Category Archives: South Korea

Top 10 Foodie Experiences while Marshaling (International)

Three important components make up this wonderful hobby that I blog about while volunteering in Motorsport: 1). Racing, 2). Travel to get to the Races and 3). the Foodie experiences along the way.

Here are my Top 10 Foodie experiences (cheap, greasy, delicious!) while marshaling, that I would absolutely go back for just to sample the awesome food again. This post will be divided into three sections, because I could and totally will give my Top 10 Foodie experiences while marshaling just in the USA alone. This part is the  International foodie experiences at each venue. And then the places you may transit through just to get to the event (both domestically and internationally).

#10 Canada: Poutine

canada poutine

When marshaling in Canada, you should try Poutine –  french fries, covered in cheese curds and smothered in gravy.

Although a Quebeci cuisine I haven’t really been all that crazy about it while marshaling the Canadian GP in Montreal. Instead it was the food of choice for me in Ontario during the ALMS races at Mosport. I tried to stick to a strictly “poutine” diet which meant trying quite a few different poutine trucks every day, and my favorite by far was one located at a little gas station just north of the Candian Tire Motorsports Park.

The best experience so far was sharing a few big portions with friends right at the track, which we all immediately regretted feeling bloated and full, so we decided to walk the entire length of the circuit to “walk it off” and that I will always remember! You have to try it for yourself.

alms mosport 6

#9 Australia: Fish & Chips

foodie australia fish and chips

When marshaling in Australia (or New Zealand for that matter) do try their Fish & Chips.

While traditionally a British thing, I think it would be foolish not to call Aussie style Fish & Chips an Aussie thing especially when you do have an opportunity to visit a proper fish and chips place along the Indian Ocean like say driving the Great Ocean Road, or on your way to Phillip Island because there’s a beautiful assortment of excellent and very outstanding fish and chips places that serve ridiculously fresh fish. Typically served with malt vinegar or tartar sauce which is my favorite.

The fries are really good, but the fish will be the highlight of that quick and tasty meal. Legend has it they deep fry flake which apparently is shark (gummy shark). And I don’t know about you but tasting shark is exotic and generally awesome.

#8 Germany: Veal Schnitzel with Gravy

foodie germany schnitzel

When marshaling in Germany you must have the Schnitzel!

Whether you go for chicken, beef or veal you won’t go wrong because they’re all equally tasty. I’ve sampled a lot of delicious food in Germany from their wonderful sausages to the delicious sandwiches (pretzel bread = yumm!) But a nice warm veal schnitzel served with fries and smothered in mushroom gravy is finger licking good. Especially when you are walking distance from your post at the Nordschleife on a cool summer’s day.

So when going to work at the “Green Hell” that is Nurburgring add a schnitzel to your list. My favorite joint is Giulia’s in Adenau which is a stone’s throw away from Post 120. And no meal would be complete without a stein of WARSTEINER beer. Seeing it served instantly brought memories of classic cars I saw on TV and later in person at various historic races around the world sporting the WARSTEINER sponsored logo including those beautiful E30 BMW M3’s, the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR of the mid 2000’s and of course the Porsche prototypes of the much older vintage era.

foodie germany beer nordscheleife

#7 Bahrain: Shawarma Malgoum

foodie bahrain shawarma malgoum

When marshaling in Bahrain you must try a Shawarma Malgoum!

So the french fry theme continues except this time it is engineered in to a delicious shawarma served on a busy street corner in a little village outside of the capital of the tiny island of Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf. I got really lucky to have an opportunity to marshal WEC in Bahrain and one of the marshals that drives a course car offered to show me around and give me a little sample of what the local food scene is like. It’s tough otherwise to find proper Bahraini food in Bahrain because of the dominance of all the western food chains and typical Indian joints that are readily available in the Middle East. But a cheap and compact shawarma really gave me a culinary peak at something truly local. You must experience it for yourself.

