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Fender Stripes


LuLu
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"Fender stripes" to most, "pit stripes" to a few, and the few are fairly close to the mark. But, where did they come from, and why are they a mildly popular feature among us? First, a little background;

 

There is a racing organization known today as the FIA. Best to say this is the European version of NASCAR. Born in 1904, it is the oldest automobile racing association, and it covers the world. The intent to standardize racing rules over many continents and in dozens of languages, the last major overhaul was in 1951. It has been called a lot of names, but since the early 1980s, it's mostly just FIA, and today, it governs manufacturers, teams, and individual drivers. Bear with me, I'm getting there.

 

Some races will see very large fields of competitors, some a handful. With the diverse styles of tracks and courses, and the sharing of drivers for hire, and limited paddock (pit) space, and danger to all, it became necessary to address. The stripes are an early warning system of which car was pitting, and which crew could be allowed on the blacktop, with what equipment, and on which side of the car. "Pit stripes". Simple, yes? What else could a spotter rely on, especially in the days before radios. Here is a simplified breakdown.

 

Color is important, each team gets a color. It's why teams are in colors to begin with. Imagine the lot of them in the latest fashions from Carhartt? Number of stripes...Easy. One stripe, a novice, to this track, or, in this event, or both. Two stripes, "been here, done this". Three stripes, advanced talent across the board, usually same driver, no flagman needed. Finally, a clean fender for the Pro. Stand still, he will find you.

 

At first, only one set of stripes was used, on one fender and indicating where the driver sat inside the car. However, style (and confusion) changed that, and everyone threw up their hands in surrender.

 

IMHO, today the gene pool is diluted, style has overrun practical use. I have them on my GTs, correctly indicating my level of talent to the crew I may be working with today. Also helps them keep track of my sorry ash when I'm off pavement. Otherwise, no one seems to want to read (or use) them today. Just too many posers, I suppose.

 

So...This is the skinny on the stripes. If you want 'em, or got 'em, now y'all have something to say when asked about 'em.

 

Y'all be safe.

Edited by LuLu
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The Track Decals (from Trackdecals.com) represent the courses I've driven in my cars as fast as I could get us to go. Starting on the left, front stripe, they are Old Riverside, Tijuana Playas, Willow Springs, Old Holtville Long and Short, and Old Tijuana Airport. Right stripe are New Riverside, Ontario Motor Speedway, Carlsbad Raceway, Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, and Coronado Speed Fest course (I need to make an asterisk for the last one—it was just a parade lap, but I did use a little cornering rubber). I didn't plan it this way, but it seems the stripes are segregated (except for New Riverside): Left stripe is all courses I raced "wheel-to-wheel" on; Right stripe is Solo One time trials and/or "track days", with noted exceptions.

 

LuLu, for reference, where did you find that information?

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15671346259_ac398e6f69_z.jpg'

 

 

15591309039_1c3149baf6_b.jpg'

 

The Track Decals (from Trackdecals.com) represent the courses I've driven in my cars as fast as I could get us to go. Starting on the left, front stripe, they are Old Riverside, Tijuana Playas, Willow Springs, Old Holtville Long and Short, and Old Tijuana Airport. Right stripe are New Riverside, Ontario Motor Speedway, Carlsbad Raceway, Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, and Coronado Speed Fest course (I need to make an asterisk for the last one—it was just a parade lap, but I did use a little cornering rubber). I didn't plan it this way, but it seems the stripes are segregated (except for New Riverside): Left stripe is all courses I raced "wheel-to-wheel" on; Right stripe is Solo One time trials and/or "track days", with noted exceptions.

 

LuLu, for reference, where did you find that information?

Cool

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  • 7 months later...

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