Tag Archives: Florida

Rolex 24 hours at Daytona the debrief

Endurance racing is my favorite form of Motorsport. This year’s Rolex 24 had the potential to be very special because in the middle of last season one of my Canadian colleagues put me in touch with an IMSA official and a prospect of a real job (even if it was on a part-time basis) to work events that I really love as a race official. I had my fingers and toes crossed even as December rolled around but the job did not materialize… The 2018 season though seemed to be off to an exciting start with lots of “new” cars/teams/drivers joining the series, so I scrambled to book my flights and went as a volunteer instead.

For the race I got my pit lane assignment directly across from folks whose team I was hoping to join. But instead of doing something important with a real impact on the competition, I spent five days trackside spectating. It was excellent entertainment being so close until the race rolled around when it became pretty obvious that much of the previous year will repeat itself and Cadillacs will dominate. The excitement wore off.

The most interesting racing was in the GT Daytona field so I paid special attention to that battle. In prototypes the lead car was several laps ahead of second place at one point. And in GT Le Mans Fords ran away with pace Corvette couldn’t match, they too were several laps ahead. It was sad to watch the BMW M8’s be so uncompetitive. And the Porsche RSR team didn’t seem to have it’s kamikaze pilots from last year. Oh well!

At the end of the race records were broken, champions were crowned, and Rolex watches handed out as prizes. Who cares though? The predictability of the outcome made things boring. Hey, at least the weather was good!

Luckily, the 24h wasn’t the only race of the weekend. I feel like I got my money’s worth going on this trip from the two support series. The Ferrari Challenge folks put on a grand battle, and with 40+ cars on the grid it was awesome to see the series alive and well after seeing it’s sorry state in Connecticut last time I volunteered for it at Lime Rock.

Similarly Continental Tire Challenge rocked! I loved the battles there in all the classes. Nice to see TC R cars slide in so well into the grid, though a little sad not to see Miatas in ST class.

So in conclusion it was a good trip for a good clean race. A bit disapointing because of lack of excitement but I departed satisfied. And since I’m having trouble finding paid work, it’s likely this event will be one of my last times volunteering until I get the means to afford it again in the future. Too bad I wasn’t good enough to be hired by the series so I could continue doing what I really like to do, but such is life…

Miata Fiata Shopping in Daytona Beach, Florida

I noticed a Mazda3 in traffic on our way to the Rolex 24 at Daytona one of the five days volunteering there, sporting a cool Daytona Mazda license plate frame. I instantly decided I must get one for my Miata. I plan to cut back on my volunteering and I know that Mazda RT24-P Multimatic DPi of Team Joest will be successful at a future Rolex 24 event, so this frame would be my tribute to that future day.

Well today on our way to Daytona International Airport my buddy John and I stopped by at Daytona Mazda to see if we manage to score such a license plate frame… we did! And I took some MX-5 RF for sale pics in the process…

There were only two on the lot among dozens of Mazda SUV’s but they were sure pretty. John especially admired the red one, soul red, I believe similar color to the Daytona prototypes.

Mission accomplished!

Thanks to the salesman that ran out to greet us when we walked into the lot, and offered to get me as many frames as I requested. What a nice fellow!

We had a look-see around the lot, behind the building where we only spotted more Mazda SUV’s and again the red one caught John’s eye. I don’t blame him, it sure looks pretty!

After a bunch of selfies we were on our way to the airport. Unfortunately we didn’t stop at the Daytona Fiat which we zoomed past on the way to the Mazda store. It would have been nice to see what Fiata’ s they had on offer. Next door they also had a Maserati Alfa Romeo dealer which would have been nice to visit to see what they got.

Ironically the only place that had an NC Miata on the lot was the BMW dealership a few hundred yards down. Too bad I didn’t  snap some shots of it.

So yeah, if you’re in the market for a new or used Miata or Fiata check out the many stores of the Daytona Auto Mall.

UPDATE February 2, 2018: frames mounted

It was Tough to be a Mazda Fan at Daytona 24 Hour this Race

I had high hopes for Mazda Motorsports DPi team this weekend. Team Joest showed so much potential at the Roar. And then 2017 repeated itself… deja vu all over again.

Right off the bat one of the cars had a hard time leaving the Le Mans style grid in pit lane. Remarkably IMSA allowed the car to retake its position on the sighting laps before the green flag started the race.  At one point (first full course yellow if I remember correctly) the car ended up in P1 briefly because it didn’t pit like the rest of the leading pack… but things fell apart quickly. I remember thinking, well at least it’s only tire failures which Mazda could easily blame on Continental Tire like Wayne Taylor Racing did, but long before the race ended there was an engine fire that took one of the cars out. Both would DNF from this year’s Rolex 24, much like last year.

