Category Archives: Germany

Dreamliner Euro Trip 2019

Its been a while since I chose a flight to book specifucally based on the airliner that flies that route. For my upcomming trip to Europe I will be going slightly out of my way (and way out of my way on the return) just to fly Boeing’s Dreamliner across the Atlantic.

It won’t be my first time flying this bird. I was booked on it twice already. First time using United Airline miles to fly partner ANA to Tokyo, but that flight suffered equipment change and I got to ride an old 777 instead. And a Scoot Air short hop between Bangkok and Singapore which was so late at night and so short I don’t remember much from that experience. Much like my previous experiences hunting after booking Airbus A380 international flights I’m very much looking forward to a longer Dreamliner experience. On my way to Paris I will have to take a positioning flight to Chicago. And returning from Munich I will overshoot home by flying to Dallas and then take an Airbus A321 flight home.

Between France and Germany I plan to rely on European fast train options, but IF stars align I would snag a cheap short flight in a heartbeat.

Wish I didn’t let my Air France miles expire I had almost 10k sitting dormant at one point, but disapointingly I discovered that the only way to keep them was by flying, partner earnings (like dining and shopping) did not help.

I will share more info on my plans for this Euro Trip later. It has been an exciting experience already just trying to secure the reward booking from AA. I was just over 1k miles short for redemption, it took me more than ten trips to various local restaurants for lunch to prop up my points balance via AAdvantage Dining… so glad those kind of options are out there.

more to come soon….

PS. I will be so pissed if my flight experiences equipment change again or if Dreamliners get grounded again for some reason this September.

Update 1: May 13 American emailed me a flight change notice changing my domestic outbound flight from 1:30pm departure giving me a comfortable 4 hour connection time at Chicago O’hare to a 4:30pm departure giving me a sweaty 48 minute connection time which would most certainly mean I would have to run across the airport just to make my flight. Quick call to AA and I was back on a different 1:30pm departure… looks like AA changed flight #’s on the route and adjusted flight times slightly, which triggered the goof!

Birthday at the Museum in Germany

Looks like I’ll be spending my birthday in Europe this year. I have a commitment in France but am planning to spend at least half of my trip in Germany and specifically some places I haven’t been to before: Stuttgart and Munich. And since I’m not planning on volunteering this time for any Motorsport event I’m totally debating visiting some amazing Automotive museums over the course of four days… the plan is to spend half a day exploring each one of the following (and starting the process of researching the logistics of doing each one):

Porsche Museum in Stuttgart

Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart

Mercedes-Benz Factory Tour

Mercedes-Benz Assembly Plant Tour Sindelfingen

BMW Welt & BMW Museum in Munich

And if time and money allows:

Mazda Classic Museum Frey in Augsburg

Thanks to Maggie from Germany for the Mazda Frey museum suggestion!

I’m super excited about the prospect of this trip. Hopefully I get to do everything I’ve planned so far and then some. More research and info to come soon.a

A Year in Review: My 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Adventures Statistics

 

Woo Hoo! My first Miata Fiata Radio Episode is now Live! Listen:


Miata Fiata Radio – A Year in Review: 2016 Miata Fiata Adventures


 

There’s still a few days of 2016 left, but I wanted to jot down all the fun things I’ve done with my MX-5 Miata this year and share it with my readers (and soon to be listeners) in an upcoming Miata Fiata Radio thing I’m launching… yes we’ve already launched Miata Fiata talk the podcast, but I wanted to create a supplement where it’s just me talking about my car and my adventures.

So let’s talk numbers…

International MX-5 Events: 8

Domestic MX-5 Events: 18

Mileage done: 17k

Oil changes: 3

Repairs: 2

Modifications: 4

 

International Road Trips:

Pacific Trip:

  • Sydney, Australia [link][link]
  • Auckland, New Zealand [link]

Euro Trip:

Domestic Road Trips:

  • Polar Bear Cruise in Lehigh Valley, PA [link][link]
  • to St. Pete & Sebring, Florida via Orlando and Daytona Beach [link][link][link]
  • to VIR, Virginia [link]
  • to Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan [link]
  • Watkins Glen International (x5) [link][link]
  • Lime Rock Park (x3) [link]
  • Palmer Motorsports Park [link]
  • New Jersey Motorsports Park (x2) [link]
  • Philadelphia Miata Run [link]
  • Bear Mountain Cruise (x2) [link][link]

California Trips:

  • Mazda North American Operations [link]
  • Miatas as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca [link][link][link]

Maintenance:

