I got up Friday morning at 4:30 am so I could drive the hour-and-a-half to get to the track by 7. When I got there, I found out I was going to be the only person working grid until about 11:30 am. Nothing like jumping in with both feet and seeing if I could swim! But luckily, I remembered my experience helping out on grid with the Driver's Ed a few weeks back, and after checking in with race control to get my headset and to clarify exactly how they wanted me to communicate with them about cars entering the track, etc. I was set.
Luckily, Friday was conducted under basic Driver's Ed rules, so I just had to get the cars lined up, make sure they all had tech inspection stickers, and make sure all the cars were ready to go out on track, such as helmets and gloves on, proper attire, windows down, seatbelts on, doors shut, etc. Then I just needed to release the grid, direct them on track, and stay in communication with race control. It went very smooth.
Saturday and Sunday was a bit more intense, as that was the actual club race weekend. Lots more to check on the cars, had to make sure window nets were in place, check for mechanical problems like oil leaks on the grid, and more. On top of that, the national PCA stewards were also on hand, watching everything. Luckily, we had three people working grid and it went pretty smoothly.
Starting mid-morning, we actually had to grid the cars according to the lap times they achieved during the previous sessions. This made things a lot more intense and active, as we had to move cars into position, park cars between other cars that had arrived earlier, make sure there were no accidents, etc. Again, everything went well.
We had one hiccup in the afternoon during the first actual race, when we had 3 or 4 empty slots, people who didn't make it to the grid on time and had to start from the rear. It caused some confusion when releasing the cars from grid onto the track, but a solution was come up with later in the day, and every other session went perfect.
Sunday was the real workout, because that was the enduro race. We had at least 35 cars to grid for that race, and luckily we had a fourth person to help out, since the grid was so long.
Overall, I had a great time. Most people don't like to volunteer to work the grid, and I admit, after watching others do it in the past, I was a little worried. But it went great, and I can't wait to do it again.
Of course, the temptation to turn my 944S into a dedicated track car keeps gnawing away at me, and given the choice between working the grid and racing, it would be racing hands-down......
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