Tag Archives: SCCA Washington DC Region

Baltimore Grand Prix ALMS & Indycar

Another “Balmore” Grand Prix is in the books… and I quickly went to re-read last year’s debrief to make sure I don’t repeat the same sentiment. This year the tale of Baltimore GP consists of two experiences. First Couch Surfing. Like last year I got very lucky with the hosts even though it wasn’t through traditional channels of requesting a place to stay. Instead I posted on Facebook in the CS Baltimore forum and got invited. Sweet! Second, the race itself. It was a crashfest! No nicer way to put it… a bunch of ‘amateurs’ it seems, as people were wrecking almost on purpose in both ALMS and Indycar feature racing that had more yellow flag / caution time than green / race time.

But it was good!

I was stationed at turn 3, the amazing hair pin that didn’t get nowhere near as much action as it did last year which seemed to have shifted mostly to turn 1, 4 and 9. But we did have a number of spins, debris, and even a car on fire during the Indycar race for which I waived our fire bottle at the driver through the hole in the fence we were behind, and he promptly stopped in front of us. Of course, he stopped on the other side of the track, and after another Indycar went between him and us at speed, he proceeded to watch the smoke billow out of the car instead of attempting to run for the fire extinguisher. Luckily the safety team were quick to respond, and all ended well.

I was not terribly impressed with the level of professionalism of the drivers this weekend. In the ALMS race, the Dyson car seemed to false start repeatedly which caused the first big wreck and contributed greatly to more full course caution the second time. Similarly, turn one shinanigans for Indycar saw four consecutive full course yellows after each attempted restart. What a joke!

On Sunday night I left Baltimore for Summit Point, and the final racing of the Labor Day weekend with the DC region SCCA. Absolutely nothing happened there, completely uneventful day… though since I was stationed at turn 3, I had to run to cars that pulled off in our shortcut area to see what the issue was… both cars lost power, which was OK… the exercise I got sprinting about 300 meters in each direction was great too. I enjoyed the leisurely road trip back to New Jersey and am looking forward to fly out for the Grand-Am weekend at Laguna Seca tomorrow.

baltimore gp 2.5

baltimore gp 5

baltimore gp 2

BFGoodrich SCCA Super Tour

SCCA’s DLB Racing web site: http://www.dlbracing.com/ listed this event as the first possible option to register once I arrived back in New Jersey. And I did. I’ve been to Summit Point Motorsport Park in West Virginia before as a spectator for the Cannonball One Lap of America tour, but this time was my first attempt working there, and I had a blast.

summit point 2

summit point 3

The event was well organized and I learned a lot from my team mates at Sector 5. There was much to learn as SCCA rules seem to differ from International rules in SG or NZ. For one we did not have a green flag on point, instead there was a black one. None of the flags were waived, except in case the track was blocked. And all marshals rotated through various positions on point from blue flag to communications, even fire/rescue positions on the other side of the track stationed with a fire extinguisher. It was then I got a bit nervous I hadn’t memorized the hand signals yet.

Regardless it was an amazing experience and I certainly will be back. It was also a great trip to CouchSurf. I spent the night across the border in Virginia only 8 miles away from the track with a wonderful couple that treated me to dinner and a great conversation. As usual it was a good opportunity to source some cheaper goods, like cigarettes for my dad which were more than half the price per carton compared to New Jersey. And fuel was cheaper in Virginia compared to West Virginia.

Next event is in Milville, New Jersey at the New Jersey Motorsport Park.