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Old 05-25-2019, 04:14 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by CCA View Post
Yes FSR goes over the flags in the drivers meeting, but folk have a tendency to hear things and not remember them, especially when under stress. Learning a new track can be stressful, especially one as complex as VIR. Then if you have a student the knows the flags, the next challenge is getting them to look at the flagging stations.
Or checking their smartphones during the briefing; I have seen that and I hate it because I will be sharing the track with them.
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:31 PM
  #17  
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Our chief steward has been racing since 1965. He has been awesome for us since he has so much experience. He once got clobbered in a red flag situation at the exit of the carousel at Sears Point by a racer who missed a flag. He was stationary and got injured, though it was not life threatening. He uses that experience at times when addressing our group.

I have been in several red flag situations, thankfully none serious. The least serious one was as I was entering 10 at Thunderhill-- I missed it. Caught it at 11. Luckily the issue was on the other side of the track, and that the sight lines where I was were excellent. That happened over 10 years ago but I will never forget.

As we accumulate experience with this hobby most of us see a broad range of "incidents." That I think is expected. What I wonder is whether the rate of accumulating these experiences is greater now since so many folks may be participating with less than sober attitudes. Hard to say.

During these past 5-10 years I have read lots of posts in these forums about run group colors and what drivers should and should not know, et cetera. It seems that there is a much broader range of expectations, and of course the internet seems to have somewhat diluted core information about many aspects of enjoying this hobby optimally and safely.

I think the "apparent forgiveness" of many of the new tracks can potentially compromise the sobriety of participants. And of course the street/DE cars are more capable from the showroom as manufacturers have embraced the hobby as a natural extension of capitaliism.

My former student's animation "Flat Out" was very telling for me when it initially made the rounds on the 'net. It was inspired by a culture that I did not know had developed. He had bridged that gap (he was for a time a PCA CDI), and I think his video was interesting commentary. And perhaps should have been taken as a bit of a heads up.

I have learned that it is really, really easy to get indignant, appalled and so on when these things happen-- especially as I age. Social media tools like these forums fan those flames.

In the case of the incident here, what I wonder most of all is what kinds of conversations were had after the driver pulled over. Id est, how it was handled by the instructor and any others involved. And does anyone with knowledge of the situation feel that learning occurred.
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:57 PM
  #18  
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What does the color of the flag matter if the student did not see it? Yes, the flag interpretation was very poor, but the original mistake was not seeing it at all...

-Mike
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:21 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by TXE36 View Post
What does the color of the flag matter if the student did not see it? Yes, the flag interpretation was very poor, but the original mistake was not seeing it at all...

-Mike
I like to use this with new sales people to illustrate who in an organization they should be targeting (the one in four capable and aware) but it is perfectly applicable here: In this case the driver in question is lower left, Neither Capable Nor Aware
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:43 PM
  #20  
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As an instructor, which is more effective?

A. A flag test
or
B. "White flag waving, look out for a slow moving vehicle ahead"


Tell them what they need to know until proven otherwise.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:20 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Texas RS View Post
As an instructor, which is more effective?

A. A flag test
or
B. "White flag waving, look out for a slow moving vehicle ahead"


Tell them what they need to know until proven otherwise.
I would expect a previously solo'ed driver on a solo check ride at a new track to know what the flag colors mean.

-Mike
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:46 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by TXE36 View Post
I would expect a previously solo'ed driver on a solo check ride at a new track to know what the flag colors mean.

-Mike
It looks like the driver had two issues:

1. Didnít see the flag
2. Didnít know what a white flag means

The instructor pointed out the white flag and learned a lot about his student at that time. Unfortunately it a bad experience that could have gone terribly wrong.

As an instructor your job is to help the student stay safe and learn. Tell them what they need to know. Assuming they should know something will lead to some really bad outcomes. Make them prove it to you.
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:20 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Texas RS View Post
It looks like the driver had two issues:

1. Didnít see the flag
2. Didnít know what a white flag means

The instructor pointed out the white flag and learned a lot about his student at that time. Unfortunately it a bad experience that could have gone terribly wrong.

As an instructor your job is to help the student stay safe and learn. Tell them what they need to know. Assuming they should know something will lead to some really bad outcomes. Make them prove it to you.
In a situation with a non-solo student I don't disagree, but this was a solo check ride (at least I assume so as the driver was previously solo qualified and working for a solo signoff).

IMHO a "solo check ride" muddies the water a bit. By definition, the check ride is a short snapshot of the driver and instructor's job in this case is to evaluate student knowledge of track procedures and rules. If the instructor had said "white flag, slow vehicles on track" he would not have learned the student didn't know what the white flag means. The missed flag, at the vary least, would have caused a failure for this check ride if it were me.

This leads us back to the credentials problem recently discussed on the Chin thread. I would argue this student either lied about his credentials or the other driving organization promoted someone too soon. I don't expect that learning a new track would cause an otherwise solid solo to forget what the flags mean.

Getting on my soapbox for a moment, I expect that in addition to seeing flags and handling traffic, a solo should have the judgement to know when they are in over their heads as nobody else will be in the car if that happens. Thus a statement to the instructor similar to "can you watch for flags while I learn the track" would be appropriate and could be accommodated easily pushing the solo check ride back. The student is responsible for safety as well - more so as they rise through the ranks.

