Tag Archives: GP2

Singapore GP mini-debrief

Greetings from Thailand. Left Singapore early this morning for another small island is SE Asia: Phuket, one of my favorite destinations.

My team and I went partying until well into the night at Clarke Quay, a much deserved de-stress. Shame however my trip started on the wrong foot with the post chief, and the weekend never recovered. I hate being treated like an outsider at a place I considered home.

It was one of the better GP’s I had in a while. I started out as track marshal on Friday. Moved to being a flag marshal on Saturday and finished the race on Sunday as a light panel operator.

No major incidents happened requiring my team to act, though Webber’s smoky engine blow up started by our turn. Got a nice video of him hitching a ride with Alonso.

I will post a longer write up later, right now Amazing Thailand awaits.

sgp 1

sgp 2

sgp 4

sgp 3

sgp 5

sgp gopro

sgp food

Finally we managed to sneak some decent local food in to replace the awful stuff that is served by the organizers.

sgp group photo

It’s amazing the logistics involved in getting over a thousand marshals together for an event… nevermind the weekend, just the group photo takes a ton of effort.

British F1 Grand Prix debrief

Its not easy to volunteer major international events like the Formula One World Championship. Like many others, in order to be selected for the British GP I had to fill out forms, provide letters of recommendation, wait for a decision, etc. And when the time came to get dressed and perform at the top of my game, I fell flat on my face!

So when does a good intending marshal with an injury become a liability? I feel my presence at the British GP came close if not crossed that line. Was I useful? Not at all. Despite my best intentions, I feel I was getting in the way of other marshals doing their job, and that sort of distraction shouldn’t happen when dangerous tasks are performed at a racing circuit (especially at professional events, when there are cameras everywhere).

Am I thankful for the powers that be to allow me to remain there? Of course I am. I had come a long way to marshal in the UK, and to be asked to leave would have been devastating. But standing there cringing with excruciating pain, wasn’t a much better alternative. This experience reminds me to remember to carry a first aid kit, the one item I had left out from my luggage this time. Of course being more careful is the plan for all future racing, including ALMS and World Challenge at Lime Rock this weekend.

british gp 6

british gp 1

british gp 4

Accepted to the Singapore F1 Grand Prix

Great news from Asia this week. The place where it all started for me wants me back 🙂 Got my acceptance e-mail for the 2013 Singapore F1 Grand Prix. Thrilled? Indeed I am.  I’ve already booked some flights, and have started thinking about where I’ll go for my birthday in Thailand and Malaysia. This will be my third SGP to date, and I can’t wait.

As I’ve posted about before I managed to use some Virgin America miles to snag a one way on the Singapore Airlines A380 again. On the way home, I’m even more excited to try the newest A380 service in the Thai Airways fleet. It will be a new airline and a new experience.

Another perk of working SGP that I’m really looking forward to is all the delicious food. Whatever it is, from Malay to Indian, Chinese to Thai, I can’t wait to taste all of it again.

PS. now waiting for good news from the other major event I have pre-booked flights for this year: the 24 hours of Le Mans… fingers crossed!

Asia Pacific volunteering trip debrief

It’s my third weekend home without motor sports and it really is a damn shame there’s nothing happening locally at Lime Rock, NJMP or Poconos (besides the Indycar test for which they didn’t require marshals) so I wanted to reflect on the 7 back-to-back weekends in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia that opened this year. I often get asked how I’m able to afford this travel, etc. So I’ll share the schedule and costs below, to prove that anyone can do it, if they chose to.

