Fun with flags, part dos


So, in the same vein as Fooshe’s scenario from yesterday…

Let’s say you’re under full course caution, and you’re well back in the field. The incident is cleaned up, so you’re expecting a green next time by. As the leaders approach start/finish, you’re still on the previous straight, but can see the starter’s stand. The green flag waves, and you get a good restart. You’re about to pass the car ahead of you as you enter the turn leading onto the front straight, but that corner station is still showing double yellow. Do you take the pass, or back out?



I would suggest that it’s kinda personality dependent. Some race directors are flexible, some less so. Lets say that you could see the corner station the whole time. So you knew for an absolute fact that the FCY failed to come down on the green. So there would be no way that the FCY came down on the green, but then an immediate incident caused it to go back up.

An hour later you’re standing at attention in front of the race director. You explain to him, supported by video, that it was 100% clear that the FCY was a mistake. One race director might rule in your favor saying that, based on your experience you correctly judged the situation and was not confused by the corner worker’s error." Another race director could say “obey the corner worker at all times. To do else would be to invite chaos.”

The race director needs to have the freedom to make calls his way. Sure, he’s guided by the rules, but every once in a while there’s going to be a tricky scenario.

In MidAtl you’d be hosed. Jeff Hall is very by-the-book. In SE it would be you and me in front of Jim Pantas. If your video showed me that you had all the information necessary to correctly judge that the flagger was in error, I’d be defending you to Jim. We might win that fight. Jim can be convinced that the rules should be interpreted flexibly if a sufficiently compelling case is made because rules can’t possibly cover every conceivable situation.

I’m not implying that MidAtl is wrong and that SE is right. Reasonable adults don’t always see things the same way. That’s not good/bad or right/wrong, its just human nature at work.


If you have not even passed the corner worker station with the standing double yellow, you are still under the control of that corner workers station and, by definition, cannot pass. Once you clear the corner worker station, you are under the control of the next station, which is green…so you can hit the loud pedal.

This seems like an easy question and is merely one regarding race craft…am I missing something?

Now Ranger brings up a good point and the Race Director should be able to make that call. However, what if there is an incident or stalled car just past the corner worker station that you don’t see and it is not severe enough to maintain a full course yellow? You would have some explaining to do if you passed before the yellow flag station that you are not even past. However, I don’t agree with trying to over ride a corner worker error. If the corner worker has a flag up, you MUST presume that the corner worker is correct as everyone else has to abide by it, too.

The way I see it, there is no legitimate reason for passing BEFORE the yellow. Once you pass it, that is where you have to be heads up. If you did take the pass, and there was perhaps a stalled car, you also have to be heads up enough to point the driver by and give the pass back so if your argument does not work, you can show you were aware of the problem and did what you thought was right to fix it. If the RD still dings you after you gave the position back, that is reason for an appeal.


For what it may be worth, this scenario happened to me over the summer (and yes, both the green and double yellow were clearly visible). I did not take the pass, so there’s no real drama. However, once I was back in the paddock and thought more about it, I believe I’d do it differently next time. My logic: By definition, double yellow is a global command, so it cannot exist at the same time as the green for a restart (in other words, you cannot have a double yellow only at one flag station). Once the green waves, I know that we are no longer under full course caution, and therefore the double yellow is an error. CCR could also be used as support: “20.12.1: …may resume passing at any time… providing that they are completely past a manned flag station not displaying any yellow flag, OR when the green flag has been displayed.” The OR seems to cover this scenario pretty clearly.

Fooshe, I can see some of your comments making sense if the corner was displaying a single yellow, which is possible and would indicate a local condition. However, I’d argue that one of your key points is in direct conflict with CCR. We are not under control of the next flag station ahead, we are under control of the most recent flag station we have passed (for local flags - global is global).



You’re right cliff.

For some reason, I was answering the question as a single yellow.

Not sure why I didn’t read it was a double yellow.


Well, you know how to take the fun right out of an argument.