I did get a chance to go out for some lamb chops and other well made meats served with humus and pita bread, but I don’t think anything hit the spot like the Malgoum. Why do they call it that? and why is it a very Bahraini thing? Well because it’s an “everything” shawarma stuffed with all sorts of goodness from diced tomatos to generous portions of beef (chicken or lamb, whatever you prefer) some salad, and chili sauce.

Quickly made. Cheap and best enjoyed with friends late night. Typically followed by smoking some hookah at a juice bar. An experience I can’t wait to repeat in the future.

foodie bahrain hooka

#6 Singapore: Chicken Rice

foodie singapore chicken rice

When marshaling in Singapore you must have Chicken Rice!

It’s impossible to come to Singapore and not be overwhelmed by all the amazing culinary variety. You’ve got your traditional Chinese food, Malay food, Indian food, Thai food, Indonesian food, and plenty of Western food options too. But what MUST you try on your visit? Chicken rice, no if’s, and’s or but’s about it! Why? Because it is the simplest and the most readily available foods found on the island. It is also one of the cheapest. And most importantly it’s one of the best things they have to offer both locals and visitors alike.

Chicken rice or more properly Hainanese chicken rice is exactly what the name suggests, a simple cup of white rice served with poached and steamed chicken with some sweet chili, ginger and molasses like black substance that adds a very unique flavor to the dish. Often accompanied by a little bowl of the broth that the chicken is cooked in to sprinkle on your rice while you eat it with a fork and a spoon (using the fork to pile spoon-full’s of chicken and rice mix for each bite). I would highly recommend chicken rice for anyone as basic as it sounds it’s the one thing I really crave the most after living in Singapore for a while.

Don’t forget to get some freshly cut fruit for desert after your meal. Readily available at just about every Kopitiam on the island, the fruit is as important as the dish itself, to me at least. Especially with the exotic options like dragon fruit, starfruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, green/red apple, banana, strawberry and kiwi’s. Try it! Love it!

foodie singapore fresh fruit

#5 Malaysia: Nasi Lemak

foodie malaysia nasi lemak banana leaf

When marshaling in Malaysia you must have Nasi Lemak!

Nasi Lemak to me is the most Malay of the Malaysian dishes I’ve sampled, and I’ve been fortunate enough to try a few. It is coconut rice cooked with your choice of chicken, beef, cockles or even livers covered in spicy fish paste and topped with an egg all wrapped around in a banana leaf.

Traditionally eaten for breakfast, I’ve learned to love this dish at Sepang when one of my fellow marshals would make a morning run to pick up enough for our entire team. It’s true that coconut rice has a tendency to drive your stomach crazy afterwards, but the food is so delicious it is well worth all the funny business that may happen after you’ve digested it. It is phenomenal. You must try! And whenever possible have some Ipoh white coffee to wash it down. Ipoh coffee is served with a hefty serving of condensed milk which makes it white’ish in color and is absolutely amazing with a perfect amount of sweetness that I really love.

foodie malaysia nasi lemak

#4 South Korea: Anything with Kimchi

foodie korean bbq kimchi

When marshaling in South Korea try anything and everything that comes served with Kimchi!

I’m sure you all know what kimchi is so there’s no point explaining why this fermented spicy cabbage goodness is amazing. But when volunteering in Korea, like the Korean Grand Prix of the past or any of the current events held in the country. Whatever you eat that’s served with kimchi will leave you with an excellent memory to take back from Korea home, wherever you may live.

On my last visit I was lucky enough to experience kimchi with a several “guides” that showed me around. I first used CouchSurfing and people were kind enough to show me around the Seoul market, trying food all along the way, from Korean Sushi to Korean BBQ.

Then when we made our way to Mokpo with a fellow marshal he spoiled me for choice with the food options on the way and at the Marshal hostel that served us food for breakfast and dinner. Whatever the food: from delicious meat to fish, kimchi highlighted the dish and made me crave it more and more. I can’t wait to have it again on my next trip to this beautiful country. You should try it too!

foodie south korea kimchi

#3 Malaysia: Fish

foodie malaysia fish rice

When marshaling in Malaysia and if you’re lucky enough to have someone knowledgeable show you around… try the Fried Fish!

