CALTEX Road Trip debrief

The two week road trip to California and Texas went off without a glitch, I got to volunteer for two amazing racing series, all while sticking to a shoestring budget.

First, the American Le Mans series at Mazda Laguna Seca was one of the most amazing experiences ever, especially since I got to work the famous Corkscrew turn. I was stationed atop turn 8 leading into the Corkscrew which meant I had plenty of opportunity to blue flag, especially the fast approaching Prototypes and equally exciting GT class. While we had no major incidents, there were a number of spins and some tight passes, few spraying us with gravel as the cars went extra close to the station.

laguna seca alms

Second, the V8Supercars at the Circuit of the Americas was the inaugural weekend for the Australian series making its debut in the US. I was stationed at turn 19 one of the last corners before chequered flag and we had a ton of great passing happening. Got to call in a hard impact with fire for one of the support races, where one Porsche GT3 Cup got rammed by another setting it in flames. Got to finally visit the Austin 360 tower overlooking the whole of COTA.

austin v8s 8

Excellent two weeks that I wished wouldn’t end so quickly.

Some costs involved since everyone always asks… flights from Newark, NJ to San Jose, CA; San Francisco, CA to Austin, TX and back to Newark, NJ were approximately 20k Southwest points plus $15 tax… five car rentals, three in California costing $31 for the first day Ford Fiesta at Thrifty SJC, $70 for 4 days in a Kia Rio at Hertz SJC; $47 for the last day in a Ford Focus at Thrifty SJC (would have been $26 if I didn’t pay extra to drop it off at SFO). $89 for the first two days in Austin for a Nissan Versa followed by $70 for four days in a VW Passat at Hertz HLE. Cost me more for car rentals than I anticipated, but it was a necessary evil.

PS. CALTEX road trip not to be confused with CALTEX petroleum common in Asia Pacific