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Last Post 13 Mar 2001 11:48 AM by  SA McChesney
Waving White "Last Lap" FLag?
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DHMichael
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04 Jan 2001 03:08 PM
If someone feels very strongly about the last lap white flag, you can always try the following process:

To request a change a letter needs to be written, preferably to Club Racing at the National Office. Wihin the letter, identify the section of the GCR you believe should be changed. Provide your solution to the issue or problem at hand. Your letter is distributed to each member of the appropriate advisory committee and each member of the Competition Board.

You will receive a letter that it has been received and is being reviewed. It will end up in one of the FasTrack editions where you can track what has happened or will be happening. If adopted, you will again see it in FasTrack as a change to the item you have requested.

Attention: Club Racing
Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)
9033 E. Easter Place, Englewood, CO 80112

Remember, it is the members that initiate most of the rule changes. I sent one in last year and found out that the change I was requesting already existed in one of the TSB's that was issued earlier in the year (Oops!).

- Michael
Ken Grammer
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04 Jan 2001 03:33 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by DHMichael:
[b]...a letter needs to be written, preferably to Club Racing at the National Office.

- Michael[/b]


This is exactly what I raised the quetion here. I plan on writing the comp board and requesting a change. I just wanted to get the thoughts and opinions of some other folks before continuing.

The main point is that regardless of whether a starter should or should not tell a driver that he is on the last lap, we currently have the starters doing that now. And they are required to handle a board that has to be hung over the side of the start stand WHILE continuing to observe the track. I can tell from experince that is is NOT easy. I can also tell from experience working start for series that DO use the waved white, that the waved white is much easier to deal with. Another problem is that there is no consitent definition of what a "1 TO GO" board much look like (size, background color, letter colors, display placement, etc.). Everyone knows where the starter is (I hope). And since most of us grew up watching American racing, we eaily recognize a waved white as the last lap of a race. To me, making the job of the worker easier, and making it where the starter on point can effectively convey the message without requiring an additional person or distractions, simply makes sense.

And it appears that the majority of folks posting replies here agree.

Thanks to everyone for giving me their opinions!



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Ken Grammer
R.E. Alabama Region
SEDiv AS Camaro #61
Starter/F&C Worker
Anubis
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04 Jan 2001 04:14 PM
Doesn't the transition from the board to a checker get rather tricky?

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Lance Snyder
Atlanta Region F&C
Max Lake
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04 Jan 2001 07:21 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by DHMichael:
[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.[/b]


I can't find it in my GCR. Please look it up and tell me where it is.
Mo
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05 Jan 2001 01:20 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Max Lake:
[b] I can't find it in my GCR. Please look it up and tell me where it is.[/b]


By running a "search" for "last lap" on the CD version of the 2001 GCR's, only one reference came up:

21.5.2 Flags
D. WHITE FLAG (Solid White) - The leader is starting his last lap. The White flag shall be waved to the leader and then to each successive car during that lap.

This is found under Section 21. OVAL TRACK RACING RULES
(these rules pertain to events run on entirely on paved OVAL tracks)

Baby steps?

Mo


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Mo
http://home.earthlink.net/~mrmo/
7racing
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05 Jan 2001 01:24 PM
I may be wrong, but I believe that the last lap indicator is not required, is not protestable, and may not be shown (as the starter may be doing other duties at that time - i.e. yellow flag, standing white, etc). Then again, I don't have a new GCR in front of me, but that is how I recall the rule.

I think that the white should remain with 1 duty, not three (currently means "slow moving vehicle", or "this is where the corner station is").

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Jeremy Sheppard
ITA Mazda RX7
New England Region, SCCA
Ken Grammer
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05 Jan 2001 07:42 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Anubis:
[b]Doesn't the transition from the board to a checker get rather tricky?

[/b]


It gets VERY tricky. Part of my opinion on wanting this rule changed comes from working pro races where the waved white flag is used. So I have experience using both methods. The waved white flag is considerably easier to handle then a board. The board requires two people on point because it is very difficult (if not impossible) to pull a board in and eavw the checker at just the right time... especially when the leader is in a tight pack. I am becoming more concerned about this as we have fewer and fewer workers. This year will be especially tight for the Atlanta start team. Since we work pit out as well as start, we could see races with two (or less) people on start!

