Tag Archives: Rolex Series

Post Card from the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway

Did not think I’d go back to Daytona, until I saw all the entries for the 2017 IMSA season… wow! The new DPi programs are in full effect. There are several GTE and GT3 machines with new manufacturers. I had to be here. Not once but twice… Not just for the 24 hour race at the end of January… but the Roar before the 24 in the beginning of the month.

Here are some pix from Turn 4, working with my good friend John Gamble:

Pretty impressive line up in the GT field:

  • Aston Martin Vantage (GTD)
  • Acura NSX (GTD)
  • BMW M6 (GTLM & GTD)
  • Corvette C7.R (GTLM)
  • Ferrari 488 (GTLM & GTD)
  • Ford GT (GTLM)
  • Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (GTD)
  • Lexus IS-F (GTD)
  • Mercedes-AMG SLS (GTD)
  • Porsche 911 GT3 R (GTD)
  • Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (GTLM)

The prototype field is also expanded with new Cadillac DPi replacing the familiar Corvette Daytona Prototypes. Mazda has a new skin, but a very similar engine sound to the old Lola. Lots of Orecas, a few Ligier Nissans, etc.

In the Continental Tire support group the McLaren GT4 is really balancing out the Porsche Cayman GT4 dominance.

More pix from the pit walk:

And some shots from Station 4:

And a delicious pizza dinner with the Gambles Friday night:

Looking forward to the rest of the weekend even if Saturday is supposed to be very wet…. more to come!

Media from Grand-Am at Lime Rock

One of my favorite souvenirs from a race track are photos/videos of us in action.

We were lucky enough to capture some memories ourselves and thanks to a few SponsorAFlagger.com friendly photographers that took their attention off the race cars for a second to take a shot or two of the flaggers.

Check them out:

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Huge thanks to Romel Evangelista photography: https://www.facebook.com/RomelEvangelistaPhotography

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Thanks to our friend Michael Paul Esposito!

If anyone reading this has got some more cool shots of us at Lime Rock, please feel free to share through here or via facebook. Cheers!

Grand-Am season finale at Lime Rock

An exciting weekend draws a close on a fantastic race weekend, championship year, and over a decade long series. The next iteration of Grand-Am will be part of the USCC – United Sports Car Championship along with ALMS – American Le Mans Series, but until then we had one last shot at it at Lime Rock with Tim and Jessie of SponsorAFlagger.com

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We were lucky enough to work together both days of the event, on turn 1 for Friday’s practice and turn 4 for Saturday’s qualifying and race. I have already given a sneak peak from Friday so I’ll focus on race day here. It was a thrilling race, we had an excellent view that was almost too close to the action as the #99 Red Dragon went off track along our station spraying us with rocks and dust, slightly injuring Jessie in the process. But we soldiered on, and I selfishly hogged the blue flag which the other two made fun of me for not waving it aggressively enough ­čÖé I nearly shredded that canvas off the wooden stick again.

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Perhaps an overshadowing story from the weekend, wasn’t the racing but the amazing work Tim and Jessie did for SponsorAFlagger.com With my guestimate, they contributed nearly $1,000 bux to all the flaggers that worked the event thanks to contributions from a number of Grand-Am teams. And that figure is nothing to sneeze at. Ultra impressive and credit must be given where credit is due. In that light I wish to personally thank all the contributors starting with Marc Miller of CJ Wilson Racing who not only gave an impressive presentation of driver changes and a team Q&A about his racing Mazda MX-5, but also gave away swag and gas cards for participants in his driver’s change demo! Flaggers got to sit in and strap in the race car, while I timed their driver change attempts. Freaking awesome!

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Peter Baron of Starworks Autosport came through big time with Target Gift Cards for every flagger this weekend. He had mentioned doing something like that when I last met him at Laguna Seca a few weeks ago, and he certainly did not disappoint. We are huge fans of the Starworks team #2 and #8 cars sporting the SponsorAFlagger.com flagger chick proudly on their body work in recent victory photos, and we wish them the best of luck in the future!

