Rally 12 Track Day Tip #2


Specracer

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Nov 28, 2005
6,470
MA
No meatball flag, or "pass" (blue w yellow stripe)

Also probably not relevant for us, but white flag signifying a slow moving vehicle on track.
 

fjpikul

GT Owner
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Jan 4, 2006
10,356
Belleville, IL
Keep your pants on Andy, he'll get to it. These notes are mainly for first timers or people who have forgotten.
 

twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
5,332
Las Vegas, NV
They will go through all of this at the mandatory driver orientation. You won't remember any of it except green red orange checkered. Know that youu already know yhose as they mean the same thing and focus on the otbers.
 

timcantwell

Le Mans 2010 Sponsor * Moderator
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Jan 22, 2006
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N.E. OH & Naples, FL
Thanks Bill. Great refresher.
 

68Rcodeman

GT Owner
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Apr 5, 2008
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Spring Hill, FL.
Thank you, Great stuff! Keep it coming much appreciated.
 

Indy GT

Yea, I got one...too
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Jan 14, 2006
2,435
Greenwood, IN
Kendall Response

Kendall,

I can see some logic to your post and a quick internet search of black flag meaning does indicate by some that the furled black flag is advisory in nature.

“Closed Black Flag (Flured) – When pointed or shaken at your car (it is sometimes accompanied by a number board indicating the car number), it serves as a warning for driving in an unsafe and/or improper manner. This is flag is advisory only. Continued unsafe and/or improper driving will result in an open black flag.

Open Black Flag – this is displayed from the Starter’s stand or another flag station with a number board indicating the car number. If it pertains to you, proceed directly to the pits without taking another lap. Once in pit lane, an official will usually direct you where to stop.”

Ok, so you are on the track in close quarters with 3-4 cars without the use of number boards (which is a common occurrence at HPDE’s), how do the track officials singularly get YOU (let’s say second in the 4 car pack) to come in with an “open black flag”? It does not work well that way as most likely all 4 cars (should) will come into the pits. The drivers do not know which car in the pack is being ordered into the pit.

So to address this issue, at all my track events, the corner worker will point the furled black flag at YOU indicating the pit-out starter wants you to come in and have a chat.

The topic may be something you have done on the track but it might also be 1) You are spilling fluids on the track (coolant, fuel, etc.), 2) You have something dragging under your car or a piece of equipment which may have or might be ready to fall off the car, 3) You have a passenger with his arm out the window and/or holding up a camera, 4) You do not have your passenger side window down as required, 5) You got two wheels off the track, we did see this and per the on-track rules you forgot to come in and talk to the starter. Thus there are a number of OTHER issues which may have occurred on the track that they want to TALK to you about and not just allow you to stay on the track but do not do something like “that” again.

We will certainly ask the UMC track officials to clarify this for the drivers at the pre-track meeting.
 

nota4re

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I think the best advice is to check with the UMC track officials and abide by their rules for their track and everyone will be safe. I've never seen an exception to the case where a pointed furled flag is anything but an advisory warning. If we want provide advice to track newcomers we should do so with precision.
 

Indy GT

Yea, I got one...too
Mark IV Lifetime
Jan 14, 2006
2,435
Greenwood, IN
No meatball flag, or "pass" (blue w yellow stripe)

Also probably not relevant for us, but white flag signifying a slow moving vehicle on track.
Andy thanks for reading over the post and thinking about what I had presented. I am always open to comments either way. Thanks!

As Frank said, my intent here is to get the basic info out to those who will be taking their GT's out on the track at UMC and do not have a whole lot of experience knowing what the flags mean. We will not even go to actually seeing the corner worker throwing the flags. And yes as you and I know there are a few other flags (meatball, white, blue/orange stripe, etc.) that are selectively used at different venues. I did cover that in the next to last sentence. But if the Novice FGT driver on the track can know/understand/process/react to these basic flags, he will be well served.

There is a ton of sensory inputs for Novice drivers to assimilate in fairly short order. This is a true story. I was out with a Novice student in his Miata this weekend. First time track experience for him and he was doing pretty well with keeping it on the track line and pointing faster cars by. He was focused. As we finished the 30 min session and passed the start/finish line the officials threw the checkered flag. My student exclaimed I saw the flag as we went by the station but what does that checker flag mean again.... It happens!:biggrin
 

Specracer

GT Owner
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Understood, just trying to help. I would suggest adding the blue flag, as even in the novice class, with a right seat occupant, there are large HP differences, making overtaking more of a reality.
 

