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  #11  
Old 09-27-2013, 04:42 PM
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GTcalgary GTcalgary is offline
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Default The adventures of an F1 corner marshal

I had a chance to work with Tracey McEwing (Chief/Head Corner Marhsal) at the last race event and was very impressed (and comforted as a driver) by how professional she was in her approach to the role and the level of training she gives to course workers. There are some tricks to the trade that I learned from her, some of them coming from her experience working at major events like Indycar. I honestly think it would do every driver good to spend a day working with Tracey. I'd also encourage anyone wanting to get into corner marshaling to contact Tracey directly and have her show you the ropes. http://www.albertaracecar.ca/3/contactus.htm

Full article:
http://www.gizmag.com/adventures-f1-corners/29185/

Short excerpt from the article below:

"Becoming a corner marshal
How do you get to be a flagger at a professional racing event? The answer, like in a lot of endeavors, is to pay your dues. I started three years earlier as an apprentice flagger for the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), one of several organizations that rent out race tracks on the weekends and hold what are called Club Races. The SCCA is actually quite a large organization, and has hundreds of events all over the country. It's divided into districts, and each district holds its own championships. Each year at the end of the summer, the drivers with enough district points can go to the National Run Offs and compete for honors there.

Besides SCCA, there are several other organizations that hold road races and use corner marshal volunteers. There is the National Auto Sport Association (NASA), which is similar to SCCA, and races held by the Porsche Club, the BMW Club, the vintage car racing Corinthian group and several others, including motorcycle organizations.

An SCCA club race can be far more fun and interesting than many of the professional events. There are few fans or spectators, the only people at the track are the racers, the club workers, and their families or friends that got roped into helping. Most ďrace teamsĒ are one or two people, fathers and sons, or fathers and daughters. There are dozens of different race classes and race car types, from very expensive cars that look much like the Formula 1 cars, to modified street cars and the ubiquitous Mazda Miata, which is the most commonly raced car in SCCA. Iíve seen Spec Miata races with 73 cars on the track at once. The great thing is that the SCCA races on the exact same tracks as the professionals. Iíve worked races at Texas Motor Speedway, the famous Laguna Seca racetrack near Monterey, and Infineon Sonoma Raceway in California. These are amateur races for non-professional drivers, however, many pro drivers have started in SCCA, and SCCA hosts some pro events.

I learned a lot at the club racing programs where we might be running 20-30 races a day 20 minutes at a time five minutes apart. Did I mention that corner marshals never get to sit down during a race? For many weekends we raced all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You might imagine, and correctly, that it takes a lot of volunteers to make this all happen, and that is how you pay your dues as a corner worker. Everyone at the club race is a volunteer: the race controllers, starter, the tech inspectors, the safety people, pace car driver and the safety crew in the pit lane.

For my first race I was paired with a couple from Kansas who had driven 600 miles to work a race they were not getting paid for. They had been flagging races together for 20 years. They knew everything about the job, including the ins and outs of extinguishing car fires and getting drivers out of wrecked cars. Even in club racing, safety is paramount, and the safety features in the cars (roll cages, seat belts, fuel cells, etc.) means that injuries these days are rare. Iíve yet to have to call an ambulance after flagging over 100 races.

My pay for the F1 race was breakfast and lunch each day, a shirt and a hat Ė and the knowledge that the event would not have gone on without the volunteers out on the track, making the event safe, and doing it for the love of the sport.

Right now I have to get my flagging gear ready. Iím working a 24-hour endurance race this weekend."
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2013, 08:36 PM
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jcm0791 jcm0791 is offline
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Originally Posted by GTcalgary View Post
I had a chance to work with Tracey McEwing (Chief/Head Corner Marhsal) at the last race event and was very impressed (and comforted as a driver) by how professional she was in her approach to the role and the level of training she gives to course workers. There are some tricks to the trade that I learned from her, some of them coming from her experience working at major events like Indycar. I honestly think it would do every driver good to spend a day working with Tracey. I'd also encourage anyone wanting to get into corner marshaling to contact Tracey directly and have her show you the ropes. http://www.albertaracecar.ca/3/contactus.htm

Full article:
http://www.gizmag.com/adventures-f1-corners/29185/

Short excerpt from the article below:

"Becoming a corner marshal
How do you get to be a flagger at a professional racing event? The answer, like in a lot of endeavors, is to pay your dues. I started three years earlier as an apprentice flagger for the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), one of several organizations that rent out race tracks on the weekends and hold what are called Club Races. The SCCA is actually quite a large organization, and has hundreds of events all over the country. It's divided into districts, and each district holds its own championships. Each year at the end of the summer, the drivers with enough district points can go to the National Run Offs and compete for honors there.