  • Pennzoil Platinum 5w-20 and 0w-20 (x3) [link][link]
  • Pennzoil Platinum High Milage ATF JWS-3309 [link]
  • Mobil 1 ATF power steering fluid flush [link]
  • NGK Laser Iridium Spark Plugs [link]
  • Techron Fuel System Cleaner [link]

Repairs:

  • RX-8 Hubs (wheel bearings) [link]
  • MX-5 OEM Bilstein Shocks/Springs [link]

Modifications:

  • Touch Screen Pioneer Stereo [link][link]
  • Backup Camera [link]
  • Cravenspeed Stubby Antenna [link]
  • Black Aluminum Shift Knob [link]
  • WeatherTech Floor Mats [link]

 

(More will be added as I think of this stuff)

A Year in Review: My 2016 Volunteering in Motorsport Statistics

Update Dec 30, 2016: Episode 1 is Live!


Marshal Radio – A year in Review: 2016 Events Volunteered


It’s been a hell of a year!

As 2016 comes to a close I wanted to reflect on the things I’ve done by the numbers. The statistics. The talking points for my upcoming Marshal Radio Episode #1.

So…

Total events: 28

Countries: 7

States: 11

Circuits: 19

 

 

Countries: (7)

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • the Netherlands
  • USA (11)
    • Texas (x3)
    • Florida (x2) (1 trip)
    • California (x3) (2 trips)
    • Alabama
    • Massachusetts
    • New York (x5)
    • Connecticut (x3)
    • Michigan
    • New Jersey (x2)
    • Pennsylvania
    • Virginia

Circuits: (19)

  • Mount Panorama, Bathurst
  • Hampton Downs
  • Circuit of the Americas (x3)
  • St. Pete Street Circuit (first)
  • Sebring
  • Long Beach Street Circuit
  • Barber Motorsport Park (first)
  • Palmer Motorsport Park (first)
  • Watkins Glen International (x5)
  • Lime Rock Park (x3)
  • Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
  • Detroit Belle Isle Street Circuit
  • Thunderbolt, NJMP (x2)
  • Circuit Park Zandvoort (first)
  • GP Circuit Nurburgring
  • Circuit Spa-Francorchamps
  • Pocono Raceway
  • Virginia International Raceway (first)
  • Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (x2)

Visited Circuits:

  • Pukekohe (New Zealand) (ride along lap)
  • Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Monterey, California) (drove a lap)
  • Daytona International Speedway (Daytona Beach, Florida)
  • Roebling Road (Savannah, Georgia)

Drive-by:

  • Talladega (Alabama)
  • Darlington Motor Speedway/Raceway (South Carolina)

Clubs:

  • CAMS (AU)
  • The Motorsport Club (NZ)
  • OCA (NL)
  • ADAC (DE)
  • RACB (BE)
  • MMS (CA)
  • USA
    • Flagging by Faynesha (paid)
    • VIR (paid)
    • NJMP (paid)
    • Lime Rock (paid)
    • Team Pocono
    • RSI
    • SCCA
      • Lone Star Region
      • CalClub
      • CFR – Central Florida
      • SFR – San Francisco
      • NER – New England
      • Detroit Region

Marshal Roles:

  • F&C – flagging & communication
  • Flag Marshal
  • Fire Marshal (Pit Marshal)
  • Track Marshal
  • Starter/Backup Starter (first pro-race)
  • Spectator Marshal
  • Worker Support

 

Event Types

Cars:

  • PWC (x7)
  • IMSA (x7)
  • WEC (x2)
  • DTM (first)
  • TCR (first)
  • Trans Am (x2)
  • NASCAR (x2)
  • MX-5 Cup (x2)

Endurance:

  • Bathurst 12h
  • Sebring 12h
  • Sahlen’s 6h
  • Spa 24h
  • Nurburgring 6h
  • Lone Star Le Mans 6h

Open Wheel:

  • IndyCar (x6)
  • Formula 3 (x2)
  • Formula 4 (twice didn’t happen)

Motorcycle:

  • MotoGP
  • MotoAmerica

 

 

 

(This post will be updated just as soon as I think of more crap to add)

Nürburgring 6 hour FIA (WEC) World Endurance Championship on the Grand Prix Circuit

Second weekend in Europe and another circuit in another country. From the Netherlands I took a train down to Germany. Amsterdam to Cologne in just a few hours, then onto the Nurburgring. Unlike the last two times I volunteered there, I got to work the Grand Prix circuit since WEC did not use the Nordschleife. And like the last weekend in Holland I got to work the last turn, which allowed me to prowl the grid before the start of the race.

fia wec nurburgring 6 hour grand prix circuit 1

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It was great to see all the cars, though Porsche was impossible to access, like a million people crowded Mark Webber… I could not squeeze through.

It was a great race!

