IMSA Responds to Weather-Shortened Road America CTSC Race

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

IMSA has issued a statement in regards to last weekend’s weather-shortened Road America 120 race, stating that it will consider modifications to its protocol for resuming on-track activity in the event of severe weather.

The seventh round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season was red-flagged due to lightning in the area, with the race not restarted due to time constraints.

The No. 59 KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang of Jack Roush Jr. and Dean Martin took overall victory, with Freedom Autosport claiming a 1-2 in ST, despite not making a pit stop or driver change during the race.

The statement from IMSA reads:

“After a red-flag condition that was caused by severe weather approaching the immediate area of Road America, the race remained under the red flag for an extended period due to thunderstorm activity, including cloud-to-ground lightning.

“Unfortunately, the severe weather protocols and resulting red-flag condition determined the outcome of the Road America 120.

“Fan and competitor safety is the number one priority for both IMSA and Road America. IMSA and its race promoters operate under strict weather policies and protocols. Due to the unstable forecast and other related factors, it was jointly determined there was no opportunity to conclude the race in the allotted time.

“IMSA is currently studying the circumstances surrounding Saturday’s weather-impacted event and, if necessary, will consider modifications to IMSA’s protocols for resuming on-track activity after the severe weather has cleared, focusing on expediting a return to racing following a weather-related red flag situation.

“IMSA wishes to thank all of the track workers, television personnel and most especially the fans who were impacted by severe weather throughout the weekend at Road America. Your patience, cooperation and understanding of the situation – and the need to ensure the safety of everybody – is very much appreciated.”

12 Comments

  1. Russ Adams

    August 7, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    They made a terrible decision. Nothing fair to competitors.It was the last race of the day .The lightning was over 30 minutes away from area ..red flag stop the race then proceed. Thats fair .

    • Guest

      August 7, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      I’d like to see you fly the EMS helicopter in the conditions that were present.

  2. Lets do some E

    August 7, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    It’s probably an insurance/safety thing. Same reason DPi cars now are NOT allowed to go over 200mph at Daytona! Am I right!! Pfft…

    • Paul

      August 7, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Well – you got the INSURANCE part right, that’s for sure. It’s one thing if it was like the Speed GT race at Mosport this past May. I was there. Track was not safe for those guys to run with that much standing water all over the track. It sucked to miss seeing them race, but I understood.

      But, when in this case, when it’s the last race of the day, and there are no restraints into how late in the day they can run (cars have headlights for cripes sake), you simply wait for the dangerous conditions to pass, and then finish the race. Again, it was probably some clause in some insurance policy that caused this. Damn insurance companies are going to ruin racing eventually.

      When fans pay good, hard earned money to come out for a race weekend, you better damn work as hard as you can and do everything you can to make it happen for them. People can understand when it is simply NOT safe to race. People DO NOT understand in situations like this, and they WILL think twice about spending their money if this kind of crap continues. Simple as that.

      • Threewinds

        August 8, 2017 at 10:01 am

        Actually road America does have a time constraint for the end of the day and how long they are allowed to let cars be on track . It’s an agreement they have with the town for all the local residents. Unfortunately a mix of grumpy old folk and high brows don’t enjoy the noise and understand that’s why Elkhart is a nice town in the first place.

    • Guest

      August 7, 2017 at 11:56 pm

      Also the medical helicopter can’t fly when there are storms in the vicinity.

  3. Boghammer

    August 7, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    I agree was there an there was no real reason to call it

  4. pierre

    August 7, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    my first reaction as a fan was “thank goodness i didnt make the trip to ra this year for this..”

  5. Andy Flinn

    August 7, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    I am an elementary school teacher and I live in South Florida.

    Down here we get a lot of lightening strikes (Tampa Bay Lightening NHL team) and thunderstorms, and we take safety very seriously.

    A few years ago, a student athlete was struck by lightening and killed on the football field.

    Today, we have school sirens to warn us of approaching lightening threats. Teachers, coaches or administrators who do not heed these warnings and remove their students from athletic areas and practice fields face serious consequences. Recently, a teacher/coach was fired for ignoring one of these warnings.

    As a fan of this series, if there was a real threat of lightening in the area, I appreciate that IMSA proceeded with caution and acted in the interest of fan safety.

    Just like we don’t need children dying from lightening strikes at school, we don’t need to deal with fans being killed at the races.

  6. Andy Flinn

    August 7, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Sorry. That should be “lightning.”

    Oops!

  7. jeff

    August 8, 2017 at 6:06 am

    As a corner marshal, we are required to clear the track as a safety precaution. Most tracks DO NOT provide a SAFE haven for the workers, we have to go to the nearest safe area. As in most cases, during a major race such as an IMSA event the workers are prohibited from taking their pov’s to their corners, therefore we either have to find a building or be picked up and taken to a safe place. Such is the case at Daytona at Turn 7 (bus stop).

  8. Marco

    August 8, 2017 at 8:45 am

    They should’ve stopped the clock at 30minutes to go. 17 minutes were already gone by that point.

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