Tag Archives: Amsterdam

Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) at Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands

I’ve always wanted to volunteer a DTM race, so this July I took advantage of an opportunity to do just that in the Netherlands. Plenty of Dutch marshals told me it’d be boring, and that there are much better events to volunteer at Circuit Park Zandvoort but I didn’t listen, and I’m glad I didn’t because DTM at Zandvoort was fantastic!

The marshal club OCA was super welcoming. I relied on my Belgian/Flemish marshal friends to help me organize my application, and they did a great job. Every day during the event we went out to eat right on the beach in Zandvoort town, just a short walk from the track. It was amazing.

And of course the machinery was fascinating!

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Special thanks to OCA for letting me work the last corner of the circuit, which meant I could take a walk down to grid and take some pictures of the cars up close.

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I’d love to come back to Zandvoort again for another awesome marshaling opportunity.

Mazda MX-5: Amsterdam to IJmuiden, North Holland Miata Road Trip Visiting a Dutch MX-5 Sport Tuner

My most epic Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Trip took place this July in conjunction with my Motorsport Euro Trip to volunteer a few races in Western Europe. First stop was the Netherlands.

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip

 

The plan was to meet up with an MX-5 Miata owner in Amsterdam and chat over lunch while checking out his car. I wanted to see as many Euro-spec Miata’s as I could find. So I arrived at AMS airport early in the morning before 8am, took a bus to my hostel, went to get some lunch to kill a little bit of time and waited for Vincent, the Dutch MX-5 owner to come from The Hague.

Lucky for me he showed up! Unfortunately not in his Miata, which was waiting for parts (heh heh). But the Renault Megane he came in was very comfortable and without wasting any time we went on a road trip towards the North Sea coast towards Haarlem (yep, the original city Harlem in Manhattan is named after). The mission for the trip was to check out MX-5 Sport specialist and all the Miata’s in his garage. www.mx5sports.nl We got there around lunch time which of course meant the doors were closed… Shoot!

I took some pix of the cars outside, and we went for our own lunch nearby at an amazing seafood place (which was right in the port town overlooking a canal filled with fishing boats).

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My favorite Miata was the NC of course…

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The delicious Dutch food!

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Post-lunch we headed back to the tuner who runs a very impressive one-man operation. The NC we saw outside was getting new shocks and springs put on and we had a nice chat about modifying my car with some suspension components for our terrible NY/NJ roads.

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After a what seemed like an hour chat we moved on to the next stop… another MX-5 tuner about an hour’s drive inland.

mx5-winkel.nl was the place we wanted to check out, but they had moved to a new location which was about an hour away in another direction… so we decided to head back to Amsterdam and call it a day. There was lots of traffic on the A-road heading back into the capital, lucky for me I saw quite a few trucks (lorries) heading to Zandvoort for the DTM event. We saw a few Mercedes-AMG teams, and several BMW team trucks and buses.

First day in Europe was a huge success! Thank you Vincent!

Mazda MX-5: Euro Trip Awesome Miata Meet-Ups: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Köln, Germany; Liège, Belgium; and Paris France

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip


 

What an incredibly fantastic Mazda MX-5 Miata Euro Trip I had over the past month visiting a few countries and meeting owners in almost every city I went to. I can’t rave and rant enough about it. Incredible experience that I would highly recommend to anyone!

This post will highlight a few post cards I shared from the road and will be followed by a more detailed write up after I return from NASCAR at Watkins Glen this weekend.

Enjoy the pix!

Amsterdam & IJmuiden, Netherlands

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Thank you Vincent from The Hague for giving me a tour and an amazing Dutch lunch right by the waterfront!

Köln, Hürth, & Düsseldorf, Germany

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Thank you David and Andre for showing me around Cologne area and for the dinner at Dusseldorf it was amazing. The stop and I.L. Motorsprot was pretty awesome also.

Nürburgring, Germany

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Big thanks to Maggie for finding me at the Nürburgring and giving me my first ride in an NB Miata as we headed to dinner.

Liège, Wallonia, Belgium

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Huge thanks to Phil for giving me quite an amazing tour of Liège and Wallonia Province around Belgium. What a great experience.

Paris, France

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Huge thanks to Mike in France for organizing an amazing dinner with a dozen of his fellow MX-5 France Club members and for giving me an incredible tour of Paris by night showing all the big sights like the Eifel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triumphe and Notre Dam!

A super trip all around paired with incredible racing at Zandvoort for DTM, the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit for WEC 6 hour and Spa 24 at Spa-Francorchamp. I loved every minute of it!

Post Card from Circuit Park Zandvoort the Netherlands, my 15th Country to Volunteer

Greetings from the beautiful northern beaches of Holland.

Just hours left of my stay in Amsterdam before continuing onto Germany, and thanks to the nice Dutch people at the library I could share a few shots from the DTM weekend at Zandvoort.

What an amazing opportunity it was!

