It can be an unsettling moment for a racecar driver. You’re trundling down pit lane after an on-track session and ahead is an SCCA® worker pointing your way and directing you to glide your vehicle into a coned-off area. But fear not, worrisome competitor. That’s just a supportive Steward of the Course (SOC) about to provide some helpful information.
Mike Finn, of the Florida Region, and Herb Shipp, of the Central Florida Region, are two Stewards of the Course working this weekend’s first-ever Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour event at Sebring International Raceway. Finn, who has been a Club member for 30 years, and Shipp, a member for a dozen years, both have experience behind the wheel of racecars and know that “point” from an SOC can cause anxiety.
“We know your heartrate goes up when you see us pointing,” Finn said. “But most of the time we’re just sharing information, like maybe your transponder is not working.”
Shipp added that, “Our job isn’t to punish you. Our first job is to get drivers the information that something happened on the track or there’s something wrong with their car. Occasionally, two cars will touch out on course and they might not know they hit each other. We might not be able to share that information if we didn’t stop them right here in pit lane.”
Both Shipp and Finn have been working the SOC position for about 3 years. For them, volunteering to work on pit lane is an exciting and fun way to support the Club they love.
“This really is like a ‘family’ thing for me. These people are my family,” Finn said. “The reason I’m a Steward is because I want to give back to the Club because they give me something wonderful I can do in return.”
“This is a great group of people to get involved with and get to know,” Shipp added. “And if you’re into cars, this is the place to come. You get to learn more than you ever think you would. You get involved in it, and then you get hooked.”
Follow all the Hoosier Super Tour action from Sebring International Raceway on Saturday and Sunday with live timing & scoring, lap notes and live video via the SCCA Pit Board available at www.scca.com/live. There you will also find the new Super Tour Radio presented by Hoosier Racing Tire, an audio broadcast available through SCCA.com or Performance Motorsports Network that offers live coverage of racing throughout the weekend delivered by an experienced team of commentators.
Photo: Mike Finn (left) and Herb Shipp (right) are Stewards of the Course this weekend at the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour taking place at Sebring International Raceway.