Tag Archives: TX

Lone Star Le Mans Marshal Invitation, Circuit of the Americas September 15-17, 2016

Just got two invites for the most important races of the year (I think) on the American Racing Calendar. I’ll make two posts to share the invites with anyone who could be interested. My advice, do both!

Lone Star Le Mans is one of the coolest events there are on US soil. It is the only appearance FIA WEC makes in the United States and the circuit couldn’t be better: COTA in Austin, Texas

Interested in volunteering?

I say do it!

What is it; Lone Star Le Mans

When is it: September 15-17, 2016

Where is it: Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas

Who’s recruiting: Lone Star Region SCCA and COTA itself

Who will be there: Five Race Groups!

  • FIA WEC (LMP1, LMP2, GT Pro, GT Pro-Am)
  • IMSA WeatherTech Series (DP & LMP2, GTLM, GTD)
  • IMSA Continental Tire Series (GS & ST)
  • IMSA Lamborghini Super Trofeo
  • IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup USA

How to get there? Fly into Austin which may be pricey, I went twice earlier this year and flew through Dallas DFW, Houston is also doable with Intercontinental and Hobby airports, San Antonio is probably closest of the nearby towns.

Where to stay?  The cheapest place is at the COTA campground. Right outside the Mustering Marshal tent so you get to sleep in until the morning meeting.

I would highly recommend this event!

I went to COTA twice this year already for PWC and MotoGP but I would go again in the heartbeat if I still can’t find a job by late September… my fingers are crossed that I’ll be working for a living, but if not I’ll find a way to come to this event!

To sign up go to COTA web site, scroll down to Volunteers on the bottom of the page and fill out the application on MotorsportReg where it links to. Or go directly to MotorsportReg and do it there.

Good Luck!

Have Fun!

COTA is Recruiting Marshals for Formula 1 USGP this October, Sign-up by Oct 19, 2016

Though I doubt I’ll be signing up myself, I’m excited to receive the invite so I could share it with others. For anyone interested in volunteering for the 2016 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas… now’s the time! (although you have until two days before the GP starts to sign up really…)

Here’s the e-mail I got from Sydney Davis Yagel:


Good evening,
I apologize if you’ve already received this email, but we wanted to make sure we didn’t leave out any of the past several years of experienced marshals.
We thank you for your past support of the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas, and we are excited about this year’s event. Registration for returning marshals is now open and will be done online.
Volunteers will be emailed through MotorsportsReg.com for all communications, so please be sure to use a working email that you can check on a regular basis. Additional information, including a confirmation email from your specialty chief, finalized schedule details, and updates will be sent through this system.
AVAILABLE VOLUNTEER SPECIALTIES:
Flagging & Communications: operate yellow flag, blue flag, and radio communications
Intervention Marshals: assist with on-track incidents and manual labor operations, must be able to carry a 20 lb. fire bottle, run long distances, and feel comfortable on a hot track
Hospitality: behind-the-scenes volunteer helping with supply and lunch deliveries, registration/check-in, and more
Pit/Grid, Tech & Start are by invitation only. Your specialty chief will send you a password to access registration.
*Please note we have separated the F&C & Intervention Marshal specialties in to two separate options during registration. Please be sure to select the specialty you prefer. We will do our best to honor all requests, but understand we may need to shift people around.
PERKS OF VOLUNTEERING:
Dry camping and RV spots are available
Discounted hotel rates with shuttle to and from
Parking for those driving from other hotels and local residences
Three-day general admission guest pass for a friend or family member. You and your guest are welcome to attend the Taylor Swift concert on Saturday
Swag bag full of COTA gear
Some meals provided: breakfast and lunch each day, plus a few dinners.
SCHEDULE (all times are tentative and based on previous events, subject to change):
Please note that participation is required for all three event days. Thank you for your understanding and commitment.
Wednesday, October 19- POTENTIAL Registration for Intervention Marshals & Training
Thursday, October 20- Registration; Intervention Marshal Training during the morning & F&C Training during the afternoon; kick-off dinner
Friday, October 21 – HOT TRACK! – 8:00 am – 6:00 pm (morning meetings held 1-2 hours before hot track)
Saturday, October 22 – HOT TRACK! – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (morning meetings held 1-2 hours before hot track)
Sunday, October 23 – HOT TRACK! – 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (morning meetings held 1-2 hours before hot track)
To apply to work this year’s event, please visit: http://msreg.com/F1USGP16-new
Should you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Thanks,
The Race Admin Team
Jeanie Caulfield, Bill Armitage, and Sydney Davis Yagel

