I wasn’t new to SCCA; I wasn’t new to volunteering at SCCA events; I was new to volunteering at road races. But, when I got the invitation to help out at an SCCA Majors event at GingerMan Raceway, I happily agreed. What could possibly go wrong? I was invited out to be a volunteer worker by one of the stewards because they needed warm bodies and, apparently, I fit the bill.
I literally had no idea what to expect going into this. My job description was more than slightly vague and I had exactly ZERO experience working any club race before, let alone a Majors race. But there I was, loaded up in the family station wagon (which would also serve as my hotel room for the weekend) headed to the rolling green hills of western Michigan.
My job for this weekend turned out to be the runner/go-for/lackey. I would run the race results from the tower down to where they were posted, grab the sound readings from the sound booth to post those, and take care of any other odd jobs that needed doing. To make my life easier (and less sweaty), my inviting steward lent me the use of his quad for the weekend, which makes him either very brave or very foolish. Handing anyone with a competition license the keys to a motorized vehicle is just an invitation to have its limits of lateral adhesion tested.
As the weekend passed, I got more familiar with my job and was even able to relax and catch up with some of the people I knew from my home track (Waterford Hills Raceway in Clarkston, Michigan.) I realized I had quite a lot of downtime between the provisional and official results being available, so I decided to fill that time by hand delivering official results and grid sheets to as many people as possible in the paddock throughout the weekend. I quickly learned that people are VERY happy to see you when you have their race results and that it’s a great way to get to know people at the track.
Overall the whole experience was a blast. If you haven’t made it out to GingerMan Raceway yet, you owe it to yourself to take a trip out there. Its beautiful course that looks like it would be really fun to drive (not that I drove the quad around the track after racing was done or anything like that.) The people are really friendly too. The atmosphere of a Majors race is also worth a trip. Lots of great cars and fast drivers with great on-track action. I’d gladly work one again, assuming I get to use the quad of course!