty of rest the night before. It will be a long day.

10) Have fun!

Grand Am weekend is an absolute blast. I'm gonna try and make it up there myself, but it's about 50/50 right now.

Later,

-bill
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Old 09-28-05, 02:37 PM
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All of this is good info. If you can work an SCCA, vintage event, or a Driver's Edge school, etc. before hand it would be big help to you. I agree, the most important thing for you is to be paired with a very experienced corner captain that is a great teacher, patient, and willing to let you learn. Sometimes it is hard to find all of these things in one individual but it can be done. If you can work some practices before hand it would be great for you. You may want to ask about being paired with different people through out these "practice races", such as switching partners after lunch. Each person will generally key on something little different than the other. Everyone has their pet peaves so to speak. The most important thing that I would be concerned with is your own safety and the other corner workers in your station. Be ready to pay close attention at all times during the race and even on "warm up" and "cool down" laps. I don't know how VIR is laid out and what the corner stations are like etc. Usually you have one person working the yellow flag, one person working the blue, and one on the radio. The yellow (facing downstream) and blue (facing upstream) flaggers face each other (they switch in the event of an accident in your area between stations) this is in order to watch each others back. DON"T TAKE THIS LIGHTLY. I've had plenty of cars come off course towards a station. Luckily only two have actually hit my station. Both times I was blue flagging and my partner knew pretty damn quick by my expression (and yelling) that he needed to move. Watch out for your partner and yourself and have fun!!! Oh yeah, wear some comfortable shoes!!!!!
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Old 09-29-05, 05:37 AM
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I cannot imagine Grand Am allowing anyone with zero training to flag one of their races. I'm not saying that they don't, but with the amount of contact that I have seen in Grand Am events, and the sheer volume of money and ego involved, I find it amazing that they wouldn't have SERIOUSLY experienced and trained cornerworkers! SCCA has been really getting into training and certifying workers to insure at least a minimum level of competence. Admittedly, blue flags are pretty universally ignored since they are advisory only but competent drivers already KNOW they are about to be passed, while bad drivers seem unable to see either the overtaking car OR the blue flag generally. Yellows on the other hand are just as important a piece of safety equipment as a helmet, driving suit, or rollcage and keep us drivers from charging into someone else's incident at full racing speed! That being said - if you get an opportunity to go and learn how to flag at a race, from someone who knows what they are doing, it is one of the best ways to watch a race that there is! The organization that I currently race with requires it's drivers to do some corner work before they are eligible for a full senior licence becasue there are some valuable lessons to be learned from the cornerworkers perspective. Good Luck and stay out of harms way!
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Old 09-29-05, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Boswoj
I cannot imagine Grand Am allowing anyone with zero training to flag one of their races.
Nope - I believe that there was at least one rookie at last years race.

I'm not saying that they don't, but with the amount of contact that I have seen in Grand Am events,
Actually, I've seen more contact in regional club racing <*ahem*>Spec Miata<*ahem*> than I did Grand Am last fall.

and the sheer volume of money and ego involved, I find it amazing that they wouldn't have SERIOUSLY experienced and trained cornerworkers!
The North Carolina Region SCCA does an excellent job of staffing the races. The vast majority of the flagging crew is highly experienced and people with lesser flagging experience (such as myself) are always paired with more experienced crews. Now while I agree that it is not the best race to cut your teeth at, I feel that even a novice can be useful part of the team.

-bill

Last edited by wrankin; 09-29-05 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 09-29-05, 07:59 PM
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Paul,
Its easy.The region will show you how to do it. I flagged for this event two years ago with NO experience. You wont be the only one in the corner station. You will have at least two other flaggers with you that know what they are doing. You will just need to be alert and know who the faster cars are so when they come up lapping cars, you will give them the blue/yellow flag to let them know to watch out behind them. If I remember right you get free lunch both days and I think maybe even a tee-shirt??? Good Luck, Carl
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Old 10-10-05, 08:04 AM
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I want to thank everyone for their helpful tips and suggestions. This weekened went great and I really enjoyed flagging! Definitely can appreciate the cars from a whole new perspective when your 5 feet off the track. Thankx again!
Oh I also got some good action. I was at the black flag station near the south pad so several cars with busted motors and probs came to me!

Last edited by 90WhiteVrt; 10-10-05 at 08:10 AM.
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