There’s a little village not far from the Sepang Circuit that I’ve had the pleasure to frequent after long days of working at the track. The whole rescue team that I camped together with at the track would go out every night for a relaxing evening to socialize with fellow marshals and share a delicious meal. Needless to say I was the only foreigner there, but I felt extremely welcome and more importantly I was absolutely in love with the fish they served at this little Muslim Thai restaurant that basically specializes in a very unique dish I haven’t tried anywhere else in Malaysia or Thailand on my travels, and I always make it a point to sample as much food as possible whenever I am in Southeast Asia.

What is the fish called? I have no idea. It is grilled to make the skin crispy and then smothered in the most delicious sweet chili sauce, served with rice. I always get a cup of Ipoh coffee or two to go with it, which is white coffee I described with my Nasi Lemak dish above, or coffee served with condensed milk. My favorite!

PS. the name of the fish dish is: “ikan kembung masak pedas

#2 New Zealand: Meat Pies

foodie new zealand meat pie

When marshaling in New Zealand (and Australia) you must try the Meat Pies!

Much like fish and chips, which I also really really like, Meat Pies are a British import to the Pacific but one that has gotten a flavor of it’s own and I much prefer the Kiwi meat pies to anything I tried in the UK. The meat pies are typically stuffed with chicken, beef, pork, livers, veggies, and a variety of other combinations like black pepper steak or curry chicken. And I love them all. I really do!

The best part about meat pies you get them served at the track while marshaling so you don’t really have to go looking for them at a specific restaurant or bakery. Although while driving on the way to Hampton Downs or Pukekohe on the North Island I’ve always made it a point to stop at Pokeno to stock up on their delicious goodness.

The pies were also readily available to buy frozen and heat up at home by brands like Big Ben who also sponsored local racing. But nothing compares to freshly made kidney liver pies or chicken curry pies I’d get on the way to the track. I loved it, you’d love it too!

foodie new zealand kiwi meat pie big ben

#1 Singapore: Durian

foodie singapore durian

When marshaling in Singapore the #1 meal you should try is Durian!

The highlight of my life in Singapore and pretty much every subsequent visit since has been to sample some fresh Durian. I don’t know if people would ever understand the craving I have for such an infamous fruit. But I definitely crave it! And you can’t just have any durian you stumble upon the street. Hell they sell them in Chinatown in Manhattan or San Francisco. But apparently there’s nothing worse than bad durian. You have to have it in season. You have to ask for the Malaysian durian which is smaller than the big Thai durian and therefore more potent, tastier.

Other products with durian are a hit or miss. I’ve tried durian ice cream and absolutely hated it, but also tried durian moon cakes during Chinese New Year celebration and absolutely loved them. But there really isn’t a substitute for the real thing. And if you do end up going to the Singapore GP I would highly recommend spending one evening exploring Geylang with a local marshal who would surely be able to point you in the right direction to try the “King of Fruit!”

Of course your experience may be way different from mine. I’m happy to share my favorite American Top 10 Foodie Experiences… and I think the Malaysian and Singapore Top 10 Foodie Experiences will follow, so stay tuned!

Marshal Log Book Project: #MarshalLogBook

It’s been a while since I had my log book signed.

Oh you’ve never heard of a log book? Well, marshals around the world record their event participation in a little book which they bring to the track to get signed each weekend by their flag chief or post chief, to validate that they indeed volunteered the event.

You may have tinkered with the idea on the SCCA web site if you volunteer in the US and are a member of the club. Because you get a worker incentive for participating in club events. Work 12 cumulative days and get $45 discount on your membership renewal. Work 8 days get $30 bucks credit, etc. But what about those pro events you worked? Nobody cares right? Wrong!

Registering for events thru DLBracing.com or Motorsportreg.com keeps track (a historic record) of events you signed up to work through those web sites. But again there’s no One/central database of all the events you volunteered: pro, club, international, etc.

