Tag Archives: The Netherlands

A Year in Review: My 2016 Volunteering in Motorsport Statistics

Update Dec 30, 2016: Episode 1 is Live!


Marshal Radio – A year in Review: 2016 Events Volunteered


It’s been a hell of a year!

As 2016 comes to a close I wanted to reflect on the things I’ve done by the numbers. The statistics. The talking points for my upcoming Marshal Radio Episode #1.

So…

Total events: 28

Countries: 7

States: 11

Circuits: 19

 

 

Countries: (7)

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • the Netherlands
  • USA (11)
    • Texas (x3)
    • Florida (x2) (1 trip)
    • California (x3) (2 trips)
    • Alabama
    • Massachusetts
    • New York (x5)
    • Connecticut (x3)
    • Michigan
    • New Jersey (x2)
    • Pennsylvania
    • Virginia

Circuits: (19)

  • Mount Panorama, Bathurst
  • Hampton Downs
  • Circuit of the Americas (x3)
  • St. Pete Street Circuit (first)
  • Sebring
  • Long Beach Street Circuit
  • Barber Motorsport Park (first)
  • Palmer Motorsport Park (first)
  • Watkins Glen International (x5)
  • Lime Rock Park (x3)
  • Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
  • Detroit Belle Isle Street Circuit
  • Thunderbolt, NJMP (x2)
  • Circuit Park Zandvoort (first)
  • GP Circuit Nurburgring
  • Circuit Spa-Francorchamps
  • Pocono Raceway
  • Virginia International Raceway (first)
  • Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (x2)

Visited Circuits:

  • Pukekohe (New Zealand) (ride along lap)
  • Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Monterey, California) (drove a lap)
  • Daytona International Speedway (Daytona Beach, Florida)
  • Roebling Road (Savannah, Georgia)

Drive-by:

  • Talladega (Alabama)
  • Darlington Motor Speedway/Raceway (South Carolina)

Clubs:

  • CAMS (AU)
  • The Motorsport Club (NZ)
  • OCA (NL)
  • ADAC (DE)
  • RACB (BE)
  • MMS (CA)
  • USA
    • Flagging by Faynesha (paid)
    • VIR (paid)
    • NJMP (paid)
    • Lime Rock (paid)
    • Team Pocono
    • RSI
    • SCCA
      • Lone Star Region
      • CalClub
      • CFR – Central Florida
      • SFR – San Francisco
      • NER – New England
      • Detroit Region

Marshal Roles:

  • F&C – flagging & communication
  • Flag Marshal
  • Fire Marshal (Pit Marshal)
  • Track Marshal
  • Starter/Backup Starter (first pro-race)
  • Spectator Marshal
  • Worker Support

 

Event Types

Cars:

  • PWC (x7)
  • IMSA (x7)
  • WEC (x2)
  • DTM (first)
  • TCR (first)
  • Trans Am (x2)
  • NASCAR (x2)
  • MX-5 Cup (x2)

Endurance:

  • Bathurst 12h
  • Sebring 12h
  • Sahlen’s 6h
  • Spa 24h
  • Nurburgring 6h
  • Lone Star Le Mans 6h

Open Wheel:

  • IndyCar (x6)
  • Formula 3 (x2)
  • Formula 4 (twice didn’t happen)

Motorcycle:

  • MotoGP
  • MotoAmerica

 

 

 

(This post will be updated just as soon as I think of more crap to add)

Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) at Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands

I’ve always wanted to volunteer a DTM race, so this July I took advantage of an opportunity to do just that in the Netherlands. Plenty of Dutch marshals told me it’d be boring, and that there are much better events to volunteer at Circuit Park Zandvoort but I didn’t listen, and I’m glad I didn’t because DTM at Zandvoort was fantastic!

The marshal club OCA was super welcoming. I relied on my Belgian/Flemish marshal friends to help me organize my application, and they did a great job. Every day during the event we went out to eat right on the beach in Zandvoort town, just a short walk from the track. It was amazing.

