Tag Archives: New England Region SCCA

Thank You New England Region Drivers For a Delicious Paddock Crawl at Lime Rock Park

For the second year in a row now the New England Region SCCA drivers have put on quite a feast for the volunteers and fellow drivers on Friday night after track activities came to a close.

It’s a nice touch… this gives the drivers an opportunity to show their appreciation for the workers and I wanted to do my part to show my appreciation for a job well done. Thank you very much! It’s certainly appreciated.

I only spent a little time pigging out before driving home to Jersey for the night, but I must say the BBQ ribs one fella had were outstanding. Last years’ favorites: margarita slushie people with a side of tacos and the Dinosaur RX-7 folks with their assortment of sausages and meatballs also did a fantastic job. And there was someone with a tasty strawberry and whip cream desert. Full, tasty, meal… hit the spot after a long day at a wet track.

Thanks again to all the NER Drivers!

22 lbs of ribs gone in a matter or minutes… finger lickin’ good!

Una Frozen Margarita por favor… Gracias!

Soooooo tasty!

Oh look I spy Stevie!

Gotta say it looks way different with those massive Mustang wheels!

One of the more social socials I’ve been to at a track lately.

Thanks NER!

Post card from Palmer Motorsports Park: Whiskey Hill Raceway

Another last minute road trip to New England to help Jessie staff the NER SCCA club racing season opener at Palmer Motorsports Park: Whiskey Hill Raceway. And it turned out absolutely fantastic!

Palmer Motorsports Park is my #41st track to marshal. I was excited to check it out. It’s a brand new facility that only opened last year and still has that brand new track smell to it. Lots of areas are still a work in progress, but what is finished looks very impressive. It’s pretty fascinating how much rock… nay, boulders there are here. It reminded me of Pikes Peak… except instead of going up into the heavens forever, the track climbs up and then swoops down in a series of zig zag zoom zoom turns… which I was lucky enough to experience for myself at the end of day Friday when they let workers drive the track… at speed… in pouring rain. It was a Wicked Pissah! of an experience, I loved it sooooo much!

I’ll write a longer debrief later, but for now enjoy some pix:

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 1

Pretty low key entrance… but the boulder lined driveway into the facility gives you a preview of what to expect at the track itself.

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 2

Worker transport was very useful not just while getting flaggers to stations during the work day, but also at the end of day when we took it for a spin in town of Ware to celebrate Cinco de Mayo…

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 5 mexicali cinco de mayo

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 6 mexicali cinco de mayo

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 7 mexicali cinco de mayo

Back to the track… the 2D layout doesn’t do the 3D track justice!

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NER SCCA region folks are a tight knit community of down to earth, hard working, racing enthusiasts! Racers and Flagers alike…

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My favorite toy of the weekend was the MX-5 Cup Car from LRR, but I’ll write more about it in a separate post.

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 10 mazdaspeed lanyard

I was lucky enough to score some Mazdaspeed swag on this trip.

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 13

As well as some worker “TIPS” the Track Incentive Plan which is $8 per slip of which you get a few during a race weekend. Three of these plus a $1 bill were redeemed for a $25 Shell Gas Card which almost paid for my fuel bill on this trip!

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 17 shell gas card

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 11 turn 3

First day I got to enjoy the views working Turn 3.

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 12 turn 3

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It was a great Blue Flag station.

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The first day ended with a tasty warm meal.

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 15 driving the track

And of course I got to haul ass around the wet track, for 2 laps.

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 19 gulf racing

palmer motorsports park whiskey hill raceway ner scca 20 gulf racing

While there was a little bit of variety, I was thrilled to see the majority of race cars at the track were Mazda MX-5 Miatas… and #37 in particular mopped the floors with all of it’s competitors as the car raced in multiple classes… it won against other Miatas, it also won against a mixed field of similar cars… and it won against a field of GT’s on a wet circuit, none of them could put the power down.

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I had an absolute blast! And I’d love to return to this facility when the surrounding forest/trees are covered in luscious green leaves. Although baren trees certainly contributed to better visibility, especially when I worked Turn 1. I will be back here for sure!

Flaggers Needed at Whiskey Hill Raceway Palmer Motorspors Park for New England Region Season Opener

Dear Dears,

Please allow me to extend an invitation to marshal the New England Region SCCA season opener at Whiskey Hill Raceway, Palmer Motorsports Park somewhere in Massachusetts to help my buddy Jessie Lynne Honings out in her role as the new flag chief.

Flaggers are very much needed to staff this event.

