There are many different jobs track-side. Some of these are:
- Flag Marshal; Pit Gate Control; Clerk of the Course; Starter; Scrutineer; Timing; Form-up Control; Motorsport Australia Steward; and Track Radio
Currently, the Marque Sports Car Association of SA (MSCSA) only requires Clubs to provide volunteers in the role of Flag Marshal. The other roles mentioned are filled by the MSCSA personnel but they could be available to anyone with a particular interest or expertise upon enquiry directly to the MSCSA.
A Flag Marshal’s job is to inform oncoming traffic of a key event. Flag Marshals generally look forward to signal incidents that occur past their point so that cars approaching their signal point are aware of what is ahead of them. They also look backward toward oncoming traffic to signal that a car is about to make a passing move on another. Flag points are located safely and strategically as it is recognised that anything can occur during an event.
In Super Sprints there is no passing on corners and this rule eliminates possible complications.
Generally, the track opens at 7:30am to enable officials to set up and prepare for paper work, deployment of equipment and preparation for scrutineering.
At 8:00am the Flag Marshals are briefed regarding use of flags and who will man which flag point. (Flag Marshals only use the YELLOW and RED flag; the Race Starter uses the full range. The blue box below indicate the purpose of the individual flags.)
The briefing also includes basics such as:
- do not panic or get over-excited or place yourself in danger,
- keep focused and alert and remember the meaning of each flag,
- speak clearly and in a controlled manner on the radio when reporting exactly what you see to race control, and
- if there is an incident or if a driver stops near your post – ask what has happened and if help is required radio through to race control.
Scrutineering of cars occurs between 8:15 am to 8:45 am. Then Flag Marshals deploy to their assigned positions before the cars get onto the track.
From 9:15am there will be a short practise session for invited drivers who have a specific need to establish a lap time – such as a new driver – drivers with a new engine or new brakes or some other special need.
The first session of timed competition commences at 10:15 am. There could be up to six separate groups of cars grouped in similar lap times to avoid huge speed differential on track as this is not open circuit racing. There will be a second session before the lunch break.
After lunch Flag Marshals must return to their flag points for the remaining two sessions to complete the days competition.
We hope that this provides a view of what to expect on this busy day, so that you can plan your day. If you have not done this type of job before, you are in for a great time as you will be very close to the action and you can learn a lot about car control just from observation and you will gain new respect for the abilities of our competition club members. If it inspires you to think about having a go one day then so much the better, there are members who can support you if you want any advice.
Congratulations, the day cannot proceed without your help and that is much appreciated.