The Trans Am Race Company announced today that it has reached an agreement with Audible Flagging Systems (AFS), now the Official Flagging System Provider of the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. AFS, an industry leader for in-car race flagging systems, will be installed in all Trans Am racecars to warn drivers of caution flags immediately and simultaneously. The system is proven to also minimize secondary collisions, which can be particularly dangerous and damaging.
The onboard system not only flashes a brilliant yellow light inside the car but also emits an audible warning tone to alert competitors of caution conditions. The AFS system will debut in the Trans Am Series come the season opener at Sebring International Raceway, March 2-4, where it will be featured on all participating vehicles.
"This reflects our absolute commitment to safety," said Tony Parella, majority owner of the Trans Am Series. "We are providing this to our race teams free of charge. Safety is vital, but we also do not want to impose more costs on team owners. In addition to reducing injuries, teams should realize material cost savings by mitigating equipment damage."
AFS is not intended to become the new form of communication between drivers and race control and does not replace race control, corner workers, or driver spotters. AFS is an advanced technology tool directed by race control officials to more immediately warn drivers of hazards. By assisting all drivers' responses to caution scenarios, the frequency and severity of on-track incidents can be sharply reduced. The system is designed to evolve to support both full-course or even local or isolated yellows. AFS is expected to be a vital aid to corner workers and safety crews as they strive to quickly and safely respond to dangerous on-track situations.
"Our research tells us that 88 percent of driver injuries occur during secondary incidents," said Mike Parsons, AFS Chairman. "I think all of us in racing can think of tragic situations that might have been averted if an in-car visual and audible warning system had been in place. I believe it is time that all racing sanctioning bodies take note and follow Trans Am's lead in driver safety. We are delighted to work with Trans Am to contribute to the safety and efficiency of their sport. Aside from safety, the cost savings to teams should be significant."
"Anything we can do to protect and alert everyone involved is critical," said John Clagett, president of The Trans Am Race Company. "This is also for the safety of corner workers and safety workers who are on the running surface managing emergency situations. The integration of AFS in our race cars is a vital step towards the number one priority of Trans Am, the safety of our competitors."