Michigan Turn Marshals  
Summer 2003 Newsletter

 

Back to Business

By Dennis Hand, MTM Newsletter Editor

jdhand@chartermi.net

The new racing season is getting into full swing.  CART played hopscotch with Road America and finally decided to race there this year.  We have a new National Administrator for Flagging and Communications.  Our annual drivers’ schools have passed and even a few races have gone by in the blink of an eye.  With the Indy 500 over and soon Le Mans, the racing season will be picking up steam. Upcoming events include:

 

Detroit Region National at Grattan June 14-15

 

Waterford Hills Race Weekend #3 June 28-29

Chief: Jim Anchak (j.anchak@att.net)

 

Porsche Club Race at Gingerman July 3-5

Chief: Gary Ambrus (gla924sem@juno.com)

 

SBend Double Regional at Gingerman July 13-14

Chief: Kim Joiner (jmanteno@yahoo.com)

 

Detroit Region Regional/WHRRI Race #4 at Waterford Hills July 19-20. 

Chiefs: Jim Anchak (j.anchak@att.net) & Debbie Martens (tdmartens@ameritech.net)

 

The word on the street is Steven Johnson, president of SCCA, has accepted an invitation to Detroit Region’s regional race on July 19-20 at Waterford Hills.

 

Waterford’s New Chief of F&C

By Jim Anchak, WHRRI F&C Chief

j.anchak@att.net

 

With the 2003 Race Season in full swing at Waterford Hills, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the MTM membership for their turn out and support this year.

We were well staffed at the SCCA and Waterford Hills Driver’s Schools, as well as Race One.  As always, this allowed us to do our part in ensuring a safe racing environment for the competitors.  Race Two was also well attended, even though the Weather Steward made it a challenging day on Saturday.  However, Sunday did reward us with much more sun and warmer temperatures.

 

This has also been a year of change for Flagging and Communications at Waterford Hills.  We’re all aware that Rich Pushies had to take some time away from our group to concentrate on other needs.  We all wish him the best of luck and look forward to having him back at the track as soon as he’s able.  With the season already under way, I was asked to fill the role as Chief of F&C for the balance of the 2003 season, beginning with Race Two.  At the same time Ken Lawfield has stepped up to the position of Equipment Manager.  Many of our novices from the last few years are now trained and doing excellent as Corner Captains.  Turn out at our Flagging School in April was good and there are many new and eager novices in training.

 

This season will again see a joint race event with the Detroit Region of the SCCA.  This will take place at Waterford’s Race Four, on July 19th and 20th.  SCCA membership will be required at registration for this event.  Please notify me by July 12th if you are planning to attend and are not an SCCA member so I can make the necessary arrangements.

 

So, with five more Waterford race weekends left in the schedule, I look forward to seeing you all there.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns at j.anchak@att.net.

 

Jim Anchak

Chief of F&C – WHRRI

Director at Large – Detroit Region SCCA

 

News from Western Michigan

Verne Wandell, RA of F&C, WMR.

flagchief@valleyedit.com

 

First of all I would like to announce that the rumors are true, professional Sports Car racing is returning to Western Michigan.  During our annual Labor Day weekend slot, SCCA Pro is going to be holding a race at Grattan and WMR will add at least one restricted regional group to it.  The classes have not been finalized and all of the paperwork has not been completed so look to our website for updated information and a workers’ application as they become available. 

 

Radio communications have gone so well during the first few events that I thought I‘d throw a wrench into the works for the next few.  No, honestly, they have been going really well.  As a matter of fact they have been good enough to lead me to believe we can rectify something that occurred during the recent regional at Grattan. 

 

Here is what happened:

During the first lap of one of the races a couple of cars got together leaving one car stalled on track at turn one and the other continuing.  We went to full course yellow to attend to the stalled car.  The car that continued decided he needed to go to the pits to have his crew check over the car, passing several cars on the way.  Since we were holding radio silence (first lap of the race and a call-throughs for the pack and safety car) the witnesses held their calls as has been requested. 

 

The result was that there was no time entry in the log for the pass under yellow.  When we finally took the call (after the pace car had collected the field, the wrecker had the stalled car in a safe position, we called through the pace car for start and finished the first racing lap under green) there was a huge discrepancy in the log between the time the full course yellow was displayed and the time the pass under yellow was called in.  The driver of the car that did the passing said that the yellows had just come out when he made the pass and the stewards had no ammunition to prove him wrong.  He was penalized but not as much as he should have been had we created a stronger case.

 

Here is what I would like to try, starting at the Area 4 driver’s school (BTW, we still need LOT’S OF HELP for that event).   If you have contact between two cars or a pass under yellow when we are observing radio silence for a NON-EMERGENCY, I would like you to make a ‘blind call’, much the same as when you want another station to change their flag condition.  Simply say “nose to tail, nose to tail at (station X)”,  “side to side, side to side at (station X)”, or “pass under yellow at (station X)”. 

 

While we have tried to handle this issue in the past by asking the corner worker to record the time locally and reconcile the times later, all too often there are other things going on at the stations and too few workers dealing with them.  I believe this solution will make the information more available and keep the airwaves relatively open.  Of course, if we are dealing with an actual emergency, please write down the time locally and we will deal with it later.

 

New Administration

As most of you have heard by now, Dick Coburn stepped down as National Administrator of Flagging and Communications at the end of last year.  Mr. Coburn, you did a most excellent job and the entire membership thanks you for your professional, yet extremely friendly attitude, and everything you did to keep our F&C experience safe and fun.

 

The new National Administrator of Flagging and Communications is Mark Smith, a 15 year veteran of Cal Club Region of SCCA.  You can contact Mark at race.flaggers@verizon.net.

 

Wedding Bells Echo in the Distance

Our own Chairman has recently become engaged.  On April 19th, Erica Strydonck accepted a proposal from Scott Whitehead.  The wedding will be sometime in November of this year.

 

That’s all for now!  Have a good summer!

-Dennis

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