What a shame!

The owners lounge in the fan zone  was similarly disappointing. I remember when they were generous… I remember collecting Mazda swag long before I bought my Miata. It encouraged me to develop enthusiasm for the brand. This year it was purely for show if you looked from the distance. Inside the fancy display you got some pictures on the walls with a nice Die-cast Model of the original Cosmo which you couldn’t even purchase. If you got a red wristband after registering as a Mazda owner, the lady behind the podium offered you a Mazda lanyard and a coffee mug. If you got a black wristband you only got a lanyard.

Why so stingy Mazda?

I hope with the money they saved on fans they could buy some better reliability. If that doesn’t work maybe their money is better spent slapping a Mazda sticker on a Cadillac powered Dallara like the Spirit of Daytona team… though their car failed to finish also, so clearly success isn’t guaranteed.

Hopefully things turn around in the future… It was obvious to see that Mazda Motorsport didn’t come to Daytona 24 to win it.

SpeedSource ex-Factory Mazda Race Team Christmas Liquidation Auction, More Photos

RaceCarsDirect.com has a listing for the upcoming December 19th auction with some spiffy new pictures of all the SpeedSource Mazda Prototypes and GT cars being liquidated by Key Auctioneers.

I do hope they go to a good home!

Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com
Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com

Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com
Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com
Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com
Photo credit: RaceCarsDirect.com

link to auction:  racecarsdirect.com/Advert/Details/87218/speedsource-racing-auction—december-19th-20

The news of this team going kaput is terrible… not shocking, but just sad really. I used to follow SpeedSource from when I started marshaling in the US. Back in 2013 they raced the Mazda RX-7 firebreathers in GrandAm, the cars that now made their way to Australia (ironic as I’m sure there is similar local talent, including Mad Mike in New Zealand, home of the four rotor Mazda’s).

I used choose races to go to specifically to root for the Mazda diesel-powered GX cars that were just introduced… they kind of sucked but ended up on the podium because frankly no-one else raced in GX class. There were a few Cayman’s if I remember correctly, and the only car that was worse than them was the Lotus Evora.

When they shoved the diesel engine into their Lola’s the results were similar. It was a bit pathetic to watch LMP2 prototypes race so slowly. Things improved with the petrol AER engine, but the cars were so fragile even if they were fast… you look at them sideways and they would break down. Yet I was cheering for them!

I’m sure the Lola’s could have any engine the new buyer chooses for them to be competitive again on the club or even historics racing level… The Mazda6 GT cars don’t need to be propelled by a diesel either. But it’s a cool piece of history on sale here that I hope I’ll see again at a track in the future… or even in a museum somewhere.

Merry Christmas folks… buy yourself a perfect present: Race Car!

 

 

PS. I will have to do a follow up write-up on all the Skip Barber liquidated Miata race cars one day. I know there’s one “small” team in Cummings, Georgia area that is restoring 15 of them to their racing glory… maybe I’ll get to visit them in the future to take some photos… maybe I’ll see them at VIR or Road Atlanta in action. One man’s loss is another man’s gain, or however that saying goes. And these liquidation auctions are precisely that.

Wanna buy a Race Car? SpeedSource Goes Belly Up Grand Am & IMSA Mazda’s and Equipment Auction

Another famous race team has gone belly up… and now’s your lucky chance to buy a race car at auction “probably” for less money than it would cost to get one built! The online auction will run December 19 by Key Auctioneers: click here. Get yourself a gift for the holidays… Merry Christmas!

Thanks to Marshall Pruett from Racer.com for sharing the news on facebook. It sucks for SpeedSource to close it’s doors, especially for the team of people that make that place run. But having seen a few of their employees at the HSR event in Daytona last month, I think many of them will do just fine. It wasn’t that long ago that SpeedSource was hiring people… imagine some desperate schmuck like me spending all the money he’s got left to move to Florida for a job that went “poof!” in just a few months. That would of been nuts.

But it’s a good time to be rich in America. And some of the bargains available at this auction will surely end up at the race track near you. I am surprised that Mazda North American Operations hasn’t snagged the two P2 race cars… or the tube frame diesel Mazda6’s… but maybe the auctioneers have a higher reserve than they’re willing to part with. Still I think this is great opportunity for someone:

Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers
Photo credit: Key Auctioneers

I can’t believe they kept the crew guy’s shoes and are now selling them in used condition… who’d buy this?

