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Race Control


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Easily one of the most important and least often discussed topics in the Forums is Race Control. Unfortunately for me, what seemed like a simple common sense discussion by Trevor at the very beginning of the day was lost amid the hustle, bustle, and excitement on the morning of my School.

 

Students and Coaches please let me know what your experience with this has been. I think most students would know more about this than I did yet I'd like to see this important aspect of racing contribute only to the absolute safety of anyone's track experience. Thanks,

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Easily one of the most important and least often discussed topics in the Forums is Race Control.

The answer is just as easy Nic; the California Superbike School is a Cornering School - not a race School so there is nothing in the four levels that addresses "Race Control". The School does have Code RACE but it is significantly different from the regular school events.

 

Rainman

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Thanks Kevin, What is Trevor's title? Maybe my terminology is incorrect. The brief he gives us in the morning is about controlling the flow of traffic on the racetrack. It doesn't matter if its a Cornering School or a Race School...you can pass at any time and go as fast as you want as long as you obey the flags an pass safely. If you don't know what the flags mean you're in BIG trouble. That's all I'm saying.

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It is Trevor's track! What he says, goes, period!

 

Track Control in my opinion is the most important and difficult job for anyone at CSS. Trevor and his counterparts world wide are responsible for everyone (rescue personnel, corner workers, photo folks, coaches, and students) that enter a "hot" track. It is up to them to insure the safest track possible for all that enter a hot track.

 

At CSS the track staff are there to insure that we, the students, understand our drill before entering the track. If we don't, then we don't enter the track until we do. If we are not on track when we should, they will find us. If we break a rule while on track they will bring us in to have a talk about it. That talk may result in returning to the track, sitting out the session, sitting out the remainder of the day, etc...

 

I've laughed with them over stuff that happened on track.

I've seen the stern side when a moratorium on passing was placed over a section of track that applied to all, coaches included!

aka. Done for the Day.

 

Our actions determine whether they wear silk gloves or iron fist.

 

Jeff

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Nic,

You and Kevin have both posted while I was lolligaging about with my reply to your 1st post.

 

Not understanding flags is very bad and dangerous for everyone on the track.

It could get you removed and/or banned from any track with any organization.

 

If you don't understand what the various flags mean you should have questioned and remained off track until you did.

 

Jeff

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Trevor's job is called Course Control. As Jeff eloquently explained above, Trevor's role is to keep everyone safe on track. In his briefing he explains how to safely enter and exit the track, the riding and passing rules, and what the course control flags mean. CSS and almost every track organization anywhere (for cars or bikes) utilize corner workers placed at strategic places around the track with flags to communicate with riders on track. The flags are used to let you know all is good (green flag) or something has changed on the track (a yellow flag, which can indicate a distraction or hazard like a rider that has pulled off to the side of the track), etc.

 

A full description of the typical use of course control flags can be found easily on Google, so I won't detail all of that, but CSS use of flags is fairly standard.

 

Trevor also covers a few other things like how you are notified when it is your turn to ride the camera bike (2 day camps), any special considerations at certain tracks (like sound control at Laguna), etc.

 

CSS has phenomenal course control. I don't think any track day, school, or race organization anywhere has put as much thought, effort, and research into keeping riders safe on track as CSS has done. For example, corner workers are not only watching for potential hazards, they are also watching closely for rider errors or problems with riding technique that could lead to a crash, so they help with the coaching process and this ultimately often prevents riders from crashing.

 

Trevor ensures that CSS students have the best possible riding experience with maximum possible track time.

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Course Control at CSS uses the following flags, Yellow, Red, Blue, Black, Checkered

 

 

Yellow: Can be used in two ways, Standing or Waving, it is always used to warn riders of a potential hazard on or around the track, this can be a rider off track or debris on the track, the Standing Yellow indicates that the hazard or change to the track is upcoming in a few turns, the "Waving Yellow" indicates it is in the next turn or two, depending on how many flagging locations a track has. Under both standing and waving yellows there is NO PASSING, riders are expected to back off their pace slightly and ride with extra caution.

 

Red: This flag is only used one way, waving, A waving Red Flag indicates a hazard on the track itself that needs to be addressed by course control before the track can go "Hot" again. All flagging stations will display the waving red regardless of their proximity to the hazard that has resulted in the Red Flag condition, once the waving Red Flag is displayed all riders are expected to reduce speed, and move to the right hand side of the track, preferably off the "Racing Line", exit the track as normal and return to the Hot Pit for further instruction from Course Control. There is NO PASSING under a red flag.

 

Blue: This flag is know as the "Creative Riding Technique Flag" , it is Course Controls primary means of communicating with a rider while they are on the track, It will be waved or shown and then pointed at a specific rider to signify something they did in a PREVIOUS TURN that was of concern to course control. This can vary from failing to follow the riding format for the session, IE. brakes or shifting during a no brakes one gear format, to any number of poor or concerning riding techniques. Such as multiple steering inputs, power shifting, throttle and lean angle, dragging hard parts etc. etc. When shown the Blue Flag riders are expected to continue riding as normal, DO NOT pull over and attempt to ask a corner worker why you have been blue flagged !!!! if you are unable to determine what you did to receive the blue flag and want to know, exit the track as normal and proceed to the hot pit and ask course control. You do not however need to come in and ask unless you want to.

 

Black: The Black flag is only used by course control at Start/Finish, it is used to communicate with a rider that course control needs to speak with them, when shown the black flag continue to ride as normal, exit the track and proceed to the Hot Pit to speak with course control.

 

Checkered: Used only as a waving flag, signifies the session is over, depending on track layout may be shown at multiple corners, ride as normal and exit the track, return to pits and park your motorcycle in the assigned location, then meet with your coach at the designated spot for debrief. It is advantageous to meet your coach as quickly as possible following the riding session, there is a limited window between the end of the riding session and the beginning of the next classroom brief, so immediately following your riding session is not the best time to use the restroom or get a snack from your car. debrief with your coach first, then attend to other business.

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Just wanted to mention. Trevor is pretty awesome at his job. Out of all the track events I have attended CSS has the safest environment I have ever ridden in. That's kind of amazing too considering the mix of abilities of people on the track together. Out of the 6 days I have attended with CSS at Barber I have never had a single session red flagged due to an accident. Accidents have happened but they have been cleared off very quickly and efficiently. During those 6 days only one session has ever been cut short and that was due to a sudden storm. We got all of that time back too "somehow" with some creative schedule bending. :)

 

Other track experiences I have had have you can count on at least one red flagged session if not more on a single day. I have seen tracks completely shut down due to being out of Ambulances. A harsh contrast to the safety and efficiency at CSS.

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