Tag Archives: DP

Lone Star Le Mans 2016 WEC & IMSA at COTA debrief

This weekend’s Lone Star Le Mans was outstanding!

My third trip to COTA this year and one of the best experiences yet following PWC in the spring and MotoGP in the summer. Ironically the September trip was the hottest temperature wise, but I’m super happy it didn’t rain at all on this trip.

For this event I got teased with my station assignments a little bit. I got the awesome Alpha station for the first day on Thursday which got me very excited but then Station 4 in the Esses brought the mood down a bit on Friday and Saturday because I could not make a much desired trip to pit lane from across the track, even though technically it was pretty close distance wise (if only we could cross the track). I wasn’t too thrilled with Station 4 until I got to do a whole bunch of Blue flag there and cars started bouncing off the curbs and orange turtles which send them flying off the racing line. During the WEC race one of the Ford GT’s got punted into our gravel trap so we got all sorts of action and my view of Turn 4 changed dramatically. I’m very thankful I got a chance to work this station now.

To get to the event I booked a cheapo flight to Dallas. This time on Southwest into Dallas Love Field, my first time flying there, and for $39 one way, a pretty reasonable way to do it. The flight home was a bit more expensive but the costs were offset by my buddy offering to drive me from Dallas to Austin and back. We had a few nice dinners together sampling some of Austin’s finest BBQ joints and some delicious Tex Mex too with a big bowl of Margarita’s.

Next year apparently IMSA and WEC will run COTA on separate weekends which sucks, but it is what it is. There has been an announcement that Creventic will run a 24 hour race in November which I’m really looking forward to participate in, so hopefully things will pan out nicely.

I love Texas and can’t wait to come back again and again.

lone star le mans 2016 cota imsa wec 24

The highlight of the COTA experience this year was my finally test driving the new Mazda MX-5 Miata ND model on an autocross circuit. The car didn’t feel much different from my NC miata, and if anything more sluggish but that could have been the result of 95+F temps and the thick humidity. I enjoyed the experience, although it’s a bit of a shame the Petty Driving Experience dude that went on the ride with me didn’t let me do another lap… no other people were waiting in line, we were having a good chat about my previous Petty Experiences with the SRT model like from Chrysler, but after the five minute ride around he told me to park it and that was that. Maybe I’ll get another opportunity at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next month. Or elsewhere for that matter.

lone star le mans 2016 cota imsa wec 5

See you next time Austin!

Second Post Card from Sahlen’s Six Hour at the Glen, IMSA Series taking on Watkins Glen Int’l

It’s not always that I’m in a position to take some pictures at an event. I used to get in trouble for it all the time (often facing myself having to choose whether to eat lunch or try to get into the paddock to take some pictures), then I realized if I showed up a day early and wandered around the paddock I could get lucky, which has been working out really well for me lately. But every once in a while I get a station assignment that gives me an opportunity to legally take pictures without getting in trouble (no cars on track).

This Sahlen’s Six Hour at the Glen during Independence Day weekend was one of those weekends, where all stars aligned. I was no longer limited to the confines of the paddock, where cars aren’t always in one piece or there’s a line of spectators either blocking or placing shadows on the cars I wanted to take a pic of. This time around the cars came to me right past the station, off the track and at a slow enough speed so I could take some awesome shots.

So enjoy the pix!

sahlen's six hour at the glen 1 corvette

sahlen's six hour at the glen 2 ford gt

sahlen's six hour at the glen 3 ford gt

sahlen's six hour at the glen 4 bmw m6

sahlen's six hour at the glen 6 pc starworks

sahlen's six hour at the glen 7 bmw m6

sahlen's six hour at the glen 8 pc

sahlen's six hour at the glen 9 viper

sahlen's six hour at the glen 10 viper

sahlen's six hour at the glen 11 viper

sahlen's six hour at the glen 12 ford gt

sahlen's six hour at the glen 13 ford gt

sahlen's six hour at the glen 14 porsche gtd alex job racing

sahlen's six hour at the glen 15 porsche gtd alex job racing

sahlen's six hour at the glen 16 tequila patron lmp2

sahlen's six hour at the glen 17 tequila patron lmp2

sahlen's six hour at the glen 18 wayne taylor racing daytona prototype

sahlen's six hour at the glen 19 wayne taylor racing daytona prototype

sahlen's six hour at the glen 20 ferrari 488 gtd

sahlen's six hour at the glen 21 ferrari 488 gtd

sahlen's six hour at the glen 22 pc

sahlen's six hour at the glen 23 bmw m6 turner

sahlen's six hour at the glen 24 bmw m6 turner

sahlen's six hour at the glen 25 corvette gtlm

sahlen's six hour at the glen 26 audi r8 lms magnus racing

sahlen's six hour at the glen 27 audi r8 lms stevenson racing

sahlen's six hour at the glen 28 audi r8 lms stevenson racing

sahlen's six hour at the glen 29 ferrari 488 gtlm

sahlen's six hour at the glen 30 ferrari 488 gtlm

sahlen's six hour at the glen 32 porsche 911 gt3 rsr

and some selfies…

sahlen's six hour at the glen 33

sahlen's six hour at the glen 34

sahlen's six hour at the glen 35

sahlen's six hour at the glen 36

Debrief coming up next…

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:

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 1 indy haulers

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 2 cadillacs on city streets

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 3 macau

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 4 indy car on city street

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 5 mclaren on city street

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 6 mclaren on city street

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 6 nissan gt-r nismo on city street

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 7 citroen in santa monica

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 8 cal club

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 9 in-n-out burger

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 10 alexander rossi indy car

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 11

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 12 turn 8

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 13 turn 8

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 14 turn 8

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 15 turn 8

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 16 corvette c7r

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 17 ferrari 488

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 18 mazda mx-5 drift car

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 19 mazda mx-5 drift car

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 20 mazda mx-5 drift car

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 21 lunch at islands

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 22 ferrari 458 world challenge

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 23 mazda owners lounge

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 24 mercedes-benz amg sls crash

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 25 mercedes-benz amg sls crash

grand prix of long beach indycar imsa pwc 26 bentley continental gt3

Stay tuned for more…

Postcard from the Sebring 12 hour 2016

What a difference one person makes!

This year’s Sebring 12 hour was quite an experience for me, a very different one from the last disaster I had in Florida all thanks to my post chief: Captain Morgan.

Things went right from the get go, and I’m very happy with that.

Weather was cooperating most of the time and when it turned bad I was prepared so everything worked out pretty well. The racing was good, I was in good company, the spectators fed us most of the time. What could I possibly complain about? I have nothing but praise!

I even managed to get over to Turn 1 to watch the start of the race and do the pit walk leading up to it. More to come soon, enjoy!

sebring 12h 2016 pit walk 2

sebring 12h 2016 pit walk 3

sebring 12h 2016 pit walk 1

sebring 12h 2016 pit walk 3-4

sebring 12h 2016 pit walk 4

sebring 12h 2016 pit walk 4-5

sebring 12h 2016 pit walk 7

And a few shots from Turn 13 where I was based for the weekend:

sebring 12h 2016 pit walk 6

sebring 12h 2016 pit walk 5

What an excellent event! Wish more were like it 🙂

Petit Le Mans Registration is now Open

Dear friends,

Registration to volunteer the 2014 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta is now open. Road Atlanta has also released a rather spiffy brochure:

Road Atlanta Poster Petit Le Mans

Promoting the event, while also including some interesting info.

Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda

To download your copy of the brochure click here: http://www.roadatlanta.com/images/Fall-2014.pdf

Read more about Petit Le Mans and Road Atlanta here: http://www.roadatlanta.com/

Register as a marshal for Petit Le Mans here: https://www.motorsportreg.com/

Grand-Am season finale at Lime Rock

An exciting weekend draws a close on a fantastic race weekend, championship year, and over a decade long series. The next iteration of Grand-Am will be part of the USCC – United Sports Car Championship along with ALMS – American Le Mans Series, but until then we had one last shot at it at Lime Rock with Tim and Jessie of SponsorAFlagger.com

lime rock grand am 6

We were lucky enough to work together both days of the event, on turn 1 for Friday’s practice and turn 4 for Saturday’s qualifying and race. I have already given a sneak peak from Friday so I’ll focus on race day here. It was a thrilling race, we had an excellent view that was almost too close to the action as the #99 Red Dragon went off track along our station spraying us with rocks and dust, slightly injuring Jessie in the process. But we soldiered on, and I selfishly hogged the blue flag which the other two made fun of me for not waving it aggressively enough 🙂 I nearly shredded that canvas off the wooden stick again.

lime rock grand am 1

lime rock grand am 2

lime rock grand am 3

lime rock grand am 4

Perhaps an overshadowing story from the weekend, wasn’t the racing but the amazing work Tim and Jessie did for SponsorAFlagger.com With my guestimate, they contributed nearly $1,000 bux to all the flaggers that worked the event thanks to contributions from a number of Grand-Am teams. And that figure is nothing to sneeze at. Ultra impressive and credit must be given where credit is due. In that light I wish to personally thank all the contributors starting with Marc Miller of CJ Wilson Racing who not only gave an impressive presentation of driver changes and a team Q&A about his racing Mazda MX-5, but also gave away swag and gas cards for participants in his driver’s change demo! Flaggers got to sit in and strap in the race car, while I timed their driver change attempts. Freaking awesome!

lime rock 1.5

lime rock 1

Peter Baron of Starworks Autosport came through big time with Target Gift Cards for every flagger this weekend. He had mentioned doing something like that when I last met him at Laguna Seca a few weeks ago, and he certainly did not disappoint. We are huge fans of the Starworks team #2 and #8 cars sporting the SponsorAFlagger.com flagger chick proudly on their body work in recent victory photos, and we wish them the best of luck in the future!

lime rock grand am 5

Kirk Spencer of CKS Autosport also surprised us with a generous gas card donation on our late night wander through the Grand-Am paddock, for which we are again incredibly thankful!

This event was a great conclusion to an excellent season at Lime Rock for me, and a very sad one to think that there won’t be any major pro-racing there next year on the same level as I have enjoyed for the last two years. Oh well… I will certainly miss the pit walks at this bullrink!