Photo credit: Key Auctioneers

And the auction list:  http://www.keyauctioneers.com/2017/12/19/171219speedsource/

On-Site Auction and Online Bidding – Rings 1 & 2: Tuesday, December 19 at 10:00am
Online Only Bidding – Ring 3 (soft close): 
Tuesday, December 19 at 12:00pm
Preview: 
Monday, December 18 from 10:00am – 2:00pm
Removal: 
Wednesday, December 20 & Thursday, December 21 from 8:00am – 4:00pm
               *Note: No Removal Will Occur the Day of the Auction
Auction Address: 4150 NW 120th Avenue, Coral Springs, Florida 33065

Join us on December 19th as we offer surplus rolling stock, equipment and parts from SpeedSource. This is the end of the year event you won’t want to miss! 

Race Cars
2013 Mazda6 GX, Speedsource/Riley Chassis No. 012, Red & Black Color Scheme (Engine included)
2013 Mazda6 GX, Speedsource/Riley Chassis No. 004, Yellow & Orange Color Scheme (No Engine)
Mazda6 GX, Speedsource/Riley Chassis, Matte Black Color (No Engine)
Lola Cars Chassis No. MM07 (No Engine), has run in the IMSA
Lola Cars Chassis No. HU06 (No Engine), has LM24 history as Ex Status GP car and IMSA

Rolling Stock
2010 Ez-Go Golf Cart, Gas, Roof, Upgraded Wheels & Tires, Rain Cover, Rear Seats fold out flat
Taylor-Dunn Flatbed Utility Cart, Fold-up Seat, Upgraded Wheel & Tires, LED headlights
2002 JLG Scissor Lift w/ Extendable Platform
Clarke Focus II Floor Cleaner w/ built-in smart battery charger

Garage & Pit Equipment
(2) Caseliner Fiberglass LED Powerhoods, w/ Flight Case, Mounting Pole & Power Cables
Caseliner LED Sign/Timing Board w/ Flight Case, Tripod, Cables & Cover
Display Truss System w/ enough equipment for 2 cars
Stainless Steel Bodywork Carts
Caseliner Foam Boards with Flight Cases and Aluminum Poles
(2) Breda Racing Air Jacks, Model: 500/600, Mfg Year: 2017
(4) Arnold Machining Air Jacks, 100 psi
(2) CAMOZI Air Jacks
Robinair Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling & Recharging Station, Model: 34988, Mfg. Date: 08/16
Airflow Systems Exhaust Extractors, Model: VES3 Portable
The Hot Setup Engine Water Heater
Longacre Scale Set with ComputerScales DX Electronic Chassis Scale, (4) Scale Pads, Monitor, Wiring & Cart
(2) Longacre Turn Plates
Longacre Digital Tire Pressure Gauges
Intercomp Temperature Gun
Longacre Tire Pyrometer
Krontec Lances
Satubli Dump Jugs w/ SS Stands & Probe Covers
ATL & Jazz Dump Jugs
AC Hydraulic Engine Hoist, Capacity: 2,200 lbs., Collapsible
Paoli Dive Tank Set
LISTA, CTECH and Assorted Tool Chests
Pneumatic Pit Guns
Milwaukee M18 Impact Guns
Cabinets FULL of Aerospace Grade Hardware, Electrical Components, Fittings, Plugs, etc.
Port-a-Cool 60” Fans, Drum Fans, Folding Tables, Nitrogen Bottle Cages, Torque Wrenches, Heat Guns, Testers, Tap & Die sets, Crimpers, Borescope kit, etc.

Shop & Fabrication Equipment
Sunnen Precision Honing Machine, Model: LBB-1699
Chassis Setup Plate, 8’ x 20’
Elevated Chassis Setup Plate, 6’ x 14’
Eastern Precision Ultrasonic Parts Cleaner
HYD-MECH Horizontal Band Saw, Model: S-20M, S/N: 6C11111260
(2) Enco Vertical Bandsaws, Model: 01712009
Dake Cold Saw, Model: 315-1PH
Birmingham Lathe
Miller Syncrowave250 DX TIG Welder
Miller Millermatic150 MIG Welder
(2) Bridgeport Mills w/ Digital Readout Controls
(2) Drill Presses, Baleigh & Ryobi
Cyclone Sandblasting Cabinet, Model: 3824
Pro-Tools Electric Bead Roller on Stand
Pexto Shear, Model: 152K, Capacity: 18 Ga.
Pexto Shear
Enco 50” Slip Roll, Model: 130-5501, Capacity: 16 Ga., Mfg Year: 2005
ProFormer Manual Break, Capacity: 16 Ga.
Manual Break, 48”, Capacity: 16 Ga.
Dake Arbor Press, No. 1 ½
Beverly Throatless Shear, Model: B2
Conquest Disc Grinder/Sander, Model: 20ARCH, 3 PH
NORCO 2-Ton Shop Press
Dewalt Cutoff Saw, Makita Cutoff Saw, Pedestal Grinders, Disc Sander, Horizonal Boring Drill on Stand, Clamps, Vises, Slide Hammer Puller Set, Gas/Acetylene Welding Carts, Torch Gauge Sets, Welding Hoses, Welding Helmets, Welding Tables, Butcher Block Top Shop Tables, Parts Organizers, Ladders, Rolling Tool Cabinets, etc.

