Category Archives: Qatar

Updated Wish List of Events I Want to Marshal in the Near Future

The 2017 Racing season is in full effect now and it looks like it will be a pretty busy one for me… but with the whole NYC Formula E recruitment woes and the anticipated rejections for Macau GP I’ve been reminiscing about a post I made at the end of 2014 called the “Wish List” and all the events I would love to work… So in this post I’d like to take a look back and totally Trump-style pat myself on the back for all my accomplishments and failures.

Read about my 2014 Marshaling Wish List click here.

The Accomplishments:

Spa 24h at Spa-Francorchamps… Big mission accomplished with this event… for two years in a row actually! The track and the race are some of my favorite events ever… in the world. Period!

 Malaysian Merdeka… or perhaps the renamed Sepang 12h race at SIC: Sepang International Circuit. Mission accomplished on that one… almost by chance, because I worked two events in the Middle East but it was too expensive to stay there, so I flew to Southeast Asia to work an awesome 12h race… and then I came back to do it again in 2015 while on a trip to Bangkok for a wedding, which was amazing… highly recommend that event. Especially since it’s affiliated with Blancpain Series and SRO as part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

 Oak Tree Grand Prix is a massive accomplishment which was totally unexpected… Why? Because on the previous Wish List post I suggested this was a “no thanks!” event since they don’t want volunteers for their paid events. Well, an opportunity came up last year not to flag, but to work as pit fire. I jumped on it and had a time of my life. I loved it so much I returned this year for the PWC race to work with VIR fire rescue and this time I was the “hooker” riding around on a truck and hooking crashed cars to the tow truck. It was soooooo amazing! Would highly recommend this.

 DTM! My plan was to work Deutsche Touring Cars in Deutschland… but I got the next best thing working DTM at the Zandvoort Circuit in the Netherlands super close to the beach and just an hour outside of Amsterdam which turned out to be an amazing opportunity and event overall. Mission accomplished for the series, but also added 15th country to my list of places to volunteer. Still would love to do another German track besides the Nurburgring, or better yet schedule two consecutive events involving the Nordschleife and something else. Will see…

The Failures:

 Dubai 24h race in the UAE…. I signed up and then didn’t go. And that’s a horrible, horrible thing to do! I hate when people cancel on events they register for. But I did, and it was bad. But I’d like to fix this in the future and participate in the awesome Dubai 24 hour event in the future, perhaps?

 Pokka 1000 didn’t happen for me. I even enlisted help of a famous Ukrainian race car driver who was huge in Japan, Igor Sushko… whom put me in touch with the head of marshals at the Suzuka Circuit and I was rejected. Maybe expected. Maybe not. I heard people talking about working there who weren’t Japanese, but to me it was suggested that the track requirements forbid it. Sad! Igor suggested bigger events than Japanese Super GT… for example Formula 1 or MotoGP would be easier to sign up for. But I truly really want to work a Super GT race in it’s current format.

So my 2017 Updated Wish List of places to marshal in the future is:

A Must:

I want to do this event soooo bad! The Macau Grand Prix is still #1 on my list… Will it ever happen? Maybe…

 So this is an interesting one… I wanted to work Super GT at Buriram or wherever it was run in Thailand but that seemed like a one time deal. Now the Asian Le Mans series runs in Thailand and even though the country is super welcoming to tourists it is not necessarily as friendly towards “workers” or “volunteers” for Motorsport. Despite my numerous trips there, I have failed to establish a Marshaling connection to volunteer in this country, and I would really really like to!

 MotoGP at Losail International Circuit is really growing on me. But I haven’t made it happen yet. I must do it one day!

 DTM at the Red Bull Ring. I established a contact there and was told they would welcome foreign marshals. But it hasn’t happened yet. One day though… it’s a must!

 Supercars on the streets of Gold Coast. My last wish list included V8’s around Mount Panorama, the Bathurst 1000 but I think the same cars on the streets of Gold Coast would be a million times better for another visit back to the land down under.

Would be Nice:

 Brasil and South America sort of dropped a peg from my previous Wish List. Why? Not quite sure but I certainly wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to work there except I still refuse to pay the outrageous reciprocal fee they charge to get a visa for most of the Latin American countries. So Sao Paolo is on ice. But maybe one day?

