The spotter guide for the biggest race in the world: Le Mans 24 hours is now available for download from Andy Blackmore Design at spotterguides.com or on Andy’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SpotterGuides
I wanted to share my friend Chris Buccola’s kickstarter-like campaign to get enough donations to volunteer at the 24 hours of Le Mans this year.
This is a worthy cause because Chris has been going through some family issues of late and could use a trip to Europe to work a major race like Le Mans. Chris was also the culprit behind my planning of Le Mans & Nurburgring trips this summer so I’m sure he’d love to join me there.
Chris is also friends with Matt McMurry and is offering an autographed hero card in return for your contribution. But instead of giving you a summary of what he needs I’ll copy and paste his original request below:
Help Send Chris to the 24 Hours of Le MansI have been selected to work the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a volunteer corner marshal. Few get this honored opportunity. Please help send me to France!
My name is Chris Buccola. I have been involved with auto racing my entire life. When I tell most people about my involvement with auto racing, particularly sports car racing, they assume I have been driving. Actually, I have been involved with the aspects of racing that are not in the spotlight. I am a corner/flag marshal. This is a volunteer position, of which the only payment on most occasions is a sack lunch and cold beer at the end of the day. Without people like me, the races cannot be run.
What I Do
As a marshal my responsibilities include, communicating with the drivers through various methods, but primarily with different colored flags that indicate course conditions, the presence of safety vehicles, and faster cars approaching from behind. Marshals are also responsible for maintaining communication with race control and relaying information about any condition changes at our corner (turn). Lastly, but most importantly, we are the first ones to respond whenever an incident occurs. Marshaling is a role that I have been enjoying for nearly a decade.
What is the 24 Hours of Le Mans?
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is like no other race, much less any sporting event in the world. The race takes place on mostly public roads through the French countryside over a 24 hour period, no matter what the weather conditions. During the night drivers have only their headlights to rely on for illumination while they travel at speeds of 200+ mph. There are multiple classes of cars that make up four different races within the overall race. The cars are driving at different speeds which adds to the excitement and creates a lot of passing. Each car has a team of three drivers that take shifts behind the wheel. Le Mans is the ultimate endurance challenge of man and machine.
Why this Year?
My goal to work at at Le Mans this year is heightened because of my long friendship with a now 16 year old driver named Matt McMurry who will be breaking a 50+ year record and become the youngest driver to ever race in the 24 hours of Le Mans. I met Matt and his father, Chris McMurry, while I was attending college at Arizona State University. Our paths crossed on the go-kart track and we all quickly became friends. Watching Matt work his way up through the racing world to this pinnacle point in his career is something I have been privileged to be a part of and I would hate to miss this record breaking milestone.
Thanks to the support of Matt McMurry, anyone who contributes $25 or more will receive an autographed picture of Matt and his Nissan Powered-Zytek Z11SN P2 class Le Mans Prototype race car. This is your chance to own a piece of racing history!
Why I need your support.
Auto racing is extremely expensive, even for me to attend as a volunteer, as I get no monetary compensation for working. Most of my expenses for this trip are associated with travel since the event is in France and I live the Chicagoland area. My “hotel” accommodations, will be my one-man tent in the worker area at my turn/corner. Nothing luxurious, but a sleeping bag is a welcome bed after a long day of chasing cars and waving flags.
Thank you in advance for listening to my plea and for any help you can offer. I am grateful to each and every one of you. Any contribution is greatly appreciated, whether it is $1, $5 or more, every little bit helps. If you choose to contribute $25 or more, you will receive an autographed picture “hero card,” from Matt McMurry.
So if you are in a position to contribute, I would encourage you to!
It’s been a long while since I posted one of my exciting “accepted” letters, yet I’m thrilled to say that I have been accepted to volunteer the upcoming 24h of Nürburgring race. My first trip to the “ring”… and to actually volunteer on the Nordschleife I have no words to describe the feeling. I’m overwhelmed. Considering I will be driving there directly from my second stint at the 24 hours of Le Mans in France!
I must thank my dear friend Pol from Belgium for helping me organize this trip as I could not have even began to plan things without him. Truly thankful for his contribution to this dream. And I must also thank my good friend Superbunny for suggesting this event in the first place. I believe he mentioned it as we volunteered for the Petit Le Mans together in 2013 at the Road America circuit… or was it during the V8 Supercars at COTA in Texas. Can’t remember now but he put the bug in my head and I completely committed to it. The Ring or bust!
Thank you Pol, Chris, and to all the others that have contributed to this crazy hobby I have! None of this would be possible without helpful people in this small marshaling community. Danke! Merci!
More information on the event can be found here: http://www.nuerburgring.de/events/automobil/adac-zurich-24h-rennen.html
and a little video to get in the mood:
Au revoir France! Le Mans 24 was an incredible event. It was wet, it was sunny. It was sad and full of joy simultaneously. I learned new things, met new friends, and got to do a little intervention. Very impressed with the entire operation.
I have a confession to make. I collect Andy Blackmore’s spotter guides at every event or opportunity I get. So far I’ve got keepsake souvenirs from ALMS races at Long Beach, Laguna Seca, Lime Rock, etc. His latest release for the 24 hours of Le Mans is incredible, consisting of three pages full of info and of course race cars. Spotter guides are super useful for marshals at identifying cars to be called in to race control, whether they spun or crashed, or caused an incident. But they are beautiful memorabilia to keep for any fan.
Download the FREE 2013 Le Mans 24 spotter guide on Andy Blackmore’s web site: http://www.spotterguides.com/
Follow his updates on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpotterGuides
Funny how things work, being on an Australia – New Zealand road trip doesn’t prevent me from applying for future events. This week general applications for Le Mans and returning officials for Singapore have been made available. So I’m applying from the Auckland library.
With the traditional French bureaucracy, one can only register having a log-on provided by the organizers. Which I’m working on. But with Singapore GP things are easy. Looking forward to hearing back from both as they would be my premier events of the season.