You will also be able to learn new information about the IndyCar Not-Boston Grand Prix which Palmer is a supporter of. Despite the news of cancellation of Boston Grand Prix, a race will happen in New England and Jessie will be involved in organizing the marshals for it.

And if you show up to flag then I’d be able to get some training as a Starter. So you’ll do me a huge favor! For me Palmer will also be my 41st track to marshal at so I’m very much excited!

Here’s the invite:

New England Region, SCCA
Flagging and Communication Invitation

NERRC Kickoff Weekend at Whiskey Hill Raceway at Palmer Motorsports Park

Friday May 6th & Saturday May 7th


NER Flaggers and Friends,
Finally, it’s feeling like Spring.  That means it’s time to dig out that flag bag, clean out the old Little Debbie(R) cakes, and repack fresh for the new season!  There’s much to talk about since we last shared a beer at the track. Our 2016 opening race is fast approaching.  On Friday, May 6th, there will be qualifying in the morning, racing in the afternoon, followed by dinner under the paddock tent.  On Saturday, May 7th, we’ll have racing all day long.  Feel free to arrive Thursday evening for a Cinco de Mayo celebration!  Suggestions on how to celebrate are welcome, this is still in the planning stages.
If you plan to attend, please register on motorsportreg or drop us an email specifying which days you’ll be there.  In your email, please include any special station assignment requests you might have.

Registration link:  https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/worker-registration-for-may-5-7-ner-races-palmer-whiskey-hill-raceway-ma-812408

IndyCar: Grand Prix of Boston Marshal Invitation 2016

UPDATE MAY 2: Looks like the IndyCar NOT-Boston Grand Prix may be happening elsewhere in New England. Please stay tuned as Jessie Lynne Honigs works out the details before starting her work on staffing the marshals for this event.


 

For those in the Northeast of the US there’s a new Grand Prix option to volunteer, on the streets of Boston, Mass.

That’s right… the Grand Prix of Boston is scheduled for Labor Day this September and its an event I’m eagerly awaiting even if I may not have an opportunity to attend as an actual marshal.

Best of all Jessie Lynn Honigs is the flag chief of the marshals so there will definitely be some quality organizing going on behind the scenes.

grand prix of boston indycar

Interested?

There’s nine months left to plan! I’m a huge fan of street courses because you as a marshal don’t get any closer to the cars than you do at a city circuit. The cars are just on the other side of the crash barrier, inches from you sending all sorts of shock waves thru your body as they fly past. The adrenaline rush is out of this world.

I would highly recommend this event to anyone interested.

For details visit: http://indycarboston.com/

and of course NER SCCA page: http://www.ner.org/

Congratulations Dear Jessie Lynne Honigs on Becoming New England Region SCCA Flag Chief!

I would like to take a moment and congratulate my friend Jessie Lynne Honigs on becoming  Flag Chief of the New England Region SCCA. What a well deserved accomplishment!

I shall raise a glass of pumpkinhead beer dipped in cinnamon and brown sugar to You!

jessie lynne honings new england region scca flag chief debris flag surface
I found this photo by typing: “Debris Flag” into Google search, it probably belongs to One Hot Lap .com (http://www.onehotlap.com/2012/12/never-been-more-excited-about-debris-on.html)

From what I’ve seen in my short stint with the SCCA club Jessie is the best person for the job! …can’t wait for the Boston Grand Prix.

Bless your heart, Jessie.

New England Region SCCA Season Finale at Thompson Speedway Debrief

After blowing through $400+ dollars on travel expenses alone for Petit Le Mans, I returned home feeling bummed out that I didn’t quite get my money’s worth from that event. Maybe my expectations were unreasonably high, I don’t know. So to end the year on a high note I decided to take Jessie up on her invite to come to New England Region SCCA season finale at Thompson Speedway for some club racing. Good thing I did!

A number of things went well that I’ll blog about, but I must apologize that on this event I took hardly any pictures so prepare to read a lot of positive words without much photo evidence to illustrate the experience. I’ll write about my foodie tour separately, though I should mention that of all places: Who woulda thunk that Connecticut was such a foodie destination?  Not me… Besides the food, seeing the leaves change color up in New England was neat, it was fall foliage in full effect with various shades of green, yellow and red all around.

