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Thread: What Do You Think of this Pass Under Yellow Flag?

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Default What Do You Think of this Pass Under Yellow Flag?

    Here is a letter I sent to Cal Club/SCCA regarding a pass I made under yellow. I am curious what you think. Go to minute 24:00 of the video and watch for about 30 seconds to see the incident.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi Ceci, Mark, Penny, Barb, Bill and to Whom it May Concern:

    Please forward this to Bill Wells.

    After Sundayís race Bill Wells approached me about a pass under yellow. I was genuinely perplexed. I told him if the flaggers said I did then I guess I did. He then went and had a talk with John Longwell and perhaps Philip Royle. John Longwell evidently told him I did not pass under yellow so that saved me from DQ perhaps, but I think I might still have been penalized a position from what I see in the results.

    I am forwarding this video so you can go straight to minute 24 of the recording and watch for about 30 seconds. What you will see is a yellow flag going into Buttonhook, but what you will see as we exit Buttonhook is what I saw. I look down track and I see a figure standing in a flag station, but no flag. The whole race I was watching this figure as I exited the turn. It turns out I donít think that station was officially manned during the race. I think it is Dennis Baer. The photos posted a few days ago bares that out if you pardon my pun.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfw1tMJgANo#t=665

    I started thinking about how dangerous this confusion can be. When racing I look down track and all I see is the silhouette of a figure and I look for flags. I do this early and then go back to racing. Once in a while in the corner of my eye I can see a feature like Markís checkered head cover he wears, but that all depends on shadows, speed and how close the flag station is to the racing surface.

    In closing, I do want to acknowledge that I did pass under yellow, but it was due to mistaken identity. I am not used to seeing non race officials in a flag station. I assume most racers will assume a person in that station is a flagger.
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    I think I would have made the same mistake.
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    But obviously I just dont get it. -fatbillybob

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    Senior Member 48yota's Avatar
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    I see where the confusion lies in that the flag station where there was an occupant was but without a flag. I may have done the same thing if there were other considerations. In the video I did not see a car behind you so no competition looked to be appearently close. I dont know if the cars you passed at that location were direct competition, thus wanting to put them behind you at that point being an oportunity with the race end coming to a near. In the video it lookes as both cars in front of you were fighting for position, so did they get the same penalty as you ? It looks as tho one did pass the other after seeing the yellow at the buttonhook. If the same yellow passing rules existed like for other clubs "no passing until the next manned flag station not displaying a yellow" existed, did your attempt to pass or the complete pass take place before that flag station(weather the person there was a flagger or not), then I could see the penalty.


    BTW - nice V8 miata :-)
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    Devil's Advocate:

    Part of an outlap procedure is to burn into the back of your mind all flagger locations (or in this case non-flagger, flaggers are always in all-white attire, this guy is clearly not a flagger). Especially with a multi-configuration, multi-direction track like Buttonwillow.

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    Thinks You're Lying
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    Watching your and my video (2014 SCCA Majors at Buttonwillow, EP Mazda RX-7 - YouTube, about 24 minutes in), I'm now left wondering if Longwell passed me under yellow. If so, why did you get singled out? I also can't believe that you got dinged and never notified. Shouldn't you have been notified so you could appeal the action? Since you were never notified, you were never given the option to appeal, especially considering we were running at the end of the day and results were probably not posted. Per the GCR 8.3.1, you can appeal the action "Within 30 minutes after the end of the session OR within 30 minutes of receiving the notification of the officialís action."

    This is no longer a matter of whether you passed under yellow -- this is now a case of a competitor not being notified by an official of an action, thus the officials not giving the driver the ability to appeal. I would bring this up.
    Last edited by Prof. Chaos; 05-05-2014 at 01:39 PM.
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    The GCR also says: "STANDING YELLOW – Take care, Danger, Slow Down, NO PASSING FROM THE FLAG until past the emergency area." While you were obviously trying to pass us as fast as possible, had you technically made the pass before passing the Elva? My video and your video are both inconclusive on this. Neither show you as definitively passed us...although I'll admit this is a weak argument.
    Philip Royle
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schrotacular View Post
    Devil's Advocate:

    Part of an outlap procedure is to burn into the back of your mind all flagger locations (or in this case non-flagger, flaggers are always in all-white attire, this guy is clearly not a flagger). Especially with a multi-configuration, multi-direction track like Buttonwillow.
    if I didn't see someone there at out lap. then someone appeared there 2 laps later, I will assume I made a mistake earlier. especially now I am under pressure (racing), I don't have time to process it all. you need to make decision in split second. or your competitor will take advantage of it ...

    btw. is the guy a photographer ?
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    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    if I didn't see someone there at out lap. then someone appeared there 2 laps later, I will assume I made a mistake earlier. especially now I am under pressure (racing), I don't have time to process it all. you need to make decision in split second. or your competitor will take advantage of it ...
    I agree... sometimes even flaggers have to accept collect calls of nature...

    Steve

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Chaos View Post
    This is no longer a matter of whether you passed under yellow -- this is now a case of a competitor not being notified by an official of an action, thus the officials not giving the driver the ability to appeal. I would bring this up.
    I went and checked the results. http://www.calclub.com/html/html2/ar...n_04_27_14.pdf

    They did bump me down several spots, although it does not seem to fit with any particular pattern. I seem to be randomly moved down the list. My bet is they bumped me down five spots, but there is not footnote as is usually done to signify this. Looking at the finishing order there lists the T1 leaders who did 16 laps, then eight cars who only did 15 laps and then there is my name showing 16 laps and then everyone below me shows 15 laps again.
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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    btw. is the guy a photographer ?
    Yes. According to photos I saw from the day and a comment from Ceci, it appears it is the Cal Club photographer Dennis Baer.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Chaos View Post
    This is no longer a matter of whether you passed under yellow -- .
    I think this now a matter that photographer (or any other) need to stay out of empty corner stations.
    I can imagine myself goes off, and look to corner station person and go: "I can't see oncoming traffic, and I need to get back on track. give me a wave when traffic clears", I will be sitting there a long time

    edit: during my first year of racing with NASA, I qualified for pole, but was DQ'ed (sent to last) because I didn't wait for corner station worker to signal me when I can come back onto the track....................

    or "I am Hakeem, my car is on fire, let me drive to that corner station there, so that person can help put the fire out". then instead of pulling out a fire bottle, the guy pull out his camera...I bet that makes a good photo.
    Last edited by bellwilliam; 05-05-2014 at 05:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    if I didn't see someone there at out lap. then someone appeared there 2 laps later, I will assume I made a mistake earlier. especially now I am under pressure (racing), I don't have time to process it all. you need to make decision in split second. or your competitor will take advantage of it ...

    btw. is the guy a photographer ?
    This isn't 2 laps later though, he was there all race, part of being a good racer is being able to process and distill information better than the other guy, even if he wasn't there on the outlap, I would have been more than curious to give him a good eyeing on a lap where I'm not under immediate pressure for just this situation. Making aggressive split-second decisions under a potential yellow flag is not smart, especially for club racing prizes/glory. I would be looking ahead with my head cranked as far right as possible upon seeing the yellow out to find the cause and start processing on how to pass the slower traffic with that in mind, just how I process things. Perhaps it's not the prevailing opinion on here, but I turn off kill mode when I see a yellow flag because safety of those around me (hot-tow guys, competitors exiting cars on fire, etc) becomes more important than a plastic trophy.
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    More jackassery on the part of cal club officials, nothing new here.
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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schrotacular View Post
    I would be looking ahead with my head cranked as far right as possible upon seeing the yellow out to find the cause and start processing on how to pass the slower traffic with that in mind, just how I process things. Perhaps it's not the prevailing opinion on here, but I turn off kill mode when I see a yellow flag because safety of those around me (hot-tow guys, competitors exiting cars on fire, etc) becomes more important than a plastic trophy.
    I too look down track as soon as I can get a view. I did not see anything until I was already passing the other two cars. The way it worked out they blocked my view so. I saw what looked to be a clear flag station so I went for it.

    To say I did not have anyone chasing me is misinformed. You drive with Marc Hoover behind you. He was only a few seconds back. Only a few seconds ahead of me was the race leader and I did not want to get caught unecessarily behind two other out of class cars all the way through the end of Cotton Corners. It may only be club racing, but we are out there to win. Winning a US Majors race does have more prestige than any other club racing I have done other than the
    SCCA Runoffs and the NASA Nationals.


