Tag Archives: Belgium

A Year in Review: My 2016 Volunteering in Motorsport Statistics

Update Dec 30, 2016: Episode 1 is Live!


Marshal Radio – A year in Review: 2016 Events Volunteered


It’s been a hell of a year!

As 2016 comes to a close I wanted to reflect on the things I’ve done by the numbers. The statistics. The talking points for my upcoming Marshal Radio Episode #1.

So…

Total events: 28

Countries: 7

States: 11

Circuits: 19

 

 

Countries: (7)

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • the Netherlands
  • USA (11)
    • Texas (x3)
    • Florida (x2) (1 trip)
    • California (x3) (2 trips)
    • Alabama
    • Massachusetts
    • New York (x5)
    • Connecticut (x3)
    • Michigan
    • New Jersey (x2)
    • Pennsylvania
    • Virginia

Circuits: (19)

  • Mount Panorama, Bathurst
  • Hampton Downs
  • Circuit of the Americas (x3)
  • St. Pete Street Circuit (first)
  • Sebring
  • Long Beach Street Circuit
  • Barber Motorsport Park (first)
  • Palmer Motorsport Park (first)
  • Watkins Glen International (x5)
  • Lime Rock Park (x3)
  • Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
  • Detroit Belle Isle Street Circuit
  • Thunderbolt, NJMP (x2)
  • Circuit Park Zandvoort (first)
  • GP Circuit Nurburgring
  • Circuit Spa-Francorchamps
  • Pocono Raceway
  • Virginia International Raceway (first)
  • Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (x2)

Visited Circuits:

  • Pukekohe (New Zealand) (ride along lap)
  • Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Monterey, California) (drove a lap)
  • Daytona International Speedway (Daytona Beach, Florida)
  • Roebling Road (Savannah, Georgia)

Drive-by:

  • Talladega (Alabama)
  • Darlington Motor Speedway/Raceway (South Carolina)

Clubs:

  • CAMS (AU)
  • The Motorsport Club (NZ)
  • OCA (NL)
  • ADAC (DE)
  • RACB (BE)
  • MMS (CA)
  • USA
    • Flagging by Faynesha (paid)
    • VIR (paid)
    • NJMP (paid)
    • Lime Rock (paid)
    • Team Pocono
    • RSI
    • SCCA
      • Lone Star Region
      • CalClub
      • CFR – Central Florida
      • SFR – San Francisco
      • NER – New England
      • Detroit Region

Marshal Roles:

  • F&C – flagging & communication
  • Flag Marshal
  • Fire Marshal (Pit Marshal)
  • Track Marshal
  • Starter/Backup Starter (first pro-race)
  • Spectator Marshal
  • Worker Support

 

Event Types

Cars:

  • PWC (x7)
  • IMSA (x7)
  • WEC (x2)
  • DTM (first)
  • TCR (first)
  • Trans Am (x2)
  • NASCAR (x2)
  • MX-5 Cup (x2)

Endurance:

  • Bathurst 12h
  • Sebring 12h
  • Sahlen’s 6h
  • Spa 24h
  • Nurburgring 6h
  • Lone Star Le Mans 6h

Open Wheel:

  • IndyCar (x6)
  • Formula 3 (x2)
  • Formula 4 (twice didn’t happen)

Motorcycle:

  • MotoGP
  • MotoAmerica

 

 

 

(This post will be updated just as soon as I think of more crap to add)

Total 24 Hours of Spa Blancpain GT Feature Race of Intercontinental GT Challenge at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps

What a way to end an amazing month in Europe by volunteering the best endurance race in the world: the Total 24 hours of Spa at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

I was looking forward to Spa 24h for the whole year since I have worked last year’s event. This year the race did not disappoint. My Belgian or rather Flemish friend Pol was kind enough to chauffeur me around for the past few weeks, and Spa-Francorchamp visit was the last stop on our journey. The first order of business was to go to Spa city center for the driver’s parade and autograph session. To me that’s the most amazing thing the series does, instead of bringing spectators to the circuit they bring the cars and drivers to the people. It was super packed, as usual, and the cars were amazing.

