Willa Cohen Bruckner spends her weekdays as a derivatives law attorney, but her weekends are for flagging.
That's not a bad thing. Auto racers competing in everything from vintage sports cars to Formula One depend on the partner at Alston & Bird LLP, New York, and her husband, Jeff Bruckner, when they're on the track.
As flaggers — otherwise known as corner marshals — the Bruckners signal to road race drivers when conditions change, alert race officials to track hazards and serve as first responders to stalls or accidents.
It all started in 2005 when Ms. Bruckner received a day at Skip Barber Racing School at the Lime Rock Park road course in Salisbury, Conn., as a gift from her husband. “I loved it,” she said. “Then I saw on their website that they had a school for flaggers.” After a two-day course, the couple was certified by the Sports Car Club of America.
They started flagging in 2009 at races at Lime Rock, Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania and New Jersey Motorsports Park. Through the SCCA, they've also flagged at LeMans-class road races and eventually were chosen for the Grand Prix Montreal Formula One race. They'll work at their fourth-consecutive Montreal race June 12, and also are planning to work at their first IndyCar race in Boston Sept. 4.
While the races are exciting, what brings the Bruckners back to the tracks are their fellow flaggers. “It's an absolutely fabulous community,” Ms. Bruckner said. “The camaraderie, the level of caring is beyond anything I've experienced.”