    There is no clearly defined rule of how much to slow up under yellow. The only thing that is clear is that you don't pass. You don't know how many other racers have written me privately where we have engaged in debate over when you can and can't pass under a yellow in SCCA vs. NASA. There is clearly a lot of confusion and misinformation on the matter.

    That is one reason I posted this thread. The education value will be immense. Even Cal Club acknowledges they learned something. They are now probably putting photographers in only manned flag stations. As FatBillyBoband WIlliam said, "What if a car was on fire and you pull up expecting a fire extinguisher....?" There are many other examples of how this could go bad.
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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    I would have made the same mistake you are accused of, for certain.

    No notice of penalty is strange, especially for an event with a bit more prestige. Do they have the incident logged from a radio call or are they going off the other competitors' in-car?

    I have worked corners and safety on occasion in the midwest a long time ago. Volunteers or rookies workers were always given at least a white t-shirt or parka to wear or put over their clothing for identification and normally left as a bottle tender. Photographers or other non-safety personnel were NEVER allowed in the corner stations, no exceptions. It seems odd because every SCCA region I have driven with or worked with has taken great pride in running a tight ship in that regard.

    Something seems amiss.
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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Force McCocken View Post
    I would have made the same mistake you are accused of, for certain.

    No notice of penalty is strange, especially for an event with a bit more prestige. Do they have the incident logged from a radio call or are they going off the other competitors' in-car?

    What threw me was that they still called me up for the trophy, interview and champagne celebration, but when the results came out I was bumped down several spots.



    Bill Wells approached me about the infraction, but then John Longwell said he told them I did not pass under yellow. Then I was called up for the trophy presentation so I figured they did not actually penalize me.
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    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    Could it be as simple as a clerical error?
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    You get 10 days to appeal, so you still have time to fight this if you want. I'd base the appeal on improper procedure by an official, mainly on the grounds that you were not notified. I was standing next to Longwell when Bill Wells asked him the question, and Longwell said that if you did pass him under yellow, he doesn't remember it. Since Wells never came back to you on the subject, and you were announced as a podium finisher, it's only natural to assume everything was OK. The GCR says you can appeal a race official's action or decision "Within 30 minutes after the end of the session OR within 30 minutes of receiving the notification of the official’s action." That's hard to do when you're not notified. If you don't want to appeal, you should still notify Butch Kummer at the SCCA office (he heads up the Majors) and tell him your story. I think it's a very big deal that procedure wasn't followed.

    On a similar note, Wells tried to get me for passing under yellow at AAA Speedway in January. He could never find the car he claimed I passed (even after changing his story twice), and at the end he told me very seriously, "I know you passed a car under yellow." He didn't know this, and the two different car numbers he said I passed didn't exist. I didn't like the way he treated the situation, but I let it go since he was taking no action against me. Now that this has happened to you, I wonder if he knows how to deal with situations like this at all.
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Chaos View Post
    You get 10 days to appeal, so you still have time to fight this if you want. I'd base the appeal on improper procedure by an official, mainly on the grounds that you were not notified. I was standing next to Longwell when Bill Wells asked him the question, and Longwell said that if you did pass him under yellow, he doesn't remember it. Since Wells never came back to you on the subject, and you were announced as a podium finisher, it's only natural to assume everything was OK. The GCR says you can appeal a race official's action or decision "Within 30 minutes after the end of the session OR within 30 minutes of receiving the notification of the official’s action." That's hard to do when you're not notified. If you don't want to appeal, you should still notify Butch Kummer at the SCCA office (he heads up the Majors) and tell him your story. I think it's a very big deal that procedure wasn't followed.

    On a similar note, Wells tried to get me for passing under yellow at AAA Speedway in January. He could never find the car he claimed I passed (even after changing his story twice), and at the end he told me very seriously, "I know you passed a car under yellow." He didn't know this, and the two different car numbers he said I passed didn't exist. I didn't like the way he treated the situation, but I let it go since he was taking no action against me. Now that this has happened to you, I wonder if he knows how to deal with situations like this at all.
    I'll provide the fee. Bill needs to go.
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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Who is Bill Wells ? Is he a driver or official ?
    Who is prof. chaos ?
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