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Last Post 13 Mar 2001 11:48 AM by  SA McChesney
Waving White "Last Lap" FLag?
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Ken Grammer
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31 Dec 2000 09:50 AM
    Christmas day I watched the reruns of some of the 2000 Runoffs. I noticed that during one of the races that Dorsey and Craig got confused and were watching for the white flag as the last lap indicator. It took them a few minutes to realize that they were not comentating for an SCCA pro event. Dorsey then remembered that in club racing a "1 to go" board is diaplayed. I also noticed that Speedvision would display a little white flag indicator in the top right of the screen to indicate last lap. There is little argument that the white flag has become the universal last lap indicator.

    What we have right now with the "1 To Go" board is each region has a slightly different size, shape and color board and they display it in different ways. While the "1 To Go" board is better then nothing, I still don't understand why we need two sets of last lap rules between club and pro racing when we have a universally understood last lap indicator. And it is already used in SCCA Pro Racing!

    As a starter, I can tell that using a waved white would be much easier then dealing with a cumbersome board. The board requires two people on point while a single starter can handle the waved white. As a driver, it is much easier to see and understand a waving white flag then hunt and find where each start team will be displaying a board.

    I plan on writing the Comp Board and once again requesting a rules change to permit starters to wave the white flag to indicate last lap. Before I write the Comp Board, I would like to get some other thoughts and opinions on using a waved white flag as the last lap indicator. What do you think?


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    Ken Grammer
    R.E. Alabama Region
    SEDiv AS Camaro #61
    Starter/F&C Worker

    [This message has been edited by Ken Grammer (edited December 31, 2000).]
    Chuck Clark
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    31 Dec 2000 10:01 AM
    My $.02:

    As a driver, I personally don't care what is used to indicate last lap. Therefore, I would be in favor of whatever would make the jobs of our volunteer workers easier. If it's easier for a starter to wave a flag, I can't see any good reason not to do it that way.
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    Marv1
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    01 Jan 2001 05:05 AM
    I agree...white flag as last lap indicator is the way to go. It really has become the universal symbol and should be used by SCCA rather than boards, IMOH, of course. SCCAForums Image

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    RussMcB
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    01 Jan 2001 06:49 AM
    I would like to see the white flag displayed on the last lap. I often race without crew/radios/pit signals, so it would be useful information.
    ITE MUSTANG
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    01 Jan 2001 10:32 AM
    The white flag is the way to go
    Dave Jansen
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    01 Jan 2001 12:31 PM
    A waving white would be a good thing!

    Dave Jansen
    mrbill
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    02 Jan 2001 08:49 AM
    About time!

    YES PLEASE Tell us when it is last lap!

    -This is very much needed in Enduros!

    As far as I know, this is NOT done in EVERY REGION, in EVERY race... (1 to go)...

    -I really don't care how the starter tells us, as long as it's in the SUPs'.
    Ken Grammer
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    02 Jan 2001 09:49 PM
    mrbill:

    I thought the "1 to go" board was pertty much being used universally in SEDiv. But even so, my problem is that with there being so many tracks in the southeast, and so many way of writing "1 TO GO", it is difficult for everyone to see the sign. You can't get used to one format/color. With a waving white, you can always see that because the starters are usually fairly annimated with their flag waving SCCAForums Image.


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    Ken Grammer
    R.E. Alabama Region
    SEDiv AS Camaro #61
    Starter/F&C Worker
    Peter Olivola
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    03 Jan 2001 07:25 AM
    The concern in club racing with using a white flag to indicate last lap is that it takes away the non-racing or slow moving vehicle indicator at start/finish. Not just on the last lap, but for the entire race since displaying it would indicate last lap. S/F is usually the first location to show the white for a safety vehicle coming out of the pit lane. Since many track's longest straight is the pit straight that would eliminate the indicator in a critical area. This is less an issue in pro racing because of the more frequent use of FCY's.
    ChrisM
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    03 Jan 2001 12:29 PM
    i agree with you all, the white flag should be for the last lap and use a NEW COLR combination for the safety vehicle on track situation.
    Max Lake
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    03 Jan 2001 01:11 PM
    We run 50 mile sprints as hard as you can until the end. Anyone who wants to get fancy and wait until the last lap to make a banzi move should be able to figure out when that is on their own.

    Why confuse the issue by giving the white flag 2 maenings? A board or raised finger is plenty good enough.
    Doug Stewart
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    03 Jan 2001 01:18 PM
    Ilike the waving white flag idea, we need to get somthing out there we can see
    Flagger X
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    03 Jan 2001 02:55 PM
    As a Flagger, I'd greatly prefer the one board. Now we don't generally send out safety vehicles with one or two laps left for obvious reasons, but disasters happen, particularly those that might require an ambulance. Moreover, drivers do like to nurse that last lap out of wounded cars. Such slow vehicles can pose a real safety hazard, and I'd like something I can show you drivers to warn of a potential hazard ahead. I know the white is only given from the start tower, but I don't want any confusion.

