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Track Volunteer: The (Second) Best Seat in the House

Want a close-up view of racing? A track volunteer sees it all, learns a lot – and has a blast hanging out with fellow motorsport fans.

They also serve who only stand and hold a flag on Turn 6. Making a race happen takes a lot of people, and not all of them are behind the wheel. Every event at Pacific Raceways takes support from an indispensable person known as the track volunteer. They perform a wide variety of tasks, but they’re all racing mavens who love motorsport and want to stay close to the action.  

Building Racing Knowledge as a Track Volunteer

There’s a lot to motorsport: rules, regulations, and procedures that need to be followed so that events go safely and smoothly. Enthusiasts who take the Two-Day Accredited Competition Race Licensing course at ProFormance will acquire the skills necessary to compete on the track. But keenly motivated students often volunteer so they can absorb more knowledge about the sport.

“People going through the novice program can be confused about what they need to do and where they need to be,” says ProFormance instructor Scott Morton. “Volunteering is a great way to figure out how things work.” In fact, spending time with drivers, officials, and crew is the fastest way to learn the sport and what is expected of drivers on and off the track.

A Job for Everyone

No matter what your experience, skill set, or ambitions, there are plenty of track volunteer slots you can fill at Pacific Raceways on any given day. Each task has its own demands and rewards.

  • Turn Marshals – On every turn is posted a volunteer who observe the action on a given turn, and display the flag to inform drivers of changes in track status. Tim Peterson, long time turn marshal and racing enthusiast, says that his corner is “the second best seat in the house – just behind the driver’s seat! ProFormance instructor Duane Martinsen notes that the turns are a good place to watch and learn. “You can learn a lot about where to position your car on the track to lower your track times.” It’s also a great way to find out what type of car you’d like to race, he adds.
  • Registration – Helping to sign in drivers and verify credentials
  • Driver Services – A Swiss Army Knife of a job: picking up registration packets, distributing hard copies of schedules and race results, as well as keeping track of points and pit assignments on where groups can park.
  • Track Setup – Those cones don’t move themselves.
  • Scales – Cars are weighed to make sure they’re the correct weight for their class. A great way to observe race cars close-up.
  • Tech Inspection – All cars need to be checked for safety (fire system, roll cage integrity, harness, etc.)
  • Steward – A big job. The rulekeepers on the track, stewards take care of issues that arise on the track, clarifying rules and issuing penalties if necessary. They help with the classification of cars and other matters too, from making sure numerals on cars are clearly visible to dealing with a car that’s too loud.

A Wealth of Organizations

Pacific Raceways hosts a lot of different racing organizations, and all of them need volunteers:

Cones – notorious for
not moving themselves

The Next Step is Yours to Take

Besides the ones mentioned above, there are other track volunteer positions and tasks where you can make a difference. Some of them require considerable training, and others are quite easy to pick up.

Whatever you’re interested in, if you want to get a foot in the gate at Pacific Raceways and the amazing world of racing, give us a call, let us know you’re interested in volunteering, and we’ll connect you with the people who can make it happen.

Or show up early on race day and ask how you can help. In no time you’ll be where the action is!

Main photo: karlnoakes.com

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