Besides SCCA, there are several other organizations that hold road races and use corner marshal volunteers. There is the National Auto Sport Association (NASA), which is similar to SCCA, and races held by the Porsche Club, the BMW Club, the vintage car racing Corinthian group and several others, including motorcycle organizations.

An SCCA club race can be far more fun and interesting than many of the professional events. There are few fans or spectators, the only people at the track are the racers, the club workers, and their families or friends that got roped into helping. Most ďrace teamsĒ are one or two people, fathers and sons, or fathers and daughters. There are dozens of different race classes and race car types, from very expensive cars that look much like the Formula 1 cars, to modified street cars and the ubiquitous Mazda Miata, which is the most commonly raced car in SCCA. Iíve seen Spec Miata races with 73 cars on the track at once. The great thing is that the SCCA races on the exact same tracks as the professionals. Iíve worked races at Texas Motor Speedway, the famous Laguna Seca racetrack near Monterey, and Infineon Sonoma Raceway in California. These are amateur races for non-professional drivers, however, many pro drivers have started in SCCA, and SCCA hosts some pro events.

I learned a lot at the club racing programs where we might be running 20-30 races a day 20 minutes at a time five minutes apart. Did I mention that corner marshals never get to sit down during a race? For many weekends we raced all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You might imagine, and correctly, that it takes a lot of volunteers to make this all happen, and that is how you pay your dues as a corner worker. Everyone at the club race is a volunteer: the race controllers, starter, the tech inspectors, the safety people, pace car driver and the safety crew in the pit lane.

For my first race I was paired with a couple from Kansas who had driven 600 miles to work a race they were not getting paid for. They had been flagging races together for 20 years. They knew everything about the job, including the ins and outs of extinguishing car fires and getting drivers out of wrecked cars. Even in club racing, safety is paramount, and the safety features in the cars (roll cages, seat belts, fuel cells, etc.) means that injuries these days are rare. Iíve yet to have to call an ambulance after flagging over 100 races.

My pay for the F1 race was breakfast and lunch each day, a shirt and a hat Ė and the knowledge that the event would not have gone on without the volunteers out on the track, making the event safe, and doing it for the love of the sport.

Right now I have to get my flagging gear ready. Iím working a 24-hour endurance race this weekend."

Yea, Tracey is the most awesome homeless person I know! What a trooper, if I was flooded out of my place, I am not sure I would manage to get out to the races, let alone do all the stuff that Tracey does.
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2013, 09:19 PM
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Marauder Marauder is offline
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Originally Posted by jcm0791 View Post
Yea, Tracey is the most awesome homeless person I know! What a trooper, if I was flooded out of my place, I am not sure I would manage to get out to the races, let alone do all the stuff that Tracey does.
+1 to that. All the workers would have a very tough time without all the hard work she does.
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2013, 11:29 PM
Sammy Girl Sammy Girl is offline
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Thank you for all the kind words guys!!!! It means a lot to me after the brutal summer I had. The race weekends were what pulled me together & kept me strong knowing I was going to spend time with the amazing marshal crew we have & the awesome drivers!!!
I finally got to go home last Sunday (so not the cool homeless chick anymore...lol) so things are looking up & I'm off to work F1 in Austin next week
I would like to thank all the drivers that have volunteered and any of you or your friends/family are more than welcome to come out anytime. If anyone wants to get a hold of me to volunteer please contact me @ traceymcewing@shaw.ca
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2013, 04:40 PM
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jcm0791 jcm0791 is offline
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Originally Posted by Sammy Girl View Post
Thank you for all the kind words guys!!!! It means a lot to me after the brutal summer I had. The race weekends were what pulled me together & kept me strong knowing I was going to spend time with the amazing marshal crew we have & the awesome drivers!!!
I finally got to go home last Sunday (so not the cool homeless chick anymore...lol) so things are looking up & I'm off to work F1 in Austin next week
I would like to thank all the drivers that have volunteered and any of you or your friends/family are more than welcome to come out anytime. If anyone wants to get a hold of me to volunteer please contact me @ traceymcewing@shaw.ca
Welcome to the Straightpipe Tracey, where we aim to consume anything that remains of your free time.

Chris
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