At the track we were assigned Posts 11 and 12 at the exit of Double Gauche (Double Left) turns about in the middle of the course. It was a super active section of the track with the first red flag popping out as a result of a smash of Piquet Jr. into our station. We had a few more major crashes, several big fires. It was nuts.

My favorite part as always was making it out to the Pits to check out the cars up close and personal (even though I got very close in town also during the parade).

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 22

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 20

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 17

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 16

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 15

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 14

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 13

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 12

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 11

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 10

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 9

It was nice to finally see the new Mercedes-AMG SLS GT3’s which cheated during qualifying grabbing spots one to six… they were penalized and started from the back with a five minute penalty… the nice thing many of them still finished in the top ten at the end of the 24 hours.

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 5

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 3

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 2

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 1

I love this place… can’t wait to return to Spa-Francorchamps!

spa 24h spa-francorchamps 8

Mazda MX-5: Liège Foodie Tour in a Miata, Cruising the Belgian Countryside

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. Third stop was in Belgium but since no one was interested to meet up in Brussels I went to Liège, Wallonia.

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

 

Belgium is currently my favorite place in Europe. I love coming back to Brussels for the awesome sightseeing, the delicious food and of course amazing racing at Spa-Francorchamps. But Belgium is tricky. The country is divided between the Flemish and French speaking people with Flanders to the north bordering the Netherlands and the French speaking Wallonia to the south. Brussels is a French speaking city in the middle of Flanders. Perhaps none of the very active Flanders and Limburg MX-5 owners didn’t want to come to Brussels because they don’t like French things… I don’t know. But when I saw that Brussels was a bust, I booked a side trip to Liege (which is much closer to Spa-Francorchamps) specifically to meet up with a fellow MX-5 owner Philippe (Phil as he prefers to be called).

Phil lives outside of Liege but he came out to meet with me and we quickly left the city to explore the countryside. It was as much a foodie tour as a sightseeing tour of the villages in Wallonia. First stop was an awesome pastry place. Next visit after that was to the smallest town in the world, which was very scenic.

And finally we had dinner in Liege proper after a little walk around the downtown area. It was pretty awesome seeing other MX-5’s either driving by or being parked in the streets. It was fantastic!

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 1

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 2

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 3

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 4

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 5

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 6

belgian mx5 miata 3

belgian mx5 miata 4

belgian mx5 miata 5

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 8

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 7

belgian mx5 miata 6

belgian mx5 miata 7

belgian mx5 miata 8

belgian mx5 miata 1

belgian mx5 miata 2

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 9

belgian mx5 miata 9

belgian mx5 miata 10

belgian mx5 miata 11

belgian mx5 miata 12

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 12

belgian mx5 miata 13

belgian mx5 miata 14

Oh look… something we don’t have in the US… a cool Alfa-Romeo!

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 11

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 10

belgian mx5 miata 15

belgian mx5 miata 16

And we’re back in Liege:

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 13

belgian mx5 miata 18

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 14

belgian mx5 miata 17

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 15

belgian mx5 miata 19

belgian mx5 miata 20

The funny thing about our dinner, all the places recommended to Phil were closed, so we ended up walking around looking for proper Belgian food… proper Liege food. And we found it by stumbling upon a restaurant with a Miata parked right outside of it…

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 16

Liege is best known for it’s waffles… not sure what bacon has to do with waffles, but this restaurant’s logo looked way cool!

And we found a place to have dinner:

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 17

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 18

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 19

The food was absolutely amazing… the Liege style meat balls.

belgian mx-5 miata cruising liege wallonia foodie tour 20

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

dutch mx-5 road trip 1

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

Köln, Hürth, & Düsseldorf, Germany

german mx5 visit 9

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

nurburgring wec 18

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

belgian mx5 miata 17

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

Paris, France

france mx-5 meetup in paris 5

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 the Belgian Miata Road Trip MX-5 Touring Liège Region

Greetings from Liège, Belgium one of my favorite places to visit in Europe… was very lucky to meet a local MX5er that showed me around the beautiful countryside… some pix:

belgian mx5 miata 1

belgian mx5 miata 2

belgian mx5 miata 3

belgian mx5 miata 4

belgian mx5 miata 5

belgian mx5 miata 6

belgian mx5 miata 7

belgian mx5 miata 8

belgian mx5 miata 9

belgian mx5 miata 10

belgian mx5 miata 11

belgian mx5 miata 12

belgian mx5 miata 13

belgian mx5 miata 14

belgian mx5 miata 15

belgian mx5 miata 16

belgian mx5 miata 17

belgian mx5 miata 18

Merci Phil for the awesome tour, see you next time!