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Kirk Spencer of CKS Autosport also surprised us with a generous gas card donation on our late night wander through the Grand-Am paddock, for which we are again incredibly thankful!

This event was a great conclusion to an excellent season at Lime Rock for me, and a very sad one to think that there won’t be any major pro-racing there next year on the same level as I have enjoyed for the last two years. Oh well… I will certainly miss the pit walks at this bullrink!

Post card from Grand-Am at Lime Rock

Greetings from Lime Rock and the Grand-Am Rolex Series season finale.
The weekend is off to a good start, despite me returning from Thailand with a major flu, and my mom telling me when I was abroad that her car broke… I managed to make it here.

Only the Grand-Am series are running this weekend, no support races. In fact the ST class practiced, qualified and had a race today. Pole was set by Marc Miller who Jessie and Tim recruited to do a little marshal demo in the morning, and he did a great job.
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Jessie, Tim and I once again found ourselves at turn one. Great station with plenty of action. Looking forward to the feature race tomorrow.

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Grand-Am at Laguna Seca debrief

I like it when things go well, no… I love it! And this trip to Laguna Seca went exceptionally well from start to finish. So allow me to outline the successes and give encouragement to others hopefully reading this post that such a thing is possible.

This trip was one of the first events I booked upon returning from Asia Pacific… and what a hell of a deal that was. $120/round trip to fly one of my favorite airlines: JetBlue from Newark, NJ to San Francisco, CA via Boston, MA. The connection times were a bit lengthy but at such a rate I would have been happy to visit downtown Boston for a bowl of clam chowder, but with JetBlue I didn’t have to – because they allowed me to go stand-by on a previous flight… twice! Because of this amazing capability I arrived San Fran at least four hours ahead of schedule, which meant I was there at a reasonable hour, and not around midnight like I had booked. So without giving it much thought I checked the car rental deals to see if I can do something about picking up the rental that was originally booked for next morning. Lo and behold I managed to get an even better rate for half an hour past my arrival. Sweeet! I didn’t have to spend the night at the airport, or have to go find a hotel in the city… I got into my car and headed out towards the Monterey Peninsula.

Once in Monterey I first went to check out Laguna Seca, thinking I could register early, but with Grand-Am in town there was very little happening… so I cruised around, checked out the beautiful ocean scenery and had some amazing food. The action on track finally started Friday, but not until late morning and almost noon-time. The support series that got to hit the track early were tame, but with decent fields it was fun to watch. Similarly for practice, qualifying and race day, the main attraction: Grand-Am did not disappoint. As I mentioned earlier I had the best seat in the house, working turn 8A at the bottom of the Corkscrew. I am amazed and honored with the trust the SF SCCA region put in me by letting me work that station alone for most of the weekend… they have figured out something other regions are still working on… when I’m busy I hardly take any pictures, haha!

So besides one little incident with a Continental Tire Challenge Camaro flying across the Corskcrew we were pretty quiet. I had a nice trip back up to SF to return the rental, and spend the next two nights in a hostel, which was a first. But it allowed for a perfect location to explore the city, which I was very much looking forward to do utilizing the Cable Car system… I think I managed to try every line! I also revisited Chinatown, and this time really really really enjoyed my meal. The secret to good food in that place is second story restaurants… and avoiding Dim Sum, which apparently I’m not a big fan of, it turns out.

The flight home was again excellent. I managed to credit the JetBlue miles to my AAdvantage account which I could later use for international flights. And once I reached Boston I again went stand-by on an earlier flight arriving home at a much more reasonable hour than I was scheduled. So that’s that. Great trip, great fun… good memories!

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AMA Superbikes at NJMP is next. Turns out my Dickies whites are only good for less than two seasons because three out of the four pairs have shredded in the crotch area, go figure! But I’m going to frankenstein a solution in time for Millville, where I’m looking forward to seeing my good friends whom I haven’t seen in a while. Singapore will follow shortly after.

Can’t believe this year is almost over!