2011 Celebration weekend

I was working as an assistant clerk again on the weekend, this time with Roger Falconer, for the CASC-OR Celebration Weekend at Mosport.

I met Roger Saturday morning on mock grid. The other assistants and the group leads (chief course marshal (CCM), mock grid, operations, etc) made sure everyone was in place, and then Roger, Jeff (Operations) and I took a hot lap around the track. Roger said he was checking that everyone was in the correct place and that the tire walls were ok. He specifically noted that the tires had to be in a particular geometry for the formula cars.

Once in the control tower, he assigned me to handle the Request for Actions. This was a great deal of responsibility, although it was not as active as being one of the radio dispatchers like I did at the DAC weekend. A Request for Action (RFA) is where an incident is reported to the clerk that may involve a breach of the racing regulations (such as a pass under yellow) or driving misbehaviour. When a report comes in, I was then to gather enough data to assess of the report should be forwarded to the Stewards of the event. This could involve requesting a written report from the person observing the incident (a flag marshal for a yellow flag report, or perhaps the starter for a jumped start), then request that the drivers report to the Clerk. When the drivers arrived, I would try to first interview the person who impacted by the incident (i.e. the person who was passed), then interview the accused. In each case, I tried to word my questions in an open way to get the drivers to volunteer information rather than being lead by my questions.

Then I would fill out the RFA report and would hand the report and other written documentation to the Stewards and tell them that both drivers were available.

There were two pass under yellows and one jump-start that I had to deal with. One of the incidents was dropped, but the other two concluded with penalties assessed against the drivers.

The final checkered flag of the year
The final checkered flag of the year

I also helped with a very unusual issue brought by one of the crew. The car had never run at Mosport before, so they did not know what class the car should be in. After reading the rules, the team thought they would have until after qualifying to set their class – with the presumption that they could change their class up until the end of qualifying without penalty. However, once they changed their class (to align with their qualifying time), the grid sheet put them at the back of the grid because of the class change. I worked with Roger, the stewards, timing and the regional Race Director to review all of the rules and try to find the best solution. I also interfaced with the team crew chief, keeping him informed of the progress and also trying to impartially convey his concerns to the other officials. In the end, because the rule was a bit vague, everyone agreed that he would be gridded by his qualifying time and not be penalized for the class change.

The Celebration weekend is the last regional race of the year. There are no more race events until May 2012 – a long layover. It’s one of the downsides to living in Canada.

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