Main - DRIVERS - Rules of the Track

SCCA TIME TRIALS - RULES OF THE TRACK

The following sections govern the procedures for all SCCA Sanctioned events for the procedures listed.

Flags convey the commands or information indicated below. They must be obeyed immediately and without question. The content of this section cannot be amended by any event Supplemental Regulations.

Description and Meanings of Each Flag
Green Flag
When displayed, the Green Flag indicates that the course is clear, and that competition is underway. The Green Flag is ordinarily shown only by the Start/Finish line official.
Yellow Flag
The yellow can be shown in one of two ways: Being waved (Waving) or held still (Standing).


Standing/Motionless Yellow:
You are approaching an incident where your and other’s safety is at risk. The track boundaries may be clear but there is immediate danger to you or others beside the track. Slow significantly and proceed through the incident at a reduced speed. There is no passing from the Yellow Flag until past any emergency incident(s).

Waving Yellow: You are approaching an incident that has great danger to you and others. The track may be partially or completely blocked. Slow significantly and be prepared to stop. All efforts should be made to proceed through a waving Yellow Flag in single file order. There is no passing from the Yellow Flag until past any emergency incident(s).

The yellow-flag zone starts at a perpendicular line across the track from the flag and ends at a perpendicular line across the track from the last component of the incident causing the Yellow Flag. The last component may be the car, driver, responding officials, other vehicles and/or large debris.

Blue Flag
The Blue Flag can also be shown waving or being held still, and the design may be solid blue, or blue with a yellow or orange diagonal stripe.


Standing/Motionless Blue Flag:
Another competitor is following very closely and may wish to be let by.

Waving Blue Flag: Another competitor is approaching you at a high rate of speed or being greatly held up. Let them by as soon as safely possible.

Yellow with Vertical Red Stripes

This flag is commonly known as the "Debris Flag" and indicates a slippery condition exists, or debris is present on the racing surface. This flag is displayed standing and may be put away or "dropped" after everyone has a chance to see it, but the debris or slippery condition may still exist.

White

Caution and take care for a slow-moving race car, ambulance or other emergency vehicle on the racing surface. The standing flag is displayed for two (2) flag stations prior to the vehicle in question.

In addition, a standing White Flag may be displayed during the first lap of each group’s first session of the day to indicate the location of flag stations, unless another flag is already being used for a track condition.

Black Flag

Closed (furled): Pointed or shaken at an individual car from the starter’s stand (optionally, accompanied by a number board indicating the car number). WARNING for driving in an unsafe and/or improper manner. Continued unsafe and/or improper driving will result in an OPEN BLACK FLAG.

Open (with number board): Displayed from the starter’s stand with a number board indicating the car number. If your car number is shown, proceed directly to the pits and the location designated by the Event Lead or Competition Director, or event Supplemental Regulations for consultation with SCCA Officials. DO NOT TAKE ANOTHER LAP.

NOTE: This flag and number board may also be displayed at station(s) elsewhere on the course.

Open (shown at all stations): Black Flag All. The session has been stopped; all cars must stop competing, and proceed directly and immediately to the pits, exercising extreme caution. This flag will be displayed with an “ALL” sign at the Starter’s stand and the sign may also be shown at station(s) elsewhere on the course. Official timing shall be stopped at the presentation of a Black Flag All and no laps completed during a Black Flag All shall count for official times.

Black with Orange or Red Ball

The Mechanical or “Meatball” Flag. Displayed from the Starter’s stand with a number board indicating the car number. If your car number is shown, there is a mechanical problem with the car. Proceed directly to your pit or the location designated by the Competition Director, Event Lead or event Supplemental Regulations. DO NOT TAKE ANOTHER LAP.

NOTE: This flag and number board may also be displayed at station(s) elsewhere on the course.

Red

Displayed at each station and on the Starter’s stand. EXTREME DANGER—THE SESSION HAS BEEN STOPPED. Come to an immediate, controlled stop at the side of the race track (preferably before and within sight of a staffed station or where specified in the event Supplemental Regulations). When released by an official, proceed cautiously to pit lane. Once a Red Flag has been displayed, it will not be withdrawn until all cars have come to a stop.

Checkered

Displayed at the end of a session to indicate that the session is finished. Continue cautiously to pit lane.

Minimal Flag Sets

It is possible that some events will only use the Yellow, Black and Checkered flags, and the Blue Flag if passing is allowed.

If an event uses only those flags, the Yellow Flag will be used for any condition which might require the Yellow, White or Debris flags and the Black Flag will be used for any time officials want to see a driver whether the issue is behavioral (Black) or for a mechanical problem (Meatball).