    In a related vein, I'd much prefer that we go full course blue for the first lap of the day. Reason, a lot of cars come out wounded, particularly at regionals. Flaggers need something to show drivers in that case, and with the white flag we don't have anything but yellow. Obviously I'd like to reserve that flag for when it's needed. Plus, I really shouldn't need to blue anyone on the first lap of the day.
    Ken Grammer
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    03 Jan 2001 05:04 PM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Peter Olivola:
    [b]The concern in club racing with using a white flag to indicate last lap is that it takes away the non-racing or slow moving vehicle indicator at start/finish. Not just on the last lap, but for the entire race since displaying it would indicate last lap. S/F is usually the first location to show the white for a safety vehicle coming out of the pit lane. Since many track's longest straight is the pit straight that would eliminate the indicator in a critical area. This is less an issue in pro racing because of the more frequent use of FCY's.[/b]


    I've heard this line of reasoning before but I have to respectfully disagree. The slow moving vehicle indicator is a STANDING WHITE...not waved. I happen to believe that drivers can tell the difference. All we need to do is give the starters a second white...which most already have anyway. You don't want to accidentially drop a flag and be left without a backup SCCAForums Image.


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    Ken Grammer
    R.E. Alabama Region
    SEDiv AS Camaro #61
    Starter/F&C Worker
    Peter Olivola
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    04 Jan 2001 05:52 AM
    You need to reread the GCR definition of what waving means. It doesn't change the fundamental meaning of the flag, only degree. You may believe drivers can tell the difference between standing and waving but flaggers and stewards know otherwise.

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Ken Grammer:
    [b] I've heard this line of reasoning before but I have to respectfully disagree. The slow moving vehicle indicator is a STANDING WHITE...not waved. I happen to believe that drivers can tell the difference. All we need to do is give the starters a second white...which most already have anyway. You don't want to accidentially drop a flag and be left without a backup SCCAForums Image.


    [/b]
    Mo
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    04 Jan 2001 07:39 AM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Ken Grammer:
    [b] I've heard this line of reasoning before but I have to respectfully disagree. The slow moving vehicle indicator is a STANDING WHITE...not waved. I happen to believe that drivers can tell the difference.
    [/b]


    Agreed. Drivers are not asking that WE evaluate their ability to tell a waving from a stationary white flag, just that the SCCA adopt a procedure most (?) every other racing venue applies.

    Let's give it the acid test...Suddenly tell us IT IS way it is to be. I've even begun to defend the white flag first lap of practice or qualifying rule what with new/re-opening tracks and the “walling/fencing in” of existing tracks. It even helps officials at new/modified tracks identify their adjoining flag stations.

    Mo
    Anubis
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    04 Jan 2001 11:49 AM
    IMHO waving white would probably be the way to go. Its easier to understand plus the reading of the board takes a moment of comprehension time and that takes away from concentration on the driving. Some tracks seeing the start stand is not a concern. At a place like Road Atlanta where your comin out of the turn to the start/finish line a waving white would probably help the most.

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    Lance Snyder
    Atlanta Region F&C
    Peter Olivola
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    04 Jan 2001 12:43 PM
    The adoption of the last lap white flag would require adding a flag for safety/slow moving vehicle on course. This isn't adding clarity, it's adding confusion. We aren't pro racing. We don't use FCY's to anywhere near the same degree as the pro's, (and europe doesn't use the last lap white either.)

    If anything we should be more closely aligning ourselves with the FIA flags, not circle track flags.

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Mo:
    [b] Agreed. Drivers are not asking that WE evaluate their ability to tell a waving from a stationary white flag, just that the SCCA adopt a procedure most (?) every other racing venue applies.

    Let's give it the acid test...Suddenly tell us IT IS way it is to be. I've even begun to defend the white flag first lap of practice or qualifying rule what with new/re-opening tracks and the “walling/fencing in” of existing tracks. It even helps officials at new/modified tracks identify their adjoining flag stations.

    Mo[/b]
    Max Lake
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    04 Jan 2001 02:14 PM
    Why is it the duty of the Starter (or anyone else) to tell the drivers it's the last lap?

    If he has some tricky last lap stategy planned, it is his job to figure out when to make his move.

    If the Starter wishes to do so as an unofficial courtesy, a simple finger or board works fine.
    DHMichael
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    04 Jan 2001 02:36 PM
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Max Lake:
    [b]Why is it the duty of the Starter (or anyone else) to tell the drivers it's the last lap?[/b]


    I believe it is stated in the GCR. I'm not saying that it is right or correct, just that it is the duty of the person as defined in the GCR. Since I don't have a GCR with me, I could be wrong, but I do remember reading that the last lap is identified to the drivers by the starter.
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