Corner workers are stationed at selected turns during DE and Club Race track sessions. They are part of the track safety team charged with identifying and reporting hazardous situations and - by means of flags - communicating this information to drivers. They are a vital part of these on-track events.
LSR members who choose to work a corner at a DE event earn a credit to drive a subsequent DE event for free (usually within a year of the DE after the one they worked). This has the obvious advantage of getting to drive a DE for free, but there are some other perhaps not-so-obvious advantages:
You get to see the track from "the other side of the windshield." This means you get a new understanding of the importance of flags at the corners (i.e. seeing them while you are driving, and also understanding their importance), and of track safety in general. Listening to radio communications during a DE weekend is also extremely instructive.
You get to watch other drivers in all the run groups. You can (as Steve Kent has put it) "Go to school" on other drivers, seeing their line thru given corners, seeing how consistent they are (or are not) and generally getting a sense of their overall approach to driving on the track. And there is quite a range from green to blue to yellow to white to red run groups!
Corner working is fun! Helping keep drivers safe (from themselves as well as from other drivers) is important work and you will enjoy acquiring the relevant skills and experience.
Those are the main reasons for you to consider working a corner at the next DE, or at some future one. There are several other reasons why doing this is important to your Porsche club:
Every year we have a club race. And we need experienced volunteers to work corners at it. DE events are great times to get training and experience; and it is much better for the club if you get trained before the race, instead of during the race.
The club has an ongoing need to have a cadre of trained and experienced corner workers included in its membership. I have been Flag Chief for a number of years, but will need to be replaced someday. And currently the experienced corner workers in the club (John Smaardyk, Jake Taylor, Ted Lazarides and Tim Westby are the names that come first to my mind) are all instructors (except Tim, who hasn't been coming to our DE events). Instructors need to be instructing, not working corners, or managing corner workers.
We are paying A&M car club students to work corners at our events, and they do good work. We have been training them on an ongoing basis (much to their parents' delight, some of them actually graduate eventually, get jobs and move away). But key positions like Control and Flag One are best manned by non-students, in most cases. And of course, the more club member volunteers we have working corners, the fewer workers we have to pay.
If you try it and like it and want to get some world-class corner worker training, join SCCA and list "F & C" (Flagging and Communications) as your specialty. SCCA pretty much invented corner working in its current form and most of our folks named in (5) above are also SCCA members.
To reserve your corner worker spot at a future DE event, e-mail Bob Benson or call 817.457.8833. Bob is the
Flag Chief for LSR PCA and for the Texas Region SCCA.
If you have a non-driving significant other who wants to earn a DE credit for you by working a corner we can discuss that possibility also. It would get them up to the track with you for the weekend, which might be a plus. But you are going to owe them BIG-TIME for this.