So excited. After waiting for almost three months the parcel I mailed to myself from my Middle East Road Trip last December finally arrived. The contents: a few t-shirts from Bahrain WEC event along with a nice souvenir license plate and a flag from the UAE since the emirates were celebrating their 42nd birthday on one of my transit visits through Dubai.
I was so excited I made a video blog entry, one of the first one using my new GoPro.
Good practice so far, and hopefully many more videos to come.
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 2012:
Formula 1 Participation in 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.
Great news for marshals interested in volunteering the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix. Important registration dates have been released, and in true Singapore fashion there are different deadlines for different candidates which I’ll list below.
If you have done the GP last year, you are first on the list for consideration. Registration for returning officials starts February 17th. Friends and family of returning officials wishing to participate get a special referral code which may be used on February 24th. And general public is open to apply last starting March 10th.
The deadline to apply is March 31st. So if interested do it as quickly as possible. Singapore has one of the largest marshalling bodies in the world with over 1,200 members but they receive many more thousands applicants so it pays to be first in line. I love Singapore and their event because my marshalling career started there, it will always be home in that respect.
Read some of my experiences from my previous Singapore GP’s:
I have received an invitation from the United States Auto Club (USAC) to volunteer a few upcoming events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this summer. The events include a number of racing series and styles of racing that others may be interested in so I would love to extend the invitation here to marshals reading my blog.
May 8, 9, 10: IndyCar will be running the Road Course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as one of two events at this venue, the second being the traditional running of the Indianapolis 500 around the oval for which marshals aren’t used. At least not us volunteers.
July 24, 25: Tudor United Sports Car Championship will be run around the Road Course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway same as the Rolex Series ran it for the past few years. I have participated in this event a few years ago and had a genuinely good time.
August 8, 9, 10: MotoGP will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to run the Road Course in the other direction which brings a great deal of spectators to Speedway, Indiana as well as bikers in general to downtown Indianapolis. I’ve done this event for the past two years and the level of enthusiasm from the MotoGP crowd is amazing. Highly recommend.
I would strongly encourage anyone able to or interested in volunteering any of the above mentioned events to go ahead and register. If you need a recommendation I am happy to provide one. Keep in mind that there is a processing fee associated with volunteering for USAC events. However, you get your money’s worth with event branded clothing, a welcoming dinner and the privilege of working at a world class facility.
Registration call for marshals wishing to volunteer the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix taking place this June at the beautiful Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec is now open and you are encouraged to sign up! Canadian GP is a fantastic event, one of my favorites in fact… with great action on track, beautiful host city to explore, and amazing food to taste… like the local delicacy: “poutine”!
The application process is handled via e-mail and I’m happy to recommend anyone interested. Just send me a facebook message and I’ll refer you to the right person.
Be advised however that the event is taking a serious stance against photo taking when cars are on track, for which I have personally gotten in trouble for at past events. So please take the warnings seriously.
To read some of my experiences from past events follow the links below. Enjoy!
Over the past two years Detroit has been an excellent event for me personally. It was one of the first major events I registered for when I returned from New Zealand in 2012. It’s a great opportunity to visit friends in Michigan, and we’re always treated well by the organizers. You can see Canada across the river and quick trip across the border for a plate of poutine is doable… did it last time.
In the meantime check out my blog posts from my first two trips to the Motor City:
Consider sparing a few bux for a worthy cause. Check out this kickstarter campaign by Edward Sanches producing and directing a documentary called “Trackside” following several British marshals around as they volunteer various motorsport events. My friend Steve Tarrant is also to be featured in the movie alongside famous sports car drivers like Allan McNish.
I for one cannot wait to see the finished product. Best of luck Edward!
Tudor United Sports Car Championship got off to a good start with the Rolex 24 at Daytona last weekend. I realize my last post left a lot to be desired but instead of removing what I felt about the weekend personally I wanted to focus on the series itself and how good the racing was. For one, the fields were huge. Not just the Tudor Series but the Conti Challenge as well. The Ferrari Challenge was as always entertaining, and things were going impressively smooth. I wanted to link to the loooong /Drive /Shakedown video for some excellent chatter and interviews with Leo Parente’s post-race debrief:
The things that affected my outlook on the race personally were a combination of factors, starting from the weather (it was miserably cold) to the people I was hanging out with, down to the people in charge of my assigned post (corner captains) which resulted in me getting kicked out of my station in the 23rd hour. I know I owe a lot of apologies to people I have offended at the event, but after working nearly the whole 24 hours non-stop there were aspects of other people’s behavior that got to me. It would be nice if there was a standardized training offered to the marshals in attendance so that instead of having fifty people doing their own thing, we’d have everyone focus on the same approach to the task. But that may be a lot to ask.