I also like the fact that was just pointed out that our own club racing rules are in conflict. We allow a waved white for oval races but not for road races! How's that for clarity in the rules? SCCAForums Image


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Ken Grammer
R.E. Alabama Region
SEDiv AS Camaro #61
Starter/F&C Worker
Bud Brazelton
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14 Jan 2001 09:14 AM
Hey Folks,

Just a comment. Why confuse matters. Simple to solve with a pit board at or near start/finish that would post the lap the overall leader is on. Now you know from start to finish which lap to make your famous move.

Finding someone to do it???

RACERBUD



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RACERBUD
Max Lake
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14 Jan 2001 09:58 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ken Grammer:
[b] I also like the fact that was just pointed out that our own club racing rules are in conflict. We allow a waved white for oval races but not for road races! How's that for clarity in the rules? [/b]



Different rules for different types of races. One would hope a driver knows what kind of track he is on.

A heck of a lot less conflict or lack of clarity than using the white to show different things like "last lap" and "tiddler ahead".


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Max
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[This message has been edited by Max Lake (edited January 14, 2001).]
ITB2002
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29 Jan 2001 09:05 PM
A "universaly" known white flag would be great.
In SoCal the workers and tower do a great job to give us important information, but they don't use a board to signal "1 to go", they have to hang over from the tower and signal with their index up in the air as a "1" hoping that we see that little finger as we are flying down the straightaway looking to outbreak the car in front of us.
The white flag would help!...
Ken Grammer
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31 Jan 2001 05:10 PM
I submitted a request to the comp board this week. Basically I recommended that the rules for last lap procedures be changed to match the SCCA Pro racing rules. If implemented, this would allow the starter to wave a white flag to indicate last lap. A white flag with a red diagonal strip ("/") would be displayed at the start stand to indicate an emergency vehicle between the start stand and the next one (or two) turn stations.

We'll see what happens from here.


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Ken Grammer
R.E. Alabama Region
SEDiv AS Camaro #61
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Anubis
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02 Feb 2001 01:37 PM
RED??? No no no.....a multi-colored pastel / would have been soooo purty SCCAForums Image

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Lance Snyder
Atlanta Region F&C
Max Lake
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05 Feb 2001 07:21 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ken Grammer:
[b]A white flag with a red diagonal strip ("/") would be displayed at the start stand to indicate an emergency vehicle between the start stand and the next one (or two) turn stations.

[/b]


Yes! Just what we need, another flag!

Not only that, we will now have 2 flags that mean the same thing...the regular white on the corners and the striped on at SF.



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Max
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Anubis
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05 Feb 2001 08:39 PM
How is it gonna be hard Max? The only time that white flag with red / will be displayed is when you are on the last lap. If you come off the last corner see a waving white and then another flag with red / you know somethin is slow.

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Lance Snyder
Atlanta Region F&C
Peter Olivola
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06 Feb 2001 03:18 AM
It's going to be hard because drivers have a difficult enough time as it is understanding the single meaning of a flag.

Any situation that creates even the remotest opportunity for ambiguity will become a mantra in conversations between stewards and drivers. If you think it's a problem now that drivers don't "see" yellows this will raise "misunderstanding" to a whole new level.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Anubis:
[b]How is it gonna be hard Max? The only time that white flag with red / will be displayed is when you are on the last lap. If you come off the last corner see a waving white and then another flag with red / you know somethin is slow.

[/b]
David Dewhurst
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06 Feb 2001 12:12 PM
In the United States of America a white flag at a race track (except SCCA race tracks) is known as the flag that tells race teams, race officlas and spectators that this is the last lap. One might call this white flag kinda common knowledge to race teams, race officals and spectators.

To me the existing white flag rule is one BIG JOKE.

"An ambulance, service vehical, or slow moving (e.g., with mechanicl trouble) race car is on the circuit. Take care."

What in hell does "Take care" mean ? Someone driving a race car at 160 miles per hour slows down to 100 miles per hour. Is that race car driver Taking care ?