My schedule went as follows:

FEB 8-10: 12 hours of Bathurst at Mount Panorama in NSW, Australia

FEB 16-17: BNT V8 Supertourers at Hampton Downs, New Zealand

FEB 22-24: SBK Superbikes at Phillip Island, VIC Australia

FEB 28 – MAR 3: Clipsal 500, V8 Supercars at Adelaide, SA Australia

MAR 8-10: Shannon’s Historics CAN-AM at Phillip Island VIC Australia

MAR 14-17: Australian F1 Grand Prix at Albert Park,  VIC Australia

MAR 22-24: Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit, Malaysia

I also did the following non-motorsport trips on this journey:

MAR 11-13: Went to visit the old office North of Sydney NSW Australia

MAR 19: Day trip to Penang to visit a friend for lunch Penang, Malaysia

MAR 20-21: Overnight trip to Phnom Penh first time in Cambodia

Mar 26-29: Flight home via Clark and Manila, the Philippines

Mar 29: A quick dinner with friends on a short few connection in Singapore

To book all these trips I used a combination of frequent flyer miles and low cost airlines, for example the trip to Australia was via American Airlines AAdvantage 32,500 miles + tax to fly Qantas from NYC to SYD via LAX. The flight back was on United Airlines Mileage Plus 32,500 miles + tax from MNL to JFK via SIN on Singapore Airlines. Both AA and UA miles were accrued through credit car sign up bonuses. Meanwhile, the flight from MEL to KUL was on AirAsia X with a mere $139 one way price tag ($189 after taxes, luggage and even a nasi lemak on board) still cheap comparing the alternatives. Similarly, within Australia I used Tiger Airways to fly from MEL to ADL and MEL to SYD, for far less what Qantas or even Virgin Australia charged. In Asia I jumped on a bunch of zero dollar / tax only deals, that would explain the $18 trip to Penang, or $36 trip to Cambodia… and finally $24 trip to Clark. This is about as cheap as it gets, and it was nice enough for a number of hosts to put me up for a few nights here and there thanks to CouchSurfing.org

I was also very grateful to a few motorsport marshals that put me up in both Melbourne and Auckalnd. Nothing went to plan from the start of the trip, but somehow it all worked out in the end, and I had an absolute blast over the two month journey.

Finally, let me share some photos from each one of the stops along the way:

apac trip hats

mount panorama bathurst

nz v8 supertouers 2

phillip island sbk 5

clipsal 6

shannons 5

australian gp 5

malaysian gp pit

australian v8s patches

(this is not my collection of CAMS patches, my Melbourne host was nice enough to share his stash of Motorsport memorabilia, very impressive collection!)

A fantastic trip and one I hope to repeat again, though a trip to Europe will be my next big trip this summer followed by one more visit to Singapore for their Grand Prix. Many more photos are posted on facebook.

Singapore F1 Grand Prix final planning

One month to go before the 2012 Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix on the Marina Bay Circuit and I’m making the final touches to my Asia plans. The neat thing about this visit is I’ll also be visiting Malaysia and Thailand on the same trip. My plans have changed a bunch of times already, mainly I was meant to fly from New Zealand to Kuala Lumpur this September before Air Asia X stopped serving the route. Because I was able to cancel this trip without penalty I ended up leaving Auckland much earlier than planned, yet it turned out to be a good thing since I’ve done more than a dozen automotive events in USA and Canada thanks to that move.

For the first time I will fly Singapore Airlines. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while, and though I lived in Singapore for a better half of a year in 2011 it was never possible to try them out opting instead for their low cost arm Tiger Airways, as well as the regional competitors Air Asia and JetStar Asia. This time around not only will I try Singapore Airlines but also Japan Air Lines as well, making it a truly round the world trip going from New York to Frankfurt to Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo and back to New York.

I will be using CouchSurfing for the trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as well as Phuket and Bangkok in Thailand. Haven’t found a host yet but I am confident I will. If it doesn’t work out Asia is known for its great selection of inexpensive hotels that make the trip affordable. The one thing I’m looking forward to the most is having locals show me around town and take me to amazing local food places. I love Asian restaurants and can’t wait for some local Thai and Malay cuisine, not to mention Singaporean, Indonesian and Indian to boot.

This will be a fantastic trip, oh and there will be some amazing racing too: Formula 1, GP2, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and Ferrari Trofeo Challenge Asia 🙂