Tag Archives: Sponsor a Flagger

Volunteer in Motorsport: Working for a Race Team, Starworks Motorsport Wants YOU!

Ever wanted to volunteer in Motorsport but don’t see standing on the side of the track in all sorts of weather as your cup of tea? No worries, there are other options!

My friend Jessie Lynne Honigs just shared a pretty neat invitation on facebook:

startworks motorsport volunteers wanted

Quote:

Have you always wanted to work on a race team? Here’s your chance! We’re looking for volunteers, starting with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach! Information here…

Since I’m going to the Long Beach Grand Prix and volunteering there already I am extremely jealous of the lucky bastard that will get a chance to work with Starworks Motorsport.

startworks motorsport volunteers wanted

I think this is particularly a great idea because with street circuit events the amount of people available to participate should be pretty impressive, especially considering how many people can simply walk to the track (even if they take public transport for a few blocks to get there from where they live).

I want to get involved in his myself!

You should too!

 

Links: starworksmotorsport.com/ & facebook.com/starworksmotorsport/

PS. if I’m not mistaken Starworks Motorsport and Peter Baron were the most generous group of people that supported Jessie’s SponsorAFlagger.com project with their $1,000+ donation a few years ago at Lime Rock in a form of a gift cards that every marshal volunteering that weekend walked away with. That was impressive!

Discovered My New Favorite Role Marshaling: Starter! (Start / Finish)

Forget marshaling as a Blue Flagger, working as a Starter is the most involved job while marshaling there is. Thanks to Jessie Lynne Honigs I was able to finally get a chance to experience working the Start Stand and I don’t think I want to go back to working regular F&C ever again. The Starter job is where it’s at!

So a little background about my plan on becoming a starter. I got the bug more than two years ago where after much thought about my “picture taking” issues from the previous season I thought all my problems would go away if only I could get a job marshaling closer to the paddock, right near the pit lane. Start stand was the obvious choice. I knew I couldn’t just jump into the role at any old Pro event and I’d have to work my way up by participating in some Club racing, so I asked the flag chief of the New York Region to give me the opportunity to learn the next time I come up to Lime Rock Park. He agreed but when the events came around I found myself on some random station working F&C and was very disappointed and discouraged to come back. This year I didn’t go back to Lime Rock at all. But I did go up to Thompson Speedway after Jessie invited me with the thought that maybe there I’d get a chance to finally learn. I registered through MotorsportReg.com for a club event, ticked the box for Starter, but knew full well going in that if they were terribly short on F&C people it’s likely that’s what I’d end up doing. And sure enough I got put on Station 3. This was cool because I wanted to help out in the time of need, and actually got to work with Jessie. We had a hell of a good time, but it wasn’t the Start stand and I had to delay my plan further. Until of course the second time Jessie invited me up to Thompson Speedway for another NER SCCA club event, where finally I got a chance to work Start.

starter ner scca thompson speedway

What did I discover working as a Starter at Thompson Speedway?

I learned that it’s the best possible job there is marshaling, bar none, for me anyway… Here are the top few reasons I find the role of a Starter to be incredibly awesome:

  • You get to Blue Flag!
  • You get to keep track of all the cars in the field through Charting
  • You get to throw the Checkered Flag
  • You get to throw the Green Flag
  • You get to Black Flag and Meatball Cars
  • You get to work out the timing of Last Lap and when to Checker
  • You work on the Front Straight and Pit Lane
  • You are close to the Paddock and Garages
  • You have a lot more Responsibility than any other station
  • Your Mistakes are more visible than any other station

I could probably come up with a dozen other reasons why the Starter role is awesome but I’m too excited to think about them right now.

thompson speedway ner scca starter scoring chart

Suffice to say I was blown away with how awesome that position was and a little bit sad that I waited this long to finally try it. And I’ll say a few words about that:

