After publishing a reminder on flags we thought it might be timely
to publish the MSA's rules on safety cars.
Parade, Pace and Safety Cars (G.5.2.17) 4.9.1. A Safety
Car may be used to control or neutralise a race in the event of an incident,
providing its use is detailed in SRs, or the Championship Regulations,
and in accordance with Appendix 2.
Operation of Safety Car
1.1. The Safety Car will be brought into operation to neutralise a race
upon the sole decision of the Clerk of the Course. The Safety Car will
be driven by an experienced circuit driver and will carry an observer
capable of recognising all competing cars and who is in permanent radio
contact with race control.
1.2. The Safety Car, yellow/amber lights illuminated, will normally join
and exit the circuit from the pit lane and the Safety Car boards will
be shown initially from the start/finish line. If these locations are
to be varied specific written instructions and verbal briefings will be
issued detailing the exact locations to be used.
1.3. On the order from the Clerk of the Course, the Safety Car will join
the circuit with its flashing lights on, regardless of where the race
1.4. When the order is given to deploy the Safety Car a waved yellow flag
and “SC” board will be displayed at the start/finish line.
The waved yellow flags and “SC” boards will flow around the
circuit in both directions, as an adjacent post displays both their waved
yellow flag and “SC” board. This system may be supplemented
by a message being simultaneously broadcast to all marshals’ posts
if such a communication system is available.
1.5. Flashing yellow lights may also be used at the start- line and at
other points around the circuit.
1.6. All competing cars, when notified of the Safety Car intervention
(by the flag signals, “SC” boards, or by any other means)
will reduce speed and line up behind the Safety Car, no more than 5 car
lengths apart, and maintaining the same speed as it. Overtaking or overlapping
of any other competing car during a Safety Car intervention is forbidden.
Overtaking of a Safety Car is forbidden unless the particular competitor
concerned is signalled to overtake the Safety Car by the observer in the
1.7. When ordered to do so by the Clerk of the Course, the observer in
the Safety Car will wave past any cars between the Safety Car and the
race leader. These cars will continue at reduced speed and without overtaking
until they reach the line of cars behind the Safety Car.
1.8. While the safety car is in operation, competing cars may enter the
pit lane, but may only rejoin the track when signalled to do so and not
when the safety car and the line of cars following it are about to pass
or are passing the pit exit. A car re-joining the track must proceed at
an appropriate speed until it reaches the end of the line of cars behind
the Safety Car.
1.9. The Safety Car will remain in operation until at least the majority
of competing cars on the circuit are lined up behind it.
1.10. When the Clerk of the Course calls in the Safety Car it will extinguish
the yellow/amber flashing lights prior to exiting the circuit. This would
normally be such that a minimum of 25% of a lap for circuits over 2 miles
and 50% of a lap for circuits under 2 miles should be completed by the
Safety Car with its lights extinguished.
1.11. Following the safety car extinguishing its lights, and prior to
passing the green flag, the race leader will dictate the pace and, if
necessary, fall more than five
car lengths behind the Safety Car. In order to avoid the likelihood of
accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the point at
which the lights on the car are extinguished drivers must proceed at a
pace which involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any other manoeuvre
which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart.
1.12. As the Safety Car is approaching the pit entry, the green flag will
be displayed at the start/finish line and the “SC” board withdrawn.
Following this display of the start signal yellow flags and “SC”
boards at the marshals posts will be withdrawn and be replaced with a
waved green flag for one lap. The waved green flag will flow around the
circuit in both directions, as an adjacent post displays their waved green
flag. This system may be supplemented by a message being simultaneously
broadcast to all marshals’ posts if such a communication system
is available. Overtaking remains strictly forbidden until the start signal
at the start/finish line is passed.
1.13. Each lap covered while the Safety Car is in service will be counted
as a race lap unless specified to the contrary in Championship regulations.
1.14. Under certain circumstances the Clerk of the Course may ask the
Safety Car to use the pit lane. In this case, and provided its yellow/amber
lights remain illuminated, all cars must follow it into the pit lane without
overtaking. Any car entering the pit lane under these circumstances may
stop at its designated garage area.
1.15. Should it be necessary to stop a race during a Safety Car deployment
the Safety Car, with all competing vehicles following, will pass through
the red flag at the start/finish line, complete one further lap at reduced
speed and then, once the Safety Car comes to a stop at a position indicated
by the Safety Car observer (which will usually be either the grid or Parc
Fermé), all competing cars must stop behind it unless otherwise
1.16. In exceptional circumstances the following may apply:
(i) The race may be started behind the Safety Car. In this case its flashing
yellow/amber lights will be turned on at the two-minute signal. This is
the signal to the Entrants/Drivers that the race will be started behind
the Safety Car and it will when signalled to do so and not when the safety
car and the line of cars following it are about it will remain at the
front of the grid during the remainder of the countdown. When the Green
Flag is shown at the Start/Finish Line, the Safety Car will leave the
grid and all cars will follow in single file in grid order no more than
5 (five) car lengths apart. The race will be deemed to have started when
the Safety Car leaves the grid and the Green Flag is displayed.
(ii) Cars will leave the grid in single file grid order behind the Safety
Car under the instruction of the Chief Start/Finish Line Marshal. Cars
will remain in single file without overtaking, except that a car that
falls behind may regain its grid position if the cars behind it could
not avoid passing without unduly delaying the remainder of the field.
In this case, Drivers may carefully overtake to re-establish their original
starting grid order. If a car falls to the back of the grid, it must remain
at the back of the grid.
(iii)Any car(s) delayed leaving the grid may not overtake another moving
car if stationary after the remainder of the cars had crossed the line.
In this case the car(s) shall remain at the back of the grid, in the order
they left the grid.
(iv)A time penalty or Drive Through Penalty may be imposed on any Driver
who, in the opinion of the Clerk of the Course, unnecessarily overtakes
another Driver during these laps.
(v) The “SC” boards and Yellow Flags will be displayed at
Marshals' Signalling Posts around the circuit until the Clerk of the Course
withdraws the Safety Car from use in accordance with Regulation 1.10,
1.11. and 1.12.
(vi)All laps undertaken in this start procedure will be deemed to be counted
as race laps
1.17. Any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or which
is deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time whilst the
safety car is deployed will be reported to the Clerk of the Course. This
will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit
entry or the pit lane.