The United States Grand Prix was a letdown. In a way it was like watching a car wreck in slow motion. I knew based on my post assignment it wasn’t going to be a thrilling event, and being there only proved the inevitable boredom. But I refuse to end my marshaling season on a sour note. So I’m planning a trip all the way to the Guinness Book of World Records… The longest endurance race in the world. No, not the Maxi 48h advertised in the photo above I took during the Bathurst 12h race a few years ago. But an event put together by the same organizers.
At this point I haven’t booked anything yet, but pieces are slowly starting to fall into their places. Like a frequent flyer mileage redemption with AA. There’s no better time to travel to Europe than the off season. Low mileage redemption, great availability and I got to put away a ton of miles this year from not traveling as much as I used to. So it’s a win win. Similarly I expect the car rental to be a reasonable deal, especially since Faro, Portugal is a busy tourist destination in the summer and probably has a lot of capacity to fill in the winter.
Maxi Endurance 32h: http://www.maxiendurance.com/
But back to the event. A facebook post from John Dagys from Sportscar365 promoting the Maxi Endurance 32h event at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal, caught my eye. The dates seem to work in early December. The track seems spectacular with a number of the top world events past and present having raced there including F1 pre-season testing, SBK Superbikes, various European GT series and even Le Mans a few years back. There is also an intriguing comparison of Algarve to track’s like Nurburgring and Spa-Francochamps. This only means I will not be disappointed.
HTP Motorsport: http://www.htpmotorsport.de/
Similarly, the entries shouldn’t disappoint. HTP Motorsport is entering their amazing Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3 which won Bathurst 12h earlier this year. There will be Porsche 911 GT3’s, Ginettas, Aston Martin GT4’s, Seat Supercopas, Renauld Clios mixed with Radicals in the CN prototype class, plenty of blue flag opportunities and all over a period of 32 hours. Not to mention having ridiculously faster GT’s compared to some Prototypes, which will be much faster than some Touring cars. Exciting and certainly very challenging to flag!
The most surprising thing so far, just hours after reaching out to inquire about the event I got a warm welcome from the organizers. Frankly, after getting rejected for Japan and Macau I was surprised. Pleasantly surprised to add the thirteenth country to my marshaling career, and hopefully learn something new in Algarve.
Please stay tuned as I go through this new adventure and share my experience post-race.
Autódromo Internacional do Algarve www.autodromodoalgarve.com
Algarve Circuit on Facebook f/Autodromo.Internacional.do.Algarve
Maxi Endurance 32h maxiendurance.com
Maxi Endurance 32h on Facebook f/maxiendurance32