Inspection & Test Equipment
Dynojet Dynamometer w/ CPU, Electronics and Cart
Engine Dynamometer w/ Superflow Controls and Electronics
DCM Magnetic Particle Checker, Model: MPI 3062, S/N: 35101, 1 PH/230 Volt
ASNL Injector Tester, Capacity: 8 Injectors
FaroArm Platinum CMM Inspection Arm, Length: 8’, Mfg. Year: 2010, S/N: P08-05-10-08515
Kwik Mark Dot Peen Marking Machine, Model: KM-64
Rockwell Hardness Tester
Height Gauges, Assorted Testers, Micrometers, Digital Protractors, Laser Levels, etc.

Race Accessories, Radio Equipment & Hospitality
Race Car Simulator, approx. 6’ x 2.5’, includes: Ultra CPU Tower, Logitech Surround Sound System, ProCar by Scott Race Seat, Panasonic Flatscreen TV,
Crew Helmets, assorted types (25+)
Crew & Driver Shoes, New Balance
Moto Sport Goggles, Oakley & Scott
Sparco Fire Resistant Under Garments; head socks, shirts, long underwear, socks
Grizzly & Coleman Coolers
Pop-up Tents, various sizes
Folding Chairs
Folding Tables
Catering Equipment
Glass Door Display Coolers
Poly-Flooring (1,000’s of Square Feet in various colors)
Retractable Rope Dividers
Kenwood NX300 Radios (30+), Batteries, Charging Banks, Headsets
RCI Headsets w/ Bluetooth & Dual Radio Ports (15+)
Kenwood TK Radios (8+)
Radius GR1225 Repeater Unit with Travel Case, Antennas and Wires
Car Radio Harnesses

 

Key Terms
Full Payment is Due at the Conclusion of the Auction.
Accepted Forms of Payment:  Cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Wire Transfer
A check will ONLY be accepted with a Bank Letter of Guarantee
12% Buyers Premium Will be Collected for on-site Buyers, 18% for Online Buyers
Complete Terms can be found under the documents tab.
License Information: AB3686; Seth Seaton AU4902
Seller: SpeedSource, Inc.

*Shipping for this auction will not be provided by Key Auctioneers. Key Auctioneers will gladly facilitate shipping with third party moving/shipping companies. 

Yuengling Brewery Tour in Pottsville, PA Post Card Winter MX-5 Miata Cruise

I’ve been planning a visit back to the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, Pennsylvania for a while… my goal was to bring a few fellow Miata owners along… and today my buddy Bill and I made it happen.

In this post I’ll share all the Brewery and Gift Shop photos… in the next we’ll do the Miata pix.

Because this cruise involved “Drinking & Driving” I thought it would be critical to mix a bunch of food into the event, so it’s not just all about beer. We first had breakfast at Dutch Kitchen in Frackville, PA and then lunch at Deitsch Eck in Lenhartsville, PA

There are two Yuengling breweries in Pottsville. I knew that, everyone probably knows that if you know anything about Yuengling, but that didn’t prevent me from punching in the wrong one into my GPS.

Luckily they’re only 2 miles apart… we arrived on a Saturday so there was plenty of street parking. There are meters right outside the brewery which apparently you don’t need to feed over the weekend. Cool!

I’ve done the tour before a few years ago… things have changed since. Now the tour starts at the gift shop across the street which is the Yuengling Ice Cream building. The Yuengling Ice Cream which I’ve tried from a local supermarket here in New Jersey (and loved it) doesn’t any affiliation with the Brewery other than being owned by the same family. They unfortunately don’t have a Dairy Tour… which is too bad. But the new set up is fantastic. Lots to see and buy at the Gift Shop:

You can buy everything from t-shirts to neon signs…. from a few bucks to a few hundred bucks to spend, whatever’s your budget.

