I always thank all the officials for a job well done because they all work damn hard each and every race meeting. I very, very rarely single anyone out. This will be one of my rare occasions but I always bring it back to everyone.
I have to applaud my Flaggy on FP11 yesterday. Everyone says “nothing will happen on FP11” and, for the most part, that’s very true. But when something does happen there, it’s usually big. You only have to google “Karl Reindler crash” to see how big it can be.
As captured by Travis from Barnsies Photos, that poor car was never going to straighten up, the yellows were on before the car stopped moving (or before it came to a sudden stop), and the comms from that flag point after the incident were as clear and concise as you can get. It takes a lot of experience dealing with adrenalin rushes that would normally turn Joe Public into a panicking mess into the ability to move beyond natural reaction and calmly state “Race Control, Flag Point 11, car in the wall, driver’s left, heavy impact” and leave it up to Race Control to do their thing.
I wasn’t Chief Flag Marshal yesterday. I stood back and watched everything from the outside. There was one word to describe what I felt: Pride. Pride in what everyone did, pride in what was accomplished, pride in seeing succession planning in full swing, pride in seeing training put to use, pride in watching people put their hand up to go the next step in their officiating journey and stepping up, pride in watching someone be open to new experiences and giving something new a go. I couldn’t be any prouder of what I watched from the sideline.
So, to Knobby on FP11, thank you. To my wonderful flag marshal team, thank you. To all officials this weekend, thank you. You are all amazing. No matter how rough some days can be, don’t ever forget that: You are all amazing.
One can never forget the competitors. Without them putting in the time and effort (and hard earned dollars) to get their cars on track, we would have a lot of time on our hands to get up to far more mischief than the world could handle!
Keep up the fantastic job you all do and I will see you at the next event. Let’s hope those damn Pelicans and their bowels stay away from our bench seats!!!