Tag Archives: USARM

Is SCCA Membership Still Worth Keeping to Volunteer as a Marshal?

Is SCCA still relevant in 2017 for those of us wanting to volunteer PRO events? Is it worth paying the membership fee to volunteer? Are there alternatives that don’t require this costly option?

Let’s find out…

For the past few years I’ve been seriously debating whether it’s worth it or not to renew my expensive SCCA membership. This year, as of March the price has gone up another $5 dollars. And this season SCCA PRO lost several series they used to sanction. Among the most notable are the Global MX-5 Cup which is now weirdly sanctioned by IndyCar and Pirelli World Challenge which is now sanctioned by USAC (among several other lesser “pro” series, including those on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder).

So why pay $70 bux a year to volunteer maybe one or two remaining SCCA PRO events that now only include Trans Am and Formula 4?

Doesn’t seem like it’s worth it.

In addition, a number of circuits now no longer require SCCA membership for volunteers to participate in their PRO events. Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has had this policy of welcoming non-SCCA members for several years now. Many of them flag for COTA as employees for track rentals and such. But many show up just for the big events and work directly with the more experienced SCCA members who complain how inexperienced those people are. Lime Rock Park is another example that recently changed it’s policy of requiring SCCA licensed marshals to work their events. Now only SCCA-equivalent training is required, but not necessarily a current license. In addition Lime Rock Park pays $50/day for participation. New Jersey Motorsports Park relies solely on employees to staff their events, however it is possible to “volunteer” some of the bigger races there. I’ve had experience where they let me volunteer and others where they actually paid me for my participation. The Moto America event at NJMP gets you a $300 check in the mail a few weeks later. I’ve already talked extensively about volunteering at Watkins Glen where SCCA membership isn’t required, but the local club that organizes marshals requires you to join them at $15/year fee, which I must add is very reasonable. USAC at Indianapolis Motor Speedway charges upwards of $30 per event to volunteer with them. A discount was offered for multiple events the last time I worked with them in 2013. Similarly ACIND in Montreal, Canada charges you $30 CDN to play with them for F1. Many Motorcycle events organized by Flagging by Faynisha pay you for participation, while the bike race at Laguna Seca requires you to pay to join the USARM club which only staffs bike events at Laguna Seca.

There are however events still, very old-school/old-fashioned, that will force you to join SCCA even if it’s the lesser $30/weekend license fee or whatever they call it. Central Florida Region is a stickler for those, ironically they have the most PRO events out there, especially early in the season when the big events don’t clash with any other.

I put together a list of 46 and 1 practice 2017 PRO Event on the Calendar, and my speculation on which of them require SCCA membership, as well as those that don’t…. I even listed those that by my experience either pay you for your participation or charge you a fee to play with them:

