FOR THE BEGINNER - FLAGS
Flag Stations are your “third eye” when on the track. Make a habit of looking at each station as you pass. Your safety and that of other drivers and track workers depends on this. There might be silgiht variations of flag meanings depending on organization or club but here are the general basic themes.
Know your Flags!!!
It is usually displayed by the start/finish line station to indicate the start of a session. When the track is under a caution period during a session, the flag will be presented to restart the session.
The most recognizable flag by just about everyone. Signals the end of last lap. The session is over. After crossing the finish line, this last lap is to slow down and cool off. As a professional courtesy, please waive to the corner workers who are volunteering their time. When entering the pits now or anytime during the session please be sure to raise your left hand outside of the car in a fist as a signal and or use turn signal.
Exercise caution for potential hazard be alert and do not pass any car be aware to slow down. If the flag is waving signals IMMEDIATE HAZARD ON COURSE slow down and be prepared to stop.
On track emergency, the session has stopped. You should check mirror and begin to stop pull over on a side of the track not off the track where you may pick up road debris. You should stop away from the driver’s line and where other drivers coming from behind can clearly see you. Do not get into car stay belted in and ready to drive. The flag station ahead will tell you when or if not in sight just wait till other cars start moving on the track.
Open black flag at all stations indicates the session has stopped and all cars must proceed to pit lane no passing. Open black at only the start station or another station indicates it pertains to you. Proceed to pit lane and they will talk to you. This will happen when you go off the track during the session. They will determine if there is any obvious damage that might make your car a potential hazard. A closed lack flag (furled) pointed or shaken at you means: “Ohh ohh, they are warning you for unsafe or improper driving. Continued driving like this and you will get a black flag. If you have no idea what warrants this warning best to take it into the pits for a brief discussion.
Yellow and Red Striped Flag
Caution potential hazard! Oil, coolant, and debris on track which may cause you to lose control. You may have to alter your line to avoid this hazard.
Blue Flag with Diagonal Yellow Stripe
Be aware a car or cars are overtaking you. Check you mirrors recommend you lift off the gas and let them pass. Remember you are not racing.
Mechanical Black Flag
Also known as the meatball flag. There is a mechanical problem with your car oil leak, etc. Get off racing line and then proceed to pit lane immediately.
Caution ambulance, emergency vehicle, or slow moving race track on track. The flag is generally displayed tow stations prior to the vehicle. Exercise caution pass vehicle safely.
FOR THE BEGINNER - MOTORSPORTS TERMINOLOGY
Every profession uses jargon i.e. special words to express ideas and/or functions particular to the group. The following list is some of the common terminology around the track in which to better communicate.