n If you drive you MUST also work. The safety and fun of the event depends on this. If you drive in the first group be sure to report to work promptly after your last run. Save packing your car or changing back to street tires until after the event. This will keep the event moving at a good pace allowing more runs for all.
n Never be afraid to ask for help. Everyone has a first time on each job they ever do and there are plenty of “old timers” that will be pleased that you are asking questions showing your commitment to do the job right.
n The starting flag person will have a green flag and will indicate to the driver when he can enter the course to start his run. Before starting a car this worker needs to do a visual check of the course to insure all course workers are in place and ready. If multiple cars are running the course at the same time this worker will also need to insure proper spacing of cars.
n Course worker is one of the most important positions at an autocross for the safety of the event depends on alert course workers. As a course worker you will have a red flag and radio. You will need to be generally aware of all cars on the course and specifically aware of the cars in your section of the course. You will need to stand at all times so you are ready to reposition cones and position yourself out of harms way should a driver lose control in your section of the course.
n Course workers must ask any spectators they see in their “zone” to please go to the timing and scoring table and sign the PCA insurance waiver.
nThe red flag should never be rolled around the pole but loosely held furled in one hand so that if it is needed it can be displayed immediately. The red flag is used to call out an immediate safety issue. The starter, announcer or any other course worker can call for its use. When it’s called for over the radio or displayed by any other course worker, all workers should vigorously wave the red flag to get the attention of all drivers on the course. The drivers on course should come to an immediate stop when they see a red flag and should not proceed until a course worker instructs them to continue. When displaying the red flag to stop a car on course, please do not step in to the course itself. Wave the flags vigorously and still maintain a safe distance from the car(s) on the course. It does no good to cause a dangerous situation while trying to help avoid another. The most common reasons for the use of the red flag are; spectators walking or driving onto the course, course workers resetting cones that are unable to get safely off course before the next car enters their area, a car spinning out or going off course in a manner that would endanger the other car on course, a visible mechanical issue with a car on course. Red flags are not often needed but if you see a safety issue do not be shy about using the red flag.
nThe radio is used to communicate with the other course workers, as well as the timing and scoring workers. You will mostly need it to call in cone penalties and “off course” cars. A car is considered off course if, it fails to complete any part of the course in proper order, most commonly caused by missing a cone or gate. If a car goes off course, but re-enters at the point they went off, this would not count as off course. If you observe a driver go off courses simply call over the radio ” car #XX off course “. The timing / scoring workers will acknowledge your call over the radio.
Most of your radio communication will be calling in cone penalties. Each cone will be set with a chalk box marking the proper location of the cone. If a car hits the cone and knocks it over you will call in to the timer /scoring workers ” car #XX one cone (or however many cones they knocked over). If the cone is hit but STILL STANDING and touching any part of the chalk box it belongs in, the cone does not count against the driver. If the cone is still standing but not touching the chalk box, it does count against the driver and you will need to call it in. All cones disturbed in any way must be reset in their chalk box before the next car comes to your section of the course. Many times cones will be hit by the rear of the car making it important for course workers to watch behind the car to catch any cones that are hit. Please be aware of any course workers that may be near you that do not have a radio. The club has 5 – 6 radios, but sometimes we need to cover the course with 10 course workers. This means that those without a radio must communicate with a near by worker that has a radio. The use of hand signals works well if not with in shouting distance. First get the attention of the near by course worker with a radio. To indicate an off course/DNF use both hands extended above your head and indicate with a pushing motion away from the course. To indicate a cone penalty, simply raise your hand high and indicate with your fingers how many cones hit.
In conclusion, course workers are an essential and valued part of the autocross events. The safety of the course workers, spectators, and drivers is the first and most important concern of everyone involved. Please be safe and vigilant in your duties!