Tag Archives: Daytona Prototype

Mazda RT24-P Daytona Prototypes at the Rolex 24

The #1 attraction of the Rolex 24 at Daytona for me this year was the prospect of watching the new Mazda DPi platform MRT24-P race for the very first time. Neither car finished, so that was a bit disappointing. But I got a chance to check out Mazda / SpeedSource operation up close and personal, be inches away from the cars and getting some Mazda swag in the process and for that I’m really grateful. Here are some pix from the event:

I almost missed my opportunity to do the grid walk because it was so busy running around in the paddock where I was stationed. But thanks to an open minded boss, I managed to snap these shots just in time (thanks to the Mazda/SpeedSource mechanic that helped me).

They started playing the national anthem just after this shot was taken so I had to run off into the cold side of the pits to watch the start of the race.

In the paddock the Mazda setup was impressive touting their history

and the fact that more Mazda’s are raced on any given day in the US than any other brand

In the infield the Mazda Owner’s Lounge didn’t disappoint either, I got my new Mazda hat for recording a short infomercial for the brand

and got to check out the Long Roar Racing cutaway half-street half-race Mazda MX-5 Miata Roadster

Great times at the Daytona 24 this year!

Second Post Card from the Roar before the 24 at Daytona Int’l Speedway

What an amazing opportunity!

Weather was freezing cold… literally! 37F for the final day of practice on Sunday. It was sunny but windy. But the day went by fairly quickly, we finished pretty early for a day at the track and before returning our equipment to Central Florida SCCA compound we made a dash for the paddock to take some more pix.

I’m so glad we did because the pix came out great, and there weren’t too many spectators in the way of the cars to take good shots. Enjoy:

I’m really happy with this whole trip so far, everything I wanted to do I managed to accomplish and it’s a great feeling. Can’t wait to come back for the 24 hour race at the end of the month!

Post Card from Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas 2016 WEC & IMSA

Greetings from sunny Central Texas and the Lone Star Le Mans at the Circuit of the Americas. This time I’m volunteering F&C. Thursday at Station Alpha directly across from Pit Exit and the rest of the event at Turn 4 in the Esses.

Wonderful event, awesome experience and perfect weather (albeit a little HOT). Enjoy the pix:

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The only WEC car I got a picture of as the team garages were closed during our paddock walk… boo hoo!

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For the Kiwi’s:

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Lots of Mazda stuff for me to enjoy:

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Lots of new LMP3’s on display:

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Probably the ugliest LMP3 on display from Riley:

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Thanks to one of the HOPS crew, I got a chance to test drive the new ND Miata at the COTA Lot H… seemed pretty sluggish on acceleration, more so than my car… hmm!

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Love the pre-race FIA inspection trackside…

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Post Card from Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix featuring IndyCar, IMSA and Trans Am racing

Greetings from Beautiful Detroit (Belle Isle!)

After a three year hiatus I decided to sign up for another DGP. It took a while to contemplate my options but I pulled the trigger on the last day registration was open and just a week before the race.

I’ll write in greater detail about what I liked and disliked about the event, there were plenty of both… but for now I’d like to share some of my favorite pictures from the IMSA pre-race pit and grid walk… To me this was the highlight of my participation.

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Guess who’s going to watch the next Jason Bourne movie?  This guy!

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Gorgeous view of the fountain on Belle Isle, and an even more gorgeous station assignment, working Turn 1!

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More to come… soon!

Post card from the Grand Prix of Long Beach

Greetings from sunny Southern California! Los Angeles, Long Beach and the home of the Grand Prix of Long Beach along the streets of downtown and the beautiful waterfront.

My station was at Turn 8, on Pine Ave between Bay St and Seashore Drive directly across from the Long Beach convention center and along the row of restaurants which turned out to be very handy when the Cal Club provided lunches started losing their appeal.

This time around the station assignment was a little less pretty than my stint at Turn 2/3 a few years ago next to the beautiful fountain featuring a roundabout with a dolphin that made it’s way on TV every time the cars went by. Although sitting at Islands Burger Joint for lunch on Sunday and watching the replay of the PWC race, the track still looks magnificent. Definitely hues of Singapore here stateside.

