Tag Archives: Dorna

Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas the debrief

For a last minute trip, my visit to COTA for MotoGP and MotoAmerica racing was as good a trip as it gets. I’ve said this to a few people over the past few weeks of marshaling and I don’t think they can really wrap their brains around this statement so let’s break it down here.

I was set to go to Watkins Glen for the NASCAR Motorsport Safety Seminar… I chickened out when I saw snow and freezing temps on the forecast. It did indeed snow and was freezing Upstate New York but I didn’t sit around at home sulking. I booked a flight the day before my departure for Texas. Austin was expensive… of course it would be, I’m only competing with tens of thousands of spectators, teams, officials, etc. So I flew to Dallas. It cost $63 one way on American Airlines and $62 on the way back flying United.

Unlike the last trip a month ago for PWC, Megabus was pricey and the scheduling didn’t work. So I elected to try Greyhound… it still cost almost $30 bux round trip, and the experience was crazy to say the least… I was pretty surprised by the type of folks that ride Greyhound, especially those that make their journey across the whole country, but that’s a story for another time. Lucky for me the Greyhound station is very near to my friend Joaquin’s home and it was quite convenient to get a ride to and from the track there.

Joaquin had a full house so I used my tent that lives in Texas to camp at COTA which worked out very well. It was especially convenient since I told Jeanie that I’d be happy to flag, be a track marshal or deliver lunches and she snagged me to help out with track ops, where among other things I really did do deliver lunches. It was the hardest I had ever worked at a track while volunteering. I was running around so much I had to change my shirt during lunch time because it was completely soaken wet. But it was such a blast.

Probably the coolest experience for me was driving around on track delivering marshals to their stations. I got to use the Toyota Tundra to take a small group to Turn 20A and 20B, and then raced back around the track to see if more people needed rides. I also used a golf cart to run many errands driving around the inner and outer rings of the circuit as well as multiple trips to the paddock. Unlike other series, Dorna really enforced the rule of nobody but officials in pit lane and garages. Everyone got scanned in and out. And since we didn’t get the credentials the only time I got to go there was during the pit walk which we shared with spectators.

But I feel I really got my money’s worth. I was issued blue overalls and a tabard so when numbers were short Saturday morning I was the only flagger at Turn 16. Then I got another track ops person to join me. Then I got pulled off when a real flagger turned up. And as I was leaving I got to help push a striken bike onto the gator transport. It was pretty awesome. On race day I got to spectate from Turn 1 and when things went crashy I got to push another bike up on the transport while the track marshal who was working there was trying to get his hand looked on which he burned by accidentally touching the smoking hot exhaust pipe under the seat. Apparently it burned right thru the glove.

All in all it was the best time I had ever had at COTA and I wouldn’t rule it out that I would sign up again for this position for another big event like Formula 1 later this year.

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MotoGP at Circuit of the Americas Marshal Invitation 2016

Just got an invite from Jeanie to marshal MotoGP at COTA.

If anyone is interested, now would be a good time to sign up:

Can you hear the tires?
Smell the rubber?
Catch that lean? 

It’s that time again!

We have MotoGP and support series, MotoAmerica back on track April 8th – 10th! We need a few great marshals to get us up and running again. We’ll need:

Flagging and Comm – talk to race control, flag the riders.

Track Marshals – get out on track and pick up those bikes.

Medic Assist – help the EMS to bring the rider to safety.

Bike Pick Up – get those bikes loaded into trailer and safely back to their home.

AND MANY MORE!

As always, registration and training will be on April 7th. We’ll have a great dinner, learn the track and get equipment/necessary forms.

This year we are also running our FLAT TRACK, we opened this for XGames and the response was immense!

We have some new tricks for this year that will knock your socks off!

Please go to MOTOGP2016 hosted on MotorSportReg.com!

Thanks everyone! Hope to see you back!

Jeanie and the Race Admin Team

Invitation to Marshal SBK Superbike Championship at Phillip Island, Australia

Every year, without fail, I get a thick envelope in the mail from Australia inviting me to marshal the SBK Superbike World Championship round at Phillip Island. And since I’m invited, you’re invited through this blog post!

It’s such a heartwarming experience opening the envelope and seeing the invitation letter and application forms… it’s awesome! No other organization has had such a great follow up like the team staffing this FIM event at an incredible racetrack: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit about 2 hour drive outside of Melbourne, Victoria. And I wish I could have tacked on this event to my upcoming trip to Bathurst in 2016, but there’s just too much time between the two events.

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The last time I participated at Phillip Island for this event was 2013, working rescue at “Siberia” turn. It was incredible!

I highly recommend this event to anyone interested in marshaling. The racing is fantastic. The crowd of spectators is huge and very enthusiastic. And the marshaling team treats you really well.

Interested? Get in touch, I’ll forward on the application paperwork.

Wish I could go…

Marshal’s GoPro confiscated

No… not mine. But it’s still rather harsh to hear a story of a fellow marshal losing his personal property while volunteering for a MotoGP event at the Circuit of the Americas.

 

It could have been me. It’s not a secret that I have taken photos at previous events. I share them on this very blog. I hope that they help in promoting what we do – marshalling to others who may not have known volunteering in motorsport is possible. Certainly the marshalling clubs don’t do enough to recruit new people, this is quite evident through the dwindling numbers of marshals/corner workers. And after the news of this confiscation I bet more racing fans will be turned away.

Is it wrong to take pictures at the track? Some say “Of Course!” unequivocally. But to me it is one of the perks of being so close to the action, of being a volunteer. I’m not saying I or others should take pictures the entire race. But certainly during our downtime it must be one of the privileges of the job. One of the perks. A way to make a keepsake memory. The whole idea behind the photo books I publish after each F1 race. It preserves my memory.

I’m afraid the current attitude of the folks that have been marshalling for many years: “I’ve seen everything, it’s just another race.” There’s no excitement in this logic. They do their task like robots. Without much appreciation for what they are a part of. And yet watching the social media pages of people who always preach the no photo rule, they tend to have a great deal of their photos in action from each event. What about the little guy? The newbie trying to get started in volunteering. We all want memories, and not just mental ones.

I strongly disagree with what took place at COTA. Whether FIM or Dorna confiscated the GoPro, or one of the COTA officials. I feel that by not returning it to the marshal after the event they send the wrong message. You want to teach someone a lesson, kick them out of the event before the start. The person was caught red handed, punish them right away. Don’t steal their $500 camera equipment. That is wrong on so many levels!