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Cars & Coffee Paramus New Jersey November 2016

Autumn is winding down. Fall foliage has been reduced to leaves waiting in piles on the side of suburban streets, to be sucked up by the DPW trucks… things are about to get pretty gray for a couple of months over the winter. Let a little color cheer you up this weekend. I went to a local Cars & Coffee in Paramus to see some awesome cars on display for everyone’s enjoyment!

I spent a whole of five minutes running around taking pictures, but I’m quite happy I got out of bed early this Sunday morning for this amazing opportunity, enjoy:

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Surprised my car looks so good even when it definitely needs a wash.

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The one thing that stood out at me was the amount of Lotus Espirit’s that showed up for this event.

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Lots of SRT-8 Challengers and colorful Hellcats in attendance too…

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That’s all folks… I think there’s one more of these next week. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it!

Cars & Coffee at Tice’s Corner in Woodcliff Lake New Jersey July 2016

Best thing to do in the summer time, check out a bunch of awesome looking cars on a beautiful Sunday morning. This Cars & Caffe was held at Tice’s Corner in Woodcliff Lake, Northern New Jersey. Lots of cars coming in and out. Good variety. Pretty neat experience.

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Oooh… spotted another Miata and moved mine over next to it. Went into Panera Bread to pick up a chai late and another MX-5 joined us!

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C’est fini! See you at the next one 😉

NER @ LRP presented by Thompson Speedway

My 7th weekend in a row spent at a race track, unlike the previous 6 which were each at a different track (Palmer, Watkins Glen, Mosport, Lime Rock, Detroit, NJMP) I’ve started repeating tracks… much like the previous visit to Lime Rock where I worked as a backup starter for the Pirelli World Challenge, this time I got to wave all the flags in the Starter rotation for NER SCCA club racing.

The weekend went by perfectly. Excellent weather. Excellent company. I was very happy to work with Jamie again. And I’m really happy to be trained by Peter Watson the chief starter of the Northern New Jersey Region who has been awesome in showing me how things should be done. I truly enjoy learning from him because things are done naturally, everything makes perfect sense, and when I make a mistake Peter corrects me right away, which helps tremendously, I really do appreciate immediate feedback. My weekend was truly enjoyable and I’m actually really happy doing these Club Races, something I didn’t like so much in the past.

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I was also very happy with the amount of cars we had racing. As usual the fields of Miata’s were very impressive. They kicked my ass while I was lap charting because any time a group of four or more would blow past the starter stand together, it would knock me off my rhythm doing charts, and I’d miss everything behind that group. But with more practice I was really getting the hang of it. When I was on point I did make the mistake of blue flagging the leaders… Oops! But that only encouraged the little Miata at the front to push harder, the much more racy-looking Honda S-2000 behind it looked like it would snatch the lead, but it didn’t. That same Honda was probably my favorite looking car of the weekend, sadly I didn’t get a shot of it. But it was basically Yellow #17 S2000 without a front windshield. I signed up to marshal at Watkins Glen next weekend for an SCCA event just because I looked on MotorsportReg.com and saw a similar Miata without a windshield that will be racing there. Good enough for me… can’t wait!

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While heading to the track I noticed a weird noise coming out from the front of my Miata, especially when making a right turn at speed like getting onto the highway or taking an exit ramp… we spoke with Jessie about it and she suggested it may be a bearing that’s going bad, which after the super crazy pot holes in Detroit I could totally believe… One of the mechanics on the RX-7 team in the paddock volunteered to have a look… jacked my car up, had a close inspection and said nothing looks out of place and he’d have full confidence driving the car as it is. But of course I’m being all paranoid about what it could possibly be. And with two trips to WGI (500 miles apiece in the next two weeks) I am a bit worried.

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I guess we’ll find out.

I had a lovely weekend, got enough TIPs from NER to convert them into a $25 Shell gift card so the weekend basically paid for itself. Which made me happy! I can’t wait to work with this club again.

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In honor of it being the Le Mans weekend, I had my fries with mayo:

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Never thought I’d say this but even the camping was fun. My new Coleman 4 person tent worked perfectly.

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Wish I would have known I could set up closer to the paddock, though it worked out really well camping at the usual spot under the pines (top of the hill) because there was no moisture on the tent when it was time to break it down Saturday morning. Fun times!

Post Card from the Weekend of Thunder, Trans Am at NJMP

Last Saturday morning during the Detroit Grand Prix morning meeting the Trans Am official giving us some encouraging words mentions their next round in New Jersey and a lightbulb goes over my head… hey, I live in New Jersey! why don’t I sign up?

Before I even made it to my station assignment in Belle Isle I was firing off an e-mail to NJMP to see if I could join their ranks to volunteer Trans Am at Thunderbolt… within minutes I had a response: Welcome to join! Sweet….

NJMP doesn’t rely on volunteers though. They hire workers to flag events and pay them about $8/hr to do so. The response email I got said that they had the event fully staffed but if I wanted to volunteer I was welcome to come. I wanted to push my luck and ride a wave of recent events I’ve got to work on the Start stand but for this event my request was denied. Still, I got to work some of the most awesome stations Thunderbolt has to offer. Day 1 I was solo on Turn 2. Day 2 I was the blue flagger on Turn 1 which was sweet! Day 3 I was blue flagger on Turn 11 which is in the “Octopus” or “Tail of the Devil” turn where the cars drive all the way around the station, which is almost on an island surrounded by ARMCO and a Tire-wall. That was amazing! More about the event later, for now some pix…

Day 1, paddock walk:

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Day 2, scrutineering line:

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I now use Pennzoil Platinum in the Miata, and like it very much!

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Day 3, Flagging Turn 11

Checking out the Starter Stand:

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New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission jacking my registration prices up so they could sponsor NASCAR…  and then there’s a marketing fail, “Just Drive 125???”

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Was happy to spot another NC1 Miata in the paddock:

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This time around when I drove past some cool race cars I stopped and jumped out to take a few shots… should have done this with the Pirelli World Challenge Miata’s though, kicking myself for not doing it at Mosport and Lime Rock.

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What an awesome trip!

Mazda MX-5: visiting Gotham Dream Cars

If my car had feelings it would probably want to be social, and social cars go out and meet other cars…. Yes! This is a pointless post where all I’m going to do is post some pictures of the damn Miata… but also give a little preview of a project I’m working on that my buddy Rob Ferretti was kind enough to give a hand with.

This is the second time this week that I’ve brought out the Miata in a car show/car cruise type setting. The Cheesequake to Sandy Hook cruise was fantastic, and so was my visit to Gotham Dream Cars in Englewood, NJ.

I would love to do a Marshal Podcast as I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, and instead of trying to figure out everything from scratch myself I asked Rob Ferretti for some advice. Rob has been doing YouTube videos for years now with his Super Speeders channel. So it was nice to see what he’s doing and how he’s doing it.

But checking out the cars was a nice thing also, and even with an inch of dust on my car that has accumulated since the last time I washed it just before the Jersey Shore cruise on Sunday, the cherry red comes through nicely under the artificial light of the warehouse.

Enjoy:

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As you can see Rob’s collection is quite extensive, from his personal cars like the Acura NSX, BMW M3, Lambo Murcielago, Porsche GT3 and a very turbocharged Toyota Supra to the rental cars like the Ferrari 458, the new Lambo Huracan, a bunch of Bentley Continental GT’s, a Maserati Gran Turismo, and others.

For those of you marshaling…. all the cars you’d already see on the race track just in a civilian form… with all the interior bits typically surrounded in leather instead of carbon fiber 😉

Stay tuned for the podcast.