And of course the machinery was fascinating!

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Special thanks to OCA for letting me work the last corner of the circuit, which meant I could take a walk down to grid and take some pictures of the cars up close.

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I’d love to come back to Zandvoort again for another awesome marshaling opportunity.

Mazda MX-5: Amsterdam to IJmuiden, North Holland Miata Road Trip Visiting a Dutch MX-5 Sport Tuner

My most epic Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Trip took place this July in conjunction with my Motorsport Euro Trip to volunteer a few races in Western Europe. First stop was the Netherlands.

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip

 

The plan was to meet up with an MX-5 Miata owner in Amsterdam and chat over lunch while checking out his car. I wanted to see as many Euro-spec Miata’s as I could find. So I arrived at AMS airport early in the morning before 8am, took a bus to my hostel, went to get some lunch to kill a little bit of time and waited for Vincent, the Dutch MX-5 owner to come from The Hague.

Lucky for me he showed up! Unfortunately not in his Miata, which was waiting for parts (heh heh). But the Renault Megane he came in was very comfortable and without wasting any time we went on a road trip towards the North Sea coast towards Haarlem (yep, the original city Harlem in Manhattan is named after). The mission for the trip was to check out MX-5 Sport specialist and all the Miata’s in his garage. www.mx5sports.nl We got there around lunch time which of course meant the doors were closed… Shoot!

I took some pix of the cars outside, and we went for our own lunch nearby at an amazing seafood place (which was right in the port town overlooking a canal filled with fishing boats).

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My favorite Miata was the NC of course…

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The delicious Dutch food!

amsterdam mx5 miata road trip seafood lunch in ijmuiden haarlem

Post-lunch we headed back to the tuner who runs a very impressive one-man operation. The NC we saw outside was getting new shocks and springs put on and we had a nice chat about modifying my car with some suspension components for our terrible NY/NJ roads.

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After a what seemed like an hour chat we moved on to the next stop… another MX-5 tuner about an hour’s drive inland.

mx5-winkel.nl was the place we wanted to check out, but they had moved to a new location which was about an hour away in another direction… so we decided to head back to Amsterdam and call it a day. There was lots of traffic on the A-road heading back into the capital, lucky for me I saw quite a few trucks (lorries) heading to Zandvoort for the DTM event. We saw a few Mercedes-AMG teams, and several BMW team trucks and buses.

First day in Europe was a huge success! Thank you Vincent!

Mazda MX-5: Euro Trip Awesome Miata Meet-Ups: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Köln, Germany; Liège, Belgium; and Paris France

European MX-5 Miata Road Trip Overview:

f-netherlandsPost Card from the Dutch MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-netherlandsAmsterdam to IJmuiden Miata Road Trip

f-germanyPost Card from the German MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-germanyCologne to Dusseldorf Miata Road Trip

f-germanyNordschleife, Nurburgring Miata Road Trip 

f-belgiumPost Card from the Belgian MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-belgiumLiege MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-francePost Card from the French MX-5 Miata Road Trip

f-franceParis by Night Miata Road Trip


 

What an incredibly fantastic Mazda MX-5 Miata Euro Trip I had over the past month visiting a few countries and meeting owners in almost every city I went to. I can’t rave and rant enough about it. Incredible experience that I would highly recommend to anyone!

This post will highlight a few post cards I shared from the road and will be followed by a more detailed write up after I return from NASCAR at Watkins Glen this weekend.

Enjoy the pix!

Amsterdam & IJmuiden, Netherlands

dutch mx-5 road trip 1

Thank you Vincent from The Hague for giving me a tour and an amazing Dutch lunch right by the waterfront!

Köln, Hürth, & Düsseldorf, Germany

german mx5 visit 9

Thank you David and Andre for showing me around Cologne area and for the dinner at Dusseldorf it was amazing. The stop and I.L. Motorsprot was pretty awesome also.

