NA-F2000: "IFFY" Flag at Watkins Glen

NEW “IFFY” FLAG PROVIDES MORE RACING IN F2000 FAIRFIELD, N.J. (June 9, 1998) -- To help reduce the time spent under full-field cautions, the U.S. F2000 National Championship has created a new "Iffy" flag restart procedure that made its debut...

NEW “IFFY” FLAG PROVIDES MORE RACING IN F2000

FAIRFIELD, N.J. (June 9, 1998) -- To help reduce the time spent under full-field cautions, the U.S. F2000 National Championship has created a new "Iffy" flag restart procedure that made its debut at the May 29 Parts America 150 Watkins Glen International Weekend.

The "Iffy" flag restart procedure informs the field behind the pace car under full-course caution periods that while the clean-up process is not advanced to the point of a "one-to-go" sign, a green flag may be possible the next time around. The starter gives the field a furled (rolled) yellow flag, rotating it side-to-side in a circular motion. If the clean-up is complete during the following lap, the pace car lights will be extinguished at a pre-defined point on the course, signaling an impending restart.

"While our focus during full-course caution situations is always on the safety of our participants, officials and the corner workers, caution laps on road courses can take as much as four or five minutes, and we'd like to reduce this down time whenever possible to safely do so," said Glenn Maerki, U.S. F2000 Chief Steward. "Similar procedures are used in other road racing series, but usually through radio communication between race control and the teams. By using a flag, it's keeping the fans in tune with what's happening as well as informing the drivers without radio communication that if the starter gave the furled yellow, it's iffy – we'll try to go green, so be prepared and watch the pace car lights."

"The "Iffy" flag gave us an extra four laps under green in the Saturday race at Watkins Glen, providing the fans with a more exciting show," said J.J. O'Malley, Homestead Motorsports Complex Director of Communications. "There was a lot of resitance in road racing to go to a waving white flag with one lap to go," added O'Malley. "Watkins Glen was the first place the white flag was used, proving it could be done without causing confusion as to whether or not there was a safety car on course. The white flag soon caught on in all professional road racing, keeping the fans involved in the race, and I hope to see the new ‘Iffy' flag do the same thing."

Eric Prill

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Series Other open wheel