 Much like Latin America not much is really happening in South Africa. I really really really want to go there. I think it would be a fantastic opportunity but nothing has jumped out at me to sign up and go just yet. It’s on the list, but it’s more of a long term plan than something that will happen imminently.

 WTCC goes to Marrakech, Morocco. I’ve been to Marrakech before and it was an amazing experience. Flew there on Ryanair and almost didn’t leave because the Spanish Air Traffic Controllers went on strike potentially leaving us stranded in North Africa. It was a great experience and cars racing on the streets of the beautiful city would be quite a site to see. So if South Africa doesn’t happen to me in the near future, maybe Morocco could be more doable? Who knows… but I wouldn’t mind.

 Screw Quebec… Always giving me shit at the border to go to Montreal for F1 and all that jazz at the track about taking pictures, but I would really love to check out two tracks one of them in QC… Trois-Rivières! The other Calabogie, in nearby Ontario. The first track is Northeast from Montreal and holds some cool events I wouldn’t mind marshaling. The other is several hours north of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park which I love to visit and it too holds interesting events. I would love to add them to my list!

Meh! Sure, why not?

 Something in Mexico City… Formula 1 or WEC? I thought Mexico would be easy to marshal. It hasn’t been. The people I reached out to in order to sign up for Formula 1 event when it came back to Mexico didn’t help me one bit which really sucked because they sure talked a lot of shit when we worked together in Canada or Long Beach… but perhaps it would happen in the future. I would love to add Mexico to the list of countries I marshaled.

 Baku F1 was going to be one of those super practical events because American Airlines treat Azerbaijan as Europe (so does F1 calling it GP of Europe) which means award flights only use a ridiculously low amount of points, half in fact what they charge for Bahrain which is really nearby. But I never got invited here, even though there seems to be a ton of traffic coming to my blog from that area and since there’s such a close relationship with Bahraini marshals. Surprised it didn’t happen yet, but maybe it will in the future?

 Despite working with a whole ton of Czech marshals from Le Mans to Spa-Francorchamps I have never heard… “hey, come join us at Brno!” Weird how that happens. But their track looks fantastic, Moto events there seem amazing. Maybe one day?

 The problem with Sentul International Circuit in Indonesia is that nothing seems to happen there. I almost booked a flight once to correspond to the Asian Le Mans Series round at Sentul hoping I could volunteer there but the round got moved to Sepang in Malaysia instead. I would love to add Sentul to my list. I’ve been to Indonesia a bunch of times, Bali, Jakarta, Batam (by boat from Singapore)… and it’s a beautiful country. It would be so cool to work an event there. Maybe MotoGP would come back? I know it would be super appropriate there, everyone uses Motorcycles and Scooters.

 

What else? Am I missing places I should add to my Wish List? Some I have consciously bumped off like Monaco, because why bother? But I’m sure there’s something I’m overlooking. Like Isle of Man… or?

Looking for Contacts in Qatar to Marshal at Losail Int’l Circuit

My goal for 2016 is to marshal in one or two new countries that I haven’t volunteered at before. I’ve published posts about my “Wish List” and all the cool places I want to experience for myself, and I definitely want to add Qatar to that list.

Does anyone have a contact I could chat with about organizing a trip for a future event?

I would most likely want to participate in their round of the MotoGP race, although I am open to the possibility of volunteering a smaller event as well. I have already experienced Bahrain International Circuit and Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, and will likely participate at the Dubai Autodorome in the near future. Losail seems like a logical choice to add to my wish list.

I’ve also worked with a Portuguese marshal from Estoril Circuit outside of Lisbon who proudly wore his Losail hat from a MotoGP event he worked there, and he highly recommended that track. So now’s the challenge to organize the trip for me. Not just the marshaling bit but also flights, accommodation and transportation to get to the circuit. I have set foot on the Qatari soil the last time I volunteered both WEC in Bahrain and the Gulf 12 hour at Yas Marina in the UAE, but never officially visited the country, I was there in transit several times because of the Dubai – Bahrain connection, as well as the Dubai – Kuala Lumpur connection where I went to volunteer the Asian Le Mans Series between the two Middle East events.

