Tag Archives: Marshal Swag

Post-Race Praise for Jeanie Caulfield the Motorsport Operations Event Manager at COTA

I have major praise for Jeanie Caulfied the Motorsport Operations Event Manager with the Circuit of the Americas for a job well done at the Lone Star Le Mans this weekend.

In this blog post I would like to express my gratitude to Jeanie for the awesome work she has been doing, from a marshal’s point of view. That work is greatly appreciated because it makes a big difference for those of us that are visiting marshals. Those that don’t live in the Central Texas area and those investing significant amount of time and money to be able to volunteer the events that COTA puts on.

lone star le mans swag 1

I’ve had the privilege of meeting Jeanie on my very first trip to COTA for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix in 2012. Since then, I’ve been back to Austin a number of times including several Formula 1 and a few WEC events. There were also a few that I almost participated in but things didn’t materialize on my end, most notably MotoGP this year, as well as Pirelli World Challenge and ALMS – American Le Mans that became the current version of IMSA TUSC series. And over the years I’ve learned that the most important person at COTA for the marshals is Jeanie. I made an earlier post praising Brent McNaul for his excellent work as a flag chief for the Lone Star Le Mans, but the majority of e-mails Brent forwarded onto the rest of us marshals actually came from Jeanie. So big thumbs up to her for the open communication channels and being a great person to seek information from about a particular event or the track itself.

I’ve been learning about Jeanie’s job(s) and the multiple hats she wears during a particular event purely from observation. I’ve seen her transport marshals to and from station during the F1 and WEC weekends. She is a great shuttle train driver, pulling several trailers behind a Ford Super Duty in true Texas style. She’s brought us a Kubota quad this weekend to make a quick getaway from station at the end of the day so we don’t impede scheduled track activity that didn’t require marshals. That was very thoughtful so we didn’t have to be stuck on track for another hour at the end of an already long day. Thanks for that!

The track services staff work directly with Jeanie and for anyone that likes food like I do, could appreciate her efforts in organizing lunches and drink runs to all the stations especially on hot days like this weekend. Track food is always a hit or miss. I’ve written posts about us volunteering for a soggy sandwich or how Singapore GP has the worst food I’ve ever had track side by offering Délifrance as the least-likely-to-spoil option in the heat of Southeast Asia (when distributed in the morning sign-on meeting and meant to last to the end of the day without refrigeration on station). But Jason’s Deli that COTA has been offering marshals for the past few years is quite tasty and the variety offers something for everyone. So thumbs up for taking care of us, when all of our attention is on the race cars on track!

I’ve even seen her ride around the ring road with the track services people delivering lunches and drinks with a water gun spraying unsuspecting marshals. So she’s got a great sense of humor to boot.

Jeanie has also been very creative in rewarding volunteer participation with excellent marshal swag. I think this weekend’s Lone Star Le Mans was her best work yet with a very stylish t-shirt design. A useful cooler bag with COTA branding. A participant patch customized to show the year of the event. And a neat poncho which we luckily didn’t have the need to use… but it made for a cool and useful keepsake.

lone star le mans t-shirt

lone star le mans swag 2

Besides being really good at her job she’s also a very pleasant person to talk with. She’s always friendly, polite and courteous and that’s important. Especially when arriving at the track at 5am and leaving after a double shift at 10 or 11pm like this weekend. I know I have a tendency of getting cranky especially when things don’t go my way, but Jeanie has a big smile on her face at the start of the day when you see her during the morning meeting, during lunch delivery or shift relief drop offs, or at the end of the day when we’re dropped off at the marshal tent. Thanks for always smiling!

Thank you very much Jeanie!

 

In true Austin style, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jeanie bring live music to the marshaling tent at a future event… some almost famous dude or a chick with a guitar playing a catchy tune at morning sign-on… yep! totally see that happening.

IMSA got something right at Sebring 12h

I did not go to Sebring this year. It is one of the many “must-do” events I decided to cut from my volunteering schedule. And judging by some comments on facebook about full course yellows resulting from a tire debris, I don’t think I regret the decision either. But seeing Jim Swintal post this on the SCCA marshals page made me smile:

sebring 12h imsa participant pin tusc
source: Jim Swintal

Finally they got something right, the worker swag!

I know what you’re thinking… it’s just a pin, who cares? I think people care. I was once told that motorsport volunteering is not about trinkets, getting freebies or more importantly expecting something. (*we are apparently required to show up, shut up and do a job, not expecting anything in return… I think it’s flawed thinking! the motivational power of swag, even though I have boxes full of t-shirts and hats as many others do, is strong. Receiving a small token of appreciation from the organizers makes you feel appreciated, and therefore makes you want to come back time and again).

I would not be surprised with the power this little thing has over someone’s decision whether to do an event or not. I want one, and I could totally see myself spending a few hundred dollars in air travel, car rental and accommodation costs to work a race where I’d get a pin to add to my collection. And I don’t even like pins, I’d personally prefer a patch. But this pin would do. Could I buy it on eBay? Of course I could, and probably spend far less money than trying to earn it after booking flights, rental cars and hotels, not to mention a few long days of being trackside. But where’s the fun in that? And shame on those that would sell their participant pins to make money! (obviously they’re probably the ones with sticky fingers, taking more pins than what they were entitled to at the morning meeting).

I like the number plate idea, as it is used a lot more than the Tudor United SportsCar Championship logo, because IMSA integrates more series now than just TUSC. It might have made sense in the past to make an ALMS pin or patch when that was all that IMSA sanctioned (besides ALMS Lights/Lites?) but now with CTSCC – Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Ferrari Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup, Lamborghini Super Trofeo… and others I’m glad the number plate design is used. And it’s use is very clever, like the corner book covers for each event. How brilliant?!?

imsa sebring 12h

Anyway, congrats to all those Sebring 12h participants that got their hands on this nice little pin. Hopefully IMSA will have some patches made up later on in the season so I could add both to my collection!