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Flags


Yes,yes, I know what they mean. And I know you know what they mean....

Most Mono drivers passed their ARDS test some time ago, and although everybody knows the Blue Book well, we thought it might be useful to reproduce what it says about flag signals. We've extracted the narrative from the section which describes what the flags mean. It might be worthwhile re-reading the rules, because at the beginning of the year either drivers can be a little bit rusty , or officials get Double Nectar Points for the penalties they dish out. (If any CoC's are reading that last bit is a joke. TC). In all seriousness, if you know the rules, sorry for being patronising. If you have any doubts at all, please spend a few minutes reading below.

There's a website written by a marshall named John Newman (who's marshalled at many a Mono race) where he describes in avery readable way a practical, experienced marshall's view of the meaning of flags. Naturally, it's not MSA ratified but it's good common sense stuff and so we've linked to it by clicking the flags. Or you could just link to it here and read it.

There's quite a lot to be said about safety cars so we'll deal with those separately because the MSA seem unwilling to do so with clarity..

Stationary: Another competitor is following close behind.
Waved: Another competitor is trying to overtake.

14.4. A car alone on the track may use the full width of the track. however, as soon as it is caught by a car which is about to lap it the driver must allow the faster driver past at the first possible opportunity. If the driver who has been caught does not seem to make full use of the rear-view mirrors, flag marshals will display waved blue flags to indicate that the faster driver wants to overtake. Any driver who appears to ignore the blue flags will be reported to the Clerk of Course.
14.4.1. Curves, as well as the approach and exit zones thereof, may be negotiated by the drivers in any way they wish, within the limits of the track. Overtaking, may be done either on the right or on the left.
14.4.2. Overtaking, according to the circumstances, may be carried out either on the right or on the left. However, manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as more than one change of direction to defend a position, deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are strictly prohibited Any driver who appears guilty of any of the above offences may be reported to the Clerk of Course.

Stationary: Danger, slow down sufficiently to ensure that full control of the vehicle can be retained. No overtaking.
Waved: Great danger. Slow down considerably. Be prepared to suddenly change from the projected racing line, or take other evasive action including stopping if necessary. No overtaking. (This signal may be supplemented by flashing yellow light(s), as an added warning).

15.1.1. At an incident where the track is obstructed, or marshals are working at the trackside, the following signals will be used:
(a) A STATIONARY Yellow at the post before a WAVED Yellow.
(b) A waved Yellow flag at the post immediately preceding the incident. NB: In very serious cases, this flag may be supplemented by an additional waved yellow flag at a preceding post. (The waved yellow flag may also be supplemented by flashing yellow warning lights).
(c) A stationary Green flag at the post immediately after the incident.
(d) If the incident is well off the track and marshals are not working at the trackside, the incident may be indicated by a stationary yellow flag, followed by a stationary green flag, or by a Hazard Area board.
15.1.2. Not slowing down or overtaking is an offence from wherever Yellow flags are displayed until the Green flag is passed.
15.1.3. If a hazard has been indicated by Yellow flags as above, the flags may be withdrawn, even though the hazard remains. It will then be indicated by a Hazard Area board at the flag post preceding the hazard. It is then the competitor’s responsibility to take appropriate care.

Immediately cease driving at racing speed and proceed slowly, without overtaking, and with maximum caution to pits or start line obeying marshal’s instructions, and being prepared to stop should the track be blocked.
A service car or slow moving car is on the circuit. The white flag will be waved to indicate the sector of the track that the slow moving vehicle is in, and held stationary whilst the vehicle is in the next sector.
Stationary: Slippery surface ahead.
Waved: Slippery surface imminent.
All clear, at the end of a danger area controlled by yellow flags. Also used to signal the start of a formation lap and shown at all posts during first lap of each practice session and during the formation lap.
Displayed with the competitor’s number: A warning, to the driver that his behaviour is suspect and that he may be Black-flagged on further reports.
Displayed with the competitor’s number: Notification of apparent mechanical failure or of a fire which might not be obvious to the driver. The car concerned must call at its pit for repairs on the next lap.
Displayed with the competitor’s number: The driver must stop at his pit within one lap of receiving the signal and report to the Clerk of the Course. A penalty of exclusion may be enforced by display of the Black flag.
Hazard Area Board: A warning of a hazard that was not present when the practice/race commenced. [Editor's note: This is not a flag but a board.]
End of Race or Practice.

