Tag Archives: ktm xbow

Post Card from Firestone St Petersburg Grand Prix

What a difference a year makes…

Last year I felt a little bit stuck between Turns 8 and 9 at the St. Pete GP street circuit. This year however I decided to give Pit Marshaling a try and what an incredible difference that made. I’ll write in greater detail about what that role entailed, but suffice to say I had an absolute blast. It gave me some freedom to roam around during the off time and visit some amazing stations from Turn 2 which was the nearest to my post to Turns 10 and 12 which required a bit of a walk… but that took me to the spectator area and all the cool things on offer there. I loved every minute of it!

We were off to a quiet start, literally being inside the pit lane at pit out making sure no one got in a way of cars entering the circuit.

Of course being that close to cars was an excellent perspective. Sure you see cars close at some of the turns, but they’re going rather fast. In pit lane the speed limit was 35mph and I got a great view and sound off of the passing cars like the new Panoz Avezzano GT.

I should say that the pictures were taken while off duty, and while the cars were returning to their paddock on the other side of the track through the Turn 1 opening.

So much Britishness!

There was a collection of safety cars, pace cars and course cars near pit exit that we walked past every morning. Later on during the races there was quite a collection of broken down race cars there too.

The front stretch on this street course actually is a runway of the local airport, so looking down the straight towards Tampa Bay you could see an occasional sail boat going by on the blue water, while small planes were coming in for a landing on the runway that remained active during the event. I shouldn’t say just small planes, a rather large Coast Guard cargo plane also landed which was impressive to say the least!

This was my post!

Up close to many of the drivers and the series officials.

Love all the Mazda branded race stuff on pit lane…

I thought this was cool, a train of race cars being pulled off pit lane.

Exotica!

The Panoz team didn’t do so well though the car ran strong… turns out there will be a pair of those Avezzanos racing in this series!

Central Florida Region fed the marshals real well over the weekend.

A mini Moke!

Oh and I got to flag at Turn 12 / Timeline during my off sessions!

Thanks to Craig from Canada for taking the pictures, that’s his finger you see in the top right corner.

Darren Gunn from CFR did a great job printing these large scale spotter guides for the past two events, Daytona and St. Pete!

The sun was brutal, I got fried… but these snowballs were refreshing

View of the starter stand where I’d like to end up one day…

View from Turn 10, one of the most exotic views I feel on the track

I’m sure my little nephews would enjoy this spectator attraction.

I’ll make another post fro the IndyCar specific pix.

PWC Season Finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca the debrief

What an amazing way to end my racing season!

I don’t know if things could have gone any more perfectly than they did, but I’m certainly grateful for the awesome outcome. My station assignment was fantastic. I got to sneak in the day before the event to take lots of pictures which I wanted to do. The weather was picture perfect. We had plenty of incidents to keep us busy over the weekend. And I even got a Mazda rental car which I put over 1,000 miles on road triping the central coast of California… how appropriate for dual Mazda-centric events at a place called Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I am blessed!

As I’ve mentioned before the trip to Cali this time involved two back-to-back events at Laguna Seca. First a massive Miata get together followed by the Pirelli World Challenge season finale which has a huge field of NC Miatas exactly like the car I own (except maybe more racey).

My buddy Ron whom I talked out of booking a hotel during his visit to Watkins Glen and instead convinced him to utilize the RSI campground came through big time by introducing me to some folks (not directly Mazda Miata owners but closely associated nonetheless) who put me up for the full 10 days of my stay. That certainly brought my expenses down and under control… the trip wasn’t cheap though, I paid $129 for the flight out, $159 for the flight home, $196 for the car rental, $120 for fuel, etc. So at the very minimum I dropped $600 bux but it could have been worse. It was totally worth it though.

I had missed the Bay Area and Monterey Peninsula. I missed Laguna Seca so this trip was good for my soul.

The racing was outstanding. We were kept busy. Had some big crashes and spins and cars getting stuck in our gravel. Luckily no one was seriously hurt. The people I worked with were amazing. Super friendly from day one and I really appreciated such warm hospitality.

I was impressed royally with the way the San Francisco Region operates. Including a post I made on facebook that made all the marshals around the world jealous when SFR put on a Steak and Lobster dinner one night for us. What was more impressive was the fact that the dinner was paid for by recyclables. Something so ordinary that any other club in the nation or the world could do themselves, it’s just a matter of implementing the idea.

So after 1,141 miles on my Mazda 5 rental. One trip to San Luis Obispo along the scenic California 1 route along the coast south, and then two trips along California 1 north… first to Half Moon Bay and the other all the way up to San Francisco’s Golden Gate area along the coast. I am really impressed with this experience. There were hiccups along the way to be sure… lick catching a huge nail in the tire on the rental the night before the racing started which got me  a bit worried. But after doing some quick decision making and a $10 purchase at local AutoZone I was all set and secure.

I love this part of California and would love to come back again and again. Hopefully my next trip to Laguna Seca won’t be 3 years away.

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View over the paddock from Turn 2

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SFR folks seem to take great pride in their region, certainly far more than I do with Guam

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And there’s the lobster!

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for those that didn’t want lobster tails there was plenty of chicken

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It was delicious!

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and so were all the lunches

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and other dinners which were served every night

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I brought a whole stash of nibbles for the station… I called this area the mini bar although with all the food provided I hardly relied on mine

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my favorite drink in California!

