Grand-Am at Laguna Seca debrief

I like it when things go well, no… I love it! And this trip to Laguna Seca went exceptionally well from start to finish. So allow me to outline the successes and give encouragement to others hopefully reading this post that such a thing is possible.

This trip was one of the first events I booked upon returning from Asia Pacific… and what a hell of a deal that was. $120/round trip to fly one of my favorite airlines: JetBlue from Newark, NJ to San Francisco, CA via Boston, MA. The connection times were a bit lengthy but at such a rate I would have been happy to visit downtown Boston for a bowl of clam chowder, but with JetBlue I didn’t have to – because they allowed me to go stand-by on a previous flight… twice! Because of this amazing capability I arrived San Fran at least four hours ahead of schedule, which meant I was there at a reasonable hour, and not around midnight like I had booked. So without giving it much thought I checked the car rental deals to see if I can do something about picking up the rental that was originally booked for next morning. Lo and behold I managed to get an even better rate for half an hour past my arrival. Sweeet! I didn’t have to spend the night at the airport, or have to go find a hotel in the city… I got into my car and headed out towards the Monterey Peninsula.

Once in Monterey I first went to check out Laguna Seca, thinking I could register early, but with Grand-Am in town there was very little happening… so I cruised around, checked out the beautiful ocean scenery and had some amazing food. The action on track finally started Friday, but not until late morning and almost noon-time. The support series that got to hit the track early were tame, but with decent fields it was fun to watch. Similarly for practice, qualifying and race day, the main attraction: Grand-Am did not disappoint. As I mentioned earlier I had the best seat in the house, working turn 8A at the bottom of the Corkscrew. I am amazed and honored with the trust the SF SCCA region put in me by letting me work that station alone for most of the weekend… they have figured out something other regions are still working on… when I’m busy I hardly take any pictures, haha!

So besides one little incident with a Continental Tire Challenge Camaro flying across the Corskcrew we were pretty quiet. I had a nice trip back up to SF to return the rental, and spend the next two nights in a hostel, which was a first. But it allowed for a perfect location to explore the city, which I was very much looking forward to do utilizing the Cable Car system… I think I managed to try every line! I also revisited Chinatown, and this time really really really enjoyed my meal. The secret to good food in that place is second story restaurants… and avoiding Dim Sum, which apparently I’m not a big fan of, it turns out.

The flight home was again excellent. I managed to credit the JetBlue miles to my AAdvantage account which I could later use for international flights. And once I reached Boston I again went stand-by on an earlier flight arriving home at a much more reasonable hour than I was scheduled. So that’s that. Great trip, great fun… good memories!

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AMA Superbikes at NJMP is next. Turns out my Dickies whites are only good for less than two seasons because three out of the four pairs have shredded in the crotch area, go figure! But I’m going to frankenstein a solution in time for Millville, where I’m looking forward to seeing my good friends whom I haven’t seen in a while. Singapore will follow shortly after.

Can’t believe this year is almost over!