Good luck folks!

PS. Major massive props to COTA for offering Intervention and F&C training on the Thursday leading up to the event. While some may dismiss it as Marshaling 101, I see it as an invaluable endeavor to get all these wonderful and completely different people from around the world to participate on the same wavelength throughout the event, considering none of the US-home based training includes F1 specific “stuff” … way to go COTA, I totally think it’s awesome!

Marshals Wanted Recruitment Video for Circuit of the Americas, Great Job Jeanie!

I think we all say: “Someone should do more to recruit marshals!”  and I’m happy to say someone is actually doing something about it. Jeanie Caulfield, the superwoman that runs event operations at the Circuit of the Americas: including hiring, training, feeding, and entertaining marshals for a slew of events that visit COTA; has spend a small fortune on a very professionally done promo video to help recruit new marshals. Kudos to you Jeanie! and a job well done!

I’ve taken a few screen grabs from the short version of the video which I was lucky enough to be a part of…. special thanks to Brent McNaul – the flag chief of the Lone Star SCCA Region who invited me to participate. I would imagine the longer version that has speech accompanying the vision where I got a chance to be interviewed, would become available at some point in time in the future, but for now please check out the quick promo:

marshals wanted cota track marshal volunteers

Link to video on facebook: COTA track marshals volunteers page.  facebook.com/cotatrackmarshals/videos/1899065936986548/

Be sure to follow the link to volunteer:  www.circuitoftheamericas.com/volunteer

marshals wanted cota track marshal volunteers 3
screen shot of the COTA Marshals Wanted Promo Video, go to: CircuitoftheAmericas.com/volunteer
marshals wanted cota track marshal volunteers 1
screen shot of the COTA Marshals Wanted Promo Video, go to: CircuitoftheAmericas.com/volunteer
marshals wanted cota track marshal volunteers 2
screen shot of the COTA Marshals Wanted Promo Video, go to: CircuitoftheAmericas.com/volunteer
marshals wanted cota track marshal volunteers 4
screen shot of the COTA Marshals Wanted Promo Video, go to: CircuitoftheAmericas.com/volunteer
marshals wanted cota track marshal volunteers 6
screen shot of the COTA Marshals Wanted Promo Video, go to: CircuitoftheAmericas.com/volunteer
marshals wanted cota track marshal volunteers 0
screen shot of the COTA Marshals Wanted Promo Video, go to: CircuitoftheAmericas.com/volunteer
marshals wanted cota track marshal volunteers 5
screen shot of the COTA Marshals Wanted Promo Video, go to: CircuitoftheAmericas.com/volunteer

Again please consider volunteering at COTA it’s a fantastic experience: www.circuitoftheamericas.com/volunteer

Planning 3 Major Trips Simultaneously: Motorsport Events in Texas, Florida & California

With the excitement from the trip to the South Pacific barely starting to wear out I’m keeping the momentum going by planning 3 massive domestic trips to marshal around the country.

What’s on the agenda?

Pirelli World Challenge season opener at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas immediately followed by a trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida for a few events. I plan to drive down to Florida in my MX-5 the day after I fly home from Texas. The trip will put at least 3,000 miles on the car while volunteering my first St. Pete Grand Prix tagged along to another exciting Sebring 12 hour enduro with the IMSA WeatherTech United SportsCar Series Championship race. After a few weeks of recovery I’ll depart on a trip to California for another IndyCar Grand Prix on the streets of Long Beach.

