possible, the Course Captain is an experienced autocrosser who normally
works with the red flag and the radio. The Course Captain assigns the
course workers at their station to cover particular areas of the course.
It is a very good idea to ask the workers you are relieving which of
the cones are being hit repeatedly by cars on course to position the
workers at your station accordingly. See the Course Worker description
below for further information. Also be familiar with our Radio Protocol.
with a partner(s) and/or a Pole Chief or Course Captain, you will be
stationed at a post on the Course. We usually assign course stations by
pole number at FedExField (F33, F44, etc). Your job is to watch all the
cars on the course, specifically the ones closest to your post. The
course station will have a Radio, Flag, and Fire Extinguisher. The Radio
is for calling in course issues; please keep the chatter to a minimum.
The Flag is to STOP a car on the course in the case of an emergency or
when told by the Timing Truck. The Fire Extinguisher should only be used
to put out a fire on the course.
an eye on the cones, make sure none are moved or knocked over. If any
are moved, they must be repositioned immediately providing it is safe to
do so, always seeing the cars on course. Do NOT risk your life for a
it's a penalty, you must call it in describing the car by number,
class, and type. A penalty is called when the cone is lying on its side
or when it is standing but not in/or touching the box. If the cone is
standing and is touching the box AT ALL, it is NOT a penalty
a car does not go through a gate (providing it does not stop, back up,
and go through) it is OFF COURSE. They are also Off Course if they miss a
gate AND go through another gate. This needs to be called in as well
with a description of the car. A car should not be called off course for
hitting a cone. If the car hits the outside of the gate it is still on
course, although a cone penalty should be called if necessary.
this is a very important job!! Two or more people will be assigned to
work a specific station. They are responsible for carefully watching as
each vehicle passes through their assigned section of the course. They
are to report any penalties (missed gates, displaced cones) or safety
violations (leaking fuel or oil), reset any cones which have been
displaced by the vehicle, and always be ready to throw the red flag.
Here are a few tips to remember when it's your turn to work the course:
Know your area of responsibility.
Keep "situational awareness" of what goes on in your area.
Make sure your station has extra cones, fire extinguisher, red flag, radio.
sure all the cones in your area are in the proper place when you first
come on station. If there is a pause in the run group, check that the
cones are all in their proper positions.
Know the "down or out" rule for assessing penalties
If a cone is displaced resulting in a penalty, raise it above your head to signal the penalty and then reset inside "box".
a cone is displaced but a penalty is not to be assessed, reset the cone
inside the "box" and give a "safe" (as used in baseball) or "no
penalty" signal to the radio person at your station.
Pay attention to the cars on course for accurate cone counts AND for your safety.
Stand, do not sit, at your assigned station - you must be ready to move quickly at all times.
Replace cones as soon as possible - run, don't walk!
only two people are assigned to work a station, one person (almost
always the Pole Captain) should hold the radio and red flag; the other
person runs to reset displaced cone(s).
you are a flag person, hold the red flag in your hands at all times,
unfurled by your side, and be ready to throw it when necessary.
person holding the red flag does not also have the responsibility to
reset displaced cones - no running on course with the red flag unless
you are waving it!
If a red flag is to be thrown, get the driver's attention without placing yourself in danger.
Know how to use a fire extinguisher - always aim at the base of a fire, never raise the hood of a vehicle on fire.
the end of your work session, leave radios, fire extinguishers and red
flags at the station for the next group of workers unless directed
otherwise by timing or a worker chief.
Be prepared for exposure to sun/rain, wind, heat/cold.
Turn your back to the cars on course
Forget about the next car coming when replacing cones.
Sit down or wander away from your post.
Wave the red flag unless instructed to do so OR if it is an emergency. If in doubt, error on the side of safety!
Pick up car parts dropped on course - they may be HOT!
Use a camera without permission and a spotter.
Talk on your cell phone
final note on course work. The course worker/captain is the work
assignment most exposed to injury. At all times on course, be aware of
the operation of the entire course and all cars. Never turn your back on
car. While it is possible to considerably delay an event through
unnecessary use of a red flag, remember that the basic role of course
work is safety. The Course Worker is closest to the course, so if you
have any doubt, use the flag.
away from most of the action, Gate is one of the most important
functions at an autocross for insurance and safety reasons. A Gate
worker must be a member in good standing with the SCCA because all
signed waivers must be witnessed by an SCCA member. The following list
describes the tasks to which Gate must adhere to help maintain event
All persons age 18 or over entering the event, driving or not driving, must sign the Adult Waiver (the MS-1 form).