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I even contributed to the next feast by donating all my empty cans

During the morning meetings we were constantly reminded that 9 out of 10 times we will not respond to incidents. But I was lucky enough to be able to do it… running out on track to pick up a hood that blew off the #37 Mustang in GTS class

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Really happy with that experience, especially on such an iconic track with all it’s elevation changes, high speed corners and lots and lots of dust everywhere which caused some serious incidents

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For the last dinner of the event my bud Ron and I went to the other iconic place in the area, Baja Cantina with all it’s mementos and motorsport memorabilia on the walls, it was righteous!

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After such a great experience for the two weeks spent at Laguna Seca I didn’t want to leave California

I will be back!

Post Card from Pirelli World Challenge at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Greetings from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the season finale of the SCCA Pro Pirelli World Challenge series. Amazing event at a beautiful facility… today I snuck in at the track to take some pix of the cars as the paddock was being set up:

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I have to say this is the most diverse racing series in the US right now, with cars from BMW, Bentley, McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ginetta, KTM, Sin, Porsche, Ford, Chevy and of course lots and lots of Mazda Miata’s. I would even go as far as saying this is my favorite series right now… can’t wait for this weekend to unfold!

Second Post Card from the PWC Memorial Day Weekend at Lime Rock

Second Day on the Start Stand at Lime Rock for the PWC Grand Prix of Lime Rock. And since I didn’t stay at the track choosing instead to commute the 110 miles / 2 hours to New Jersey it felt like a completely different day on Saturday/Race Day so I’ll share another photo post from today.

The day consisted of only six sessions, 3 warm ups and 3 races; but unlike yesterday which seemed to fly by, today dragged on for a while. A major part of the delay was due to an incident that I actually managed to observe and one which almost turned tragic. I hope race fans keep the racers involved and their families in their prayers if religion is something they participate in, otherwise that’s about all I’ll mention on that subject matter. I was very sad to see it happen.

But the show carried on, and I’m glad to see racing continue after Connecticut State Police wrapped up their investigation. We had a lot of action throughout the day, and fortunately there was plenty of really good and close racing. I was especially glad to see so many Miata’s do well. The MX-5 race cars are the reason why I bought my car so I’m really grateful to Motorsport in America for choosing to use this machine on such a grand scale… Here are some pix:

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The field of KTM’s grew by one car this weekend, with ANSA adding a third car to their line up. Great to see that!

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The Power Ranger Miata’s didn’t disappoint taking wins in multiple classes of racing during the Touring Car race.

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Most of the events I’ve attended over the past few years I remember watching John and Dina Weisberg’s struggle… not today, John took a very close second missing out on first by… not-much.

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I was led to believe that the difference between the TC Miata and a TCA Miata was a 2.5L engine vs. the 2.0 that comes in the cup car… but the motor in this #33 TC car looks like a standard block to me. Although to be fair, I’m not sure what a 2.5L should look like.

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I learned about a new SCCA flag…  white with a red diagonal stripe… It is displayed at start only and means an emergency vehicle somewhere on track.

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I’ve never worked a flag station before where the flags were kept in a gold bag and had a baseball bat prominently positioned in the bag amongst all the starter flags… Hmm!

Post Card from the Grand Prix of Lime Rock, Pirelli World Challenge Weekend Minus Formula 4

Today went by in a flash… I was fortunate enough to work my first Pro-weekend as a backup starter at Lime Rock Park for the Pirelli World Challenge event dubbed the Grand Prix of Lime Rock.

I didn’t even think it’d be possible, but sure enough Andy Smith the flag chief for this weekend granted my wishes to work closer to the paddock so I could sneak out for lunch to take some pictures of the cars without having to choose between doing that and eating lunch. It doesn’t get better than working start. From my previous experience at the Glen I figured there would be a team of Starters and I would have a very small role to play monitoring the radio while the “pro’s” do the work. I was wrong. It was me and only one other person: the official PWC Starter… a guy from California that does many of the official starts for PWC travelling around the country with the series. That was pretty cool… I didn’t expect it at all. Besides working comms on the backup net, the official starter had me put out the white flag for any vehicle leaving pit lane during the practice sessions. The reasoning being that cars flying at speed would know about a slower car entering Turn 1. For the races the starter handed me the while flag to wave on the final lap just before he threw the checker. That was really neat too. I got to call every Green flag that was thrown as well, first and last cars to take the checkered, and a variety of incidents along the front straight… so for someone who was going to just monitor the flagger net and relay messages to the official starter, I sure did have a lot of exciting work… I loved it!

Being on start also gave me the opportunity to wander the paddock before the event and during lunch… below I will share some photos:

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At the end of the day we got a good worker feed… nice warm food:

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A nice Lime Rock Park sweatshirt, although not suitable for today’s 90F weather, but very nice nonetheless:

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And I got to check out a whole lot of Mazda’s everywhere:

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It was such a brilliant experience I cannot wait to get back to the track tomorrow and do this all over again! So much Fun!

PS. This weekend was supposed to feature the US debut of FIA Formula 4 sanctioned by the SCCA Pro and to be raced around the US. Unfortunately that race series got bumped to another weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park and in their place we got all the amazing TC and TCA class Miata’s…. I felt really happy with that!