You can also buy cases of beer… some of it only sold locally and not available outside of Pennsylvania (apparently).

NASCAR! POCONO… Trioval

My favorite… Yuengling BBQ sauce!

I’ve got to visit the Yuengling Brewery in Tampa, Florida

Let’s start the tour across the street… into the cave!

Still operating! Making it the longest continuously running brewery!

Tour over… now to the sampling room!

The bar at the Yuengling Ice Cream building has a liquor license, which means in addition to your two cups sampling beer, you can buy more… including a growler or a mini keg! Super cool…

This was such a super cool experience. I highly recommend it!

HSR Classic 24 hour at Daytona in Pictures

For anyone that hasn’t considered coming out for an HSR event in your area… Do it! If you can come out for the Classic 24h at Daytona, definitely Do it!!!

Some of my favorites of the weekend:

BMW M1

Porsche 962 Tic Tac livery

Porsche 962 Leyton House livery

Oldsmobile Aurora IMSA GT

Jaguar XJR IMSA GTP and World Sportscar Championship Group C

Oreca Lista livery

Jaguar XJR

The ugliest car of the weekend… a some sort of train-face Lola

Chrysler Oreca

Porsche 962 Rothmans livery

Ford GT

The March that Adrien Newey tore up…

Sunoco Camaro my favorite livery

Porsche 962 Dyson Racing

Porsche 962 Hawaiian Tropic livery

What a fantastic entry list for a race weekend…

 

There’s Classic 12 hours of Sebring coming up around Thanksgiving!

Grid Walk Post Card from Group C cars at the HSR Classic 24h at Daytona

By far my most favorite memory from the HSR Classic 24h at Daytona was the Group C grid walk before the start of the race. What an incredible experience right in the heart of things.

Here’s some pix:

First race I worked all the way thru, not just the 24 hour, but also all the support races starting at 7am Saturday morning and finishing after 1pm on Sunday afternoon. Was well worth it!

Post Card from HSR Classic 24 Hours at Daytona Presented by IMSA and Supported by Trans Am

What an incredible event! My first HSR Historics err… Classic 24h of Daytona and it’s been a hell of a ride.

First things first, the pictures: (lots and lots of them)

Future European entrant into the TCR series in IMSA and PWC:

Trans Am pre-grid:

Walk thru the garages:

Ferrari 333SP

 

Ferrari F40

Group C race cars

Porsche 962 street version

Amazing event!!! And I can’t believe they let me work the entire 30+ hours Saturday/Sunday… great stuff!

Marshaling NASCAR

Whenever I travel to volunteer overseas most people enquire not about our American sports car or open wheel racing series… but instead about NASCAR. More often than not people ask about how they too could come to America and work a NASCAR event… and often times I have to give them the bad news that marshals (volunteers like us) aren’t actually used by the series on ovals.

I have worked NASCAR events on a road course for many years, in fact NASCAR at Watkins Glen International is one of my favorite trips Upstate New York year after year. I even go to the Motorsport Safety Seminar put on by NASCAR and Race Services, Inc. at Watkins Glen to get properly trained to work NASCAR events.

So imagine my surprise when reviewing my calendar for events I wish to participate in this season (2017) the majority of the events I wish to work are NASCAR events. How in the world?

Will I actually work all those events I have pencilled in?

Probably not, but wouldn’t it be cool?

I have begun a habit of making notes (memo’s) of events I wish to do in order to inspire myself to follow through with those plans. So I’ll list the events below in order to reflect back at a later time to see how many of those races I actually participated in:

Completed Events:

April 1-2: Watkins Glen International – MSS (w/ RSI)

 May 19-21: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – Pinty’s Series – Can Am 200 (w/ MMS)

 

Future Events:

June 9-11: Pocono Raceway – Monster Enegery / Xfinity / ARCA – Pocono 400 (w/ Team Pocono)

July 28-30: Pocono Raceway – Monster Energy / Camping World Trucks / ARCA – Pennsylvania 400 (w/ Team Pocono)

August 3-6: Watkins Glen International – Monster Energy / Xfinity / K&N Pro East – Zippo 355 (w/ RSI)

August 11-13: Mid Ohio Sports Car Course – Xfinity Series – Mid Ohio 200 (w/ Lake Erie Communicators)

September 1-3: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – Camping World Trucks / Pinty’s Series – Chevrolet Silverado 250 (w/ MMS)

September 16: New Jersey Motorsports Park – K&N Pro East – Just Drive 125 (w/ NJMP)

 

I’m very excited about the possibility of any of these events… we’ll see how many I can actually participate in…!