But back to racing and the series at hand. I was massively impressed with how open the paddock was for us to walk around. I have gotten quite a lot of good footage from the pits and the paddock using my GoPro that I’m going to put together in a short video soon. But overall I felt extremely welcome at Daytona. Like previous Rolex events we didn’t really walk away with much Tudor mementos, instead Mazda came by and offered some goodie bags, there was an Central Florida SCCA social with swag giveaways but nothing Tudor branded, at least none that I saw. It would have been nice to walk away with something from the inaugural event, that other places around the country didn’t get. Though I have a feeling we are more likely to have that happen at Sebring or Long Beach. We did of course get our usual Rolex 24 patch, which was nice.
I was hoping that the Le Mans P2 cars would be stronger than the Daytona Prototypes. With the balance of performance it seemed that the balance was quite off, with the first six positions of the race held by DP’s at the end of the race. Muscle Milk’s Nissan P2 was running a respectable 5th but was obviously struggling against the much faster DP’s. Luckily, GTLM cars were significantly faster than the GTD cars, which was expected. With the amount of blue flag time I got volunteering at turn 3 I could really appreciate the speed differences. Though I can already see people having an issue with similar cars in both GTLM and GTD categories when it comes to blue flagging, especially if those people had less exposure to the two series in the past. The hardest to distinguish were the Ferrari’s in LM and D, as well as the SRT Vipers, even though they’re different colors, in the right light conditions they look identical from the front.
I noticed that the same incidents appeared differently depending on where one was observing it from. For example the first lap spin of the PC car looked different to me observing it from behind than to someone watching the cars head on. In that moment, and potentially in the cloud of dust that was created, I lost sight of GTLM cars being overtaken by GTD cars and it was quite surprising to me how they came around in that order on the second lap. I had a good view of the big crash involving a DP Corvette and a GTLM Ferrari, but others on my station reacted differently to it. I have a feeling that the last lap controversy for the victory in the GTD race was again left to the interpretation of the marshals which resulted in controversy. I think if most of us walked around with GoPro’s and somehow those cameras broadcast to Race Control, decisions about incidents would be far more accurate. Maybe one day this will be a reality.
The opening event of the 2014 season was a bit of a let down. I was surrounded by friends but it felt pretty lonely, nothing seemed to go my way and by the last shift I’ve just about had it and was ultimately booted off my station. Learned quite a lot about myself, though I’m not at all proud of any of it. But life goes on and hopefully this season will be as good or better than the previous ones.
I think this is only a few photos taken of me during the event… which just goes to show how out of it I was the entire time. The highlight though was flagging at turn 3 (which was not my turn) that is depicted in this picture.
First and foremost I want to thank Russ for asking me to be a contributor to his blog. Hopefully I will do you proud man!
It’s that time of year again. Pre-season testing is closing down, haulers are filing the highways proceeding to the first event of the season and crews are getting ready for another year. This also means that marshals are hard at work looking at schedules from various series and their own schedules to determine when and where they will be working this year.
The Daytona 24 Hours is this weekend (January 25-26) and many will descend upon Daytona International Speedway for the beginning of the Tudor United Sportscar Championship and, for many, the beginning of the racing season.
Unfortunately for some, attending every race is not possible and some marshals are confined to their homes to watch the races from their living rooms watching on television. These people I like to call Couch Flaggers.
Couch Flaggers, a term I’ve made up, are the marshals who are unable to attend the races outside their region but still watch the race on tv as if they were flagging the event. We turn into our own commentators. We view every piece of action and catch glimpses of our fellow flaggers in a speeding pan. We see more than if we were actually there, which is an interesting perspective but still, we wish we were there in person, putting in the time and energy for the sport that we enjoy so much. We wait for the other flaggers we know from all over to tell us stories when they get home from other events and venues. Maybe some even get so lucky as to be seen in action on tv or captured in a photograph. Either way, every event provides room for discussion from both sides and stories abound around every corner.
To all those flaggers who are attending the 24 Hours of Daytona, good luck and be safe. As for me, I’ll be couch flagging this event. Hope to see everyone in Sebring.