We were lucky enough to have a bunch of incidents to deal with. Many cars smashed upon exit of our turn somehow magically managing to miss the tire wall. Several McLarens crashed, including the Gaisco Red Dragon which was basically written off for the weekend. The K-Pax black McLaren with a baby blue roof crashed twice. Once bouncing off the tire wall and second time being put into the wall by a passing Porsche 911 which wrote that car off too, the rescue guys had a hard time towing it. Speaking of rescue guys we had a major fuck up during the celebrity race where one of the rescue guys was sent flying over the hood of a crashing car. No good!

I will do a more detailed debrief later, but for now enjoy some pix:

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Stay tuned for more…

Post Card from Lone Star Le Mans – WEC/IMSA 6 hrs of the Circuit of the Americas

Wonderful time spent at the Lone Star Le Mans this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas. Very happy with the way all of the events turned out, here are some photos:

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Thursday’s station assignment: 20 Alpha after last turn and before the main straight.
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Friday and Saturday station assignment: Turn 2 above the paddock and after the famous uphill Turn 1

My favorite activity of the weekend: Pit Walk!

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More from my station assignment for Practice/Quali and Race Day: Turn 2

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Back to the Paddock for some more shots for WEC and IMSA race cars:

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My favorite Copper Red Mazda’s… just like my Miata (color not slow)

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A more detailed write up to come soon…

Pre-Race Praise to the Lone Star Le Mans Flag Chief Brent McNaul for his Work Organizing Marshals at COTA

I have high praise to the Lone Star Le Mans flag chief Brent McNaul for the way he has been organizing the marshals for the upcoming event at the Circuit of the Americas. I want to recognize his efforts in this post because often I blog about people doing things wrong and how much I don’t agree with their approach, and it’s too easy to be critical. In this situation the man deserves high accolades long before the event has even started because he’s been doing everything right. And I really appreciate it!

For those of you reading this you may remember the post I made a while back about the perfect registration page set up for Lone Star Le Mans on MotorsportReg.com It was detailed, thorough, and intuitive. It communicated well what’s involved with the event and encouraged you to be a part of something big, a PRO event, something to be proud of. That attention to detail has continued in the months that followed leading up to this weekend. Brent has been communicating constantly with frequent e-mail blasts keeping the registered marshals abrest of important details pertaining to the race weekend, flag rules, new procedures, etc.

What I liked most about Brent’s e-mail communications:

  • Acknowledgement that the days would be long, as they tend to be on such a race weekend where cars are on track from dawn to dusk, and beyond. In early July Brent sent out info about working in shifts to break up the work load. Personally I can’t get enough of endurance events so I volunteered to work both shifts.
  • Marshal evacuation plan. Who thinks about that right? We had a simulated evacuation a year or two ago at COTA. We were loaded onto the “train” shuttle and taken to the safety of an underpass to wait out a storm. Nobody knew really what was going on, it seemed as the shuttle drivers were following instructions from whomever came on their hand held radios. Now we have a detailed plan of action direct from COTA management.
  • Detailed schedule of the event and the confirmed race entries were provided for those of us interested in the participants of the event in late August.
  • Specific flagging rules were provided as the IMSA rules differ from the FIA rules used during WEC. Specific instructions were provided about the use of boards including NEXT SLOW, SLOW zone, and FCY – Full Course Yellow. While the boards appeared at last year’s event they were not used. The information provided in Brent’s e-mail prepares us as marshals to know what to expect if Race Control calls for a specific board or a series of boards like the progression of NEXT SLOW to SLOW zone, and FCY.
  • Captain prep e-mail was sent out to those of us expected to carry out the captain roles during the event. I was fortunate enough to be selected and am looking forward to fulfilling my duties. I am especially looking forward to incidents happening in my sector so that I could put my training to good use with execution and learn from my response for future incidents.
  • Information about registration, morning sign-on and even early registration times and locations was sent out. This is especially useful since I will be without a personal vehicle being a pedestrian sucks, but allows me to rely on friends to go and register early so that the morning of the event I could go straight to the morning meeting.
  • Station assignments. This one was my favorite especially since last year I left COTA with a sour taste after getting stuck in the same part of the track for several consecutive events. Well, not anymore. I am thrilled with my station assignments thanks to Brent because I will be working some new portions of the track that I haven’t done yet and I am very much looking forward to this experience!

