With all of the wonderful improvements at CTMP, we have lost a bit of volume for track announcements. After an incident, I often am part of a group saying”do you know when we are supposed to go out next? It occurred to me that it might be easy to use our smart phones to allow the tower to get info out to the group. Peter Carrol or one of the other tech whizzes may have a better solution, but it may be as simple as a Twitter feed, or a Facebook post that we are all subscribed to.
This is certainly not a complaint, as John et al do an awesome job every day. Thanks to John and the whole track team.
While we may be out of touch with the paddock during an incident I can assure you that we are very busy on other radio frequencies and in constant communication with the Tower. When something happens on track, whether it’s a mechanical or an incident our primary focus is always the safety of whomever is involved and getting the program up and running as soon as possible. Any information given to the paddock must be correct, and that often involves waiting for additional equipment (sweeper truck or bobcat to lift tires) and recovering the vehicles involved. We have asked the staging people to keep the frequencies clear as well, so they aren’t encouraged to ask for updates either.
The issue of instant updating for us would be the inaccuracy of the information. Say; we thought an oil cleanup might take 15 minutes. If we announce that information and then it takes 15 minutes to get the sweeper there, we may have to move on to the next run group and the grid would be full of the wrong cars. Rarely are the estimates accurate until we reach the last 5 minutes and the service vehicles have started to move. At that time the Tower announces who is up next and begins to grid them. While this is an instant information age, inaccurate information can be more harmful than none.
The upside of this practice is that you can be assured that if anything ever goes wrong for you, you will have our complete and undivided attention until the situation is resolved. Safety is always our primary focus.