Off-track betting

I don’t know how many times I’ve received a fortune cookie that says “In Chinese, the word for crisis is represented by two characters: danger and opportunity.” Here’s what those sigils look like 危机. A car going 4 wheels off track creates a crisis. There’s danger in the form of dust reducing visibility, debris making the racing surface slippery, and cars suddenly changing direction as they deal with the situation. There is also an opportunity to overtake a competitor, but this opportunity comes bundled with danger just like 危机.

If a car in front of you goes 4 wheels off, be ready for the worst case scenario. Assume they will ricochet across the track a few times and defy the laws of physics in the pursuit of your car. The safest course of action is to slow down. The riskiest is to rush past. Both trailing cars could have avoided the incident by applying their brakes. That doesn’t excuse the driving of car #128. Nothing excuses that. But a bucket of apologies and two checks for damages would be an appropriate response.

If you find yourself 4 wheels off track, roll to a STOP. Then WAIT for a flagger to wave you back on. If the racing rules give black flags for 4 off situations, immediately leave the track and talk the the race stewards. Don’t wait for them to throw the flag at you. Take responsibility proactively.

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