F&C or any other specialty volunteering a club event will always be short on people. Hardly anything is done about recruiting, and the participation numbers are insufficient at most events. There’s nothing noble about being a nice guy and trying to accommodate the flag chief to work a random turn especially those that don’t make you personally happy because chances are after a bad or even less than good experience  you won’t come back to work another race again, or at least not return frequently. So what’s the point? I think the most important thing to do while volunteering is to do a job that makes you personally happy. And for me that is working as a Starter.

ner scca thompson speedway 2015 season finale

The irony about being selfish is that SCCA as a club advertises volunteering  positions by saying there’s a job for everyone! Of course in practice that isn’t always the case. I asked to work Start, someone didn’t feel it was worth it for them to oblige to my request, and so instead of having a satisfied volunteer working a position that person enjoys doing, they lost a volunteer altogether. And that’s stupid. But people do get that way. I pissed people off by taking pictures and calling some high ranking club members incompetent because they refused to offer training which the club should provide, and they would rather get rid of me as a volunteer than to put me in a position where I would receive the training I was after and perform the role I wanted to perform. Of course before they decided to “get rid” of me, they wanted to teach me a lesson against picture taking by placing me at the most remote areas of the circuit, so that when I did want to take pictures legally during our lunch break I had to chose between trekking all the way to the paddock or to actually eat lunch. It’s hard to change the politics of any organization even those where nobody gets paid to work. And volunteering is very political, clique’ey, and not always welcoming to new people.

So, I’m glad I got a chance to discover a role that I think I would really enjoy doing from now going forward. If I can’t get that role again in the future I simply won’t go to future events. But my goal is to do what it takes to master the role of a Starter so I could do it at Pro events. I definitely could use more practice. Even though waving flags on the start stand is no different than that on a random station as an F&C marshal, there’s definitely more work to be done, and I had made some mistakes while learning this weekend. For example: keeping time is a very important job of a Starter. The experienced starters I was learning from had two stop watches set to 18 minutes each to time the race. My job was to push the start button as the cars crossed the start line, and yet I pushed it when the cars received the Green flag even though the starter explained to me what I was supposed to do a few times. Why did I do it? I have no idea, I knew better and yet I did something anyway. Maybe from being nervous, or maybe from being premature and worried that I’d miss the correct start time by doing it too late. Starting the clock early is as bad as starting the clock late, so to get it right consistently requires practice. I also ran into a situation where the leader of the race was about to take the Checkered flag but was fast catching to a back-marker of the race. I threw the checker too early without pointing at the leader, who in turn wasn’t convinced it seemed that he was the leader because he drove around and took the checkered flag again. So I learned to point at the car that is about to win the race to inform them they are about to receive the checkered flag. I even made a mistake with blue flag which I enjoy the most. In a group of a combined field of fast wings and things and slow Formula Vee racers, I displayed a stationary blue flag to a slower FV car where I should have waved it because a faster Formula car caught it well before Turn 1. The starter told me to do this but for some reason I hesitated and he reminded me of his instructions immediately after my mistake to correct it. Props to the chief starter of the New York region for being patient with me and giving me good advice and training. I really appreciate the opportunity!

Club Racing at Thompson Speedway the Debrief

As if by chance I noticed Jessie (from SponsorAFlagger.com)  looking for more volunteers to marshal NER SCCA event where she’s the assistant flag chief, so I signed up. With her help of course, because MotorsportReg.com was giving me all sorts of problems. But between the two of us we figured it out. I’m so glad I got to experience this new (to me) circuit, because everything about the trip went absolutely perfectly and it’s all thanks to Jessie. I think I’ll use a new strategy for volunteering the US races from now on, I will attend all events as Jessie’s guest… I could definitely get used to the VIP treatment that comes as a result 😉

Thompson Speedway has recently re-opened. It still has that brand new smell to it like a new car, but in reality it’s America’s oldest in several respects. Did you know that it was the oldest banked oval in the US? Or that it was the oldest American purpose built road course? I certainly didn’t. But all that Jessie told me that I need to know about it is that it has the best ice cream… I was eager to find out for myself.

