So you’ve read all about the great things the Sports Car Club of America has to offer its members and you’re ready to sign on the dotted line. But wait! You say to yourself, ‘I’m not really interested in competing, so what else can I do within this Club?.’ Well, we have plenty of opportunities for folks, even if they aren’t interesting in strapping into a fire-breathing racing machine. Whether it’s Rally, Solo or Road Racing, there are tons of jobs that need to be performed to ensure a fun, exciting and safe event goes off without a hitch. In addition to supporting out amateur motorsports programs, SCCA workers also provide staff to numerous professional sanctioning bodies, including IndyCar, NASCAR and IMSA.
If you’re interested in being on the front lines of an event, here are some possibilities for you:
Take a position along the course and communicate with racecar drivers on track utilizing flags and hand signals. These folks give drivers extremely important information such as hazardous track conditions ahead and if faster traffic is approaching from behind. In addition, these workers act as first responders when there is an on-course incident. Simply put, they serve as the link between race officials and the drivers throughout a race.
This group of folks includes highly trained individuals in three areas: medical response, firefighting and vehicle recovery. Incidents are not fun, but they are bound to happen at the race track. Here is your chance to put training from your day job to work in a fun and exciting environment.
Do you love to see the green flag fly to start a race and hear the sound of drivers putting the gas pedal to the floorboard to get the best position heading to turn one? What if you were the person responsible for that? It is the responsibility of the starter to ensure a safe and fair start each time they are on the flag stand. With this high-profile position comes the responsibility to get the race started in the correct way.
Enforcing the rulebook and making sure everything runs smoothly at an event is very important. Here are a couple ways to get involved in administering successful motorsports events:
These officials make sure each competitor is following the rules set forth in the rulebook. They are the front line of defense ensuring that each car is fit for competition, while keeping the playing field level for everyone. Some of the responsibilities include pre-race safety inspections, technical compliance, post-race inspection and mechanical compliance.
Are you good with computers or have an interest in knowing who’s leading, and by how much, at every moment? If so, you may have a future here. It is your responsibility to set up, run and disassemble the advanced timing equipment used for each race.
If organization is your thing, working in registration may be for you. You are the first person everyone meets at the track. Customer service is of the utmost importance in this fast-paced, people-centered environment. As the first point of contact, get everyone headed in the right direction to start their race weekend off on the right foot.
The buck stops here. If you are interested in having a hands-on influence on how each part of the event is run, this is for you. Whether it’s making sure everyone is safe, rules are enforced or the event runs smoothly, you’re the boss. Even the best laid plans are prone to issues, and that goes double at the racetrack. Everyone will look to you adapt and solve issues that arise.
How do you get involved? It’s as easy as going to a local event and volunteering to help. Workers are issued a license, just like competition drivers, and can work their way up through four levels of competence by participating in different events. Eventually, you can gain the knowledge and experience necessary to hold a national-level specialty license. SCCA-licensed workers staff many of the major motorsport events held throughout the United States, in one capacity or another.