It’s time to create a new Digital Marshal Log Book… I’ve been a long time user of several flight tracking databases like ba97 and OpenFlights for years, and there’s no reason such a simple solution can’t be used to quickly and conveniently keep track of all my Motorsport volunteering. Of course automating this process is a little beyond my programming skills so I’ll definitely need some help from the readers of this blog. But I have put together some samples manually, and the results are stunning!

So the simple list view of my Motorsport volunteering is:

marshal log book list Google Docs list: click here.

But here’s the cool part… the Analytics! You want to know the stats of Circuits by Days I spent at each event? I do:

circuits by day Google Docs: click here. The pie chart is interactive. Go ahead and play with it! Interestingly 7.7% (18 days) of all of my days spend at the race track happened at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut and at Hampton Downs in New Zealand. 6.4% (15 days) at Circuit of the Americas, and 6% (14 days) at Watkins Glen International.

How about Circuits by Frequency of returning to that track:

circuits frequency Google Docs: click here. Looking at these stats 10.6% (9 times) of all the time I returned to a particular circuit, it just happened to be to Lime Rock Park – my home track in the US. 7.1% (6 times) to Hampton Downs my former home track in New Zealand and to Watkins Glen International in New York. 5.9% (5 times) to both Circuit of the Americas in Texas and Summit Point in West Virginia. Quite a different perspective considering most events at Lime Rock are 2 day events, while the rest of the world it’s typically 3 days because there is no racing in Connecticut on Sundays.

How about Country stats by Days worked? Let’s see:

country by days Google Docs: click here. It turns out more than half of all the time (123 days out of 234 days total) I spent trackside, happened right here in America! (‘murica!) 15.2% (35 days) in New Zealand which is an amazing number considering I only spent less than half a year there and have been marshaling in the US for over three years now. And 7.4% (17 days) spent in Australia, which is cheeky because most of that came from the one month long trip I made down there in 2013 where I did something like six back to back events in a row.

How about Country by Frequency of participation:

country frequency Google Docs: click here. Number of times in the country correlates to the number of days on track. 56.5% (48 times) of all the events I’ve marshaled were in the US. 15.3% (13 times) in New Zealand. 7.1% (6 times) in Australia. 5.9% (5 times) in Canada. 3.5% (3 times) both in Malaysia and Singapore. Go ahead play with the interactive charts by following the Google Docs links, and see all the other stats.

I am working on integrating Circuits and participation onto Google Maps, but it’s a slightly more complicated process here are samples:

map countries

If you have any suggestions for creating fancy stats please share in the comments below and I’ll be happy to post them. More importantly if you’re really good at writing Google Docs Scripts I’d love to get some help in creating a usable Form and subsequent database that I will make available to all the marshals around the world. It’d be amazing to see people’s stats from Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, France, the Netherlands, the rest of Europe, Asia, the Pacific and of course the Americas.

Remember to use #MarshalLogBook on Twitter and Facebook to spread the word. And like the new facebook page I created just for this project:  facebook.com/pages/Marshal-Log-Book/910500628968577

Motorsport Marshal Spotter Guide

For those of you that enjoy sports car racing as much as I do, you will no doubt be familiar with Andy Blackmore Design & Spotter Guides and his excellent Le Mans, WEC and ALMS/Tudor SportsCar prototype/GT as well as the occasional DTM, F1 and other racing series spotter guides. I enjoy them so much, I make sure to get one of the freebie ones that are put in each station’s “book” from every event I marshal. The collection is growing.

I liked the idea of the spotter guides so much I created a Motorsport Marshal Spotter Guide with help from Andy Blackmore, who generously provided an excellent template, as well as fellow marshals that posted reference photos on Ten-Tenths Marshal Forums and Flag Marshals of the World Facebook Group.

A sample of the resulting spotter guide is here:

asia sample

Lots of Sparco suits used in South and Southeast Asia, for most marshal specialties except for actual flaggers/track marshals. international marshal spotter guide

Of course there are about a hundred more that I will add while I’m not trackside (read: at work). So stay tuned for updates. I think this is wonderful recognition for people that are meant to be invisible when you go to a racing event. Unless of course something happens. Now you can easily recognize which marshal comes from where when you see them at an event or on TV.