ted's steamed cheeseburger meriden ct 4

The drive to Thompson, and well to Massachusetts where Jessie lives, was also to test out the new tires I just bought for my Miazda, which turned out to be a lot worse than I thought they’d be. I’m talking about the BFGoodrich g-Force Comp 2 A/S that I had recently purchased for my 16 inch winter wheels. I don’t know if it’s the aggressive tread pattern or the idea that maybe they weren’t balanced correctly when I had them mounted, I felt a very noticeable but slight vibration throughout the entire trip. It came from the front, I felt it on the steering wheel, I felt it on the gas pedal. But it also came from the rear, because I felt it on the seat as I was driving. So I’m not happy about that. I wish the ride was a bit smoother like the old Yokohama’s I took off to go with the BFG’s. That said I got to test the tires out in the dry for about 200 miles and then another 200 in the wet, and the grip was perfect. So maybe that’s the nature of the design after all?

starter ner scca thompson speedway

I was so glad to catch up with Jessie once again over dinner and for the whole day of racing. She was working Race Control and had a great view of my Starter station below the race control window, which means the only pictures of the event with me in them came from her taking spy shots. Thanks Jessie! Also thanks to her I finally got a chance to experience the Starter role, it was something I wanted to do forever but was never given a chance. I am hooked on this role now and don’t really see how I could go back to regular F&C after this experience. Not willingly anyway…

pumpkinhead beer with cinamon and brown sugar
Jessie introduced me to some delicious new beer: Pumpkinghead served with cinnamon and brown sugar along the rim of the glass, yumm!

As with any SCCA Club Racing there were many Mazda MX-5 Miatas racing. So that was by far my favorite sight to see at the event. Among them was a true red NC Miata with a bunch of Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge stickers, which I assume was a hand me down IMSA car from a few seasons ago. It went very well, much faster than most other NA and NB Miata’s though unfortunately it broke down during the last race of the day. Luckily though I saw it win it’s class during an earlier race in the day, and I’m kind of kicking myself for not taking a picture of the driver receiving a small checkered flag directly under our Start stand for his victory lap (in the paddock – since they weren’t doing them on track because of time constraints). It was awesome to see and I’m very happy for the driver. It was nice to also see “Flatout Racing” stickers on that car and many other Miatas which are apparently rental cars for someone who wants to race but doesn’t have the money to buy a race car. What a cool concept!

flatout racing miata nc 2

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Anyway, I had a fantastic trip and I’m very happy I got a chance to go. The New England Region threw a big tent party for the workers at the end of the day with delicious pasta on the menu, and some prizes and other awards for volunteer participation. I was amazed to see that I won something again, a nice envelope with some gas money which basically covered most of my cost to go up there, in fuel anyway. So I came home really happy! Thanks to Jessie! and Thanks to the NER!

One more event of the season and 2015 is in the history books 🙂

…and a few more pictures:

flatout racing miata nb 1

flatout racing miata nb 2

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austin cooper s thompson speedway ner scca 2

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open wheel race car thompson speedway ner scca

thompson speedway motorsport park

american racer tire wall thompson speedway motorsport park

I love seeing the British influence in New England:

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connecticut american ambulance at thompson speedway 1

connecticut american ambulance at thompson speedway 2

Almost forgot to mention some fuel stats. This time I noticed something interesting, the cheaper New Jersey based BP 93 octane gas seems to give better gas mileage than the more pricey Massachusetts BP 93 octane premium gas. I topped off before I left NJ, re-fueled in MA adding 5.672 gallons  after doing 201.1 miles, getting 35.454 mpg. After reaching home I topped up 6.899 after doing 228.8 miles getting 33.164 mpg. Which leads me to believe NJ gas is superior MA gas all other things being equal. Unlike my previous trips where I normally keep the car between 60 and 70mph, this time I was in a more of a rush doing 70 to 80mph so maybe that was a factor. Overall I did 429.9 miles and used 12.571 gallons, averaging at 34.197 mpg. NJ gas price $2.29/gal for 93 at BP, MA gas price $2.45/gal for 93 at BP.  And now I’m at 5,000 miles since the last oil change, so the little Miazda is due for it’s second service.

NERRC Championship Finale & Historic Race Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

I am not ready for my marshaling / racing season to be over, so I just signed up to flag one more day at Thompson Speedway… hopefully this time I’ll get a chance to get on the Starter stand to do some learning.

Jessie from SponsorAFlagger.com and NER SCCA is looking for more volunteers, so IF you can join, please do!

Join us for New England Region’s last race of the 2015 season! Planned for this weekend is the John Stim Memorial, NERRC Championship Finale & Historic Race Group. Friday dinner will be served at the Clubhouse Tent, featuring the Annual NER Workers Award Presentations. A garage party is planned for Saturday evening. And don’t forget – double tips for those who are flagging on Friday!
For the campers: new showers are now available under the oval track grandstands. TSMP has been advertising this as a spectator event, so we can expect to see more than the usual attendees. Maybe we can recruit a few new flaggers!
If you plan to attend, please register on motorsportreg or drop us an email specifying which days you’ll be there.  In your email, please include any special station assignment requests you might have.