Lights instead of Flags

Some tracks and events may use lights in the place of flags. Check the event's your Supplemental Regulations for where on the course and for what purpose lights, if any, will be used.

Time Trials are not wheel-to-wheel competition. All passing—no matter the procedure—should be done with care, and with the least amount of disruption to each competitor’s lap, session or event.            

Passing Zone
A passing zone is a designated area on track where passing is allowed to take place. Whenever possible, passing zones should be marked with cones or signs.

Passing Signals
A passing signal or “point-by” is a signal given by a leading car, giving permission to a following car to overtake. As a general rule, a point-by should be given by the driver being passed by extending an arm out of the driver’s window and indicating which direction the passing driver should go. Once a driver has given a point-by, he/she should make sure the passing driver has adequate space and speed differential to complete the pass safely (e.g., by slowing down enough to let the passing driver by).

Drivers of vehicles with window nets or other driver-window obstructions may point-by from inside the car. Other drivers shall be notified of any driver using an inside-the-car point-by, and the rear window of inside-point-by cars should be marked with a bright color tape contrasting as much as possible with the color of the car to let other drivers know where to look.

For drivers with physical conditions which render the use of a hand signal inappropriate, these drivers may use turn signals with the approval of the Event Lead. Other drivers shall be notified of any driver using a turn signal for point-by and the turn signals of that car shall be marked with a bright color tape contrasting as much as possible with the color of the car.

Suggested Passing Zone Rules

Advanced Level drivers: It is suggested that the most experienced Time Trials drivers are able to pass anywhere on track, with passes in corners accomplished with a point-by. Passes on straights may be done without a point-by.

Intermediate Level drivers: It is suggested that Time Trials drivers with intermediate levels of experience may pass anywhere on track, but that passes are always with a point-by.

Beginner or Novice Level drivers: It is suggested that Time Trials drivers with the least amount of experience be limited to passing on the longest straights only, and passes are always with a point-by.

Entering the Track

When entering the track drivers should always:

  1. Obey signals from any pit-out worker.

  2. Keep an eye on mirrors as you enter the track, looking for any traffic the worker might have missed.

  3. Do not cross the "Blend Line" – a line on the track which acts as an "invisible wall" allowing the driver to look for traffic without crossing into the driving line.

Exiting the Track

Whenever a driver exits the track into the pits, drivers should always:

  1. Plan early: Last minute "dives" onto pit road can be dangerous for you and other drivers on course.
  2. Display a "pit-in signal." Whenever possible, drivers should give a pit-in signal to notify other drivers they will be coming into the pits. The pit-in signal is made by raising an arm out the window and holding up a fist. Pit-in signals should be given with enough time to allow other drivers to react to potentially greater closing speeds.

Scored Sessions
No passengers are permitted during any scored session or run during an SCCA Time Trials event


Unscored Sessions
Passengers may be permitted during and unscored session during a Time Trials Event, with the approval of the Event Lead or designated event official.

  • If for any reason a driver is forced to stop his/her car on the course during an event, it should be his/her first duty to place his/her car in such a manner as to cause no danger or obstruction to other competitors.

  • Unless the vehicle is on fire, drivers of disabled vehicles shall remain seated and in full gear until given instructions otherwise by an official. If the vehicle is on fire, the driver should exit the vehicle and get behind a barrier. It is not recommended drivers cross a course when seeking safety.

Grid shall be defined as the area where vehicles are staged and readied for the start. This area shall be a “hot” area by definition and personnel access shall be restricted as such. Grid shall be restricted to only those vehicles which are being readied to start.

The paddock is defined as the area reserved for the parking of or working on participating automobiles. At Time Trials events, these areas should be defined as “cold” areas, and as such, be open to spectators (if applicable), unless otherwise restricted in the Supplemental Regulations for an event.

  • Cars shall not be run in gear with the drive wheels off the ground.
  • Jack stands must be used whenever any person is under any part of a lifted vehicle.
  • All vehicles must be securely held in place via chock, stand, or other positive method whenever the driver is not seated in the driver’s seat.
  • Any compressed gas cylinders with pressures above 200 psi must have a cage or similar device to protect the valve/regulator/gauge assembly when rigged for use.
  • Any pets must be securely fastened to a leash and securely held by a stationary object or by an adult at all times.
  • All minors shall be under adult supervision at all times.
  • No person may ride on the external bodywork of any vehicle in the pit/paddock.
  • Commercial and private unmanned aircraft systems (aka "drones") are prohibited unless authorized in the Supplementary Regulations.