I just started entering club races at a local track, and this weekend I ran into a confusing situation during one of the heats. 10 lap heat, front runners were doing low 31 second times once their tires were warmed up, I was doing high 32s.
There was a big wreck early in the first lap, and I was stuck in the mess. Only the first 3 karts made it through, and it took about 20 seconds to get back on track. When I got out, I would guess that I was about 11-12 seconds “in front of” the leaders who were almost a lap up on me now. After 3 laps, I started getting blue flags at one left hairpin, but coming around the exit of the corner I could see that the lead pack was not even out of the turn prior to the hairpin yet. They were still probably about 7 seconds behind me. After another two laps, every marshal on each corner was blue flagging, but I could still see that when I was at the end of the front straight, the 3 karts on the lead lap were still just exiting the turn onto the straight.
I eventually slowed down to about half speed on the inside of the front straight on the next lap (7), and after 7 or 8 seconds of having my foot off the gas, the three karts passed me and I continued on. I am guessing at this point they would have been about 4 seconds behind if I had completely stopped.
Is it normal for the marshals to start showing blue flags when the lead karts are still several seconds behind? What is the correct thing for me to do in this case? I was prepared to hold my line and allow the leaders to pass, but they were not catching up to me fast enough to do that without slowing significantly, and only then after several laps of seeing the flag. Is my race just over if the leaders get within 10 seconds of me? I will add that these were all volunteers, some with limited experience. The marshal at the finish line showed the checkered flag to the class before us on lap 9. So I don’t know. Is this normal?