Nürburgring, Germany

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Big thanks to Maggie for finding me at the Nürburgring and giving me my first ride in an NB Miata as we headed to dinner.

Liège, Wallonia, Belgium

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Huge thanks to Phil for giving me quite an amazing tour of Liège and Wallonia Province around Belgium. What a great experience.

Paris, France

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Huge thanks to Mike in France for organizing an amazing dinner with a dozen of his fellow MX-5 France Club members and for giving me an incredible tour of Paris by night showing all the big sights like the Eifel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triumphe and Notre Dam!

A super trip all around paired with incredible racing at Zandvoort for DTM, the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit for WEC 6 hour and Spa 24 at Spa-Francorchamp. I loved every minute of it!

Post Card from Circuit Park Zandvoort the Netherlands, my 15th Country to Volunteer

Greetings from the beautiful northern beaches of Holland.

Just hours left of my stay in Amsterdam before continuing onto Germany, and thanks to the nice Dutch people at the library I could share a few shots from the DTM weekend at Zandvoort.

What an amazing opportunity it was!

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Mazda MX-5: Euro Trip Invitation to hang out with Miata Owners in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France

Hey European MX-5 Miata owners, let’s meet up for a cup of coffee!

I don’t even drink coffee, but I’m happy to buy a cup for any local MX-5 Miata owners that come out and meet me on my next trip to Europe where I’ll be marshaling DTM at Zandvoort, WEC 6 hour at the N-ring and Spa 24 hour in Belgium.

mx5 miata road trip european union dutch german belgian french euro trip

I will be visiting Amsterdam on my way to Zandvoort and it would be amazing if some Dutch MX-5 owners came out to say hello. I know there’s a ton of them out there, and I’ll be posting this invite on the MX5-Club.NL facebook group. It might actually be pretty reasonable to organize a small event near Amsterdam as it is convenient for folks to come out to town and for me to use public transport to meet them.

The next step in Germany may be a little more difficult. I failed miserably to meet up with MX-5 owners on my last two trips to Nurburgring even though I saw a ton of Miatas driving around. But I won’t stop trying to organize something. So if anyone lives near Adenau or plans to visit WEC 6h race on the Grand Prix circuit, let me upgrade the cup of coffee to a stein of beer to entice you! I will post this invite on MX-5 miata eunos Roadster community page.

I’ve also failed to organize something on my last few trips to Brussels when marshaling in Belgium, but I know there is an MX-5 community there and I want to meet up with them! So whomever is available in Brussels, Liege or even Spa please get in touch. If coffee isn’t your think I’ll be happy to spring for Kriek or another beer variety. I will be posting this invite on the Ma Miata MX5 Belgium Liège facebook community page and Miata MX-5 Roadster Club Automobiles and Parts  page.

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And finally I’ll be flying home via Paris, France which would be great opportunity to meet up with another MX-5 community in Europe. Of course I don’t speak the language for any one of the places I’m visiting, no dutch, flemish, french or german, but that hasn’t stopped me from organizing these things before in Asia or the Pacific. I will be posting this invite on the Club MX5 France page.

I am really excited about this opportunity and am hoping people will respond to my invites.


My schedule in Europe is as follows: (UPDATED July 8, 2016)

f-netherlands July 13 & 14: staying in Amsterdam

f-netherlands July 15 to 17: marshaling at Zandvoort for DTM

f-netherlands July 18 to 19:staying in Amsterdam

f-germany July 20 to 21: staying in Cologne

f-germany July 21 to 24: marshaling at Nurburgring for WEC

f-belgium July 25 to 27: staying in Brussels

f-belgium July 27 to 31: marshaling at Spa-Francorchamps for Spa 24h

f-belgium August 1: staying in Brussels

f-france August 2: staying in Paris, meet-up at Auto Passion Cafe


So, are you available to hang out on any of these days? Please get in touch! My goal is to meet up and take some MX-5/Miata pictures for this blog. I’ve done similar meet-ups in Asia and the Pacific so feel free to look around this web site for an idea of why I want to meet.

