Tag Archives: Australian V8 Supercars

ITM500 Volunteer Application Form for V8’s in New Zealand

For those of you interested in volunteering an Aussie V8 Supercars race outside of Australia, there’s no better place than New Zealand!

The Motorsport Club of Auckland, NZ is now recruiting for the ITM500 event at the Pukekohe Raceway Park (the little horsetrack surrounded by a newly improved automotive racetrack) about an hour’s drive south of Auckland.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KSQR3J3

 

Kiwis are crazy about V8’s no doubt, and I guarantee a good time to anyone that participates in this event. Pukekohe was my very first marshaling experience in New Zealand:

pukekohe raceway park new zealand

First day on the job, volunteering with the Motorsport Club in  November 2011

pukekohe first intervention vehicles ITM400

pukekohe fire one vehicle ITM400

The flag points are neat featuring a well like concrete structure with a cutout to climb in. Bring wet weather gear because it will rain!

pukekohe station 8

Nice and cozy… Do stop in Pokeno on the way over to pick up some freshly made meat pies for the day…. my favorite! Wash it down with some L&P soft drink… also my favorite!

foodie new zealand meat pie

 

More info about the club:

www.themotorsportclub.com

 

CALTEX Road Trip debrief

The two week road trip to California and Texas went off without a glitch, I got to volunteer for two amazing racing series, all while sticking to a shoestring budget.

First, the American Le Mans series at Mazda Laguna Seca was one of the most amazing experiences ever, especially since I got to work the famous Corkscrew turn. I was stationed atop turn 8 leading into the Corkscrew which meant I had plenty of opportunity to blue flag, especially the fast approaching Prototypes and equally exciting GT class. While we had no major incidents, there were a number of spins and some tight passes, few spraying us with gravel as the cars went extra close to the station.

laguna seca alms

Second, the V8Supercars at the Circuit of the Americas was the inaugural weekend for the Australian series making its debut in the US. I was stationed at turn 19 one of the last corners before chequered flag and we had a ton of great passing happening. Got to call in a hard impact with fire for one of the support races, where one Porsche GT3 Cup got rammed by another setting it in flames. Got to finally visit the Austin 360 tower overlooking the whole of COTA.

austin v8s 8

Excellent two weeks that I wished wouldn’t end so quickly.

Some costs involved since everyone always asks… flights from Newark, NJ to San Jose, CA; San Francisco, CA to Austin, TX and back to Newark, NJ were approximately 20k Southwest points plus $15 tax… five car rentals, three in California costing $31 for the first day Ford Fiesta at Thrifty SJC, $70 for 4 days in a Kia Rio at Hertz SJC; $47 for the last day in a Ford Focus at Thrifty SJC (would have been $26 if I didn’t pay extra to drop it off at SFO). $89 for the first two days in Austin for a Nissan Versa followed by $70 for four days in a VW Passat at Hertz HLE. Cost me more for car rentals than I anticipated, but it was a necessary evil.

PS. CALTEX road trip not to be confused with CALTEX petroleum common in Asia Pacific

New V8 Supercars volunteers web site

Though I already applied and was accepted for Australian V8 Supercars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX there is a new Aussie web site dedicated to marshals interested in volunteering for some of the home V8’s races. Check out: http://www.v8supercarsvolunteers.com.au/

I’ve just registered which was a pretty painless process, and will keep the site in mind next time I go to Australia.

Accepted to V8 Supercars at Circuit of the Americas

Great news, after a quick enquiry on Facebook which flag chief to contact to participate in the V8 Supercars debut at the Circuit of the Americas, I got my application submitted and accepted within hours. Fantastic news as a matter of fact, though the next logical step is flights, car rentals and accommodation. Which is of course the expensive part.

Ever since I returned from my two month road trip to Asia Pacific a few days ago I’ve been searching and booking flights for this year’s racing season. Today alone I booked a one way Newark to Paris for the 24 hours of Le Mans which I’m praying I get accepted for, and of course the V8 Supercar trip to Austin, Texas. Of course, as part of that trip I also booked a slightly complex itinerary to include Monterey, California… the ALMS race at Laguna Seca. I’ve been dying to visit that track forever it seems, and now I finally have the opportunity to do so. The other day I also booked a cheap JetBlue flight from Newark to San Francisco for Grand-Am at Laguna Seca but that trip isn’t until September, very lucky to have only paid $120 round trip which will also hopefully yield me some 5k American Airlines frequent flyer miles which I can then in turn use to book my trip home from Singapore. I have already booked a one way heading to Singapore using Virgin America miles as soon as they announced their partnership with Singapore Airlines…. sounds complex, and it is… but for me its simple. 2013 will be an excellent year to do some amazing racing. The way the economy is going and the fact I’m still unemployed, it will probably be the last year I could do this kind of travel. Might as well enjoy it!

I should also point out that it’s rather ironic that this year I’ll be doing three events in California and so far there’s nothing notable happening at New Jersey Motorsport Park.

Go figure!

To see if you’re flying with me, go here: http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=JerseyVics or here: http://www.openflights.org/user/JerseyVics

Russ meets V8 Supercars

all ford day 1

I was going through some old pictures and came across this gem… taken in March 2009 at the All Ford Day in Geelong, Victoria.

This was my introduction to the Australian V8 Supercars. Prior to this day I knew very little about them. On this day I got extremely lucky as both Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards signed my goofy FPV/FPR (Ford Performance Vehicles/Ford Performance Racing) hat that I bought to protect my skull from scorching Ozzie sun. I was reluctant to let them sign it when a buddy of mine suggested it, because… wait for it… I didn’t want to ruin the hat!  LOL

all ford day 2

Those were amazing days. At the very start of my year down under, when the financial crisis hit in the US and I decided to change my two week tourist visa to a one-year working holiday in Australia. The best thing I ever did in my life. Only way it would have been better if I had gotten involved in motorsports there, but I honestly didn’t know I could. A few days after this picture was taken I walked the F1 set up track at Albert Park, but left Melbourne for Sydney before the race because I got a job there. A few months later I flew to Perth, Western Australia to watch my first V8 Supercars race live, thanks to another Ford buddy of mine that invited me there and shouted the tickets to the race.

australian V8s barbagallo

Before I left Australia I decided to gift my Melbourne host a V8 Race driving experience around Calder Park. So I bought two of them and got some wheel time as well. It was all fun until I spun it off into the grass and my instructor completely freaked out.

v8 race 1

v8 race 2

v8 race 3

I love Australia!

Overlapping International Series

As I’m filling out my calendar with most international series having released their 2013 schedules… nothing but frustration comes to mind to see so many good events overlap.

No bueno!

Having lived in Australia and New Zealand, the Ozzie V8 Supercars is one of my favorite touring car racing series to participate in. Unfortunately, many of the V8 events on the calendar fall on the same weekends as the Grand Am or American Le Mans events in USA.

Similarly, the Japanese Super GT series is something that I have come so close to “almost” experiencing living in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the weekend Super GT visits Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia is the same weekend of the 24 hours of Le Mans.

And finally, on the subject of Europe… besides the original Le Mans series there’s one popular race I’ve always wanted to marshal and that is the German DTM series. With Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all making a comeback this year, the series is probably better than ever and yet all the dates fall on weekends that are already booked. Shame!

So what can I do? I guess the most logical solution is to wait until next year to see where I end up once I finally find a job. The goal is to stay stateside and attend most local races in the process… but it doesn’t hurt to plan some alternatives!