Please share any unique finds (including TV race screen shots) of marshals that I don’t have on the spotter guide and I’ll be adding them to the growing list.

Many thanks!

marshal-cam-spotter-guide

#MarshalSpotterGuide

I have created a permanent page on this site devoted to the International Motorsport Marshals Spotter Guide (click here) The spotter guide will also be used on various facebook groups as well as on Ten-Tenth’s forum and MarshalsGuide.com wiki.

MarshalCam.com Launched

We did it!

MarshalCam.com has been registered and launched! I’m pretty excited with the fact that so many marshals are participating in the project. Especially, it is humbling to see the global reach and acceptance of the simple concept behind the idea of promoting volunteering in motorsport to the general public (and by general public I mostly mean automotive and motorsport enthusiasts).

marshal cam

Our YouTube channel is kicking ass… but we are most active on the Facebook page and the Twitter tweeter. Most impressively (and somewhat shocking) is that I was able to register “Marshal Cam” brand with all the big players including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Like: www.facebook.com/MarshalCam #MarshalCam

Follow: www.twitter.com/MarshalCam @MarshalCam #MarshalCam

Let this be a start of a beautiful thing… and be sure to check out all our social media outlets to watch some awesome videos of real marshals sharing their enthusiasm towards this hobby.

marshal cam

If you are wondering why MarshalCam.com links to a page on MyRoadTrip.net, click here to read more about all the domain names that live on Grand Prix Road Trip, there’s quite a few of them.

twitter marshalcam

Marshal Cam Patches arrived from Hong Kong

UPDATE (8/2015): New #MarshalCam patches arrived from HK

To celebrate 100 Likes on the Marshal Cam facebook page: www.facebook.com/MarshalCam I am giving away patches FREE of charge to anyone that submits their Marshal Cam Questionnaire video. Pretty sweet deal for a patch collector. My first batch of 100 patches arrived from Hong Kong this morning, and I’ve already got a few envelopes going out to contributors in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

What’s the idea behind Marshal Cam?

I always wanted to promote what we do as marshals through social media. But doing so always got me in trouble, particularly posting photos I took at major events like F1 or ALMS, often times weeks after I took the photos discreetly while marshaling.

So to avoid any copyright rules imposed by the series or the track where we marshal, but to still have a voice, I devoted the idea of Marshal Cam to the actual marshals. Not the racing vehicles or the famous drivers, but the ordinary marshals I’ve met and worked with around the world that talk about why they volunteer, and how others can get involved. The videos are simple, and shot at the luxury of one’s home or office using a web cam or a cell phone camera. People share their raw footage via Drop Box and I edit it to upload to Facebook and YouTube. The result is exposure to marshaling as a hobby worldwide, through popular social media channels that are open to the general public.

Any automotive or motorsport enthusiast should consider volunteering. I would have started much earlier had I known it was possible. Marshal Cam idea spreads the word organically.

So contribute please, and get a nifty new patch for it!

marshal cam

For comparison purposes to see how it matches your other patches:

marshal cam 1

marshal cam 2

Marshal Cam

I’m excited to report that the video version of this blog is up and running on Facebook and YouTube. The Marshal Cam channel with the Twitter keyword #MarshalCam is Live!

Initially I posted a video on my Facebook profile to encourage friends I’ve met volunteering around the world to contribute… here’s the video:

In addition I had made another video of exactly what I was looking to do, a sample:

And I was quite thrilled when a fellow marshal from the UK whom I worked the British GP together at Silverstone quickly send in her’s:

I also created a Facebook Fan Page here: Marshal Cam  www.facebook.com/MarshalCam and people are liking things so far, though a few more video submissions so I can create my big Marshal Cam mash-up would be great. Here’s the YouTube channel that you should Subscribe to: How to become a Marshal?   www.youtube.com/user/GrandPrixRoadTrip

So far a lot of people are asking “Why do this?” “What’s the purpose of this video?”