The drive up to Thompson wasn’t terribly long either. It’s only about 30 miles further than New Jersey Motorsports Park and the price of tolls to get there is less. I’ve already blogged about my foodie tour of New England which you can read all about here: Best Lobster Rolls in Connecticut. And that was a very cool way to start the trip. But what was even cooler was hanging out with Jessie, Jason, George (their dog) and Stevie (their Miata). Jason is a very accomplished race car driver with many trophies to show for it and a history of racing various Mazda’s from rotary RX-7’s to the Miata. Check him out at Angry Pork Racing: angrypork.com/ While Jessie of course is an accomplished marshal having won worker of the year in 2013? and running a successful Sponsor A Flagger site:  sponsoraflagger.com/  But most impressively to me she likes Durian shakes at a local Vietnamese place we went to for dinner, which probably means she would totally enjoy marshaling in Singapore or Malaysia and it’s my goal in the future to help facilitate that opportunity!

durian shake at pho dakao in worcester massachusetts
Durian Shake and Lychee Martini at Pho Dakao in Worcester, Mass

For race day on Friday Jessie and I got to work together at turn 3 on our elevated station which was very cool. I’m a big fan of these things. Why? Because it gives the marshal working that particular turn good visibility of track before and after the station. And the drivers get a good visibility of all the flags as they approach the turn. I wish more tracks would use the same idea when applicable. Behind the station there was a golf course and many a golfers came around to spectate at different times. I even found a Callaway golf ball near my car when leaving. Kudos to Thompson for being a multi-purpose facility. At a time when everybody in Motorsport is struggling it’s nice to see diversification.

thompson speedway turn 3 station
Elevated Marshal Station at Turn 3, Thompson Speedway

thompson speedway flags

thompson speedway formula vee

The day went by pretty swiftly. We had a few spins, one resulting in a light impact of two Formula Vee’s getting tangled up. But otherwise it was nice and quiet. I had a great time checking out the paddock during lunch and seeing some amazing machinery.

thompson speedway official pace car camaro

trans am mustang at thompson speedway

 

hoosiers and wilwood brakes on a trans am mustang thompson speedway

thompson speedway track diagram

spec racer fords at thompson speedway

forza abarth 500 at thompson speedway

thompson speedway ner scca 1

Kudos to NER SCCA for providing $10 cash to workers for lunch which went towards a box of very greasy fries and chicken fingers that were delicious. At the end of the day we had a nice banquet reception with great food for the workers and drivers all mixed in one big room. There was a chit for free beverage, and of course Jessie treated me to a huge ice cream cone with really awesome “Maine Black Bear” flavor. I tried her “Chrunchasaurus” which too was amazing. Needless to say, I loved every minute of it. NER SCCA had a raffle where I actually won something! That doesn’t happen often. We were asked to pick envelopes containing cash and mine practically covered the whole gas bill to get up there, so I left quite surprised and happy.

bogey's ice cream at thompson speedway
“Crunchasaurus” ice cream and “Maine Black Bear” ice cream cones at Bogey’s Thompson Speedway… best race track ice cream I’ve ever had!

I think Thompson Speedway will be seeing me again in the future, especially if I get to play Jessie’s guest again 😉

Mazda MX-5: Hello Stevie!

I think the prospect of meeting Stevie was the deciding factor in going to volunteer at Thompson Speedway for the New England Region SCCA thing… sure meeting Jessie was cool, going to another new track was nice, eating lobster along the way was delicious, but seeing another MX-5 Miata up close to compare with mine was really neat. I don’t think I could explain it, so I’m not going to. Instead here is just a small fraction of the bazillion pictures I took of the cars:

hello stevie mx-5 miata

I think George the Basset Hound was thoroughly confused seeing another Miata in his driveway.