Worker must complete the MS-1 form by filling in the fields on BOTH
sides of the MS-1 form i.e. do not begin a new sheet until both sides
have been used.
Gate worker must give each entrant a wrist band to be worn as proof of signature.
See this PDF for a sample of an MS-1 form with helpful instructions on how to have it completed.
are any persons under the age of 18. The parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
must fill out the Minor Waiver (the MS-2A) form to enter the event
All minors receive wrist bands.
The Gate Worker must complete the Minor Waiver by filling in the fields of the form.
See this PDF for a sample of an MS-2A form with helpful instructions on how to have it completed.
is vital that cars leave the line approximately every 20 to 25 seconds
to maintain event flow. Your primary responsibilities are:
Ensure that cars ready at the start line, are always staged and that the pipeline never runs dry.
that two-driver cars are sequenced such that there are no two-driver
changeovers left at the end of the run group to impact the schedule.
that cars are sent to the start line sequentially in a "run, one plus
run" order. To the best extent possible, make sure the two-driver cars
are sent out in a manner that keeps them on the same run as the one
are several keys to accomplishing this. You can forestall problems by
getting on station early and verifying that everyone in the two-driver
line is a two driver car. Your job will be to verify that car class,
number, name and tech check off are complete.
you begin to direct cars to the start from any line, make sure every
driver/car in the line is ready to go. Make another driver find a
missing driver. Do NOT allow driver inattention to delay staging. Send
cars to the Start staging area in an organized manner. Send the entire
two-driver line out first, followed by the next adjacent single-driver
line. When the next two-driver cars come up, sequence them in and send
them immediately, even if it is one car at a time, and even if the first
single driver line is still emptying. Work your way through each
adjacent single-driver line, continuing until each participant in the
group has had their first run. Repeat the process, always sending out
two-drivers as they come up. Driver changeover time at the end of the
run group is dead time, and in some instances, it may be necessary to
direct them to complete their runs in the next run group. It is good
practice to memorize the first and last car in each line, but if you are
unsure of the number of runs a line has had, ask drivers as they come
Cars being allowed a re-run should come off the finish line and be sent
immediately back to the start, bypassing the grid, subject to the
traffic already staged and any safety considerations.
Note that there is a 5 minute provision in the Solo II rules for reruns and second drivers for two driver cars.
Grid Chief has a radio to communicate with the timing van and Start as
well as a clipboard with a list of the cars in the heat.
with a partner(s) and following the lead of the Grid Chief, you will be
in charge of making sure each competitor gets to the starting line in
an orderly and timely fashion. When they return from their run, make
sure they get parked in the grid correctly and not cause traffic issues.
One person should be releasing the cars from the grid to send to the
starting line, while the others are making sure upcoming competitors are
in their cars, ready to go, with HELMETS ON. The Grid Chief will have a
radio to call in any competitors that are out of order or need a
mechanical?. Generally, there should be three to five cars waiting at
the starting line at all times.
Starter is one of the more demanding assignments and requires
experience. Misjudgment on the part of the Starter can have substantial
schedule consequences, so the Starter must have total "course presence".
Only experienced autocrossers should be assigned to this position. You
must visually monitor the entire course (or as much of as you can see
from the start) and all other course workstations. Timing will be in
constant communication with the Starter over the radio. When instructed
to hold the start for any reason, acknowledge it to the Timing van and
the visually to the next driver. The Starter is responsible for
establishing the proper interval for cars on the course, ensuring safe
starting distances for all cars entering the course, and holding the
start if an unsafe situation develops. Verify from the previous starter,
Timing or Chairman where on the course it is safe to start the next
car. The rule of thumb is approximately 15-20 seconds after the previous
car left the Start line. In some instances, you must use your judgement
to make small adjustments if a particularly fast car is staged
following an obviously slow car. You may also be called upon by the
timing and scoring crew to clarify obscured or missing number problems.
car should all stage the same relative to the line. Require each driver
to bring the front of the car to the line. Check the cones in the
vicinity of the start after each car passes. You are the turn worker for
the Start, and report any downed cones to timing. After the Start is
cleared, motion the next car to the line. Acknowledge the next car
coming to the line and let them know that they are in the right place.
