16 MAY 2020 scca.comINSIGHT
The red flag means safely stop.
Well, stopping during a race session isvery dangerous. Rookies and friendsof rookies spread the word, the redflag means check your mirrors andease to a stop. Oh, the carnage I haveseen and experienced from suddenhard braking in surprise places, inthe holy name of safety. Check yourmirrors, first, in the holy name ofsafety, and then ease to a stop – youare part of a flow. If this reaches justone new driver, and saves just onesmash from behind, then I will feela great sense of accomplishment.
So would you, National driver.
Red flags can be tricky becausemany of us drive with otherorganizations, and the rule changes.
Some groups use the red just toend a session, no stop. SCCA’sGCR says “Come to an immediate,controlled stop at the side of theracetrack.” I suggest we add,“Check your mirrors.” I always go todriver’s meetings, and this is one ofseveral reasons why. I also suggest
Rookies, listen up! Do not slam on your brakes when you see a flag.You are part of a high-speed riverof cars – you will be rammed frombehind at great cost and risk. Flagscan cause really bad crashes. Butwhen that happens, it’s not the flagnor the flagger’s fault. It’s your fault,driver. And especially you rookies. Butwe love you and welcome you; andSCCA regulars, it’s our responsibilityto train this basic concept.
Flags are for safety, for yourinformation and communication. Theonly time and place to slam on yourbrakes is where everyone expects it, inthe normal brake zones. Or when somepoor soul is crashing in your path. Buteven then, your constant awarenessof what’s going on behind and aroundyou will affect how hard you brake.
we add “…on the racing surface,”because pulling off the road cancause a fire or get you stuck.
Red flags are rare. We don’t get topractice them much. That’s anotherreason I mention them now. Arefresher. So: check your mirrors first.
Black flags, like red, are acommand straight from thebig boss, the Chief Steward, toyou, Bad Boy or Girl. You mustobey – but don’t slam on thebrakes. However, do go safelyto the pits. Black flag all meanssomething is really wrong, and ifyou haven’t seen the reason yet,then the problem is still ahead ofyou, and it’s probably a big deal.
Racing and timing have stopped,and there is nothing left to gain,and lots left to lose, like rammingan emergency vehicle or stoppedcar somewhere just over that blindcrest. There is a likely obstructionto the fast flow. Do not be That Guy.
I feel extra motivation becausejust two days ago the electronics
BLACK AND BLUE AND RED
“Rookie and friends of rookies spread
the word, the red flag means check
your mirrors and ease to a stop”
2-TIME RUNOFFS NATIONAL CHAMPION3-TIME SOLO NATIONAL CHAMPION4-TIME PROSOLO CHAMPION
4-TIME WORLD CHALLENGE CHAMPION2-TIME ROLEX 24 GT WINNERSCCA MEMBER SINCE 1980RANDY POBST