Published in the November 2018 issue of “Die Porsche Kassette”
Ⓒ2016 Technolab / PedrosGarage.com
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If you’ve ever been to a PCA Club Race, you’ve seen a bunch of people in their “Fresh Green” (that’s the actual name of the color) shirts all over the track.
These people, who come from all parts of the Country, are volunteers from PCA National Club Racing and include, most likely: the Race Steward(s), Timing & Scoring personnel, and the Scrutineers (Scruts) among others.
The PCA National Club Racing team has two primary objectives for every Club Race:
First and foremost is SAFETY and second to make sure that the Racing RULES and REGULATIONS are enforced.
The Stewards run the race and are responsible for the Team.
Depending on the number of cars racing, you may find one or more Stewards present.
They start their work months before an event, communicating with the PCA personnel who will be working the race to make sure that travel and lodging arrangements are coordinated. They also work very closely with the event’s Regional Organizing Committee to assure that all loose ends are tied before the event starts and that everything runs smoothly once it does.
During the event the Steward(s) is the Boss. He or she is in constant communication with every single department. They deal with any and all issues, apply sanctions if needed, and theirs is the final word, so you may appreciate how stressful their job is.
Timing & Scoring
This team is responsible for making sure that each and every racer is timed to the millisecond during practice sessions, qualifying sessions, and races. They time each lap for each participant and they also control the in-pit times during the mandatory pit stops in the Enduros.
Timing and Scoring posts these times after every session so that racers and their teams can study them and make adjustments if necessary.
Some tracks have their own timing loops which can be tied into their systems, but more often than not they have to set up from scratch and build or rebuild their own timing loops that need to work with each and every unique transponder installed in each and every racecar.
They also keep track of finishing places and championship points for all pertinent contests.
This is my group since I’m a Scrut (pronounced 'scroot').
We are the most hated group during a race because we “disrupt” the racers by doing scheduled and random inspections and looking for any safety and/or rules infractions We are also the Steward’s on-track eyes and ears and convey their messages to racers.
Nevertheless, after the day is over we do get a lot of ‘thank you’s” from the racers (when adrenaline is no longer flowing and their helmet is off) since, they understand that we work for them.
We start to work a few days before the event when we receive the official roster from the National Licensing and Program Coordinator. This roster is studied by the Scruts and is generally sorted into lists that we can quickly refer to during the event. These lists contains the driver’s name, car number, class, minimum weight, transponder number and other important information pertinent to the race.
We arrive the day before the race, together with the rest of the National Team and immediately set up Tech Inspection.
After a racer is officially registered, we check each and every car’s logbook or issue a new one if it’s the car’s first race with PCA. The logbook contains the car’s complete information from roll cage gauge, race seat type and manufacturing date, harness’ date, fire suppression system, electrical cut-off switch, window and or roof net, protective clothing, type of in-car video recording, etc.
Logbooks also keep a detailed record of any changes done to the car from race to race as well as entries from the Scruts if and when they find any discrepancies with the rules and regulations.
During the rest of the event we also man different stations:
Tech: where cars are technically inspected.
Scales: where cars are weighed to make sure they meet the minimum class weight.
Random Inspections: showing up at any car and scrutinizing it for safety and rules.
Grid: where a quick safety inspection is performed on each car before it goes on track.
Black Flag: where any car that has had an on-track incident must report to.
If any car has an on-track incident we make sure that the driver visits Medical and fills out their Incident Report and we also write up a Scrutineer’s Incident Report. All three, driver and the two reports go to the Steward who studies the incident and applies sanctions if necessary.
After the last race of the event, we each pack up all our gear and try to catch our respective flights back home. Then we send our notes to the Lead Scrut who prepares a full report of the event from our perspective. This report gets shared between al National Scrutineers so that we can learn and try to make the system better for the next event.
Sometimes the “fresh green” shirts are covered with foul weather gear, because, if we can borrow from the USPS:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat or gloom of night stays these scruts from the swift completion of their job!
It is grueling work for each one of the PCA National Club Racing Team members. We are all volunteers, most are current or former racers who want to give back to the Club for all the enjoyment we have received throughout the years.
As with most things in life nowadays, as soon as you introduce them, they're already obsolete!
When this article was written (October, 2018) we were all using “Fresh Green” shirts. The same week that the article was published, in January 2019, PCA Club Racing introduced new apparel for all personnel:
We now wear “New Blue” Shirts!