I could hardly contain my excitement about these trips, and am currently wrecking my brains trying to organize all the travel arrangements. In a way, the flights are the easiest part of the equation. The costs to marshal are tremendous especially when the volunteers compete for the same accommodation that drivers and fans use during a race weekend. I’ve found this to be especially true in the case of St. Pete where even the cheapest hell-hole hotels are pushing $100/night. But it’s a challenge I’m happy to accept, I find the planning part almost as exciting as being trackside for the event.

PWC at COTA

For the Pirelli World Challenge season opener at the Circuit of the Americas I’ve frankensteined a trip together using a $36 AA flight from LGA to DFW and then $2.50 bus from Dallas to Austin with Megabus. On the way home it’ll be another $2.50 Megabus ride back to Dallas to connect to a $49 UA flight back to LaGuardia via Houston: DFW-IAH-LGA. I’m looking forward to my buddy Joaquin helping me out in Austin again with his monster Chevy dually.

St. Pete GP & Sebring 12h

The IndyCar season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida will be a two day drive in the MX-5 from New Jersey. I will probably break up the trip into a 12 hour and an 8 hour drive with a rest stop overnight in Columbia, SC. I am a little concerned about parking for the MX-5 while in Florida especially if I do stay at a cheapo motel, which tend to be in bad parts of town and therefore prone to crime. But fingers are crossed everything works out. I plan to camp at Sebring, as much as I dislike the idea of camping you can’t beat the price. Although my camping gear, sleeping bag, pillows, etc. will completely pack the poor little convertible.

Long Beach GP

For this trip I frankensteined a few flights to bring the price down. Because it’s a busy Motorsport weekend in the LA area the flights are priced higher than normal. My goal was to book something for under $200 round trip and I just managed to do it by booking a number of separate reservations with United. The one way NY-LA was about $150 but I cut that cost in half by booking NY-Chicago and Chicago-LA separately… $35 for LGA-ORD and $35 ORD-LAX with favorable departure times and plenty of room between the two separate bookings in case there is major travel disruption on the day of travel. The flights back home were the pricey ones and in fact I paid almost double of the cost to get there. I chose to fly out on the Monday after the race, and the cheapest option was a $132 flight from Burbank to Newark via San Francisco: BUR-SFO-EWR. I think I am pretty happy with these bookings considering the alternative was at least $75 to $100 more, or I would have had to rely on wasting an award which I would rather save up on a flight to Europe.

In the next few days I’ll continue researching accommodation for these three trips and trying to decide whether to stick to public transport in California or rent a cheapo car to get around.

I’m excited!

PS. I am especially looking forward to the lengthy trip in the Miata, after a beautiful Road Trip in New Zealand I want to appreciate driving my own car as much as the owners I met love driving theirs.

SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge and Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas Marshal Invitation 2016

Another invitation to return to the Circuit of the Americas this season, this time for the Pirelli World Challenge which plays a support race to the brand new format from the SRO: the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

Sounds familiar? It should be. SRO is going head to head with WEC creating a global endurance series championship including Sepang 12 hour which I just did in Malaysia and Bathurst 12 hour which I’ll be going to Australia for in February.

The COTA event is definitely on my to-do list!

Here’s the invite e-mail from Brent McNaul, Lone Star SCCA flag chief:

Happy New Year everyone, entering a new racing season.  Pirelli World Challenge is returning for a 4 day run at Circuit of the Americas, Thurs thru Sun March 3rd-6th (Thurs is a test day).  They’re running all their classes again making 3 race groups (GT/GTA/GT Cup, GTS, and TC/TCA/TCB).

And there’s a very special addition this year, making the 4th race group… A new racing word for us this year, and it’s a special one… Blancpain.  It gets better.  NIGHT RACING.  The SRO Blancpain GT Endurance series from Europe have their inaugural US debut on Satwith a 6 hr enduro, and it runs well past sundown Sat evening until 9:15pm.