Why am I doing this? Because nobody else is. Not the FIA, FIM, ACO… IMSA… or any of the clubs are doing much on a local or grander scale. Sure some SCCA clubs have produced promo videos locally but it doesn’t quite encourage someone that may stumble upon it on YouTube or Facebook to say: “Hey, I’d like to try volunteering!” and it’s a shame…

So despite the often cynical criticism I seem to get, the goal is genuinely to promote the idea of volunteering in motorsport. I wish I knew I could volunteer about ten years ago when I first came out to Giants Stadium in the Meadwolands to watch SCCA SOLO racing. I thought marshals were paid and had highly coveted jobs. The reality is organizations struggle to get enough marshals to run events. Promoting us, what we do, openly on social media may encourage new participation. And we all win from that.

Now through #MarshalCam I don’t promote filming at motorsport events. That goes against the rules of most organizations including the FIA, F1, IMSA, and all the tracks get bent out of shape when people film without their permission while representing the track. So doing a video on web cam or smart phone from the comfort of your own home or office is innocent enough without breaking any rules or infringing copyrights.

I really hope the idea takes off… if just a little bit! At the very least we will show how diverse the marshals are from around the world, and how similar we are sharing the same hobby in racing!

F1 Grand Prix photo book collection

The final two additions to my F1 photo book collection have been ordered. Thanks to Shutterfly I now have a memorable souvenir from every Formula One event I have ever marshalled around the world. The Singapore Grand Prix book has already arrived and the United States Grand Prix from the Circuit of the Americas will be here shortly.

Below is the growing collection thus far…

Formula 1 Participation in 2013:

ph-australia-2013ph-malaysia-2013ph-canada-2013ph-uk-2013ph-singapore-2013ph-usa-2013

Formula 1 Participation in 2012:

ph-australia-2012ph-malaysia-2012ph-canada-2012ph-singapore-2012ph-korea-2012ph-usa-2012

Formula 1 Participation in 2011:

ph-singapore-2011

Posting these books publicly has also gotten me in significant troubles with the organizers who are absolutely against any photo taking at their events. So if you’re going to follow this idea for your collection, do keep it discreet.

PS. I have also made one non-F1 book for Le Mans 24h

ph-lemans-2013

British GP photo book ordered for the collection

A photo book to capture my 11th Formula 1 Grand Prix participation has just been completed and will soon be sent to the printers 🙂 Excited the way it came out.

Below is the growing collection thus far:

ph-uk-2013ph-canada-2013ph-malaysia-2013ph-australia-2013

Formula 1 Participation in 2012:

ph-usa-2012ph-korea-2012ph-singapore-2012ph-canada-2012ph-malaysia-2012ph-australia-2012

Formula 1 Participation in 2011:

ph-singapore-2011

Marshal Training

I wish there were more marshal training opportunities.

Facebook Groups as well as Ten-Tenths Forum is still abuzz with discussion and outpouring of condolences for the loss of life at the Canadian GP. Yet, save for a moment of silence at few upcoming events, I haven’t seen much said in regard to improving the marshal training initiatives. The attitude in North America is, from what it seems to me, “we are professionals, we know what we’re doing.” I take issue with that sort of thinking because even after working 35 mostly-pro weekends last year I have yet to pull a pin on a fire extinguisher. And I have been nagging people in my local SCCA region (and division), as well as New Zealand last year before I moved back to the US to see if I can get fire training done. But its not just fire training. Especially at pro events, organizers go out of their way to keep the marshals away from competitors or their cars. But when incidents happen in the middle of the race, we are expected to jump and resolve things quickly as if we engineered those cars and knew exactly how to handle them. Everyone in this industry needs an attitude adjustment.

The training I have received so far has been invaluable in my opinion. People laughed at me when I said we had classroom training in Singapore where I started marshalling. But what’s wrong with that? Knowing the theory prepares you to formulate an approach to problem solving when you are faced with the situation in real life. Singapore has also provided me with crane / recovery training on site at the Manitou SG facility where we learned how to properly hook, walk the car to a safe spot, and lift it on a flat tow. Many lessons from that experience are still fresh in my mind, like keeping constant eye contact with the crane operator. The fact that one person can safely balance the car which shouldn’t be raised above eye level when moving so that you can see where you’re going without straining, not getting caught between the swinging car and the crane, etc. These concepts were later reinforced at Mid Ohio when the Holmatro crew handled a beached Indycar in one of the run-offs where I assisted.

