I’m going to chalk this one up as an accomplishment. It’s been a while since I had my mind set on volunteering one of the big pro events at VIR… but lo and behold none of the contacts I reached out to were willing to help… in fact, people told me it was impossible to flag here unless you get a job with the track. And so I gave up on the idea.
Until of course I saw a Mazda Motorsport facebook post promoting the event and my desire to marshal here sparked up again.
I reached out to my “friends” in SCCA who as expected gave me the typical response: “Impossible!” It pissed me off to no end that the club I’m a part of and pay annual dues for does nothing to help. And by club I mean high ranking local club members like flag chiefs who wouldn’t lift a finger to help, but who are selfishly boasting that they are working this event because in addition to their role at SCCA they are also employed at the track… Gee good for them! I was hoping for a little bit of help but apparently there’s politics involved why VIR doesn’t rely on general SCCA membership. Except of course those that are SCCA and work for the track directly. Whatever!
I remembered the IMSA race control folks advertising the idea of working some of their other events at various IMSA races I’ve done earlier this year. So I jumped on the opportunity to reach out to them. And just as quickly I got an official response (my mail was forwarded onto the track) from VIR saying all positions were filled.
It wasn’t until someone from RSI, the club that staffs marshals for Watkins Glen International, posted about openings that still required staffing one week away from the race, that I got my chance to participate by reaching out. Once I was in, I was in… it was VIP treatment from then on. I had no trouble signing in, picking up my credentials, I even got the Paddock parking pass which came in very useful for my pre-race picture snapping during the promoter test day. It was fantastic. And it was at that time I learned they still needed more flaggers, and that’s what I’d be doing on Friday.
I really enjoyed the flagging experience at VIR. The stations that I had seen and personally experienced were nice gazebo’s providing some much needed shade on a stinken hot southern summer day. They were elevated and provided excellent view from flag post to flag post. I was amazed with all the elevation changes around the track, and how many drivers found the turns challenging. We had quite a few spins I had to put a flag out for, and even a light impact.
It was great! I would love to have another opportunity to flag here again… but my favorite part was being in pit lane for the rest of the weekend… I’ll talk about it more in the next post, but will share some pix from day one, here:
Nice camping area near the north paddock, with a good shower and some trees providing much needed shade. I’m so glad the new tent held up under the monsoon we had on Saturday.
I already shared the Global MX-5 Cup car pix, but there were also several NC MX-5’s racing in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
And some of my favorite shots above pit entry, looking from the second story above the pit garages.