I hope people do in fact come out! Please get in touch via facebook.

mazda european mx-5 cup of coffee invitation amsterdam brussels liege nurburg paris

PS. I’ll be traveling on a super tight budget using public transport and CouchSurfing along the way… which means I won’t be terribly mobile, but if there are MX-5 owners out of major cities which are easy to get to, I’ll be sure to research ways of getting there for this.

Please use #GlobalMX5CupOfCoffee & #EuropeanMX5CupOfCoffee hashtags to promote these meet ups on social media! Feel free to share this invite with everyone! Some more links to local MX-5 clubs:

http://www.mx5-club.nl/

http://www.mx-5.de/

http://www.mx-5.be/

https://www.mx5france.com/

http://mx5-club-koeln.de/

What Should My 15th Country To Marshal Be?

As I’m soaking in the sunshine in South Beach, Miami admiring all these beautiful people from all over the world, I can’t help but wonder what should the Fifteenth country for me to marshal be?

It’s quite the anniversary and an accomplishment in my book, but it’s also frustrating to figure out what to do. The best course of action, so to speak.

So what are my options?

I’ll start with what I’d like my options to be, and it’s something I’ve written about before. And they are the most unlikely places that I’d really like to marshal but that haven’t allowed me to marshal there yet. And they include Macau and Japan. Macau or Macao would be amazing to experience the Guia Circuit (which I’ve visited as a tourist before) during the Macau Grand Prix where all sorts of Motorsport takes to the street course over the same weekend, including Open wheel cars, Touring cars, and Motorcycles. That would be fantastic, but unlikely because 1. I don’t speak Cantonese to work there, 2. I don’t live in Hong Kong or Macau and don’t have the appropriate work visa to volunteer and 3. I cannot make any of their training sessions to qualify as a local volunteer, and they’re not open to visiting marshals which is a shame. It’s a similar situation in Japan to volunteer for the SuperGT series at Suzuka for example for Pokka 1000 which I thought would be a really cool event. Main issue there is I don’t speak Japanese and none of the locals are keen to babysit a foreign marshal even though there are Japanese marshals that travel to other countries to volunteer, they don’t reciprocate.

I have considered reaching out to the Bahraini marshals to see if I could join them for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku. That seems like a destination that would be quite memorable to visit. But I don’t know how likely they are to accept me as a volunteer.

Recently I considered Mexico as a convenient place to go to next. I’ve worked with a number of Mexican officials at the Long Beach GP, the Canadian and US GP’s and other events in the US. But when I reached out to my Mexican contacts I was made to understand that it was “impossible” to volunteer in Mexico because they were oversubscribed on marshals as soon as their GP was announced. Bummer!

Perhaps Brazil would be a logical choice? Well, the only thing that has stopped me from going to Latin America so far is the outrageous VISA fees. I can’t imagine paying $160 or $180 dollars for a visa when I normally don’t spend that much on flights. So that’s not really at the top of my list thus far.

So the logical choices that I’m left with are the Netherlands or Austria which both host a series I am extremely interested in: DTM. I would love to do the German touring car series in either one of the countries because I’ve already made contacts with both organizers and have worked with plenty of Dutch and some Austrian marshals to know I would be able to manage my volunteering trip there quite easily and conveniently. But which one should I focus on?

That’s the dilemma I’m faced with before I walk a few steps to the amazingly warm waters of the Atlantic and float around for another hour enjoying the opportunity I jumped on to book a cheap flight. Note to self, I ought to sign up for the Miami ePrix to have a better excuse to come back to South Florida to marshal Formula E, although last year that opportunity seemed quite hush hush, because only select few were invited, treated well with hotels that the organizers provided and payment for their work, which is pretty unusual in US volunteering…. maybe that’s why I wasn’t invited?