In New Zealand where I volunteered to work recovery every time there were more flaggers than safety crew, we even learned how to handle a V8 Supertourer in case of emergency. One of the teams demonstrated the kill switch, where to use the jaws of life on a roll cage and even how to take the driver side door off without destroying the car (there’s a small latch that releases the door which can be easily lifted off the car with one hand). This demo again was invaluable because you, as a first responder, knew exactly where to go responding to an incident instead of trying to figure it out and wasting valuable time during race conditions.

At my second V8 Supertourer event in two years, again working rescue, we were shown how to work with medical crews to extricate a driver. Not only did the team volunteer a car for this demo, they even lent us a driver to go with it, fully suited and wearing a helmet.

I was extremely fortunate in my short marshalling career to be presented with the opportunities I had, especially overseas. I learned how to flag in Asia Pacific, specifically during my time in New Zealand. But I also learned how to work as part of the rescue crew. Which has been especially valuable in North America where marshals are expected to work all positions from flags to comms, to safety and rescue.

But I have yet to do a new or refresher training course, like the one I’ve been eager to do for fire training, back home in the states. I am constantly getting invited to join the local marshals at their social dinner, what seems like every other month now. But instead of sitting around and bullshitting about this and that, and how close someone came to getting hit, or how fantastically they handled an incident. I’d rather put my $85 annual membership to better use, why can’t they just offer training instead of the monthly socials?

To the reader I’m sure this post sounds like a criticism, but it isn’t intended that way. I am very proud of all the events I’ve been fortunate to participate in North America. But having a baseline to compare them to overseas, specifically Australia and Singapore, I think more can be done for worker safety. In fact, both Singapore and South Korean GP’s saw marshals practicing recoveries before marshal meetings or during the downtime (and there is always plenty of downtime at pro events). It really doesn’t take that much time to assemble the relevant people and run a short refresher demo to make sure everyone is on the same page during the fast paced events that happen in an actual race. Get a team involved, let them bring a car so we can see it up close, touch it, get instructions on how to handle it without causing damage to it or to us, etc.

In closing I really want to reiterate the point that I feel we need more training. You never stop learning in this hobby, and number of years of participation is no gauge for experience. You can be doing this for ten years but if you’ve never had an incident with a fire it won’t help you with proper fire extinguisher handling. Similarly, in North America where we pay hefty membership fees just for the privilege of being a volunteer, I would like to see those fees go towards training rather than insurance (which so many people have pointed out to me as a massive benefit of being a member). For $85/year I would rather prevent an injury rather than rely on some form of minimal compensation later. Be safe everyone!

daytona 24 crash APR

On the job training at the 24hrs of Daytona 2013, car impacted my station, you can see white uniform and yellow flag in the background (Tim and I were on flags at that time)… this was one of five times we had to run off station to take cover and than run back to put the yellow flag out.

Photo credit: APR, full story on One Hot Lap: http://www.onehotlap.com/2013/01/are-pro-drivers-eternal-optimists.html

Canadian F1 Grand Prix photo book ordered

Just ordered my tenth custom Formula 1 marshalling book from the Canadian F1 GP. Quite happy with a growing collection though the back cover of this book features a stark reminder just how dangerous motor sports can be, after we lost a marshal to an accident at this event in Montreal. If anyone would like to buy a copy of this book I’m happy to sell it, there are also nine others to chose from.

Formula 1 Participation in 2013:

ph-canada-2013ph-malaysia-2013ph-australia-2013

Formula 1 Participation in 2012:

ph-usa-2012ph-korea-2012ph-singapore-2012ph-canada-2012ph-malaysia-2012ph-australia-2012

Formula 1 Participation in 2011:

ph-singapore-2011