hello stevie 17 mx-5 miata

First comparison: Oh look! the 2009 looks exactly the same as my 2007. Except that it doesn’t. The front bumper was changed from a happy oval mouth to a more pronounced one. The headlights were different, bigger slightly. I know the engine internals were improved. I was a little surprised to see the base model not have fog lights, I thought those came standard pretty much on all NC Miatas but not so. The steering wheel looked a little bare without all the controls there. Even the roll hoops didn’t come chromed, and instead were painted gray, but not the same color as the car, or the dash piece, just gray like the plastic. That was a little weird.

hello stevie 5 mx-5 miata

Next thing you know we’re at Thompson Speedway, going around the oval for a little photo shoot on the embankment:

hello stevie 6 mx-5 miata

hello stevie 7 mx-5 miata

hello stevie 8 mx-5 miata

thompson speedway ner scca miata

hello stevie 9 mx-5 miata

hello stevie 10 mx-5 miata

hello stevie 11 mx-5 miata

And so that was that… now any normal person would be happy they got their pix and be done with it. But with me, nope… I took more:

hello stevie 3 mx-5 miata

hello stevie 4 mx-5 miata

In the paddock area by the garages.

hello stevie 2 mx-5 miata

hello stevie 1 mx-5 miata

At our station, Turn 3.

hello stevie 12 mx-5 miata

hello stevie 13 mx-5 miata

At the end of day party…

hello stevie 14 mx-5 miata

It was just a cool thing to see, and do some more comparisons. Like the rear bumper that is quite different on the NC2 vs. NC1:

hello stevie 15 mx-5 miata

Not only did they delete the reflector to integrate it into the tail lights, they also created a slightly more aerodynamic look to it making the car look wider and lower in the tail pipe area. The trunk lid was also different from a soft top to the hard top models:

hello stevie 16 mx-5 miata

…alright

THE END

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!

United States F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, TX

As with any other motorsport weekend, this one went by too quickly. But what a great weekend it was. I usually get excited about events as they’re in progress and then looking back think perhaps I was overly enthusiastic. This wasn’t the case at all at COTA as I was mad as hell from the moment I saw my station assignment and the location of the digi board. I was spewing mad that the track in the US was much like the track in Singapore, or the track in Canada, or elsewhere I worked where there is so much talk about Safety but so little of it is actually put in practice when it comes to the marshals. And this was precisely the case at turn 12 at the Circuit of the Americas. The light board was in a perfect spot, but there was no hole in the fence for the operator to see the oncoming traffic! I had no vision of what was flying my way at the fastest point of the track, and therefore as a result had little chance or hope to actually do any blue flagging. What a shame?!

cota f1 austin1

cota f1 austin 2

Now at that point people would say: “Well focus on yellow flag” … Sure being near the apex of the turn, it was easy to see through the fence. But what about all this “Safety” talk… if I have my back to the traffic and someone comes crashing into the fence Dario Franchitti style – I am toast!  So “safety” as you can see was not a major concern at COTA for F1.

It wasn’t just me who wasn’t given much consideration. The one and only retirement during the actual race occurred just meters away from where I was standing and the good folks responding to the mangled car had no clue what to do when they got to it. The intervention marshals, the flat bed driver, the Manitou operator, all did their own thing and none contributed to each other’s safety. Its easy to criticise in hindsight but I wouldn’t be saying a word if any of us in the US actually got some fucking training for this! For example, the marshals responding to the car should stay behind the ARMCO as much as possible before entering hot track to respond to the incident, our guys ran out on the track and were running with their backs to traffic for a good 100 meters. The flat bed driver arrived on scene and parked past the stricken vehicle, not before it to protect the marshals responding. (sure he would have been in the way of the Manitou once it finally showed up two laps later, but the driver could have stayed in the truck and moved it when the Manitou made it on scene). The hooker had no clue where to thread the strap to connect the vehicle to the Manitou. And finally when all the people on foot near the vehicle being lifted thought it would go on the flat bed that had been waiting all this time, the Manitou driver proceeded to reverse with the vehicle dangling in the air because none of the marshals there were stabilizing it. I was across track behind the fence cringing at the potential accident that was waiting to happen over a multitude of scenarios that could have gone terribly wrong. We got lucky…. But we cannot depend on luck alone for Safety!