And so were the support races. My favorite was the classic DTM, the old Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, the old World Touring Car Championship cars, it was amazing!

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The whole Nurburgring experience, like every other time I’ve been there, were amazing. I cannot wait to go back!

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fia wec nurburgring 6 hour grand prix circuit 25

Mazda MX-5: Nürburgring Miata Cruise and Dinner with NB Owner Maggie from mx5-roadsterfun.de

My most epic Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Trip took place this July in conjunction with my Motorsport Euro Trip to volunteer a few races in Western Europe. Stop 2.5 was also in Germany, and right at the race track. Maggie came directly to my post at Nürburgring.

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip

 

I have to admit that trying to organize this Euro Trip was quite a frustrating experience. Right up to my departure day I wasn’t sure whether or not I would actually meet someone. Germany is a country that embraces the MX-5 Roadster. For a place that has other fantastic convertibles like the Mercedes-Benz SLK or the BMW Z4 (Z1, Z3 and Z9 before it) as well as Opel Roadsters and a number of other European options, the Japanese Roadster is king! Well, one of the people that was very vocal in my posts about meeting up was Maggie who lives somewhere outside of Hamburg and wanted to meet up with me at the N-ring… but where could we meet? I generally didn’t think I would find WiFi while there, or have a phone number, etc.

What happened?

Maggie found me at the track! How? She spotted my American flag hanging on station, so after watching the practice on Saturday, she came right to the post to say hello. How awesome?!

From the N-ring we went for a little spirited drive around (not on track but literally around, using small country roads) the Nordschleife to have dinner in Adenau. It was fantastic! It was also my first time in an NB and I got to make a brand new friend in Germany who has a very nice web site: mx5-roadsterfun.de/

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nurburgring wec 19

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german mx-5 miata nurburgring nordschleife adenau 2

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nurburgring wec 17

The drive around the Nordschleife was amazing!

german mx-5 miata nurburgring nordschleife adenau 5

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The dinner was at what was my favorite restaurant Giulia’s… unfortunately she’s moved on to other things and her son changed the place completely… and now it sucks! But the view was great from our table… I didn’t even realize that the garage just outside near my old post for the Nurburgring 24 hour is a Mazda service center!

german mx-5 miata nurburgring nordschleife adenau 11

german mx-5 miata nurburgring nordschleife adenau 12

nurburgring wec 20

What an awesome experience. Thank you Maggie!

Mazda MX-5: Düsseldorf from Köln (Cologne), via I.L. Motorsport German Miata Tuner and Dinner with MX-5.de Forum Guys

My most epic Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Trip took place this July in conjunction with my Motorsport Euro Trip to volunteer a few races in Western Europe. Second stop was in Germany.

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip

 

The plan for this stop over was to meet with at least one local MX-5 owner in Cologne before heading to Nürburgring for WEC 6 hour. Lucky for me not one but two owners showed up! David from Cologne and Andre from Dusseldorf who works in Cologne. David was kind enough to drive me to I.L. Motorsport in Hürth, a world famous Miata tuner based in just outside of Cologne. (the other business we didn’t get a chance to check out was Mazda Deutschland which is also just outside of Cologne).

I met David in Deutz across the river Rhine and we proceeded on a short drive to IL, which turned out to be a very impressive facility.

german mx5 visit 1

german mx5 visit 12

mazda mx-5 deutschland cologne dusseldorf hurth il motorsport 1

mazda mx-5 deutschland cologne dusseldorf hurth il motorsport 2

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german mx5 visit 4

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german mx5 visit 2

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mazda mx-5 deutschland cologne dusseldorf hurth il motorsport 30

After IL Motorsport we decided to head to Dusseldorf for dinner, the alternative was American BBQ near to Cologne, and that just didn’t fit my foodie plans at all… so off we went on a road trip.

german mx5 visit 11

mazda mx-5 deutschland cologne dusseldorf hurth il motorsport 20

german mx5 visit 10

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While looking for a parking in a parking garage we came across this gorgeous Niseko MX-5.

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mazda mx-5 deutschland cologne dusseldorf hurth il motorsport 24

german mx5 visit 9

german mx5 visit 8

The garage was full of other little gems… like this Abarth Punto and the Peugeot RCZ.

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mazda mx-5 deutschland cologne dusseldorf hurth il motorsport 27

PS. the food was delicious!

mazda mx-5 deutschland cologne dusseldorf hurth il motorsport german food

Huge thanks to both David and Andre for an awesome time. David was super cool to pick me up and drop me off back in Cologne. And then on the walk back to the hotel, I stumble upon a nice ND!