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Post Card from the Dutch Miata Road Trip Visit to the MX-5 Sport Specialist

First stop on my three week MX-5 Miata / Motorsport Euro Trip was in the Netherlands at MX-5 Specialist shop near Zandvoort.

Will write more about the visit soon, but for now here’s some photos from the trip.

HUGE thanks to Vincent the local MX-5 owner who drove all the way up from The Hague to give me this awesome tour from Amsterdam down to the beach. Much appreciated Vincent!

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Inerestingly enough this is a one man operation, which is very impressive! Also interesting is the little fact that I’m shopping around for new suspension for my car, and on this visit both Bilsteins and Eibach’s were highly recommended.

Planning my Biggest Euro Trip Yet this Summer: July 2016, Stay Tuned…

I am never going to find a real job… just when I thought I would focus on settling down and searching some meaningful employment on the Gulf Coast of Florida I went ahead and booked my flights back to Europe.

While this is still the very early stages of my planning process I know exactly what I would like to do.

The goal is to marshal the following events:

f-netherlands DTM at Zandvoort, the Netherlands

f-germany WEC 6 hours of Nurburgring, Germany

f-belgium Spa 24h at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

 

The Netherlands/Holland would be my 15th country to volunteer in.

Besides the races I’m really looking forward to exploring Amsterdam which I’ve visited a few times but only for a few hours each time. And another trip to Adenau is in order to have a nice schnitzel at Giulia’s. Belgium is my favorite country in Europe at this time and another trip to Brussels is something I can’t wait to do.

While I failed in the past, I’m really hoping that some MX-5 get togethers in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium will materialize this time around. There are a ton of Dutch MX-5 owners, juts as there are a ton of German Miata owners, and I’m sure we can scrape a few in Belgium too.

So for anyone reading this that are interested, please get in touch, we have a few months to organize a meet up!

Stay tuned for more…

miata car wash adenau

What Should My 15th Country To Marshal Be?

As I’m soaking in the sunshine in South Beach, Miami admiring all these beautiful people from all over the world, I can’t help but wonder what should the Fifteenth country for me to marshal be?

It’s quite the anniversary and an accomplishment in my book, but it’s also frustrating to figure out what to do. The best course of action, so to speak.

So what are my options?

I’ll start with what I’d like my options to be, and it’s something I’ve written about before. And they are the most unlikely places that I’d really like to marshal but that haven’t allowed me to marshal there yet. And they include Macau and Japan. Macau or Macao would be amazing to experience the Guia Circuit (which I’ve visited as a tourist before) during the Macau Grand Prix where all sorts of Motorsport takes to the street course over the same weekend, including Open wheel cars, Touring cars, and Motorcycles. That would be fantastic, but unlikely because 1. I don’t speak Cantonese to work there, 2. I don’t live in Hong Kong or Macau and don’t have the appropriate work visa to volunteer and 3. I cannot make any of their training sessions to qualify as a local volunteer, and they’re not open to visiting marshals which is a shame. It’s a similar situation in Japan to volunteer for the SuperGT series at Suzuka for example for Pokka 1000 which I thought would be a really cool event. Main issue there is I don’t speak Japanese and none of the locals are keen to babysit a foreign marshal even though there are Japanese marshals that travel to other countries to volunteer, they don’t reciprocate.

I have considered reaching out to the Bahraini marshals to see if I could join them for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku. That seems like a destination that would be quite memorable to visit. But I don’t know how likely they are to accept me as a volunteer.

Recently I considered Mexico as a convenient place to go to next. I’ve worked with a number of Mexican officials at the Long Beach GP, the Canadian and US GP’s and other events in the US. But when I reached out to my Mexican contacts I was made to understand that it was “impossible” to volunteer in Mexico because they were oversubscribed on marshals as soon as their GP was announced. Bummer!

Perhaps Brazil would be a logical choice? Well, the only thing that has stopped me from going to Latin America so far is the outrageous VISA fees. I can’t imagine paying $160 or $180 dollars for a visa when I normally don’t spend that much on flights. So that’s not really at the top of my list thus far.

So the logical choices that I’m left with are the Netherlands or Austria which both host a series I am extremely interested in: DTM. I would love to do the German touring car series in either one of the countries because I’ve already made contacts with both organizers and have worked with plenty of Dutch and some Austrian marshals to know I would be able to manage my volunteering trip there quite easily and conveniently. But which one should I focus on?

That’s the dilemma I’m faced with before I walk a few steps to the amazingly warm waters of the Atlantic and float around for another hour enjoying the opportunity I jumped on to book a cheap flight. Note to self, I ought to sign up for the Miami ePrix to have a better excuse to come back to South Florida to marshal Formula E, although last year that opportunity seemed quite hush hush, because only select few were invited, treated well with hotels that the organizers provided and payment for their work, which is pretty unusual in US volunteering…. maybe that’s why I wasn’t invited?