Tag Archives: stefan ratel organization

4 PWC Races, 4 Different Marshal Roles! Highlight of my Motorsport Volunteering Career Thus Far

I am not bragging in this post, I’m simply counting my blessings!

Thanks to the powers that be this season, I got an opportunity to work four different PWC events so far. And as luck would have it each one of those races I performed a different role as a marshal. That is a massive accomplishment personally in my book. (Log Book if we were doing those things here)

Race 1: St. Petersburg Grand Prix in Florida: Pit Marshal

PWC ran as a support race to IndyCar… and I was there in pit lane.

Race 2: Grand Prix of VIRginia International Raceway (Fire Rescue)

PWC was the headlining event at VIR and I got a chance to ride in the fire truck and tow truck over the 3 day weekend, hooking cars and picking up debris on the hot track!

Race 3: Victoria Day Speedfest at Mosport (Blue Flag Marshal)

PWC sort of competed for the headline event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park sharing the spotlight with local Pinty’s NASCAR series… I think most people went there for PWC but definitely stock cars brings it’s die fans too. I was there flagging over the weekend.

Race 4: Grand Prix of Lime Rock Park  (Backup Starter)

The most recent PWC experience at Lime Rock Park over Memorial Day weekend was a cherry on top moment for me working as a Backup Starter to the series Starters. Ahhmazing!

This really is an awesome time for me in my Motorsport volunteering career. If I were to stop marshaling now I’d feel that I’ve done everything I wanted to do with this hobby!

Of course, as many would say and as I totally firmly believe myself: “The Best is yet to come….”

Post Card from Pirelli World Challenge at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Greetings from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the season finale of the SCCA Pro Pirelli World Challenge series. Amazing event at a beautiful facility… today I snuck in at the track to take some pix of the cars as the paddock was being set up:





































I have to say this is the most diverse racing series in the US right now, with cars from BMW, Bentley, McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ginetta, KTM, Sin, Porsche, Ford, Chevy and of course lots and lots of Mazda Miata’s. I would even go as far as saying this is my favorite series right now… can’t wait for this weekend to unfold!

Total 24 Hours of Spa Blancpain GT Feature Race of Intercontinental GT Challenge at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps

What a way to end an amazing month in Europe by volunteering the best endurance race in the world: the Total 24 hours of Spa at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

I was looking forward to Spa 24h for the whole year since I have worked last year’s event. This year the race did not disappoint. My Belgian or rather Flemish friend Pol was kind enough to chauffeur me around for the past few weeks, and Spa-Francorchamp visit was the last stop on our journey. The first order of business was to go to Spa city center for the driver’s parade and autograph session. To me that’s the most amazing thing the series does, instead of bringing spectators to the circuit they bring the cars and drivers to the people. It was super packed, as usual, and the cars were amazing.

At the track we were assigned Posts 11 and 12 at the exit of Double Gauche (Double Left) turns about in the middle of the course. It was a super active section of the track with the first red flag popping out as a result of a smash of Piquet Jr. into our station. We had a few more major crashes, several big fires. It was nuts.

My favorite part as always was making it out to the Pits to check out the cars up close and personal (even though I got very close in town also during the parade).

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It was nice to finally see the new Mercedes-AMG SLS GT3’s which cheated during qualifying grabbing spots one to six… they were penalized and started from the back with a five minute penalty… the nice thing many of them still finished in the top ten at the end of the 24 hours.

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I love this place… can’t wait to return to Spa-Francorchamps!

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Victoria Day Speedfest at CTMP: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Featuring NASCAR Pinty’s Series and SCCA Pro Pirelli World Challenge debrief

Fantastic, absolutely fantastic weekend spent in Canada over the Victoria Day weekend flagging for some local NASCAR, touring car and SCCA Pro World Challenge series… what a hoot, eh?

It’s been three years since the last time I went to volunteer in Canada, the last time I did a double header working Toronto Indy followed by American Le Mans Series (hey remember ALMS? ) 🙂 back-to-back. That was 2013 and somehow the closest International destination to marshal fell off my radar, until now. I picked a relatively small pro weekend but full of excitement and variety. Variety because there was a lot of interesting stuff on track… from NASCAR stock cars, to local CTCC – Canadian Touring Car series, and my favorite Pirelli World Challenge with all groups on track including PWC GT/GTA/GT Cup, PWC GTS, PWC TC/TCA/TCB and a brand new class PWC Sprint X featuring a mix of GT/GTA/GTS cars… amazing!

In a typical CTMP fashion every day I was assigned a new station to work… I got to check out Turn 6 which is more of an uphill straight along the back straight… Turn 10 which is the last turn before Start/Finish and Turn 5 which is a very dramatic double apex hair pin with elevation changes… pretty awesome. I requested to Blue Flag the PWC series since I knew that IF I didn’t ask, they’d appoint another Blue Flag specialist and I’ll be stuck on Yellow Flag for the weekend, as that’s the way they do things in Mosport. Luckily my blue flag request was honored and I blue flagged like crazy. I even got to use the blue flag for NASCAR Pinty’s series which means a completely different thing… for them Blue Flag is local caution while Yellow Flag is full course caution. I volunteered to work on flags for the NASCAR sessions even though it was meant to be my time off, and I feel like I got my money’s worth.

This time around I stayed with a fellow marshal in Bowmanville… he’s a Canadian legend in the marshaling world having been born into Motorsport and marshaling for a very long and impressive career. I really enjoyed my stay!

The food was amazing as usual. I couldn’t wait to try new things as much as I wanted to try things I’ve had before just to stick to the local diet. I had poutine a few times. I had fish & chips. I even went to Timmy’s for some Timbits!

But for me this whole weekend was about cars, and I got plenty of action to enjoy… What a great time! I can’t wait to go back again.

While working at 10 and having pit entry in my direct line of sight I spotted someone with an SRO shirt moonlighting before the start of one of the PWC races… it was Stefan Ratel from Belgium. I’m really impressed with this guy, someone I’ve now seen in COTA and I think at Barber Motorsports Park too… I cannot wait to see what becomes of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. The new race of Sprint X which combined some of the GT/GTA cars with GTS was brilliant. I want to see more stuff like that taking place in the US!

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ctmp victoria day speedfest chevy official vehicle

ctmp victoria day speedfest audi r8 lms sprint x

ctmp victoria day speedfest audi r8 lms

ctmp victoria day speedfest bmw z4 gta

ctmp victoria day speedfest bmw z4

ctmp victoria day speedfest ferrari 458

ctmp victoria day speedfest gainsco mclaren red dragon

ctmp victoria day speedfest mclaren red dragon

ctmp victoria day speedfest dodge pinty's series nascar

ctmp victoria day speedfest nascar pinty's

ctmp victoria day speedfest nascar pinty's series dodge challenger

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ctmp victoria day speedfest porsche 911 r gmg pwc gt

ctmp victoria day speedfest porsche 911 r gmg pwc

ctmp victoria day speedfest sin r1 gt4 side scoops

ctmp victoria day speedfest sin r1 gt4 sprint x

ctmp victoria day speedfest sin r1 gt4

ctmp victoria day speedfest trg-amr aston-martin gts

Au revoir Canada… until next time!