Oh, and thank you for the foodie tour, where we spotted a few more MX5 Miatas of Belgium.

belgian mx5 miata 19

belgian mx5 miata 20

Mazda MX-5: Euro Trip Invitation to hang out with Miata Owners in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France

Hey European MX-5 Miata owners, let’s meet up for a cup of coffee!

I don’t even drink coffee, but I’m happy to buy a cup for any local MX-5 Miata owners that come out and meet me on my next trip to Europe where I’ll be marshaling DTM at Zandvoort, WEC 6 hour at the N-ring and Spa 24 hour in Belgium.

mx5 miata road trip european union dutch german belgian french euro trip

I will be visiting Amsterdam on my way to Zandvoort and it would be amazing if some Dutch MX-5 owners came out to say hello. I know there’s a ton of them out there, and I’ll be posting this invite on the MX5-Club.NL facebook group. It might actually be pretty reasonable to organize a small event near Amsterdam as it is convenient for folks to come out to town and for me to use public transport to meet them.

The next step in Germany may be a little more difficult. I failed miserably to meet up with MX-5 owners on my last two trips to Nurburgring even though I saw a ton of Miatas driving around. But I won’t stop trying to organize something. So if anyone lives near Adenau or plans to visit WEC 6h race on the Grand Prix circuit, let me upgrade the cup of coffee to a stein of beer to entice you! I will post this invite on MX-5 miata eunos Roadster community page.

I’ve also failed to organize something on my last few trips to Brussels when marshaling in Belgium, but I know there is an MX-5 community there and I want to meet up with them! So whomever is available in Brussels, Liege or even Spa please get in touch. If coffee isn’t your think I’ll be happy to spring for Kriek or another beer variety. I will be posting this invite on the Ma Miata MX5 Belgium Liège facebook community page and Miata MX-5 Roadster Club Automobiles and Parts  page.

european mx5 miata road trip netherlands germany belgium france euro trip

And finally I’ll be flying home via Paris, France which would be great opportunity to meet up with another MX-5 community in Europe. Of course I don’t speak the language for any one of the places I’m visiting, no dutch, flemish, french or german, but that hasn’t stopped me from organizing these things before in Asia or the Pacific. I will be posting this invite on the Club MX5 France page.

I am really excited about this opportunity and am hoping people will respond to my invites.


My schedule in Europe is as follows: (UPDATED July 8, 2016)

f-netherlands July 13 & 14: staying in Amsterdam

f-netherlands July 15 to 17: marshaling at Zandvoort for DTM

f-netherlands July 18 to 19:staying in Amsterdam

f-germany July 20 to 21: staying in Cologne

f-germany July 21 to 24: marshaling at Nurburgring for WEC

f-belgium July 25 to 27: staying in Brussels

f-belgium July 27 to 31: marshaling at Spa-Francorchamps for Spa 24h

f-belgium August 1: staying in Brussels

f-france August 2: staying in Paris, meet-up at Auto Passion Cafe


So, are you available to hang out on any of these days? Please get in touch! My goal is to meet up and take some MX-5/Miata pictures for this blog. I’ve done similar meet-ups in Asia and the Pacific so feel free to look around this web site for an idea of why I want to meet.

I hope people do in fact come out! Please get in touch via facebook.

mazda european mx-5 cup of coffee invitation amsterdam brussels liege nurburg paris

PS. I’ll be traveling on a super tight budget using public transport and CouchSurfing along the way… which means I won’t be terribly mobile, but if there are MX-5 owners out of major cities which are easy to get to, I’ll be sure to research ways of getting there for this.