cota f1 austin 3

cota f1

Now that I got that off my chest, there were a number of very positive events that took place that made this race weekend one of the most pleasant ones I worked all year. And once again the people I worked with were a great contributing factor to my happiness. For starters no one on the team projected the negative vibe of being better than anyone else. We all had our levels of experience and I think each respected that notion. The post chief was kind enough to share his duties which I thought was unique, especially when it was my turn at the helm and I  had some Ferrari debris to pick up under safety car conditions. That was a rush as always, and the crowd cheering resulted in a constant thought running across my mind: “don’t trip and fall on your face… don’t trip and fall on your face.” Similarly the boss allowed me to adjust the digi board location to my liking, which was quite helpful… though again without a hole in the fence it was very difficult to see anything. I did manage to rig a somewhat tolerable set-up that included a rear-view mirror, though I was not impressed with my blue flag because it was still very difficult to see and I didn’t want to use the flag incorrectly. I did get the blue flagging out of my system when I was on actual manual flags for the Historics race, that was fun!

Hanging out in Ausin and San Antonio before it was better than any of the previous times I had visited Texas. Things went well all around, from car rental, to hotel, to CouchSurfing. In fact I spent a great deal of time hanging out with my hosts, even got a chance to introduce some marshal buddies with the CS’ers which was a great experience. Food was sublime, with all the Tex Mex, BBQ, biscuits and gravy, and other local cuisines that made the whole trip memorable. I had a great time and feel good about it.

us f1 cota 2

us f1 cota 3

us f1 cota food

Texas BBQ at Salt Lick outside of town…. finger lickin’ good!

/DRIVE /SHAKEDOWN news… #sponsoraflagger

It’s the second weekend I’ve spent home when there’s racing happening. Not happy! Why? Well, I could have made more effort to go volunteer somewhere, but I’m realizing more and more just how I can’t afford it anymore. Even on the tightest of budgets, it would still cost me a few hundred dollars to go down to Indianapolis or Mid-O and I just don’t have it. Tim hasn’t sent any updates from IndyCar at Mid Ohio, except for the Shea Holbrook pix I posted on our Sponsor A Flagger Spotted blog: http://sponsor.myroadtrip.net/we-heart-shea-holbrook/ yes We <3 Shea! So, I’m home watching /Drive and reading Jalopnik.

Speaking of those fine automotive online publications and media outlets, I am a big fan. Sometimes I may get pissy when they don’t reply to messages I send them, but who am I to have expectations, huh? I have visited the Jalopnik offices here in Manhattan (back when I worked there) after winning their facebook movie tickets giveaway. Turns out I was one of only three people that participated in that drawing. So pardon the sarcasm. They are great, and I especially enjoy watching /Shakedown on YouTube, Leo Parente seems like a great guy whom I have spotted a few times now at the track while marshalling, but was too shy to say hello. He too did not respond to my “Flagger Cam” message I sent him, but I’m sure once we get some material to work with, they’ll be happy to show some of our footage to the great masses that watch his show.

I love the Jordan Taylor interview from this weekend, where they discuss the hate between American Le Mans Prototype fans and the Daytona Prototypes from Grand-Am. So having my media outlet to voice my opinion, I’m going to air my 2 cents. What a silly thing to have a strong opinion about! People get so worked up about ALMS vs. Grand-Am where, while currently different, many of the drivers get paid to do both series, and its great! Sure, I tend to like the technology in ALMS – like a lot, but the Grand-Am racing is as exciting if not more so in some cases. Especially on subjects Jordan touched on, like the large field of Prototypes: 16 vs. 4. We can’t forget the frustration Lucas Luhr has with no competition in his field of P1’s. Jordan is perfectly right and something I’ve been thinking all along. United SportsCar Series will be an interesting form of racing next year, and if there’s one good thing to come out of it is that there shouldn’t be any overlapping race events on the same weekends, so I don’t have to decide whether it would make more sense to go to ALMS or Grand-Am. USCR it is!