 

Track Regulations
14.1. Except while on the track no competing car shall be driven at a speed exceeding 10mph without the specific permission of the Clerk of the Course.
14.2. The driver of any car leaving the track because of being unable to maintain racing speed should signal the intention to do so in good time and is responsible for ensuring that the manoeuvre is carried out safely and as near as possible to a point of exit.
14.2.1. Should a car stop somewhere other than in the pit lane it must be moved as soon as possible so that its presence does not constitute a danger or hinder other drivers. If the driver is unable to move the car, marshals may assist. If such assistance results in the driver rejoining the race, this must be done without committing any breach of the regulations and without gaining any advantage.
14.2.2. No vehicle able to proceed under its own power shall be stopped either on the track or the verges of the course but shall proceed to the pits or paddock.
14.3. All races will be run in the direction specified on the track licence.
14.5. Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt:
(a) the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not, and;
(b) a driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the track.
(c) Should a car leave the track for any reason and without prejudice to (d) below, the driver may rejoin. However, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any advantage.
(d) Repetition of serious mistakes or the appearance of a lack of control over the car (such as leaving the track) will be reported to the Clerk of Course and may entail the imposition of penalties up to and including the exclusion of any driver concerned.
14.6. No competing vehicle shall be driven in the reverse direction of the track except for the minimum distance to remove it from an unexpected situation and then only under official supervision.
Flag Signals (5)15.1. Officials’ Signals will be conveyed to drivers by the following flag signals (15.4, 15.5):
(a) Red/Green lights or National flag: Start. [Editor's note: The remainder of this section is shown above]


15.2. When a race is stopped by the Red flag, the method of re-starting or deciding the result will be in accordance with 5.4.2, 5.4.3, and 5.4.4. [Editor's note: shown below]

5.4.1. Any race stopped before the leader has completed two laps will be declared a “No Contest” and available cars will restart from their original grid positions.
5.4.2. Any race stopped after the leader has completed more than two laps but less than 75% of its duration will be considered as the first part of a two part race. Cars will be restarted from a grid set out in the finishing order, which shall be based upon the order of crossing the finish line at one lap less than at the time of first showing the Red Flag. Only cars which are under their own power at the showing of the Red Flag will be classified. The result will be the order of finishing at the end of the restarted race, unless Championship Regulations specify otherwise.
5.4.3. Any race stopped after the leader has completed 75% of its duration may be considered to have finished, unless the Clerk of the Course, in consultation with the Stewards of the Meeting, deems it appropriate to restart the race. If not restarted the result will be based on the order of crossing the finish line at one lap less than at the time of the first showing of the Red Flag. Only cars which are under their own power at the showing of the Red Flag will be classified. If run as a two part race 5.4.2 will apply.
5.5. In the interval between stopping and restarting the race cars may return to the pit area for repairs. They may join from the pit road after all the other cars have started. Non-runners at the time of stopping can restart from the pit lane behind those referred to above. No work may be carried out on the grid unless on grounds of safety and with the approval of the scrutineer. The Clerk of the Course may order that the duration of the second part or re-run of any race shall be of a shorter distance than originally scheduled, or may be abandoned altogether.

 

And finally.....here's a signal from the drivers to the marshalls. It's usually given on the slowing down lap and means "Thanks for making sure the race was run safely, and for standing there in the cold and wet so I can enjoy myself".

 

 

Tony Cotton