Registration link:   http://msreg.com/NER-9Oct-Thompson

photo credit:  https://stevemckelvie.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/thompson-speedway-motorsports-park-returns-to-a-road-course/Thompson1952

Thank You Jessie for the Great Time at Thompson Speedway!

Don’t even know where to begin to describe the amazing time I had volunteering at Thompson Speedway, except by thanking Jessie for making this whole trip possible. Thank you Jessie!

It was a sensory overload in every sense. The trip was so much more than just cars on race track, it was a road trip, a foodie tour, a chance to hang out with awesome people and of course race cars on track. So besides thanking Jessie from SponsorAFlagger.com for her contribution to my personal happiness I’ll also use this post as a preview of follow up posts about all the other aspects of the trip.

WARNING! There will be a ton of Miata pictures in all the posts.

WARNING! There will be a ton of foodie pictures in some posts.

So I’ll start at the beginning. The three hour trip to Jessie’s place in Massachusetts turned into a full day of driving, stopping multiple times along the Connecticut coast to sample their delicious and very fresh lobster rolls:

lobster roll tour of connecticut lobster landing

I’ve never met anyone that has ever said: “Oh… I’m so full on lobster!” never happens… so I arrived Massachusetts nice and hungry in time for dinner with Jessie and Jason and that was a hell of an experience trying a nice Vietnamese restaurant in Worcester with Durian shakes on the menu.

thompson speedway ner scca 2

My first impressions of Thompson Speedway Motorsport Park were very good. It reminded me a lot of tracks in New Zealand with their relatively flat setting, lots of turns in the course to fit into a small area, to a point that most of the track is visible from any marshal stand. Of course Thompson has a speedway that’s partially used in the road course which is not like any Kiwi track, but still. I’ll talk more about my impressions of Thompson in greater detail, and be sure to mention their delicious ice cream.

thompson speedway ner scca miata

Jessie now owns a Miata! Well, technically it’s Jason’s Miata but it didn’t stop Jessie from taking it to the track so we could do a few shots of our cars on the Speedway… and by a few shots I mean like bazillion of them. It was so cool comparing the NC1 and NC2 miatas, and all the differences between the GT and a Sport model, a PRHT and a soft-top… believe it or not there were plenty of differences. I’ll talk more about it in it’s own post.

And finally I’ll conclude the series with a chat about another 450 mile road trip in my marshaling rig. Once again got great gas mileage, had a very comfortable ride… and took a ton of pics along the way. Stay tuned for the posts to be published in the coming days.

road trip miata BP gas station great gas mileage

Signed Up to Marshal the New England Region SCCA at Thompson Speedway

Noticed Jessie from SponsorAFlagger.com seeking volunteers for next week’s New England Region SCCA club racing event at Thompson Speedway, so I signed up.

Between the two of us, it took a good ten minutes trying to force MotorsportReg.com web site to allow me to register. On my own I was getting all kinds of warning and error messages highlighted in Red and Yellow, either preventing me from registering or making the event invisible altogether. I guess it helps that Jessie is the NER Assistant Flag Chief now and dismissed the idea of me being banished from working SCCA club events as a silly notion, as I did.

I’m looking forward to working Thompson Speedway for the first time. I have not been to that track yet. It shall be my 15th circuit I’ve volunteered in the US, and 37th worldwide. I’m also going to push my luck and try to see if I could observe the Starter there to learn a new skill marshaling. That is if they’re not desperately short on people by next Friday, in which case I’m happy to work whatever station Jessie assigns me.

If things go to plan I may even check out some fisherman’s towns along the New England coast line whether in Connecticut or Rhode Island… sure it’s a bit out of the way, but I’ve driven up for their delicious lobster rolls before… and this time I have race cars as an excuse to go there.

Can’t wait!

For anyone with free time, do consider volunteering at Thompson Speedway yourself. The link to the event is here:  http://www.ner.org/race-volunteer/volunteer-news/ Or try your luck directly on MotorsportReg following this link:  http://www.motorsportreg.com/events/worker-registration-for-july-10-11-ner-races-tsmp-thompson-speedway And if the system fucks with you, then I’ll feel very happy that I wasn’t the only one, contact Jessie on facebook and she’ll see to it that you’re added to the list. Cheers!