In other news, Tim has created a Twitter account for Sponsor a Flagger so do follow us!  https://twitter.com/sponsoraflagger  Jessie has made a bunch of tweets and retweets, be sure to use the tag #sponsoraflagger so we could join in the conversation.

Speaking of conversation, the three of us from Sponsor a Flagger will be working NASCAR together at Watkins Glen, so expect to see a video or two come out of that meeting. Ironically it will be my immigrant English you’ll probably be hearing on the recording 😉

Northeast Grand Prix ALMS debrief

I was not feeling it. The whole atmosphere of this year’s Northeast GP was somehow off. It was supposed to be amazing. After all I had just returned from Europe working the actual Le Mans… I was going to work with my friends at Lime Rock, what more could I ask for? Well Friday night I was just one bad decision away from going home and not returning.

Luckily I stayed. Saturday morning, on race day I was still out of it. I asked my buddy Tim where he and Jessie were stationed and he was like: “we’re together dude!” which made me feel a lot better, I mean we were team JRT after all, even though I was totally thirdwheeling the entire weekend. I also found out we were at Turn 1, which made me go “WOW!” that’s one hell of a station to work for ALMS. And finally when the flag chief called station assignments I discovered I was made corner captain, which just made me laugh. Why me? Usually Tim likes this sort of thing… but at least I knew I wasn’t going to be stuck doing something I wouldn’t enjoy. In that spirit, I made station assignments based on people’s requests. It may sound a lot looser than it actually is, but I know from my experience when I’m doing something I enjoy doing, the time flies.

Thanks to the heat the time didn’t fly during the race though. It felt like the exact 2 hours and 45 minutes that it was. Unfortunately for Tim and Jessie, they were marooned across track at the outpost for the entire race. I tried to “create” opportunities to cross with the only full course yellow until that point occurring at our station thanks to a high-sighted prototype challenge car, but it wasn’t happening. All in all, the race was OK… not the greatest ALMS race I’ve been to, not even as good as I remember last year’s race to be, but it was good. Something was holding it back from being amazing. Not sure what.

The station assignment was quite perfect though. We were able to do the grid walk for the Le Man’s style start, and mingle with teams and drivers before the big event. It gave Tim and Jessie a final opportunity to sticker up cars they didn’t get a chance to over the past few days, and they did a spectacular job doing it. These guys have some serious balls doing what they did… I on the other hand would be contacting the organizers, the team head offices, etc. and probably getting rejected at every step of the way, while they went there and had the driver’s put the stickers on the cars, that’s about as good as it gets.

It will be sad not to see prototypes racing at Lime Rock Park next year with the United SportsCar Series… its the second track I’ve lost in my home area in two years, after NJMP lost Grand-Am… but I guess I’ll have to travel elsewhere to volunteer…

alms lime rock 5

alms lime rock 7

alms lime rock 8

alms lime rock 4

alms lime rock 2

alms lime rock 1

alms lime rock sponsoraflagger

The highlight of the weekend was a call I requested that Brendan make to Race Control in the early stages of the race. Pat from Watkins Glen had complained that the blue flag was shredding off the handle, every time we used it. And at turn 1 we used it aggressively. I had a quick look at it, and told him that that’s how flags generally are with the NY SCCA region… but being corner captain and allowing myself to start and finish the race on blue flag, I found my right hand was cramping after only 15 minutes into the race, because I was clinging onto the cloth part of the flag. The grip was so tight because I worried I’d lose the flag when waiving it in a spirited fashion to allow the prototypes to zoom past the slower GT/GTC traffic. Brendan reported our blue flag catastrophic failure to Race Control whom promptly delivered a new flag for us to flog 🙂