Watch the course right up to the time you will start the next car, and
be ready to hold the start if a problem out on the course develops. Make
sure the driver of the next car acknowledges being ready. Do a last
minute course check and then send the next car out.
is the on deck circle for the event. The pre-starter makes sure that
cars are moved on to the starter in a consistent and fluid manner. They
also check both the cars and competitors before sending them to the
starting line for fastened seat belts and Helmets on and buckled. They
do a last minute visual on the car looking for hoods unlatched or
possible dangerous lose items in the vehicle.
Timing Writers are responsible for keeping an independent, written log
of each car, in finishing order, including it's elapsed time and any
penalties. Accuracy and neatness are critical, as it being able to pay
attention to the Timing Radio worker, the timer, and the cars on course.
Timing Radio Operator is one of the most critical positions during the
event. This person is responsible for course control while cars are
running. The Radio Operator must be familiar with the Radio Protocol and
be able to communicate effectively with both Course and Timing Van
announcer is one of the most visible/audible positions of the event. It
is the announcer's responsibility to announce the following items over
the Public Address system:
Any announcement the Solo II Committee or Event Chiefs need to have announced.
Sponsor names should be announced (and thanked) hourly. Encourage event
participants to support our Series Sponsors. The names and suggested
text are usually listed in a binder in the announcing truck.
Sponsor names should be announced (and thanked) as time permits.
Encourage event participants to support these sponsors. The names and
suggested text are usually listed in a binder in the announcing truck.
competitors cross the finish line, announce their name, car number,
class, make, model, and color, their raw time, and the number of
penalties (cones) incurred on their run (if known).
time permits, announce the competitor (name, car number, class, make,
model, and color of car) who is at the start line waiting to go on
FLAVOR! The more interesting you make your chatter, the more people will
listen! Things to consider adding to your chatter include: a person's
current standing in the class (after their latest run), how much time
they need to make up to catch the driver currently in first place, how
much time they gained/lost on their latest run compared to their current
best, and discuss current overall point standings in the class (if
known). Let your creativity shine!
PROJECT YOUR VOICE! The event participants need to hear you over the roar of car engines/exhausts and other event noise.
to the Chief of Tech to get your exact assignment. You will be
inspecting cars as they come in to the grid at the appropriate times in
the morning and afternoon.
Tech Inspection Checklist
car and inspect overall condition. Make sure no body panels are falling
off or there's anything else dangerous on the car.
Enter vehicle and check inside is clean. Floor mats removed if not held down.
Verify brake pedal works and holds pressure. (Step on it!)
seatbelt locks under tension. Check for any frays on webbing. Check
that after market belts are adequately anchored and are acceptable type.
Check helmets. Should be SNELL approved 90, not DOT only. M (motorcycle) helmets are OK for Solo2.
If car has a roll cage, check that there is enough padding and it's secured.
Exit vehicle and check inside trunk. If battery is back there, check it too.
Check under the hood.
for strong battery tie down and cover over terminals. If in a different
location, verify wiring is covered and not pinched anywhere.
Quickly check major belts and hoses for squishiness, cracks or excessive play. Squeeze them and pull on them.
Verify throttle return springs and throttle action does not stick, etc.
Check spark plugs wires are all fully connected and neat.
Check brake master cylinder for leaks.
Verify coolant overflow bottle.
Close hood and verify locking mechanism or lock pins.
Check wheels, for cracks, clearance and suitability.
Check lug nuts (all are there, can't move by hand).
Shake wheels for play. Give them a solid push/pull.
Check tires for cracks, under-inflation, cord, etc.
Take a quick look underneath for anything obviously broken or leaking.
Solo Safety Steward (SSS) is a person who has been licensed to act as a
SSS by SCCA. A SSS duties are to to increase and/or improve the safety
at SCCA Solo events by highlighting potential hazards of uncontrolled
spectator areas, uncontrolled spectator movement relative to Solo
courses, and driver/worker safety relative to course design or layout.
Safety Stewards in the Washington D.C. Region must report to the Chief
Solo Safety Steward for duty rather than the worker chief. The Chief
Solo Safety Steward ensures adequate coverage of the events by licensed
Solo Safety Stewards.