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“Sporting regulations and safety cars”

June 12, 2012

Please find below extracts from the Formula 3 Sporting and Technical Regulations, specifically article 2.16, with regards to actions behind the safety car.

2.16 Operation of Safety Car:
2.16.3 SPECIFIC SAFETY CAR REGULATIONS.
c) The Safety Car will be brought into operation to neutralise a race upon the sole decision of the Clerk of the Course. The Safety Car will be driven by an experienced circuit driver and will carry and observer capable of recognising all competing cars and who is in permanent radio contact with the Race Director.

e) On the order from the Clerk of the Course, the Safety Car will join the circuit with its revolving lights on, regardless of where the race leader is.

f) When the order is given to deploy the Safety Car a waved yellow flag and “SC” board will be displayed at the start finish line. The waved yellow flags and “SC” boards will flow around the circuit in both directions, as an adjacent post displays both their waved yellow flag and “SC” board. This system may be supplemented by a message being simultaneously broadcast to all marshals‟ posts if such a communication system is available.

g) Flashing yellow lights may also be used at the start-line and at other points around the circuit.

h) All competing cars, when notified of the Safety Car intervention (by the flag signals, “SC” boards, or by any other means) will reduce speed and line up behind the Safety Car, no more than 5 car lengths apart, and maintaining the same speed as it. Overtaking or overlapping of any other competing car during a Safety Car intervention is forbidden. Overtaking of a Safety Car is forbidden unless the particular competitor concerned is signalled to overtake the Safety Car by the observer in the Safety Car.

Please find below what not to do under safety car conditions, courtesy of KSW Motorsport’s Kim-Alexander Giersiepen at the Sachsensenring last weekend during an ADAC Formula Masters race.

As marshal’s attempted to collect the stricken Nicolas Pohler from the gravel trap, Giersiepen entered the corner far to fast, lost control and rammed the stationary safety car. Following this incident (on lap 2), the race was red flagged and eventually abandoned.

The weekend wasn’t the best advertisement for the ADAC Formula Masters series. On Sunday, both Yannick Mettler and Artem Markelov garnered the attention of stewards, when Mettler received a warning for excessively dangerous driving.
Markelov took that an extra level after his front wing broke – the Russian continued on with the wing lodged underneath the front of his car. How he managed to steer it is beyond me.

Following on from Dmitry Suranovich’s crazy antics at Monaco during the GP3 event, it may be necessary to review driver’s attitude towards yellow flags and safety car signs, before someone ends up killing a marshal.

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