Change is OK. Change this rule from white flag to yellow flag. Use yellow also to show corner stations and have no passing during the first lap of practice or qualifing. As the rules are now, at the start of a race all cars take at least one lap in their grid position to heat tires, see corner stations and to complete other things at a safe pace. Why should it be any different when practice or qualifinig is starting ? Cold tires are cold tires.

I am in aggrement with those that have stated that the white flag should be used to tell race teams, race officials and spectators that this is the last lap.

Ken Grammer and others please let me know if this thought process makes any sense to you.

More heads, more thoughts and most likely improved results.




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David Dewhurst
CenDiv, Milwaukee Region
Spec-7 #14
Ken Grammer
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06 Feb 2001 08:00 PM
David:

Your thoughts make some sense...especially about the first lap flagging. But the argument against using the yellow is a good one. *IF* someone does have a serious problem on the first lap, like loose a wheel, spin while warming tires, whatever, the flaggers need a yellow to indicate the problem. I'm OK using the white on the first session of the weekend. Drivers really need to be expecting slow moving traffic on the first lap or two of the weekend anyway.

Another point. I modeled my request after the flagging rules that other pro series use...including our own SCCA pro series. I formulated my opinion after flagging at the Petite Lemans race this year when we had almost a dozen DIFFERENT series with slightly different flagging rules. I flagged using the white & red "/" flag and waved white last lap flaq. As a starter, It was MUCH easier then dealing with a "last lap" board. As a driver, I know that I can see the waved white MUCH easier then I can search and try to find a board.

Here is another thing to consider. Most SCCAForums Image drivers have trained themselves to only look at the flagging stations there is very specific movement. By this I mean a waved flag or pointed furled black flag. My attention is always focused on the track, my line, the mirrors if being overtaken, until I see some specific flag handling signals coming from the station. It is very easy to overlook a last lap board unless the starters do something to get the driver's attention. If the starter is going to have to wave a "1" finger to draw attention to the last lap board, lest simply eliminate the board and use the American road racing standard last lap indicator.

But the real point was well made. EVERYONE...not just the driver...is trained that a waved flag means this thing is just about over. We shouldn't be "retraining" workers and drivers to use something that only the drivers can see.

We'll see if any of this logic makes any sense to the rules makers, but to me its a no-brainer.


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Ken Grammer
R.E. Alabama Region
SEDiv AS Camaro #61
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Anubis
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09 Feb 2001 03:52 PM
Take care means exactly that, TAKE CARE. There is gonna be something that you don't expect up ahead. You don't have to slow down, just be ready.

No passing on the first lap is a very bad IMHO. We had a 58 car field of big bore IT, GT, AS, T1 and T2. Imagine the slowest T2 starting the qualifying as the first car to the grid...then everyone having to follow till the green flew at start. That is one way to make things fugly REAL quick.

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Lance Snyder
Atlanta Region F&C
The Crew Dude
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10 Feb 2001 02:50 PM
"It's going to be hard because drivers have a difficult enough time as it is understanding the single meaning of a flag."

The above quote scares me.
Yes, I have been a victim of an individual who IMHO did not understand the meaning of a yellow flag let alone a waving one.

A waving white: 1 lap to go. Standing white: slow / emergency vehicle. No problem!

Still can't figure out all the flags. PLEASE read your GCR until you do, don't risk the lives of other competitors and workers with a stupid mistake.

"To finish first, you first must finish."
Peter Olivola
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10 Feb 2001 06:38 PM
Race management works continuously to enforce the rules. The amount of creative interpretation encountered during discussions between stewards and drivers rivals anything anyone's ever encountered in teaching or traffic patrol.

Believe this: There is a competitor in your class who will, given even the slightest opportunity, try to beat the rules to beat you. Many times he will get away with it. The reasons are many and varied and relate to the complex nature of our sport, but it happens.

It might even be you.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by The Crew Dude:
[b]"It's going to be hard because drivers have a difficult enough time as it is understanding the single meaning of a flag."

The above quote scares me.
Yes, I have been a victim of an individual who IMHO did not understand the meaning of a yellow flag let alone a waving one.

A waving white: 1 lap to go. Standing white: slow / emergency vehicle. No problem!

Still can't figure out all the flags. PLEASE read your GCR until you do, don't risk the lives of other competitors and workers with a stupid mistake.

"To finish first, you first must finish."[/b]
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