Au Revoir ALMS, Petit Le Mans debrief

So that was that, the final ALMS race as we know it has been run on a semi-wet Road Atlanta road course in less than 10 hours, and team Rebellion defended its win from last year with another victory. From turn 3 on Friday I was bounced off after I requested a change back to 11 to be with my Canadian friends from Mosport. That wasn’t meant to be though as I was moved to turn 1, and of all the places I could have been that was the most perfect one. Not only that, the flag chief from Baltimore GP was in charge of the schedule and he made sure I stayed on blue flag for as long as possible on the actual station for turn 1, as we were also responsible for turn 2 as well as working safety cross-track. Not only that, because we had an uneven number of marshals on a two-shift two-team rotation, I managed to double-stint it working both Group 1 and 2. So staying on station for the full 9 hours and a whatever minutes, I got to blue flag forever, and I loved every second of it!

petit le mans atl1

 

petit le mans atl2

Race day was my whites day, which was funny because after having worn an orange set of overalls for the previous three days everyone assumed I was European… “oui, oui!”

petit le mans atl4

Working turn 1 meant we had two blue flaggers separated by a yellow flagger in the middle. We were responsible for both working the traffic on the course, and the cars coming out of pit lane. Watching the pit lane traffic was awesome, you could see every penalty taking place, fueling, tire and driver changes, etc. It was beautiful!

petit le mans atl5

Being so close to the grid also meant we could partake in the Grid Walk… and we got there before the crowds. It was again very awesome. Got to meet Leo Parente from /Drive Shakedown, finally… though he seemed to be in a moment admiring the NGT Momo #30 car dedicated to Sean Edwards who lost his life in a freak accident in Australia earlier this week while coaching a driver. That was sad, and a lone car pace lap was a pretty somber salute, though a very thoughtful one.

Camping at Road Atlanta was great compared to CouchSurfing last year. Ben Tyler was kind enough to bring a spare tent and air mattress for me to use, which made things very convenient. Seeing people from all around the country and the world was a great touch too to end the season. Next stop is F1 in Austin in November.