Tag Archives: LMP2

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…

Roar Before the 24 Pit Lane Preview

This year’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 was much bigger than last years… why? My guess would be because of Fernando Alonso… and maybe a gaggle of other Formula 1 drivers, along with a whole fleet of new Prototype and GT cars on display.

I’m thrilled to have had an opportunity to visit the pit area for WeatherTech Sports Car Championship practice, and I can’t wait for the proper enduro at the end of the month. It will be fantastic.

Here’s a few pix:

The elusive Team Joest Mazda

Alonso!

Hold on…

Jackie Chan Racing

Keep holding…

Hopefully… with a little bit of luck… this will be my view for the Rolex 24 in pit out.

Also hoping the weather is like this, warm and sunny.

With no Miatas racing in IMSA any more, it’s nice to see an RF at the Team Joest garages.

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. 

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!

Sahlen’s 6 hour at the Glen 2017 the debrief

As is usually the case, I started writing several looooong paragraphs took a deep breath and deleted them because many things I said there would get me in trouble. So instead I’ll just tone it down to this: I had a generally great experience this Independence Day/Fourth of July Weekend at Watkins Glen.

The Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen proved to be everything I expected it to be and then some. The weather could have put a damper (? not sure if that’s the right word here) on things but it didn’t. Tent stayed relatively dry. Racing was relatively good. And people I was hanging out with were super friendly. I would say I got the VIP treatment from RSI but that would imply that they somehow treated me better than they treat others, which isn’t accurate. I’m genuinely satisfied with the way everyone behaves at RSI that I come in contact with and for me that’s a huge plus, I appreciate the positive vibes and positive attitudes.

We did have a few massive smash ups that I personally got a chance to respond to. A driver left in a Medevac unit which nobody ever wants to see, several others ended up in the hospital also, and the race was red flagged. It was an incredible experience and one I will definitely learn from.

There were moments I really liked. Like all the star and stripe and patriotic liveries many cars were wearing. Some things I didn’t like… the weather – mainly. But also the performance of the Mazda prototype team which keeps playing this underdog role that they really don’t deserve anymore. It was nice to see one of the cars end up on the podium, but that happened only because so many cars didn’t finish, including the other Mazda prototype. So that’s that.

Favorite little car that was an actual underdog was this yellow NC:

It still uses NC1 tail lights… just like my car.

Interestingly enough the #25 car had a smashup this weekend running it’s traditional Freedom Autosport livery, and suddenly it re-emerged wearing #25 under Murillo Racing orange livery. Wish I had snapped a photo of it. But my station was too far to the grid so I had to boogey down in order to make the start of the race.

Here’s the previously mentioned 4th of July liveries I did manage to get a snap of:

And here’s a few cool NC Miata’s I ran across in town at Watkins Glen and at the track:

There was a convoy of about five of various vintage Miata’s parading around Watkins Glen on Wednesday that I waved to while driving in the opposite direction, but I’m not sure what club they were from or what group it was that organized that cruise… it would have been nice to join them but I saw nothing about this event posted online.

Back to the track..

I got to flag from Station 3 on Thursday which is at the top of the Esses. Station 4 on Friday which is the next station after the bridge leading up to the Bus Stop… and Station 9A at the exit of the Boot on Saturday and Sunday.

The major smash up I experienced was Porsche GT3 Cup behaving very NASCAR-like… in fact I had worked an event for NASCAR when we had an identical full-track-blockage incident on the same station. This one however was far scarier. One of the Porsche’s completely lost it’s front end… wheels, suspension, frunk… everything!

On GTD qualifying I had a weird experience with the two Lexuses. They had back to back, identical incidents within seconds of each other, where one vehicle recovered the spin with damage and the other planted it into the guard rail causing a small engine fire.

So all in all it was a pretty active weekend. Lots to see. Lots to do.

I loved it!

Thank you Watkins Glen, and I hope to see you next year.

 

Post Card from the Sahlen’s 6 hour at the Glen Grid Walk

I got pretty excited about this event because there was an RSI e-mail sent to all the persons that hadn’t worked an event at Watkins Glen this year (which I have not) stating that as form of punishment instead of flagging on regular stations we’ll be required to work in the paddock… SWEET! I thought, that’s like the best punishment ever… but alas, I was put on station all four days of the event. And as luck would have it the station (9A – exit of the boot) was just close enough to take a sneak peak at the Grid, but not really long enough to take many pictures. In fact for the Conti race I only got as far as the very last car on the grid, and then had to run back to get to my post in time for the start of the race (and buy lunch on the way back so I could wolf it down during the sighting lap)… it’s like that time I bitched about Lime Rock where you got one of two options during lunch either take pix of cars or eat lunch, but not both… well this was the same scenario. But I got to have my cake and eat it too… check out all the awesome pix I took for my private collection:

I lied, I snuck a shot or the second-to-last car on the grid too…

How I wished I would have worked paddock for this event 😉

After the first day of racing on Saturday, we went in town for some tasty seafood dinner at the Marina… what a view!

looked like someone took a chunk out of my fish before it got to my table… hmmmm!?

And of course nice to spy a Niseko Miata in the parking lot.

Next morning back to station, sadly couldn’t drive trackside to get to it but was able to cross the actual track at Turn 5… going counter.

