It’s been a productive Sunday. I have completed the IMSA Track Services Online Training modules, earning 3 credits (1+0.5+0.5+0.5) and five Certificates of Training, like this:
If it looks familiar, it’s because certificates like these are in common use in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia in recognition for the completion of a Formula 1 Grand Prix:
A little token of the organizer’s appreciation. And when it comes to training, is far more standardized and “official” than whatever program Bill, Bruce or Wayne slap together for their presentations at a typical club training day (which I have yet to attend, so I’ll reserve judgement for then, my criticism only reflects the fact that I haven’t had a reasonable opportunity to attend one locally).
Training is important!
The training IMSA Track Services offers online is not rocket science. It is hardly groundbreaking or eye opening material. It is common sense approach to problem solving that reflects IMSA and NASCAR’s methodology and the expected actions of the people that volunteer for their events. It even gives guidance to the language one should use when working an IMSA event, language that is slightly different from language other clubs and sanctioning bodies use, but language that is important to the smooth running of an IMSA event.
Race Control with the IMSA representatives is in charge of the event, not someone on station that is hellbent on forcing their terminology and approach on everyone else, because that’s how they’ve always done it. Training prescribes a specified and sanctioned approach.
I think this IMSA Track Service training should be required viewing for all marshals volunteering for an IMSA event, and not just the track services crews that man the rescue trucks, fire trucks, ambulances and other vehicles. I think everyone could benefit from the training. I remember the first time I heard the term 99 used on the network and had no idea what it meant. I asked around and someone suggested it probably had something to do with the Doctor in one of the chase vehicles. IMSA volunteering should not be a guessing game, knowledge helps contribute to a smoother and safer event. It costs nothing but time both on the part of IMSA and the volunteers to watch the available videos, take the test at the end, and be proficient in the expectations required of them at an event that is often comprised of marshals that come together from all around the country or different clubs within this country. Or even many international marshals that have their own clubs and sanctioning bodies requirements, from wherever they come from. Everybody has to work on the same page. Training is the most basic requirement there should be… a Step #1. And best of all it could be accomplished at the leisure of one’s home or office.
I even enjoyed the little presentation on the history of IMSA and how it came about that the American Le Mans Series and Grand Am came together to form the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
Besides the nostalgia factor, though limited as much of the really good racing was well before my time. I really wish I could have participated in the IMSA Camel GT Series and the Professional Sports Car Racing Championship that followed.
Next step is to complete the NASCAR Track Services Online Training that is a little more comprehensive covering everything from work on the ovals, EMS, etc.