Driver Policy – Schenley
The spirit of vintage racing at Schenley Park is to create a safe event for the enjoyment of spectators and racers while raising money for charity. Unlike some other vintage races, the PVGP is not about winning or driving aggressively. Unsafe driving will not be tolerated.
It is a privilege to be selected to race on city streets in front of 100,000 spectators. This honor requires that you run at 7/10 and at times even less. The PVGP is our nation’s only vintage race on city streets because of the cooperation of city officials. This privilege can and will be taken away by the City of Pittsburgh if the event becomes a danger to drivers, spectators, or city property. Drivers in violation will be disqualified from the event and asked to put their car back on the trailer.
Vintage race car drivers are expected to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all participants and spectators. This requires recognizing that vintage grids include cars of many ages with significant disparities in speed, cornering, and braking capabilities. Drivers, as well, tend to possess widely varied experience and ability. Accordingly, drivers are expected to exercise great care, prudence, and courtesy in passing and traffic. The slowest car and driver have as much right to be on track as the fastest, and all drivers must conduct themselves accordingly and make room for each other. Drivers of slower cars are reminded to watch their mirrors and allow faster cars to pass, both on the straights and in the corners.
Car-to-car contact is contrary to the spirit of vintage racing as is reckless or aggressive driving that causes damage to the driver’s car.
Drivers judged at fault may be penalized by exclusion from the meet and with the possibility of probation or suspension of driving privileges in which case the discipline will be reported to the Vintage Motorsport Council (VMC)
Any driver involved in any on-track incident (car to car contact or contact with an immovable object on course – tree, curb, wall, etc.) must report immediately to pit-in and to the Black Flag Steward (who will be identified to all participants). If a car must be towed in, the driver must return to the pit in and see the Black Flag Steward once the vehicle has been returned to the paddock area. Driver actions on track will be reviewed and governed by the provisions of “Action on Driver Discipline”, outlined below.
Action On Driver Discipline
1) Corner workers need to report all infractions (i.e. flag violations, aggressive driving resulting in contact, loss of control, car contact of any kind, and the like) to the Black Flag Steward immediately, preferably during the session but in any case before the start of the next session.
2) In the case of an infraction, the Black Flag Steward shall notify the Driver Committee (comprised of three individuals appointed by the Competition Chair of the meet, all of whom must be active vintage car racers) to identify the infraction. The Driver Committee shall meet with the driver(s) involved and shall review all related evidence (driver’s statement, witness statements, corner worker observations, video evidence) before determining as to the consequence of the infraction. Meetings and evidentiary reviews are to occur before the next session available to the driver whose actions have been called into question if at all possible as a severe infraction may lead to the driver’s dismissal from the meet.
3) The failure by any driver to report to the Black Flag Steward or to meet with the Driver Committee after an incident shall be viewed in a negative light and any attempt by a driver to alter the condition of the race car (remove tire marks, etc.) prior to the conduct of an investigation shall result in exclusion from the meet.
4) Penalties assessed by the Driver Committee may involve exclusion from the remainder of the meet and probation/suspension as may be merited by the nature of the infraction. Driver discipline shall depend upon a variety of factors including:
- Mechanical failure or unforeseen track conditions (which may warrant no discipline at all).
- Poor driving/judgment may run the gamut from posing a hazard to other drivers to causing damage due to contact with an immovable object or another car.
- Aggressive driving results in damage, severe or otherwise, to any car.
5) Penalties are meant to encourage changes in driver behavior. Penalties will range from a warning to probation/suspension for up to thirteen months depending upon the nature of the infraction. Exclusion from the remainder of the event shall also be considered. All penalties shall be reported to the Vintage Motorsport Council (VMC) as required by PVGP membership in that Council.
6) The Driver Committee shall complete an incident form for each infraction and penalty imposed at the meet. All evidence considered shall be noted on the form and the outcome. All incident forms shall be provided to the Chair of the Competition Committee no later than one week after the meet is held.
7) Drivers wishing to appeal any penalty reported to the VMC must present their case with new evidence to the PVGP Competition Committee within thirty days of the meet. New evidence may include videos, pictures, or witness statements. The Competition Committee will appoint an appeals panel to consider the appeal and make a final judgment about its merit or lack thereof.
Vintage racing shares the common belief that it is an amateur sport where the pleasure of participating must exceed the desire to “Win at All Costs.” All competitors must know the limits of their skills, their cars and the race circuit. We emphasize safety: Safe drivers are protected by their properly prepared cars and further protected by their behavior and spirit on and off the track. This attitude of safety is the cornerstone of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Our goal is incident-free races for the enjoyment of racers and spectators and the continued success of our event.
Of all the vintage race circuits throughout the United States, Schenley Park is one of the most dangerous and challenging. Unlike other events, there are no guard rails or retaining walls or run-off areas. Schenley Park is a city park and the streets are actual city streets; most of them are crowned, two-lane roads with rough pavement and curbs. The sides of the streets are lined with phone poles, sidewalks, street signs, fire hydrants catch basins and trees. Don’t forget the numerous ancient stone walls that prevent drivers and cars from plunging into the ravines of Panther Hollow. In addition to the physical challenges, tens of thousands of spectators lining the course – in some areas, only 50 feet away, separated only by a snow fence. While these surroundings are charming, they are very dangerous and require competitors to be extra cautious and aware.
PVGP CHARITY & MISSION
Thanks to our drivers, the PVGP has donated $6 million to our charity partners. These funds directly help individuals affected by intellectual disabilities and autism in western Pennsylvania. Our racers contribute a large portion of the funds and make additional donations on their entry forms. Thank you!
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix’s mission remains the same as when it was established back in 1983 “To host a world-class vintage race event that celebrates our automotive heritage and raises money for charities.” Our races in Schenley Park present an opportunity for participants to relive the original spirit of vintage racing on public roads in the 1940′s and 1950′s. We promote the preservation in a format that emphasizes a safe and friendly wheel-to-wheel competition with vehicles prepared for their era.