Tag Archives: HRD

IMSA at the Glen

This is post 1 of a few that I’ll write about my visit to WGI to marshal the Sahlen’s Six Hour at the Glen with RSI. I had an absolute blast. The following topics will be addressed individually:

  1. Sahlen’s Six Hour at the Glen
  2. Visit to HRD
  3. Another 500 mile Road Trip in the MX-5
  4. Best perk of volunteering with RSI @ WGI
  5. Food and Drink in the Seneca Lake area
  6. MX-5 Miatas at Watkins Glen

It’s almost midnight, I just arrived home from a five hour road trip from Watkins Glen, NY covering 250+ miles in mostly wet weather, and so I’ll just give  a brief description of each topic now.

1. The Sahlen’s Six Hour at the Glen went especially good for me this year. In fact it went from good to better, to best and then to a predictable conclusion. It rained so the racing was cut short and some support series cancelled. But RSI was extra good to me this season allowing me to work Stations 10, 1, 4 and 12 over the four day weekend.

station 1 turn 1 imsa at watkins glen

2. I made a quick pit stop at Heinlein Racing Development shop in Northwestern New Jersey on my way to Watkins Glen. That was an awesome visit with Tivador Heinlein to check out his new shop and all the amazing cars that he’s working on. I was in a Candy Shop!

praga at heinlein racing development

3. I’ve completed another 500+ mile road trip in my MX-5 Miata, and this trip went even better than the last one. The 16″ inch wheels made a big difference resulting in a softer, more pleasant ride. And I got awesome gas mileage to boot!

mx-5 road trip through pennsylvania

4. One of the absolute best perks of volunteering with RSI at WGI is the ability to get to station trackside! I got to do a few laps around the whole of Watkins Glen circuit (albeit at 40mph) this weekend, and I loved it!

driving my mx-5 on track at watkins glen international

5. Unlike the past few times I ended up going out every night instead of staying in the campground. The famous Seneca Lodge in the outskirts of Watkins Glen and Jerlandos in Montour Falls.

miata at the glen for imsa 6 hour

6. There was a ton of MX-5 Miatas at the Glen and I was busy snapping away with my phone…. It’s not like I’ve never seen Miatas at WGI before, but now as an owner it was more personal.

mx-5 miata parade at watkins glen

 

I’ll be publishing the individual posts in the next few days. Stay tuned.

Getting a different perspective for PCA at NJMP

A little change of scenery this weekend. I was browsing through the job section of Craigslist a few weeks ago and came across a mechanic wanted ad for a local race shop. While I don’t qualify as a mechanic nor would I even be considered for such a job, the race shop was kind enough to invite me to one of their events to see how the team is run from the garages in the paddock, a different view I normally get while volunteering as a flagger. So for four days I played a “crew” member riding down to the track in their hauler, taking action shots with a borrowed SLR, helping out in the garage, running errands like getting race fuel in the Tonka truck or ordering lunches, etc. It was an interesting experience.

Out of the three cars HRD brought to NJMP for PCA, only one ended up being very competitive all weekend. One had a gremlin in the intake seeping air and did not race as intended, and another had an electrical issue during a race that resulted in a DNF. For the races I managed to borrow one of the actual crew member’s cameras and a pick-up truck to get around the perimeter of NJMP to take some action pictures from various turns (many that I have worked before and already knew how the cars looked thru there). As I was positioning myself between turns 1 and 2, I got confronted by one of the yellow-shirts, an overzealous security guard whom didn’t like me being there though I was doing nothing wrong… Very typical behaviour that resulted in me rushing to registration to get a Media vest with credentials… not a big deal, but I missed a good 20 minutes of the race which I should have used to take pictures. So in the words of Scott Dixon: “What a dick move!”

I did have a few surprising “recognition” moments that gave me a big boost to my ego… I recognized a few flaggers I’ve worked with before whom I made sure to say hello to over the weekend and make small chat. But what really excited me was (after having gotten an orange NJMP media vest and knowing full well that there was no point in driving around the track when I could go “trackside” to take pictures) I approached one of the corner workers at turn 9 to quickly check if he was OK with me being there – it was his station after all, and a polite thing to do… and he said: “Hey, you’re that flagger guy! I follow your blog…”  my reaction started with a smile from ear to ear. What a cool thing to hear! So thanks to him for being awesome and I’m really looking forward to meeting him or possibly working with him at Baltimore GP when I go back to my regularly scheduled volunteering next week. Similarly, while in the garages and the paddock, I really kept my distance from drivers. One: to avoid annoying them and two: to basically stay out of their way as they went through their rituals of prepping for the drive/race. Well, one of the pro-drivers hired to coach one of the team’s racers, came up to me to introduce himself with a mention: “Hey I know I’ve seen you at the track before, your face looks very familiar.” Way cool again!

But enough talk, check out some lucky shots I took over the weekend… out of 2,000+ pix only a few hundred actually look half decent, in focus and have the car centered nicely.

#05 Porsche Cayman S normally races in the Pirelli World Challenge Series, GTS class

hrd njmp 2

hrd njmp 6

#39 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is a former Rolex Series GT car now participating in PCA

hrd njmp 7

hrd njmp 5

hrd njmp 3

Team HRD works hard and plays hard at the end of the race day… with an equally competitive session of Go Karts at NJMP’s F1 track… got some great shots of them beating the competition (from the BMW Club having their own racing that weekend at NJMP’s Lightning track). Everyone had fun, but things were very competitive!

hrd njmp 4

#59 Porsche Boxter, piloted by an amateur driver that actually introduced himself to me

hrd njmp 8

Special thanks to Tivadar Heinlein for inviting me to join his Heinlein Racing Development team in the paddock, greatly appreciate the enthusiasm and the good times!