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Last Post 27 Apr 2016 03:28 PM by  mazdamike
"Majors" Club Racing Event May 14-15
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Basic Member
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07 Apr 2016 01:37 PM
    Hopefully most of you know the Region is tasked / awarded, with a SCCA Club Racing "Majors" Event, this year May 14-15. As envisioned this event should draw more, and a more competitive field of entries. As such, and as a more visible event Nation wide, we need some help staffing the corners.

    http://msreg.com/stlmaymajors" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://msreg.com/stlmaymajors

    It takes many volunteers to run a race weekend, in many specialties. But while being short staffed in Grid, Tech, T&S etc., can lead to delays; insufficient cornerworkers means the event can't even take place at all. I'm taking to this Forum to target 2 groups of Members with a Request for Assistance, and an Invitation to FUN!

    There will be NO PDX time at this Event (but perhaps the Friday before) and although some of you will be at the Evo School that Sunday, there is not a full on SOLO Event that weekend either. So this would be a great time to do something different, and since you are all RACERS, do so from the 'Best Seats in the House' and get as close to the racing as you can without looking out the windshield.

    I know as others do, that many of the best racers on track today, both locally and throughout the Club started in SOLO. IMO, the main reason is that in this sport you don't get any practice and want Every Single Run to be perfect. You need to decide lines, acceleration and braking points, turn-ins and exits, etc., first by only walking the course; and then learning from every - but limited - runs you take. When that necessity transfers to the Road Course - you simply find the answers quicker. Quicker is Faster, and Faster is Winning! There is no question that some of you reading this will put Wheel to Wheel Racing on your plate at some time in the future, as many others have.

    PDXers Already know the track and their own cars, and you have had instruction from more experienced folks - or you have been providing it yourself. Some of you involved are already Racers as well, and others will go that direction in the future. But how much time have you spent 'observing' other cars on the track - from the track's perspective?  All Racing Instructors or Coaches spend a good deal of time 'observing'  their charges from the various corner stations. Our Race Events are a great opportunity to do just that and you will gain perspective by watching - from the "Best Seat in the House", the corner station.! You will likely see some of those that you have shared a seat with in your car, or theirs, actually driving full on and racing too!.

    So that's my Request For Assistance from SOLO Drivers and PDX Participants to join us on the track May 14-15. We would love to have you for both days like most of us do, but we will be happy if you can only give us one! The Region will feed you Lunch both days, and Dinner and 'Drinks' Saturday after the racing. This year's theme is Hawaiian and we are even having food for the 'Majors' Event on Friday evening as well. You can register for the event at  http://msreg.com/stlmaymajors" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://msreg.com/stlmaymajors  and of course there is no fee. In fact if you are not a member, the Region will pick up the 'Temp' tab. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone else who might be interested as well.

    You can get more info from me or others, and later in the year we have 2 more Race Weekends that we would love to see you at, August 27-28, and October 22-23.

    ALSO, If you have an interest in learning how the corner workers operate, EVEN if you have no interest in becoming one, You ARE invited to a short "Seminar" of the Flagging and Communications Specialty, tomorrow - Friday, April 8. It will begin at 5:30 pm  ((And last less than ~90 minutes))  just after the end of the "GMP Test and Tune and Track Day" We will meet up at Turn 1 and we will move through the Road Course and discuss procedures and role play incident response. If you are not are cornerworker already, you can just "observe", without the role play, what and how we do things, and gain a better understanding of track operations. Of course NO fee and everyone is invited!

    PS,  There is still room in the GMP Event tomorrow as well, they still have some garage spaces, and they are taking "half day" entries too for $100, 1 pm to 5 pm.
    Basic Member
    Basic Member

    14 Apr 2016 01:52 AM
    As someone who benefits from volunteer corner workers, I'd like to echo what Mike said and encourage people to give it a try. I've done it a couple times and it is a long day but is rewarding fun. There seems to be fewer local corner workers than there used to be and we have to rely on people to travel to get enough workers. It would great if the race group didn't have to rely so heavily on the travelers.
    Mike, the seminar sounds like a good idea and maybe something you could do again ? But maybe more notice next time ;)
    Basic Member
    Basic Member

    27 Apr 2016 03:28 PM
    Thanks Curt! We definitely need more folks to respond and help. The 'Seminar' was really aimed more at 'team building' among 'current' workers, and 'drivers' who wanted to get a better understanding of what happens on the other side of their windshield. On that basis I think it went well - but will poll the participants shortly for their feedback. We did have 1 straight up 'racer', and several other workers who ALSO race or do PDX. (Yep, some do both, and can provide valuable insight.) I could do another or even more if the interest is there,,,,, HOWEVER >

    NO experience or classroom is required to come out to work corners! Simply dressing properly - ie hopefully White on top - and no flag colors anywhere that could be misconstrued as a Flag anywhere - including jackets or rain gear. [Yellow, Red, Black, etc.] ((We DO run in the wet - just like SOLO - and retreat only in the face of lightning.)) We will always pair 'experienced' workers with novices, and OJT is the most common way to get started and participate. Yes you can get a 'head start' by reading a little online - but that's not required or expected.

    We ARE the first 'responders' in SCCA Races, and will run 100 yards with a fire bottle - on a Hot Track - to work any incident. (That's often the rush we train for,,, ;) ) But ONLY those trained and experienced in the activity would be allowed outside the 'bunker'. NO one would ever be expected or even allowed to do anything they are not trained and comfortable with. But when those folks DO leave the bunker; we still need to man the station with flags and radio communications. We have plenty of folks (relatively speaking) who are physically unable to respond in that fashion - so age or the physical ability of anyone can be compensated for with corner assignments and 'balance'. We are very accustomed to operating with novices, and very much want to do so to get others involved.

    EVERY Driver / Racer I have had on a corner has expressed the appreciation and value of seeing what happens from the cornerworkers perspective. We have had many workers that have gone on to Racing themselves - as well as Racers who then included working corners in their activities. And it is very rewarding in our world to help prevent injury to drivers or vehicles; and provide the best racing and race management possible on track.

    As someone who has participated in over ~350~ SOLO Events over the last almost 40 years, with some success, I still consider myself an Autocrosser - even though many of the 'newer' competitors have never heard of me. :) Whenever the finances and equipment has allowed I have competed; most recently in RallyCross, (with some success as well ;) ). But when those circumstance were not present I still work the Road Course Events. You CAN have multiple interests and activities in SCCA and they can compliment each other with both skills and FUN!

    So I'd like to call out again to the SOLO drivers, and PDX participants in the area, to help in an activity they may have never done or even considered before. The diversity of the membership, and their activities, are what gives SCCA it's strength. While I'm addressing this next Race Weekend specifically, the "Majors", I'm really also promoting the function for ALL future Club Races as well. You cannot possible get closer to the races than when you are working on the corners - and if you are 'truly' a Racer - you will enjoy your time there and the challenges it can present when you become an old-timer!

    Here is the link for registering: http://msreg.com/stlmaymajors For 'this' event we will have a light dinner Friday night for participants - in addition to providing workers with Lunch both days, and a dinner and drinks Saturday evening after the racing, for all participants! This event's theme is 'Hawaiian' and we have some different things in store for it.
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