Page 20 - PCA Metro NY Region 2019 March POST
P. 20

(Track Ramblings, Continued from page 16)
Green. The track is clear; you can move at speed. (At some events the absence of any flag being dis- played means the same thing. This will be explained at the Meeting.)
Yellow. No passing is permitted. Be cautious. If the yellow is displayed stationary (motionless) there is a car or other impediment off the track. If it is being waved, the impediment is on track. In either case, slow down and be careful. You can resume passing when you have passed a flag station which is not displaying the yellow flag.
Blue. This is the passing warning flag: A faster car is approaching you; you should let it pass at your next convenient moment. (This flag may or may not have yellow stripes on it.) Read the PASSING sec- tion below.
Yellow&Red. This is the Debris Flag, signifying that there is an object (or liquid, such as oil) on the track – you should slow down and avoid the object. It is typically withdrawn after a lap or two even if the object is still on the track – the presumption is that you know about the issue by that time.
Black. Slow down and pull into the pits at the end of this lap. If it is displayed at one flag station only and is pointed at your car (and no other), either you or your car has a problem. [The flag may have an orange circle (the ‘meatball’) inside the black area.] When you get to the pits an official will explain the reason you have been called off the track. If all the flag stations are displaying the black flag, all cars are required to pull into the pits at the end of this lap. This ‘Black Flag All’ is usually displayed when a car has gone off-track and the officials need a quiet track in order to send out a tow truck to bring it in.
White. There is a slower-moving vehicle such as an ambulance on the track – be aware and slow down when it is in view.
Red. Stop safely on track. There is need for an emergency vehicle on the track. Come to a safe, controlled stop in view of a flag station as soon as you see this flag. Do NOT do a panic stop – you might get hit from behind by another car! Pull off to the side in a safe, controlled manner.
Checker. The track session is finished. Slow down, finish this lap (with minimal brake application to let them cool down) and pull into the pits.
The main reason DE events are so safe is that there are strict passing rules which prevent car-to-car
contact. The Prime Directive is that a slower car must let an approaching car pass it – you must not hold up faster traffic. Here are the rules:
1. No passing is permitted unless the car being passed gives a passing signal.
No passing is ever permitted in corners, except for instructors in instructor-only run groups and only if this ‘extended passing’ has been put into effect at the Drivers’ Meeting.
This means is you own the turns. Drivers are often very nervous about “where is that car that was just behind me? Maybe he’s going to bang into me dur- ing the turn.” This is not going to happen during a DE event. You own the turns.
2. All drivers are obligated to look in their rear- view mirrors often, and to give a passing signal to cars which have caught up with them. If a corner is approaching soon, it is ok to delay giving the pass- ing signal until just after the corner. As a courtesy, the car being passed should make it easy for the passing car by lifting off the throttle momentarily and not crowding it as the next corner approaches. This ‘courtesy rule’ is very important.
3. The driver of the car being passed gives the passing signal by extending his left arm fully out the window and points with the second finger to the left, meaning “pass me on the left,” or bending the left arm and pointing over the roof to the right, meaning “pass me on the right.” (Do not rest the arm on the roof; rather it should be a few inches above the roof so that the passing driver sees it clearly.)
4. The car being passed stays on the ra
cing line. Accordingly, the passing car goes off-line. (Restating this, the car being passed stays on the racing line and does not move to the right or the left – do not do that; it is very dangerous: You might collide with the passing car, who quite appropriately expected you to stay on the racing line.)
5. The driver of the passing car is not obligated to accept a pass invitation if he does not feel com- fortable making the pass at that moment.
At any given event there may be minor deviations from the above – they will be explained at the Driv- ers Meeting. Pay Attention! It could your car (or you) which gets damaged by failure to heed the rules.
You can always contact me at [email protected] with any questions.

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