Cadillac, Ferrari, McLaren, Maserati, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi and many other manufacturers, plenty of top Pro sports car racing.  Add it to your calendar and make plans to join us if you can.
Please register at motorsportreg.com, more info as we get closer.  Cheers,
Brent
See ya’ll in Texas!

MotoGP at Circuit of the Americas Marshal Invitation 2016

Just got an invite from Jeanie to marshal MotoGP at COTA.

If anyone is interested, now would be a good time to sign up:

Can you hear the tires?
Smell the rubber?
Catch that lean? 

It’s that time again!

We have MotoGP and support series, MotoAmerica back on track April 8th – 10th! We need a few great marshals to get us up and running again. We’ll need:

Flagging and Comm – talk to race control, flag the riders.

Track Marshals – get out on track and pick up those bikes.

Medic Assist – help the EMS to bring the rider to safety.

Bike Pick Up – get those bikes loaded into trailer and safely back to their home.

AND MANY MORE!

As always, registration and training will be on April 7th. We’ll have a great dinner, learn the track and get equipment/necessary forms.

This year we are also running our FLAT TRACK, we opened this for XGames and the response was immense!

We have some new tricks for this year that will knock your socks off!

Please go to MOTOGP2016 hosted on MotorSportReg.com!

Thanks everyone! Hope to see you back!

Jeanie and the Race Admin Team

Lone Star Le Mans Media

It’s one thing to roam around the paddock awkwardly trying to get a selfie right and another to have someone kindly capture some spectacular memories for you with a fancy DSLR. I got lucky on Wednesday afternoon, just a day before Lone Star Le Mans officially hit the track at the Circuit of the Americas when James from Hawai’i kindly took a ton of great photos for me. Enjoy:

wec cota pit safety car

wec cota pit porsche prototype

wec cota pit aston martin

We even managed to capture the whole of Porsche’s line-up taking a group shot on the main straight. How often does something like that happen? Certainly not too many times in my short volunteering career.

wec cota grid porsche 2

wec cota grid porsche 1

wec cota grid porsche 3

So thank you again James! Mahalo & Aloha 🙂 See you next time…

wec cota pit james

CALTEX Road Trip debrief

The two week road trip to California and Texas went off without a glitch, I got to volunteer for two amazing racing series, all while sticking to a shoestring budget.

First, the American Le Mans series at Mazda Laguna Seca was one of the most amazing experiences ever, especially since I got to work the famous Corkscrew turn. I was stationed atop turn 8 leading into the Corkscrew which meant I had plenty of opportunity to blue flag, especially the fast approaching Prototypes and equally exciting GT class. While we had no major incidents, there were a number of spins and some tight passes, few spraying us with gravel as the cars went extra close to the station.

laguna seca alms

Second, the V8Supercars at the Circuit of the Americas was the inaugural weekend for the Australian series making its debut in the US. I was stationed at turn 19 one of the last corners before chequered flag and we had a ton of great passing happening. Got to call in a hard impact with fire for one of the support races, where one Porsche GT3 Cup got rammed by another setting it in flames. Got to finally visit the Austin 360 tower overlooking the whole of COTA.

austin v8s 8

Excellent two weeks that I wished wouldn’t end so quickly.

Some costs involved since everyone always asks… flights from Newark, NJ to San Jose, CA; San Francisco, CA to Austin, TX and back to Newark, NJ were approximately 20k Southwest points plus $15 tax… five car rentals, three in California costing $31 for the first day Ford Fiesta at Thrifty SJC, $70 for 4 days in a Kia Rio at Hertz SJC; $47 for the last day in a Ford Focus at Thrifty SJC (would have been $26 if I didn’t pay extra to drop it off at SFO). $89 for the first two days in Austin for a Nissan Versa followed by $70 for four days in a VW Passat at Hertz HLE. Cost me more for car rentals than I anticipated, but it was a necessary evil.

PS. CALTEX road trip not to be confused with CALTEX petroleum common in Asia Pacific