Same story on Race Day! We were technically not allowed to leave station because it wasn’t fair to every other marshal on other stations. But I was busting to use the bathroom and I had to buy lunch, so off to the paddock area I went, which was right next to the Grid… so I snuck in real quick:

As usual the grid was very crowded… and whatdyakno… there were other flaggers there taking pictures like me. But also lots and lots of kids which is really awesome to see. The Prototype area was super crowded but the GT field, especially GTD was nearly empty, and in my view it had the most variety. Acura, Audi, BMW, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche, holly-cow is that field awesome!

Also lucky for me Mazda qualified like shit… taking the very last spots on the Prototype grid… which meant I could get some shots without a bunch of people crowding two inches from the cars.

and back to my post I ran… (taking more pictures on the go)

the parking area was interesting too, not just the grid…

Oh look a True Red Miata:

a debrief coming soon…

Post Card from the Sahlen’s 6 hour at the Glen Paddock

Greetings from the Independence Day Weekend at Watkins Glen… The Sahlen’s 6 hour at the Glen paddock filled up slowly. I arrived Wednesday afternoon, went for a wonder around the paddock and only saw some Porsche GT3 Cup, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Huracan’s and LMP3/Mazda Prototype Challenge cars unloaded. But as the weekend went on and more trailers moved in there was a lot to look at. Especially all those cars with patriotic wraps on them…

some pix:

I hate camping, especially with the threat of severe weather, luckily my tent only took on a little bit of water.

This 911 put on quite a smoke show when I approached… got oil?

I love the fact they mixed the US and Canadian series for this weekend. It had some crazy side affects due to a crash that I got to witness on their Race 1 but still nice to see a 40 car field of GT3’s.

The weirdest thing for me with these pace cars was that a Porsche started the Platinum group during the GT3 race, but an Audi started the Gold group… couldn’t they source another 911 somewhere?

At least the Mazda started their Prototype Challenge races.

…and it’s a pretty RF model with Global MX-5 Cup wheels!

Anybody wanna buy a Norma LMP3?

My usual cruise to Jerlando’s in Montour Falls for some faux-Italian:

New sign: Welcome to Watkins Glen!

Top of the Esses selfie, day one working solo.

And as the paddock filled in, more IMSA stuff to check out:

Love that bucket of fries I got a chance to lunch on one of the days…

more to follow…

Post Card from the Sebring 12 Hour Grid for the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Series

One of my favorite things to do at a race event is to browse through the pre-race grid and take some photos (legally since we as marshals are not allowed to otherwise most of the time). It’s a great opportunity to see the cars assembled fully ready to race. It’s also a chance to mingle with the crowds of spectators doing the same thing you are and trying not to get their shadows into your shots (which is almost impossible in a sunny place like Sebring).

But here they are, and it was an exhilarating experience to be a part of. I’m so glad the crowds were huge, and that the weather cooperated fully. It was much warmer on race day, very sunny and very good for some close racing (in GTLM and GTD fields anyway).

The beauty of working in Pit Lane was the close proximity I had to walk to start my shift during the race. Super convenient and truly enjoyable experience once the race started. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and hope there will be more to come in the future.

Post Card from the Rolex 24 at Daytona Grid Walk

The 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona was a blast for me! I got to see all the cars up close and personal and spend a good chunk of the race in the paddock shooing people out of the way of speeding cars and crew that kept those cars going for the duration of the race.

Unlike previous times I volunteered to work pit & grid which for this event turned out to be more of a “crowd control” role in the paddock across the gate from pit lane… anytime cars left the track to go to the garages or returned to the track after a repair during the race I had work to do, making sure the spectators don’t get run over… or a car doesn’t lose time unnecessarily because of pedestrian traffic. That was fun!

Also unlike previous times where I would just barely get a chance to sneak into the paddock to take some pictures, I hardly took any even though I was in the paddock the entire time. I almost missed the grid walk because it was so busy before the race. But my boss was really cool and when the announcer called to clear the grid, I ran out there to snap some shots. My goal was to get the Mazda MRT24-P DPi’s which were a hell of a way down the Le Mans style pit lane past the GTD, GTLM and PC fields. I did manage to snag some shots of them, but because they started playing the national anthem I didn’t bother going all the way down to P1 spot to catch a photo of the Cadillacs. Touche…

Here’s the pix:

The variety of cars was absolutely outstanding… much like the previously mentioned fields in the Pirelli World Challenge… but of course this series also sports the uber quick prototypes. I have to admit besides the Mazda’s, the GT field was my favorite!

The variety:

  • Acura NSX GT3
  • Aston Martin Vantage GT3
  • Audi R8 LMS
  • BMW M6 GT3
  • Chevy Corvette C7.R
  • Ferrari 488 GT3
  • Ford GT
  • Lamborghini Huracan GT3
  • Lexus RC F GT3
  • Mercedes-AMG SLS GT3
  • Porsche 911 GT3 R and RSR

The PC field remained unchanged and to be honest those cars are getting old, I’d be OK not seeing them return the following season. The prototypes were dominated by Cadillac DPi’s which was pretty disappointing. Mazda’s DNF’s were super disappointing too. Though I was quite happy to see the Spirit of Daytona / Visit Florida P2 finish third. That was a fluke especially since that car started from the back of the prototype grid. I’m super happy though to have had this opportunity to see the cars so up close and personal. Best time at Rolex 24 ever for me.

Oh yeah… and I got to watch both the start and the finish from pit lane along with all the teams and official IMSA photographers.