The dreaded 1%

I spent the last weekend working for the 24 Hours of LeMons at the Sears Point race. It was an interesting and worthwhile experience to take a break from turning the wheel to helping run the circus. On Friday I was part of the gear tech crew, and on Saturday and Sunday I inspected the cars pitting out and did some paddock patrol. How often does a driver show up without the right gear? How often does a team fuel a car wearing street clothes? How often do drivers show up to grid with their HANS device unattached? How often are the harnesses too lose or under the HANS device? Thankfully, NOT VERY OFTEN. But I’d say about 1% of the people I inspected were doing something very wrong.

Some of the drivers approached the track entrance and didn’t want to stop. Just show the wristband and go. Well if I just waved them on, I wouldn’t be doing my job. Yes, I have to see the wristband that shows they paid for the event. But I also have to see that the driver is strapped in correctly. Sure, 99% of the drivers are doing everything correctly, but 1% is too great an error rate for me not to check. So I’ll pull at the harnesses and inspect the HANS. And I’ll look for people speeding in the paddock (among other things). Safety is not something to be complacent about.

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