I wanted to share my friend Chris Buccola’s kickstarter-like campaign to get enough donations to volunteer at the 24 hours of Le Mans this year.
This is a worthy cause because Chris has been going through some family issues of late and could use a trip to Europe to work a major race like Le Mans. Chris was also the culprit behind my planning of Le Mans & Nurburgring trips this summer so I’m sure he’d love to join me there.
Chris is also friends with Matt McMurry and is offering an autographed hero card in return for your contribution. But instead of giving you a summary of what he needs I’ll copy and paste his original request below:
Help Send Chris to the 24 Hours of Le MansI have been selected to work the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a volunteer corner marshal. Few get this honored opportunity. Please help send me to France!
My name is Chris Buccola. I have been involved with auto racing my entire life. When I tell most people about my involvement with auto racing, particularly sports car racing, they assume I have been driving. Actually, I have been involved with the aspects of racing that are not in the spotlight. I am a corner/flag marshal. This is a volunteer position, of which the only payment on most occasions is a sack lunch and cold beer at the end of the day. Without people like me, the races cannot be run.
What I Do
As a marshal my responsibilities include, communicating with the drivers through various methods, but primarily with different colored flags that indicate course conditions, the presence of safety vehicles, and faster cars approaching from behind. Marshals are also responsible for maintaining communication with race control and relaying information about any condition changes at our corner (turn). Lastly, but most importantly, we are the first ones to respond whenever an incident occurs. Marshaling is a role that I have been enjoying for nearly a decade.
What is the 24 Hours of Le Mans?
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is like no other race, much less any sporting event in the world. The race takes place on mostly public roads through the French countryside over a 24 hour period, no matter what the weather conditions. During the night drivers have only their headlights to rely on for illumination while they travel at speeds of 200+ mph. There are multiple classes of cars that make up four different races within the overall race. The cars are driving at different speeds which adds to the excitement and creates a lot of passing. Each car has a team of three drivers that take shifts behind the wheel. Le Mans is the ultimate endurance challenge of man and machine.
Why this Year?
My goal to work at at Le Mans this year is heightened because of my long friendship with a now 16 year old driver named Matt McMurry who will be breaking a 50+ year record and become the youngest driver to ever race in the 24 hours of Le Mans. I met Matt and his father, Chris McMurry, while I was attending college at Arizona State University. Our paths crossed on the go-kart track and we all quickly became friends. Watching Matt work his way up through the racing world to this pinnacle point in his career is something I have been privileged to be a part of and I would hate to miss this record breaking milestone.
Thanks to the support of Matt McMurry, anyone who contributes $25 or more will receive an autographed picture of Matt and his Nissan Powered-Zytek Z11SN P2 class Le Mans Prototype race car. This is your chance to own a piece of racing history!
Why I need your support.
Auto racing is extremely expensive, even for me to attend as a volunteer, as I get no monetary compensation for working. Most of my expenses for this trip are associated with travel since the event is in France and I live the Chicagoland area. My “hotel” accommodations, will be my one-man tent in the worker area at my turn/corner. Nothing luxurious, but a sleeping bag is a welcome bed after a long day of chasing cars and waving flags.
Thank you in advance for listening to my plea and for any help you can offer. I am grateful to each and every one of you. Any contribution is greatly appreciated, whether it is $1, $5 or more, every little bit helps. If you choose to contribute $25 or more, you will receive an autographed picture “hero card,” from Matt McMurry.
So if you are in a position to contribute, I would encourage you to!