Date Event Name Series Location SCCA required? Marshal Organizer Participation?
Jan 6-8 Roar before the 24 IMSA Daytona YES CFR SCCA volunteer
Jan 26-29 Rolex 24 Daytona IMSA Daytona YES CFR SCCA volunteer
Mar 10-12 St. Pete GP IRL/PWC St. Pete YES CFR SCCA volunteer
Mar 15-18 Sebring 12 hour IMSA Sebring YES CFR SCCA volunteer
Apr 7-8 Long Beach GP IRL/IMSA/PWC Long Beach YES CalClub SCCA volunteer
Apr 23 GP of Alabama IRL Barber Mtsp NO Flagging by Faynisha get paid
Apr 21-23 MotoGP/Moto America MotoGP COTA NO COTA volunteer
Apr 27-30 PWC VIR PWC VIR NO VIR get paid
Apr 28-30 MotoAmerica Road Atlanta MotoAmerica Road Atlanta NO Flagging by Faynisha get paid
May 4-6 Sportscar Showdown IMSA COTA NO COTA/Lone Star SCCA volunteer
May 12-13 MotoAmerica VIR MotoAmerica VIR NO VIR get paid
May 13 Indycar GP IRL Indianapolis NO USAC pay to join
May 19-21 PWC CTMP PWC CTMP NO MMS Mosport volunteer
May 26-27 PWC Lime Rock PWC Lime Rock NO Lime Rock Park get paid
Jun 2-3 Detroit Belle Isle GP IMSA Detroit YES Detroit SCCA volunteer
Jun 2-4 MotoAmerica Road America MotoAmerica Road America MAYBE Road America volunteer
Jun 9-11 GP Canada F1 F1 Montreal NO ACIND pay to participate
Jun 10-11 Pocono 400 NASCAR Pocono NO Team Pocono volunteer
Jul 15-16 ePrix New York Formula E Brooklyn MAYBE NY SCCA/NJ SCCA volunteer
Jun 23-25 Kohler GP IRL/PWC Road America YES SCCA Road America volunteer
Jun 29-Jul 2 Sahlen’s 6 hour IMSA Watkins Glen NO RSI Watkins Glen pay to join
Jul 7-9 Sportscar GP IMSA CTMP NO MMS Mosport volunteer
Jul 7-9 MotoAmerica Laguna Seca MotoAmerica Laguna Seca NO USARM pay to join
Jul 16 Indy Toronto IRL Toronto NO MMS volunteer
Jul 21-22 Northeast GP IMSA Lime Rock NO Lime Rock Park get paid
Jul 28-30 Indy 200 Mid O IRL/PWC Mid Ohio YES Lake Erie Communicators volunteer
Jul 29-30 ePrix Montreal Formula E Montreal NO ACIND pay to participate
Jul 30 Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Pocono NO Team Pocono volunteer
Aug 3-6 Road Race Showcase IMSA Road America YES SCCA Road America volunteer
Aug 5-6 Watkins Glen 355 NASCAR Watkins Glen NO RSI Watkins Glen pay to join
Aug 11-13 Utah PWC PWC Utah Mtsp NO Utah Mtsp employment
Aug 11-13 MotoAmerica Sonoma MotoAmerica Sonoma MAYBE Sonoma employment
Aug 12 Mid Ohio 200 NASCAR Mid Ohio YES Lake Erie Communicators volunteer
Aug 20 ABC Supply 500 IRL Pocono NO Team Pocono volunteer
Aug 25-27 GT Challenge IMSA VIR NO VIR get paid
Aug 25-27 MotoAmerica Pittsburg MotoAmerica Pittsburg MAYBE Pittsburg volunteer
Aug 27 Road America 180 NASCAR Road America YES SCCA Road America volunteer
Sep 1-3 PWC COTA PWC COTA NO COTA/Lone Star SCCA volunteer
Sep 3 IndyCar WGI IRL Watkins Glen NO RSI Watkins Glen pay to join
Sep 3 Chevy Silverado 250 NASCAR CTMP NO MMS Mosport volunteer
Sep 8-10 MotoAmerica NJMP MotoAmerica NJMP NO NJMP get paid
Sep 15-17 Sonoma GP IRL/PWC Sonoma NO Sonoma/SFR employment
Sep 15-17 MotoAmerica Barber MotoAmerica Barber Mtsp NO Flagging by Faynisha get paid
Sep 22-24 Monterey GP IMSA Laguna Seca YES SFR SCCA volunteer
Oct 4-7 Petit Le Mans IMSA Road Atlanta YES Atlanta SCCA volunteer
Oct 13-15 PWC Laguna Seca PWC Laguna Seca YES SFR SCCA volunteer
Oct 20-22 US GP F1 F1 COTA NO COTA/Lone Star SCCA volunteer

So this year, I went ahead and renewed my membership. I had $45 in worker credit that I didn’t want to go to waste. However, next year I’ll have to think long and hard to decide whether it’s worth it or not. There are plenty of events out there that I could put that money towards to still have fun volunteering.

I don’t plan on doing any CLUB events this year… though as always that may change.

How I would go about compiling a “Pro” Marshal’s Handbook

The SCCA Marshal Handbook is 30 pages long. It covers most of the basic rules for club racing, but does little to help a marshal working a “Pro” event especially one sanctioned by the FIA, IMSA, IndyCar, etc.

So to supplement the current lack of actual pre-event training (if you work club events you get really good with club rules which are different than individual series rules) I will compile a Handbook to help those marshals interested in working “Pro” events.

First I must identify what pro events there are on 2015 calendar.

They are:

F1 – Circuit of the Americas, TX (10/25)
MotoGP – Circuit of the Americas, TX (4/12)
MotoGP – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN (8/9)
WEC – Circuit of the Americas, TX (9/19)
SBK – Laguna Seca, CA (7/19)
Formual E – Miami, FL – 3/14
Formula E – Long Beach, CA – 4/4

IndyCar – St Petersburg, FL (3/29)
IndyCar – NOLA Motorsports Park, LA (4/12)
IndyCar – Barber Motorsports Park, AL (4/26)
IndyCar – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN (5/9)
IndyCar – Detroit Belle Isle, MI (5/31)
IndyCar – Toronto, ON (6/14)
IndyCar – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH (8/2)
IndyCar – Sonoma Raceway, CA (8/30)

TUSC – Daytona International Speedway, FL (1/24)
TUSC – Sebring International Raceway, FL (3/21)
TUSC – Long Beach, CA (4/18)
TUSC – Laguna Seca, CA (5/3)
TUSC – Belle Isle, MI (5/30)
TUSC – Watkins Glen International, NY (6/28)
TUSC – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON (7/12)
TUSC – Lime Rock Park (7/25)
TUSC – Road America, WI (8/9)
TUSC – Virginia International Raceway, VA (8/23)
TUSC – Circuit of the Americas, TX (9/19)
TUSC – Road Atlanta, GA (10/3)

