What an awkwardly weird experience it was, the Baltimore Grand Prix. For whatever reason nothing seemed to click and I have a bit of sour taste in my mouth as a result even though it seems everything went smoothly, with fewer issues than I think I was afraid of running into… so let me explain. I was really looking forward to this event, having gone to Summit Point several times to make sure the Washington D.C. region of SCCA would take my application into serious consideration. They did. I was confident I’d find a convenient place to stay through Couch Surfing… I did. So what’s the problem?
Its hard to put my finger on it but I think it was a combination of things. For one, the communication about the event wasn’t too forthcoming. Details of the final meeting place for credentials collection was only e-mailed about a week before. While its not the end of the world it was making me antsy while planning things to do. Once I arrived in Baltimore, sign on process was a bit demoralizing. As always volunteer marshals got little in the way of appreciation while many temporary employees of the event got nice gear upfront which seemed unfair, though that’s how it was in Detroit GP and others from memory, still put me in an unappreciated mood.
Surfing during the event I wanted to be more social with my host so I came a day early and spend a few nights hanging out with her, but it was somewhat awkward. I must remember that just because people are polite offering a couch to crash on they are not automatically friends. That too put me in a weird mood though the location was absolutely perfect, literally walking distance from my station which ironically was located on the same street as my host!!!
For the event I was assigned track marshal role at turn 1, which is a fantastic opportunity regardless what track one goes to. However as I arrived on station it was clear that there wouldn’t be much response happening as we were nicely fenced in and going on a hot track was going to be unnecessary with all the paid IMSA and INDY official marshals. It was a bit of a downer so I made efforts to be nice to the blue flag guy so he can share his duties and thankfully he did, which totally made my day for the ALMS race.
During one of the morning meetings, the local Washington DC chief invited interested marshals to attend the MARRS club racing at Summit Point on Monday – Labor Day. Which I did and that was a fantastic experience as they were running on a skeleton crew and needed the help. The most interesting incident of the weekend actually happened at Summit Point on Monday where a driver of a Radical lost it and flipped the car after smashing it into a grassy embankment. He walked away from the incident, luckily.
Enjoy the pix on facebook:
PS. thinking more about my feelings post event I think much of my worries came from the fact that I’ve gained some weight. Not so noticeable on a racetrack where there is plenty of room to move around, but on a street circuit working from behind the fence it makes a big deal. Climbing through a small window opening in the fence is extremely difficult when you lack flexibility or weigh too much to pull yourself up the cage. I’m worried for Singapore GP