Vince H

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Jul 23, 2012
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Southern California
Great brush up Bill. Thanks!

Vince H
 

roketman

GT Owner
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Oct 24, 2005
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ma.
No idea with the black or blue flag means I've never seen those before!
 

nota4re

GT Owner
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Feb 15, 2006
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Too funny, Ron.

Indy, I think you should ask the track to confirm if they use a furled black flag and what action do they want. In my experience, a furled black flag pointed at you means "we saw that, don't do it again" but it DOES NOT mean you should come to the pits. At least this is what Ron told me that it means :)
 
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Indy GT

Yea, I got one...too
Mark IV Lifetime
Jan 14, 2006
2,435
Greenwood, IN
Ok, I will admit it, has been a few years since I have been in the cockpit of my GT, helmet on having fun careening around a racetrack. It has been a while. Actually I have been having tremendous fun doing track events (with fellow Midwest Forum members) in my other Ford product but it has more electronic safety nets than does the old-school GT which requires a bit more driving skill to keep all four tires on the track asphalt while pushing.

Last years rally at COTA and the post race parade lap at 13.2 mph average speed with flashing red/blue lights from police vehicles positioned every 300 feet ready to arrest anyone going faster than 15 mph hardly qualifies as recent experience. R10 in Detroit in 2015 did not have a track event as part of the rally. Three years ago in 2014 we were on the track at Spring Mountain for Rally 9 in Las Vegas. It was a fun GT track event with great Forum camaraderie.

During the intervening years since Spring Mountain, several owners have made the decision to never put their cars on a track again. To each their own. Unfortunately driving skills atrophy with time. My feeling is the car was born and bred to be on a track and it is hard to surpass the Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC) experience. I can’t wait! Anticipating the stellar racetrack facilities we will have available to us for R12, I thought it best to get some recent “seat time” on the track in my GT. First track time on the Bridgestone’s and I was pretty impressed with their grip and acoustic signature when you lean on them heavily in the turns. They make noise which is good for driver feedback.

During my recent track event mandatory drivers meeting, I was struck by the number of seemingly simple questions related to specific track terms. I use the term “simple” questions but it is actually a relative term based on the driver’s knowledge of racetrack jargon. And there are a number track specific terms which are commonly used among track drivers and instructors. If you know what these terms mean, great! If you don’t, you may be lost in the conversation. So let’s introduce a number of these terms which you may come across in the driver’s meeting or conversations with fellow drivers/instructors. Please take a look at these terms prior to heading out to Utah as it will help you better enjoy your track experience since you will now know the meaning of the commonly used terms. These terms are not meant to confuse or overwhelm the beginning driver, just an attempt to introduce meaning to terms you may hear being used at the track. See thread attachment.

Also a brief introduction to the flags used on the track by the corner workers in communication with the on-track drivers. The flags, meanings and what is expected of you when seeing these flags will be presented again at the mandatory drivers meeting we will have at UMC prior to taking the track. There may be additional flags displayed but these are the basics. Give this a read over as part of your track day preparation.

GREEN FLAG, Course is clear and you can drive at speed.




YELLOW FLAG, Caution on the track, something has happened on the track in front of you. Check your rearview mirror first, then begin to slow down while keeping an eye on what is going on. If the corner worker is "waving" the flag, something serious is wrong and you need to slow your car quickly. NO PASSING during a yellow "caution" flag.



RED FLAG, Something very serious has happened on the track and you need to come to a complete stop on the track. Always check your mirror first as there may be someone directly behind you who did not see the flag. If you stop quickly without checking your mirror, you could get rear ended. Try to stop on the track within sight of the next corner worker station so you can see when it is safe to proceed. You should pull over to the side of the track off the track line, but stay on the pavement when you stop.



BLACK FLAG, There are two ways you will see this flag.
• Furled Flag Pointed at YOU. You have done something wrong and/or there is something wrong with your car. You are being asked to come into the hot pit area to talk to a track official.
• Standing or un-furled black flag waved in the air. ALL drivers are asked to come into the hot pit area in order to receive further instructions.



DEBRIS FLAG, There is debris on the track ahead. It can range from mud / dirt from a previous car going off, to car parts to animals. Use caution while proceeding.



CHECKERED FLAG, The session is over and you should begin your cool down lap. DO NOT immediately slow down as you may have someone directly behind you. You have an entire lap to slow down and cool off your car's system. NO PASSING on the cool down lap.

 

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