Anyway… so far I’ve found the official marshals e-mail on the Losail web site: http://www.circuitlosail.com/index.php?page=marshals  or rather Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation web site, but I’m looking for a local contact who I could ask all the questions I have before signing up for one of their events. I think with my plan to do a DTM race next year in either Austria or the Netherlands, it would be neat to diversify and go to a region I haven’t been to since 2013. The plan also includes some eastern European tracks like Brno in the Czech Republic and Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. Fingers crossed things go as planned!

Please respond with suggestions below or contact me privately. Cheers!

Motos in my 2016 Marshaling Calendar

I forgot to add a Motorcycle race to my wishlist in 2016.

So here’s a post reminding myself to do it!

This year I did express interest in MotoGP at COTA but I did it way too late and it didn’t materialize in time even though they accepted me to marshal there. The irony from that experience is that I also reached out to MotoAmerica to see if they needed any staff while I waited on a response from COTA and MotoAmerica turned me down. It’s ironic because it turns out COTA were really short on marshals and could have used any help MotoAmerica were willing to offer, unfortunately it seems that they were not willing to offer help, at least based on my experience. I also did send my interest to marshal a Superbike event at NJMP with MotoAmerica in September, I don’t have very high hopes of being accepted and it won’t be a terribly big loss if they don’t. I have marshaled an AMA Superbikes event at NJMP twice before the series went out of business.

But I do want to do a Motos race in the future. And if I don’t get accepted to marshal Dubai 24h in January I think I will definitely apply to marshal a MotoGP event in Doha, Qatar.

Why Doha?

Because Losail International Circuit is famous in the world of two wheel motorsports. I worked with a Portuguese marshal from Estoril last year who proudly wore his Losail hat while marshaling and had nothing but good things to say about it. Qatar would also be the 15th country on my list of places I volunteered as a marshal, so I’m looking forward to adding that flag to my resume.

I flew through Doha what feels like a dozen times a few years ago when I marshaled in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, sadly I never left the airport in all my time spent there. I really want to check out the country. The craziest bit I flew back from Bahrain to Dubai via Doha, spend a few hours in Dubai, then flew back to Doha to connect to Sepang in Malaysia.

Speaking of Portugal, I would really love to come back to marshal at the Algarve International Circuit in the south of the country. I had such an amazing time in Portimao last year that I cannot wait to return. And like many other places in Europe they are absolutely crazy about bikes. I met a British expat that marshals in Portimao that raved about the time FIM visits their humble little track. So when stars align just right I will be heading back to Portugal!

autodromo internacional algarve

Autodromo Interncional do Algarve is very open to the idea of International marshals so I would strongly urge the Motorsport volunteers of the world to consider adding this gem of a track to their resume. The track is located in a very accessible part of the country just a few hours south of the capital Lisbon, but only about an hour’s drive for the resort city of Faro. It is famous for it’s elevation changes and my favorite feature: elevated marshal posts. If anyone needs some contact details please do not hesitate to contact me and I’ll put you in touch with some really amazing people. I had an amazing time working there.

FIA International License

Excellent news from the World Motor Sport Council 2014 held in Doha, Qatar earlier this week. According to this press release: fia.com/news/world-motor-sport-council-2014-doha there will be an FIA license available to volunteers and officials as soon as end of 2015:

VOLUNTEERS AND OFFICIALS COMMISSION
An International Licence for all persons designated by the FIA to act as officials at an event will be launched at the end of 2015, as well as a FIA web platform dedicated to volunteers and officials.

Thanks to our fellow marshal Paul from California for pointing out this little gem. What does this mean for volunteers like me and you reading this?

I think it means that anyone participating as a volunteer race official or marshal will be recognized by the FIA directly and not just by the local club providing marshals for each FIA event, be it Formula 1 Grand Prix or a WEC endurance event (and everything inbetween). Furthermore, a web platform will be developed to allow for registration of volunteers for each event. This will centralize the process of volunteering for races, again taking some of the responsibility of local ASN’s to recruit marshals and opening it up to everyone using the same system to apply and participate.

I see it as a fantastic opportunity.

Now if only FIA offered / mandated identical training for all participants I’ll be the first in line to sign up to receive such training because that will make us all better race officials.

Can’t wait to participate!