Race Control, the Stewards, are the eyes in the sky that we all love to hate. They are responsible for monitoring races, enforcing the rules, and keeping everyone as safe as motorsports will allow. They have an immensely difficult job to do. Call a penalty, piss people off. Don’t call a penalty, piss people off. In reality, they get the vast majority of calls correct, but when they don’t, man do they hear it. We expect perfection thus they are given no quarter. I’ve been guilty of it, yelling at the tv, “you’ve got to call a penalty there, come on!” Or conversely, “Jesus Christ, let them race a little bit for cryin’ out loud!”
John Hindhaugh recently got a behind the scenes look at IMSA’s Race Control. Frankly, I’m a sucker for anything Hindhaugh does because he is the best broadcaster in Sports Car racing, period. The long time voice of Radio LeMans and IMSA Radio provides some insight into just how much Race Control has to deal with race in and race out. In case it isn’t abundantly clear, it’s a lot. I give these guys, the Marshalls, and the corner workers a ton of credit. There is literally a metric fuck ton going on at any given point in time during any race. Not to mention the not so polite nature of the responses they get from teams and drivers when a call doesn’t go their way. Not to mention their mistakes are shown from every angle in excruciating high- definition detail broadcast all over the world.
Here’s a look behind the scenes are to what these people deal with. Again, it’s a lot.