So major props to Brent McNaul for his efforts to keep the Lone Star Le Mans a well oiled machine of an event that I’m sure it will be. The work he’s doing is greatly appreciated not just by me but everyone else, and that’s important. Furthermore I wish more people would learn from Brent to put this amount of effort into their events that they flag chief. He is certainly setting a good example, and I thank him for it!

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source: swiped from the e-mail signature of Jeanie at COTA

Visit to Heinlein Racing Development (HRD)

First stop on my 500+ mile road trip to Watkins Glen for the IMSA 6hr endurance weekend was visiting Tivador Heinlein at the new Heinlein Racing Development facility in Roxbury, NJ. The shop is conveniently located right off of the Interstate 80 about an hour’s drive from NYC. And is well worth a visit. I call it the “Candy Shop!”

I almost got a job with T last year when I was eager to find work in “Motorsport” (non-volunteering) I even wrote about getting a different perspective at the racetrack when Tiv took me to NJMP with the team for a PCA event, read about it here:

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I didn’t get the job, but still stay in touch with T, and watching him post on facebook all the cool  toys he gets to work on every day makes me quite jealous.

But I am extremely happy he is doing well!

The first thing I really wanted to see was the Praga R1 race car:

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I think it’s really sexy and agressive looking. Much more so than the Radical it tends to compete with in CN class. The Czech guys I worked with at Le Mans would be very proud of this thing.

T is a Porsche specialist, and it’s evident from all the 911’s, Boxters and Caymans in the shop:

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But lately he’s been getting quite a few Mazda Miata customers for the entry-level SCCA spec Miata racing series, mostly NB Miatas:

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And he’s obviously up to the challenge. The craftsmanship behind the work he does is impressive. From the well thought out cages that extend into the driver’s door giving extra room and comfort to the racer, to the engine and suspension set ups. Quality work all around.

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Since the last time I visited T at the Fair Lawn location the team of mechanics that work for him has obviously grown. And so have the variety of cars. I saw an older Daytona Prototype with a BMW powerplant. The Praga R1 was really neat. There was a Hennessey Ford GT that T is helping the owner sell, if anybody’s interested.

So many cool things….

Check out Tiv’s web site: www.heinleinracing.com/

Media from the Paddock: Sahlen’s 6hr at the Glen

Was super lucky to work Station 4 for one of the days during the Sahlen’s Six Hour at the Glen this weekend, and it was a convenient place to walk over to the paddock for some pics. It was very wet, to the point that TUSC qualifying, Porsche GT3 Cup and Lamborghini Super Trofeo races were abandoned.

Not much to say about that but have lots of pix to share:

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I love whenever I have an opportunity to take some good shots of race cars fully assembled and on display. I’m sure everyone loves seeing them too… Enjoy!

NASCAR and Grand AM at Watkins Glen International

Volunteered my first NASCAR event this weekend at Watkins Glen International… Surprisingly entertaining 🙂 Though the Internet forums are abuzz about the Sprint Cup race being one of the best in recent motorsport history. Really?

Two weeks ago I had an opportunity to watch Nationwide and Sprint Cup NASCAR series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where I’m heading this weekend again for MotoGP, but I decided to pass the tickets to my CouchSufing host and nurse my car back to Michigan which wasn’t feeling too well and I wasn’t really feeling like a spectator. However this time around I actually got to flag the race so it was uber cool.

On Saturday night I thought the highlight of my weekend would be a very exciting Rolex Grand Am race, the second time I worked this series at Watkins Glen though this weekend Continental Tire Challenge were not racing. But Sunday proved me wrong. We only used two flags on each station (with four/five marshals manning each station, pretty unusual sight at WGI) and NASCAR didn’t want to hear many calls we would have normally made for other series like metal to metal contact or four wheels off the track. We couldn’t, even if we wanted to warn the drivers of oil on track or slow moving vehicle as a result, but it all made for an exciting finish. Check it out on YouTube, this french commentary makes it sound that much more interesting: click here.

I should add that the sound NASCAR makes is about as loud as F1 though more to the tune of Formula 5000. A few laps in I found my Comms set was not enough to stop my ears from ringing, every time the pack would pass I felt like there was a helicopter hovering overhead. Luckily I had a set of ear buds ready to use in conjunction with the Comms cans.

Check out my pix on facebook and stay tuned for my first MotoGP at Indy Red Bull GP soon:

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