emergency crews do their important
work, because stragglers are not
sifting through all the time.
The GCR also wisely states that
if there is no pace car sent out, the
lead car must slow down to permit
the field to bunch up behind it. If
you are leading overall, you are
the pace car. You do slow down to
let everyone catch you, for a safer
situation at the incident. The sooner
the field is gathered, the sooner
the track gets cleared, and the
sooner we go back to green. Yay!
On the restart, watch the flag
stations – you can go for it when they
drop the yellows. Don’t be caught
sleeping. You’ll see when the track
is ready; you can look for the pace
car lights to go off in warning and
estimate where the leader will get
the green. Get your proper gear and
be ready, even if you don’t have a
radio and devoted crew chief in the
pits: Green, green, greeeeen!
maneuver usually takes a lot of
time. Often a couple of corners and
a whole straight. Sometimes it’s
been brewing for several laps. It’s
intense. An aggressive pass draws
your attention. It’s dramatic. The
flag, however, is still the priority.
In SCCA, the yellow starts at a
line perpendicular to the flag and
ends after clearing the incident and
all related factors, when there is not
another yellow at the next station.
Spy that next one before you pass,
Driver, and see the big picture.
Other series often use differing
definitions. Some go by line-of-sight,
when the driver can see the flag, not
when they get to it, and some extend
the no-passing zone all the way to
the next green flag station. FIA rules
require this, which is maddening
when a fast class is lapping a slower
one. One has to sit behind the slower
car and wait, even after the incident.
So, in SCCA, a driver can still pass
while getting to the flag line. Racing
to the yellow, it’s called. What this
is really intended for is smoothly
completing a pass that is already
well under way. As mentioned,
“What this is not intended for is attempts
to aggressively accelerate into the
yellow zone to gain an advantage”
(LEFT) Be they
are there to ensure
passes are often brewing for quite
a while, relatively. There’s already
a speed differential. What this is
not intended for is attempts to
aggressively accelerate into the
yellow zone to gain an advantage,
thereby putting your fellow racers
and workers at risk as you come
boiling in with your hair on fire.
On the rather rare double yellow,
the GCR is a little self-conflicted.
Remind me to write to the CRB
about this – it perhaps needs a little
clarification. Many SCCA drivers are
undereducated on this situation,
because it does not happen very
often in short sprint races, and
because the GCR says in 6.1.1.B,
Double Yellow, “SLOW DOWN.” Then
it also says, in 6. 6. 2.B. 3.i, “...safely
catch the field as soon as possible....”
The latter is the better answer.
There will be a waving yellow at
the incident when it’s bad enough
to cause a double yellow. Slow
down, yes, indeed. Then once past
that, speed up again to catch the
pack. No lollygagging around.
Then slow again at the site of the
incident. A bunched field helps the