START LINE JUDGE OF FACT (JoF)
This is the other and equally important part of the starter's role.
The duties of a JoF are described in Section C2.18 in the KSNZ manual.
You will note that Section C2.18.8 states that starting infringements will be subject to a JoF decision.
This means that any kart that is out of position by crossing a line, changing speed, contacting another kart, etc. and may either gain an advantage or disadvantage another kart is subject to a JoF report which cannot be protested.
The starting procedure JoF report would normally be made by the starter but any race official named as a Start line JoF on the permit or by an official notification can also report a starting infringement as a JoF.
A race official not named as a Start line JoF on the permit can only report a starting infringement using a Penalty Notification Request (PNR) and not a Judge of Fact Report.
The JoF penalties are as described in Section C9.3 of the KSNZ manual.
Rules J2.8 and J2.11 would normally be a 10 second time penalty depending on the race format but there are other options depending on the seriousness of the infringement available in the other columns of C9.3.
These can include exclusion from the race, exclusion from the event or a fine.
In those more serious situations report your concern to the RD/CoC suggesting the application of more than just a time penalty.
As always the Chief Steward of the event makes the final decision on the application of any penalty.
If you ever think that you have made a mistake with your JoF decision you can advise the Chief Steward that you have made an error and ask him to correct it but be aware he doesn't have to.
The following are some of the different types of JoF starting infringements to look for.
Important - don't just concentrate on the front row of the field as they approach the start.
The most common fault will usually be the Pole driver not controlling the speed of the field approaching the start zone line, most often at too higher speed this includes accelerating before the start zone line.
In this situation if the field is in a good formation start the race and report the pole kart number to the RD/CoC for a JoF report.
Refer to the diagram #3 above :-
A jumped start, ie. the competitor on grid 2 anticipates your start signal and accelerates to gain an advantage and is in front of the pole kart when you do extinguish the start lights.
This is a JoF decision as are all the following starting infringements.
Be careful though, grid 2 may have been ahead of pole when the start lights went out but did the kart on grid 4 push him ahead and even if they did was the kart on grid 4 being pushed by the kart on grid 6! They may be the instigator and should be the one you report for a JoF.
Another point to note, if you do not start a race because for example, grid 2 has jumped early, you cannot report a JoF against that kart, they get a free pass.
You must start the race to report a JoF but ----- a race official in some circumstances can have a PNR written up against that driver.
The karts on grid 10 and 11 in diagram #3 are both infringing the centre lane/middle of the track prior to the race start. JoF report.
The kart on grid 14 is not wholly within the lane in this case.
On tracks with just the two parallel white lines in the centre of the track the rear wheel would not be immediately adjacent to that line. JoF report.
The kart on grid 15 is not in their allocated grid position, you have to determine the reason for this, were they just too slow ? Start the race, don't wait for them.
lf this kart or a group of karts have hung back and are now accelerating to gain an advantage you should start the race and report a JoF call against that kart or separately all the karts with their numbers in the group that hung back if they do gain an advantage.
You could if you decided to, report a JoF for the kart or the group not maintaining close formation with the rest of the field, but they could be new karters who sometimes do hang back, so you have to be reasonable.
Don't be reasonable if a kart is not maintaining their allocated grid position, the karts behind them are being disadvantaged at the start because of an excessive gap.
Whenever you make a JoF decision, report it immediately to the RD/CoC stating for example, Kart 25 was not in its allocated grid position.
The CoC will then action the report and apply the appropriate penalty.
Important - always take note of the offending kart's number, without the number nothing can happen.
Depending on the status of an event there will be a Race Director or a Clerk of Course as the track team leader and as previously mentioned you are a valuable part of that team.
Your role in working with others like Race Control and the Pit Marshall will help the race program run to a timetable and ensure a successful outcome for all participants.