Marshal Cam: TT Assen MotoGP Marshals in Action Video

This morning the FIM MotoGP official YouTube channel featured a beautifully put together video titled: “GoPro Behind the Scenes: A day in the life of a Marshal” from the Assen TT featuring a whole bunch of happy Dutch marshals in their respective roles during the race weekend. Behold the masterfully done video that ought to be used to recruit Moto marshals worldwide:

*(the video above is obviously copyrighted by Dorna Sports, so watch it on YouTube if it doesn’t play on this site:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AQqt483fHg)

Neither FIM MotoGP nor Assen TT are directly affiliated with the Marshal Cam project, but this video captures exactly what #MarshalCam ought to be if more sanctioning bodies and marshaling clubs embraced the idea of marshals wearing small action cams to record their actions (whether for entertainment purposes like the video above or for more professional purposes like training or incident analysis).

Assen TT club has been a big supporter of this web site having the link to my blog very early on when I first launched it, so I’m forever grateful to them for being so awesome!

So let’s analyze the video… starting with this little gem:

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Not a lot of marshals have the luxury to pedal a bike to their nearest race tracks. But folks in the Netherlands and Belgium frequently do. I’ve met them! And I’m infinitely jealous of them. It takes me at least 2 hours to drive to my nearest circuit. Although to be fair, I walked to the circuit when I started marshaling in Singapore. Some marshals are much luckier than others.

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The morning equipment inspection is shown, with the flags laid out to demonstrate that the whole set is there. A flag point station is shown, and interestingly enough Flag marshals get to sit while they work. That’s pretty unusual in the flagging world. (normally we must stand)

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There’s the morning meeting with what looks like FIM officials. Way too few marshals to be the entire crew so I’m going to speculate that this is just for the post chiefs and chiefs of different specialties like the marshal wearing the blue bib which is typically pit lane, marshal in red bib which is medic, and of course orange bibs are flag and track marshals.

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Welcome to Assen TT Circuit! Watching this video I definitely want to marshal there at some point in my career as a Motorsport volunteer.

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I especially love the sequence in the video where a track marshal adjusts his gloves followed by a rider adjusting his gloves. Goes to show that marshals are not just unpaid spectators but in fact an integral part of the event, and a crucial part of the event promoting safety as job #1!

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Another shot of the Flag marshals with the full flag set in front of them, sitting comfortably observing the race and quickly displaying the correct flag to reflect track conditions. Judging by the guys face it is a relaxed and comfortable environment to do the job professionally.

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This is one of my favorite screen grabs, a track marshal runs over to lift a bike off of a pinned rider. In the shot you see a fire marshal respond with a fire bottle ready to deal with whatever situation arises. It’s pretty scary to watch riders get hit or pinned under their own crashed bike, and unlike many other events with MotoGP as a track marshal you just respond to the scene first and notify Race Control of whatever happened later.

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Another shot of track marshals responding to an incident, with Moto racing there’s always plenty of action, and lots of bikes to be picked up in various state of disrepair to be either sent off back on track with the rider or leaned against the ARMCO at the station to be picked up and transported back to the paddock on a back of a pick up or a little trailer like the one shown in the Assen TT video. It’s always a busy event… MotoGP

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The video concludes with marshals huddling up the race winner. In this case Marc Márquez of Spain who received a flag with his racing # to take around the track on a victory lap. This activity is so common worldwide but try doing it in the US and someone will chew your head off. Why can’t things be consistent globally… marshals deserve to celebrate with the riders any opportunity they get, why not?

I think this is such an amazing video and I hope it does get used to recruit future marshals worldwide. This is what you can be doing when you volunteer as a Motorsport official (in Assen at least) come out and join in the fun folks!

To volunteer with Assen TT marshals: http://www.ttofficialclub.nl/

Official TT Circuit Assen: http://www.ttcircuit.com/

MotoGP official: http://www.motogp.com/

FIM official: http://www.fim-live.com/