Sep 10, 2002
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<BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>The Willow Springs Motorcycle Club has released rules for the $150,000-purse Toyota 200 (mile) race, scheduled for September 15.<BR><BR>A pace car will be used, and crews will be allowed to work on their bikes in the pits during red flag periods and while the pace car is on track.<BR><BR>Most of the rule information, including pit stop procedures, is posted on the WSMC website, ; no information on red flag situations would be handled was on the WSMC site as of this morning. <BR><BR>"Yes, pit work on a bike during a red flag will be allowed unless you caused the red flag," said WSMC Assistant Operations Manager Bobi Griffin in a telephone call Tuesday. "We will also be using a pace car."<BR><BR>"In the event of a major crash or if clean-up of the track surface is necessary--should there be a red flag and a necessary stoppage of the race--we will bring the riders into the pit area," said WSMC Operations Manager Kenny Kopecky. "I will be driving the pace car. I have nearly 20 years of race experience at this facility (including 2001 and current 2002 season top <BR>10 overall ranking); have participated as a competitor in the Daytona 200 with AMA using a pace car; and feel confident we will provide the <BR>level of rider service and safety to the TOYOTA 200 racers as WSMC participants have received for over 10 years."<BR><BR>WSMC has two different types of red flags used to stop a race. The red flag in WSMC races tells racers to stop on track as quickly and as safely as possible. The "orange crush" flag (orange and white checkered flag) tells WSMC racers to slow to idle speed and continue into the pits. Griffin said the pace car may be used in situations that would normally call for an orange crush flag, for example, if a crashed bike is off the track but in the impact area.<BR><BR>When it was mentioned that the use of a pace car in a motorcycle race is tricky, Griffin said, "Yeah, well, it's all tricky. It's our first time ever doing a race like this. So we're learning."<BR><BR>The ability of teams to work on bikes during red flag stoppages in the race could reduce the need for quick-change wheels and quick-fill gas cans. When this was mentioned to him during the August WSMC race weekend, Kopecky pointed out that these rules would also level the playing field between bigger-budget and smaller-budget race teams.<BR><BR>Other rules for the Toyota 200 include:<BR><BR>- only two signaling personnel will be allowed on the front straight<BR><BR>-there will be no speed limit on hot pit lane<BR><BR>- only seven personnel will be allowed over the pit wall during a pit stop; rider, five mechanics, and one person dedicated to holding a five-pound, BC-rated fire extinguisher with pin pulled and aimed at the refueling operation.<BR><BR>-all crew members over the wall must be 18 years of age or older, will not be required to have a WSMC mechanic's license,, but will be required to wear long pants, shirts with sleeves and closed-toe shoes<BR><BR>-crew members will not be allowed to cross pit wall until their bike reaches "pit-in"<BR><BR>-tools may be placed on the top of pit wall and bike stands may be placed against the hot side of pit wall<BR><BR>-refueling may take place with the rider on the bike and with the engine running<BR><BR>-there will be no sitting or standing allowed on pit wall<BR><BR>-there will be no smoking or open flames allowed in the pits<BR><BR>-no support vehicles will be allowed in the pit area<BR><BR>-pit stall assignments will be made based on qualifying results following the completion of qualifying Friday, September 13<BR><BR>-teams will be required to identify their pit area with their competition number<BR><BR>-violations of pit rules "may result in penalties, fines and/or disqualifications"<BR><BR>For additional information, go to or call 661-256-1234.<BR>