Boards of directors are diligent in developing well-balanced leadership teams with the necessary skills, experiences, and capabilities to make the best decisions for their organizations. However, no matter how well selected, they often seek advice or guidance from outside experts who bring unique perspectives. It’s how innovative companies make intelligent decisions through advisory boards.
Similarities exist within IMSA during race day, with the role of our driver stewards. A carefully selected group of professionals – with first-hand racing experience – are on hand to assist our race director Beaux Barfield make the most informed decisions.
Our three driver stewards, Johannes van Overbeek, Christian Fittipaldi, and Elliott Forbes-Robinson, offer the benefits of their vast experience and racing pedigree and bring independent perspectives. The stewards’ job is to advise on racing incidents by helping the race director determine how to enforce IMSA rules and apply appropriate penalties for breaches of the sporting code.
Stewards’ work in IMSA has evolved tremendously over the years, not least because of the advanced technology and vast amounts of data now involved.
While Beaux has ultimate authority for governing the race, he’s well served by the stewards providing him with critical insights into unfolding racing incidents.
Our driver stewards camp in race control, where they can access dozens of camera angles during instant replay analysis, watch live data streams, monitor team radio messages, and track electronic information (telemetry data). They accrue all these information sources into a package in minutes, often seconds, and hand-off to race control for review.
The race director has a tough job; if done well, they stay in the background while fans enjoy the race. They operate with the utmost integrity to interpret and enforce the rules fairly, not to make the most popular decision.
And in that respect, few envy what race directors do, yet through them, our driver stewards, and ever evolving data tools, we strive to deliver the most entertaining sports car racing for our fans.
Next time you are at the track or watching the race on TV, spare a thought for our race control team and the excellent job they do for OUR sport.
See you at the track-