Get Involved! Workers and Officials
Monica Shaw - MVRG (Missouri Valley Race Group) Race Worker Chair
Motorsports is more than just driving, and there are a million-and-one ways to get involved. Running an event requires the talents of a wide variety of dedicated individuals. The SCCA provides staff to every major road racing event from CART to NASCAR and Formula One.
Flagging and Communications (F&C)
F&C offers you one of the best views of racing - track side. Flag stations are strategically placed around the track wherever things are most likely to happen and are staffed by these white-clad specialists (often called corner workers or flaggers). Corner workers work to provide a safe course by warning drivers of track conditions by use of flags or other signals, communicating course conditions and incidents to race control, handling fires, retrieving damaged cars, and taking appropriate emergency action as needed. F&C workers have the "best seat in the house" but these dedicated diehards spend all day on their feet, exposed to all the elements - rain or shine.
Course Marshals and Emergency Services
Course marshals make sure all emergency equipment is operational and in place. While often in the background and out of sight, when an incident happens emergency services (also known as EV) is always standing by and ready to move at a moment's notice. Backing up the F&C workers around the course are the EV medical staff and ambulance crews, as well as firefighters and tow truck crews.
A great choice if you want to work under a roof and meet lots of people. The day starts early for registration workers, who are usually the first officials the drivers and crew meet when the arrive at the track. Registration workers organize official entry forms and check driver, crew, and worker credentials. If you're efficient, patient, and friendly, registration may be for you.
All eyes, especially the drivers', are on the starter - looking for that green flag signaling the start of the race and the checkered flag at the end. After the green flag drops, a starter counts and charts laps throughout the race, and serves as a flagger. Starters are usually easy to spot in their black and white striped shirts, worn for visibility.
Timing and Scoring
Using a variety of equipment from stopwatches to sophisticated computers and electronic sensors, the timers and scorers keep lap-by-lap records of each car on every lap, from the beginning when the green flag drops, to the finish when the checkered flag flies.
The grid offers you an excellent opportunity of viewing the cars close up and a chance to meet the drivers and crew. If you can follow directions, deal effectively with people, tell time and read a schedule, you have the attributes needed. Using qualifying times provided by timing & scoring, grid workers line up the cars prior to race sessions and make last-minute safety inspections.
Pits and Paddock
Pit and paddock workers are responsible for safety in these areas of the track and for keeping traffic areas clear for the race cars to safely enter and leave.
If you want to look at cars more closely, scrutineering (tech) may be for you. Scrutineers conduct safety checks to make sure every car and the driver's personal safety equipment meet SCCA safety regulations. They also inspect top finishers in impound after the race. Being interested in cars and technically oriented is a definite plus, along with good people skills. Be prepared to start early and work late ... but you get to know the drivers and their cars.
Sound control officials monitor the noise level of race cars on track. Noise levels are recorded, along with weather data and other information important to the stewards, who determine what action to take regarding violations of noise regulations. Being able to read and record data rapidly is a plus.
These are the individuals responsible for the overall running of an event, including enforcement of rules. The Chief Steward is the highest authority at a competition event and is responsible for coordinating the activities of the safety groups during the event.
If you want to be a hero and have skills in diplomacy, this is for you. A race chairperson serves as an organizer and liaison. Among the many duties of a race chairperson are helping plan and set up social functions at the end of the day, assisting the stewards and making sure the workers have what they need.
Getting involved as a worker or official is as easy as going to a local event and volunteering to help.
Workers are issued a license just like the competition drivers, and can work their way up through the four levels of licenses by participating at different events and gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to hold a national specialty license. SCCA licensed workers help staff most of the motorsport events held in the United States in one capacity or another.