Procedures for Protest @ IMS

The attachment to this entry contains an article on officiating procedures for the upcoming first automobile races held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway races. It originally appeared in the August 15, 1909 Indianapolis Star.
The article starts with a focus on Fred Wagner, the legendary auto race starter of the era, and the meanings of flags used at the time. With the exeption of the checkered flag signifying to drivers that the race has ended the colors of the silk banners are different than today. Check it out:

  • Red = clear course
  • Yellow = stop immediately
  • White = stop for consultation

While Wagner (if you read his book you will see what I mean) had a massive ego and would want people to see him as the final officiating authority the reality is that he did have more discretion than flag personnel do today who take direction for the race operations in a control tower. Still, as the article notes, final authority rested with race management (typically called a "referee") and the tech committee.
The article shares information about the process of protesting race results. Protests had to be filed in writing to the technical board within 24 hours of the race finish. There was a $100 consideration fee that would only be refunded if the the claim was sustained. To protest a car entry the person filing had to do so at least 12 hours in advance of the race. Any competitor disobeying official instructions or flag signals was subject to immediate disqualification.

IMSflags091509.pdf362.82 KB