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Post Card from WEC on the Grand Prix Circuit of the Nurburgring

Greetings from the 6 hours of NURBURGRING. First time on the GP circuit for me and I loved every minute of it… some pix

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Had a bad Gout attack the day before races started had to visit medical center twice for pills and cream that helped a lot

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Was super happy to meet another MX5er… who took me for a spin, my first time in an NB… thanks Maggie

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nurburgring wec 20

will write more soon…

Post Card from the German Miata Road Trip Visiting I.L. Motorsport near Cologne and Dinner in Dusseldorf

Greetings from Cologne; the second stop on my MX5 Miata tour of Europe – Euro Trip

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Huge thanks to David and Andre for coming out to meet with me, for the trip to I.L. Motorsport and for the delicious dinner after a road trip to Dusseldorf

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german mx5 visit 9

german mx5 visit 8

I will write more about this trip after i find a keyboard that has all the letters i need, i had no idea Belgian computer keyboards were so different 🙂

Mazda MX-5: Euro Trip Invitation to hang out with Miata Owners in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France

Hey European MX-5 Miata owners, let’s meet up for a cup of coffee!

I don’t even drink coffee, but I’m happy to buy a cup for any local MX-5 Miata owners that come out and meet me on my next trip to Europe where I’ll be marshaling DTM at Zandvoort, WEC 6 hour at the N-ring and Spa 24 hour in Belgium.

mx5 miata road trip european union dutch german belgian french euro trip

I will be visiting Amsterdam on my way to Zandvoort and it would be amazing if some Dutch MX-5 owners came out to say hello. I know there’s a ton of them out there, and I’ll be posting this invite on the MX5-Club.NL facebook group. It might actually be pretty reasonable to organize a small event near Amsterdam as it is convenient for folks to come out to town and for me to use public transport to meet them.

The next step in Germany may be a little more difficult. I failed miserably to meet up with MX-5 owners on my last two trips to Nurburgring even though I saw a ton of Miatas driving around. But I won’t stop trying to organize something. So if anyone lives near Adenau or plans to visit WEC 6h race on the Grand Prix circuit, let me upgrade the cup of coffee to a stein of beer to entice you! I will post this invite on MX-5 miata eunos Roadster community page.

I’ve also failed to organize something on my last few trips to Brussels when marshaling in Belgium, but I know there is an MX-5 community there and I want to meet up with them! So whomever is available in Brussels, Liege or even Spa please get in touch. If coffee isn’t your think I’ll be happy to spring for Kriek or another beer variety. I will be posting this invite on the Ma Miata MX5 Belgium Liège facebook community page and Miata MX-5 Roadster Club Automobiles and Parts  page.

european mx5 miata road trip netherlands germany belgium france euro trip

And finally I’ll be flying home via Paris, France which would be great opportunity to meet up with another MX-5 community in Europe. Of course I don’t speak the language for any one of the places I’m visiting, no dutch, flemish, french or german, but that hasn’t stopped me from organizing these things before in Asia or the Pacific. I will be posting this invite on the Club MX5 France page.

I am really excited about this opportunity and am hoping people will respond to my invites.


My schedule in Europe is as follows: (UPDATED July 8, 2016)

f-netherlands July 13 & 14: staying in Amsterdam

f-netherlands July 15 to 17: marshaling at Zandvoort for DTM

f-netherlands July 18 to 19:staying in Amsterdam

f-germany July 20 to 21: staying in Cologne

f-germany July 21 to 24: marshaling at Nurburgring for WEC

f-belgium July 25 to 27: staying in Brussels

f-belgium July 27 to 31: marshaling at Spa-Francorchamps for Spa 24h

f-belgium August 1: staying in Brussels

f-france August 2: staying in Paris, meet-up at Auto Passion Cafe


So, are you available to hang out on any of these days? Please get in touch! My goal is to meet up and take some MX-5/Miata pictures for this blog. I’ve done similar meet-ups in Asia and the Pacific so feel free to look around this web site for an idea of why I want to meet.

I hope people do in fact come out! Please get in touch via facebook.

mazda european mx-5 cup of coffee invitation amsterdam brussels liege nurburg paris

PS. I’ll be traveling on a super tight budget using public transport and CouchSurfing along the way… which means I won’t be terribly mobile, but if there are MX-5 owners out of major cities which are easy to get to, I’ll be sure to research ways of getting there for this.

Please use #GlobalMX5CupOfCoffee & #EuropeanMX5CupOfCoffee hashtags to promote these meet ups on social media! Feel free to share this invite with everyone! Some more links to local MX-5 clubs:

http://www.mx5-club.nl/

http://www.mx-5.de/

http://www.mx-5.be/

https://www.mx5france.com/

http://mx5-club-koeln.de/