From the spectator point of view the 2013 Detroit Grand Prix did not disappoint. Every race started with a full-course yellow on the very first lap. Some crashes were more spectacular than others, including a ten car pile up during the Indycar race… what was even more spectacular was the fact that a number of those cars that crashed out actually came back and finished the race after a quick repair in the pits. I had two crashes on the turn past me at 8, which I completely missed flagging having only glanced at those cars as they went by to focus on what I thought was a higher priority, watching as the cars were coming at me, often sideways from turn 7. But even then I missed a piece of debris fly off one car that found its way creeping closer and closer to my station as the cars drove over it.
I wasn’t too impressed with my flagging because it seemed nothing went my way on race day, it would have really been nice to have another set of eyes next to me to at least watch my back. But I had an exciting time, especially when we changed stations between 7 and 7a. Mainly because there was a significant change in temperatures at each. 7a was completely exposed and therefore very warm in direct sunlight, while 7 was in the shade under some trees on the banks of Detroit River, so it was very windy and cold.
All in all, a great time. Got to visit a good friend in Michigan who has recently had the same operation as my mother which is a very unfortunate thing. Also unfortunate was my decision to go on this trip both via NYC and Chicago. First it cost me a small fortune just to get to LaGuardia Airport, giving me a shock when George Washington Bridge was closed as I was driving, already late, on my way to the early morning flight. Similarly, driving from Chicago to Detroit took much longer than I had imagined it to be, and therefore way too costly, especially since its one of the few parts of the country where fuel is over $4/gallon. Once again though I had a little Ford Fiesta so I felt very Ken Block’ish throwing that thing around the corners.
On the flight home via Nashville, it turns out I sat next to a Firestone Racing exec who also went to the race. And when I responded to her question with “I volunteered” for the race, she had no idea who the corner workers/marshals were. Go figure!
Lets do this all over again this weekend in Canada!