-Mike
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:22 PM
  #24  
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Peter, I fully agree with the drills as you know

Mike, in theory you're right. However, VIR is a very challenging track to be new at, and there are some spots where it's really easy to get tunnel vision, soloed or not. Same as at COTA. That no excuse for the two potentially fatal mistakes this driver made. That said, whenever I ride with someone who is new to a track, especially a complicated one, I do what Tim mentioned: "Ok did you see that white flag? I guess there's a slow mover up ahead we will have to go around"

Trust...but verify.

Because my life literally depends upon it.
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:34 PM
  #25  
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Last edited by rlets; 05-26-2019 at 07:53 PM. Reason: deleted
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:45 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Veloce Raptor View Post
Peter, I fully agree with the drills as you know

Mike, in theory you're right. However, VIR is a very challenging track to be new at, and there are some spots where it's really easy to get tunnel vision, soloed or not. Same as at COTA. That no excuse for the two potentially fatal mistakes this driver made. That said, whenever I ride with someone who is new to a track, especially a complicated one, I do what Tim mentioned: "Ok did you see that white flag? I guess there's a slow mover up ahead we will have to go around"

Trust...but verify.

Because my life literally depends upon it.
When you can quote the Gipper and use it in a racing context you have checked all the boxes.

Track and street - always assume someone is going to get it wrong and be ready for it.
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:58 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Veloce Raptor View Post
Mike, in theory you're right. However, VIR is a very challenging track to be new at, and there are some spots where it's really easy to get tunnel vision, soloed or not. Same as at COTA.

Trust...but verify.

Because my life literally depends upon it.
Ok, point taken. Never driven VIR, but I do know that flags and evaluating students for flags at COTA is challenging due to the flag stations at COTA being practically invisible unless they display a flag - it makes having the students call out all the manned flag stations displaying a flag or not impractical.

-Mike
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:06 AM
  #28  
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I will chime in here, because it's a topic about which I get frustrated. I have driven eight-plus times with Chin (which I love) and a few dozen with various PCA groups. On the whole, flag reviews in drivers' meetings get short shrift most of the time. At best, there's a quick run through of the meanings of the flags but not nearly enough review of what action to take upon seeing the flags.

Also, particularly with PCA groups, there's pressure, even if it's self-imposed, to get up to speed quickly once the session starts, with little attention to learning the track and the location of flag stations. Chin, at least, provides the 30-minute warmup session under Yellow, so drivers can learn the lines and identify flag stations.

Word to track-day organizers: Spend MUCH more time (which could be all of ten or 15 minutes, BTW) on actions to take upon seeing various flags. This is certainly an area where organizers can never over communicate.

Also, word to instructors, particularly those doing check-out rides: Regardless of claimed or actual driver experience, a three-minute quiz on flag meanings and reactions before leaving the pits would be time very well spent.

After all, we all know the consequences of assumptions. And in the case of HPDE, the consequences could be much worse than simply making an a$$ out of yourself.
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:03 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by HelpMeHelpU View Post
I will chime in here, because it's a topic about which I get frustrated. I have driven eight-plus times with Chin (which I love) and a few dozen with various PCA groups. On the whole, flag reviews in drivers' meetings get short shrift most of the time. At best, there's a quick run through of the meanings of the flags but not nearly enough review of what action to take upon seeing the flags.

Also, particularly with PCA groups, there's pressure, even if it's self-imposed, to get up to speed quickly once the session starts, with little attention to learning the track and the location of flag stations. Chin, at least, provides the 30-minute warmup session under Yellow, so drivers can learn the lines and identify flag stations.

Word to track-day organizers: Spend MUCH more time (which could be all of ten or 15 minutes, BTW) on actions to take upon seeing various flags. This is certainly an area where organizers can never over communicate.

Also, word to instructors, particularly those doing check-out rides: Regardless of claimed or actual driver experience, a three-minute quiz on flag meanings and reactions before leaving the pits would be time very well spent.

After all, we all know the consequences of assumptions. And in the case of HPDE, the consequences could be much worse than simply making an a$$ out of yourself.
Great post!
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:33 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by HelpMeHelpU View Post
I will chime in here, because it's a topic about which I get frustrated. I have driven eight-plus times with Chin (which I love) and a few dozen with various PCA groups. On the whole, flag reviews in drivers' meetings get short shrift most of the time. At best, there's a quick run through of the meanings of the flags but not nearly enough review of what action to take upon seeing the flags.

Also, particularly with PCA groups, there's pressure, even if it's self-imposed, to get up to speed quickly once the session starts, with little attention to learning the track and the location of flag stations. Chin, at least, provides the 30-minute warmup session under Yellow, so drivers can learn the lines and identify flag stations.

Word to track-day organizers: Spend MUCH more time (which could be all of ten or 15 minutes, BTW) on actions to take upon seeing various flags. This is certainly an area where organizers can never over communicate.

Also, word to instructors, particularly those doing check-out rides: Regardless of claimed or actual driver experience, a three-minute quiz on flag meanings and reactions before leaving the pits would be time very well spent.

After all, we all know the consequences of assumptions. And in the case of HPDE, the consequences could be much worse than simply making an a$$ out of yourself.
+1

With CVR, from Green to Black, every driver attends the driver meeting and gets the full explanation of each flag.

I've driven with other groups that have said "OK, you all know what this flag means" and moved on.
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