PWC – Circuit of the Americas, TX (3/8)
PWC – St Petersburg, FL (3/29)
PWC – Long Beach, CA (4/19)
PWC – Barber Motorsports Park, AL (4/26)
PWC – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON (5/17)
PWC – Road America, WI (6/28)
PWC – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH (8/2)
PWC – Miller Motorsports Park, UT (8/23)
PwC – Sonoma Raceway, CA (8/30)
PWC – Laguna Seca, CA (9/13)

AMA – Circuit of the Americas, TX (4/12)
AMA – Road Atlanta, GA (4/19)
AMA – Virginia International Raceway, VA (5/17)
AMA – Road America, WI (5/31)
AMA – Barber Motorsports Park, AL (6/14)
AMA – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN (8/9)
AMA – NJMP, NJ (9/13)
AMA – Laguna Seca, CA (7/19)

NASCAR – Sonoma Raceway, CA (6/28)
NASCAR – Watkins Glen International, NY (8/9)
NASCAR – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH (8/15)
NASCAR – Road America, WI (8/29)
NASCAR – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON (8/30)

Trans Am – Sebring International Raceway, FL (3/1)
Trans Am – Homestead-Miami Speedway, FL (4/12)
Trans Am – Road Atlanta, GA (5/9)
Trans Am – Lime Rock Park, CT (5/23)
Trans Am – NJMP, NJ (6/14)
Trans Am – Brainerd International Raceway (9/27)
Trans Am – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OH (8/15)
Trans Am – Road America, WI (8/29)
Trans Am – Virginia International Raceway, VA (9/27)
Trans Am – NOLA Motorsport Park, LA (10/11)
Trans Am – Circuit of the Americas, TX (11/8)
Trans Am – Daytona International Speedway, FL (11/14)

Ferrari Challenge – Daytona International Speedway, FL (1/25)
Ferrari Challenge – Homestead-Miami Speedway, FL (3/8)
Ferrari Challenge – Sonoma Raceway, CA (4/26)
Ferrari Challenge – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, QC (6/7)
Ferrari Challenge – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON (7/26)
Ferrari Challenge – Mont Tremblant, QC (9/13)
Ferrari Challenge – Laguna Seca, CA (11/1)

Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Laguna Seca, CA (5/1)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Watkins Glen International, NY (6/26)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Virginia Int’l Raceway, VA (8/21)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Circuit of the Americas, TX (9/17)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Road Atlanta, GA (10/1)
Lamborghini Super Trofeo – Sebring Int’l Raceway, FL (11/19)

Seems like a lot of stuff going on, but if you narrow it down by circuits you only get 20 circuits, 17 in the US and 3 in Canada:

Circuit of the Americas, TX
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IN
Laguna Seca, CA
Sonoma Raceway, CA
NOLA Motorsports Park, LA
Barber Motorsports Park, AL
Mid-Ohio Sporst Car Course, OH
Homestead-Miami Speedway, FL
Daytona International Speedway, FL
Sebring International Raceway, FL
Virginia International Raceway, VA
Road America, WI
Road Atlanta, GA
Miller Motorsports Park, UT
Watkins Glen International, NY
Lime Rock Park, CT
New Jersey Motorsports Park, NJ
Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, ON
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, QC
Mont Tremblant, QC

And 5 temporary or street circuits, of which 4 are in the US and 1 in Canada:

St, Petersburg, FL
Miami, FL
Long Beach, CA
Detroit Belle Isle, MI
Toronto, ON

Once you take into consideration that many “Pro” events act as support races for other “Pro” events on the same weekend at the same track, the calendar is reduced even further. Therefore further simplification and narrowing down is required.

Second I would use event information to identify the organizers:

They are:

SCCA
USAC
RSI
USARM
ACIND
MMS
Circuit of the Americas, TX
Virginia International Raceway, VA
Miller Motorsports Park, UT

…and possibly other clubs or tracks that organize their own marshals.

Third I would compile procedural information for each series.

This information includes:

Flag Rules including Light Panel Instructions/Procedures
Full Course Yellow Procedure and Restarts
Communication Guidelines
Response Rules, including vehicle specific info like Hybrid systems kill switches, extinguisher switches, tow procedure, lifting of vehicle, and general differences between open wheel, sports car, or moto events.

Fourth I would compile available supplemental info for each series.

That includes:

Spotter Guides
Vehicle Distinguishing Features Info/Class System
Driver List / Number / Names
Team Information
Series Information, etc.

Fifth and final section I would compile pertinent track information.

General description of each Road Course
General description of each Street Course
Specific information unique to each facility.
Any pertinent information for marshals like morning meetings, locations, lunches, where equipment is kept, flags/fire bottles,  etc.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of information for the “Pro” Marshal’s Handbook, but it is a good outline of where to start. I would envisage that with each year information would be updated as necessary – whether added or deleted. However, all in all it would be a solid point of reference for anyone using the Handbook at any “Pro” event they choose to volunteer without alienating one club over another, one series over another or one circuit over another.

This is also something that does not currently exist.