Please use #GlobalMX5CupOfCoffee & #EuropeanMX5CupOfCoffee hashtags to promote these meet ups on social media! Feel free to share this invite with everyone! Some more links to local MX-5 clubs:

http://www.mx5-club.nl/

http://www.mx-5.de/

http://www.mx-5.be/

https://www.mx5france.com/

http://mx5-club-koeln.de/

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

Grid Walk at Spa 24h

One of the coolest things I did at Spa 24 hour was the grid walk. The experience allowed me to take a shit ton of pictures of cars up close which meant I didn’t bother trying to use the phone at any other time which has historically gotten me in a lot of trouble for sneaking a shot here and there.

I had such a blast and took so many shots I would love to share them here for everyone else to enjoy. The weather was a bit soggy which was great because all the cars came out in perfect focus with no shadows. And there’s something inherently beautiful about cars that have good contrast against the background. So here we go:

grid walk spa 24h 2

grid walk spa 24h 3

grid walk spa 24h 4

grid walk spa 24h 5

grid walk spa 24h 6

grid walk spa 24h 7

grid walk spa 24h 8

grid walk spa 24h 9

grid walk spa 24h 10

grid walk spa 24h 11

grid walk spa 24h 12

grid walk spa 24h 13

grid walk spa 24h 14

grid walk spa 24h 15

grid walk spa 24h 16

grid walk spa 24h 17

grid walk spa 24h 18

grid walk spa 24h 19

grid walk spa 24h 20

grid walk spa 24h 21

grid walk spa 24h 22

grid walk spa 24h 23

grid walk spa 24h 24

grid walk spa 24h 25

grid walk spa 24h 26

grid walk spa 24h 27
Does anyone know what an Australian Holden Special Vehicle (HSV) sticker is doing on a British entered Nissan Nismo GT-R? GodZiller…

grid walk spa 24h 28

grid walk spa 24h 29

grid walk spa 24h 30

Huge thanks to my Belgian friend Pol for all the awesome photos!

grid walk spa 24h thanks pol

Two huge thumbs up for the SRO, the Spa 24h organizers and Spa-Francorchamps circuit for allowing marshals like me to have fun!

spa 24h at spa-francorchamps pit lane

Foodie Tour Belgium

Over the past few years of my volunteering in Motorsport, Belgium has become one of my favorite countries in the world to visit, certainly it is my favorite country in Europe. And every time I visit Belgium I end up going on a foodie tour sampling some tasty dishes and flushing them down with my favorite style of beer: Kriek.

On this trip it seems I’ve gone on an exclusive “fritten” diet. I think I had fries almost every day!

foodie tour belgium 4

The first meal I had after arriving in Stavelot, near the track was a carnet of frites with some curry ketchup. Followed by a box of frites with mayo from the same place for dinner a few hours later.

foodie tour belgium 5

A few days later, we went out to eat in Malmedy Friday night. Malmedy is one of the neighboring towns near Spa, Francorchamps, Stavelot and Coo. The mussels were an excellent appetizer.

foodie tour belgium 6

I was even taught the proper technique to eat them:

foodie tour belgium 7

But for the main meal I had a delicious plate of beef full of flavor as it was cooked in local beer specific to that town.

foodie tour belgium 8

And it amazes me that even for such a fancy meal the side dish was a bowl of Belgian fries.

foodie tour belgium 2

And to help with digestion most of my meals were washed down with a cold kriek – cherry beer. My favorite!

foodie tour belgium 3

foodie tour belgium 10

At the track Pol was on chef duties whipping up some tasty meat dishes several times a day for a few days of our volunteering for Spa 24h race. Here the sauce made all the difference, and I made sure to buy a bottle of Hot Curry sauce to go with the tasty meat fresh off the grill.

foodie tour belgium 9

It wasn’t long until I discovered a Frituur / Friterie near the main gate closest to our campsite and post on track. So I made the ten minute hike to sample their fries, and they were delicious!

foodie tour belgium 11

Belgians take their fry making very seriously. And whenever I offered some fries to fellow marshals nobody turned my offers down which shows how much they appreciate their national dish.

foodie tour belgium 12

Even after we’ve left the track and just before I flew back home, Pol and I stopped at a Frituur / Friterie to have some Frit mit Souflees, a delicious beef stew served with fries and mayo. Man was that stuff good!

I can’t wait to go back to Belgium for the fries alone. (and the Kriek)