Tag Archives: United States Grand Prix

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!

Let’s Support the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas

A lot of sad news is coming out of Texas about the state of affairs at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. Speculation this morning that Formula 1 may drop the venue now that Texas will not foot the bill for the event in the future. The pretty disastrous 2015 running of the United States F1 Grand Prix which was mostly rained out. And of course subsequent storm damage, pictures which have been circulating around the Internet for a while now, but were officially posted on the COTA web site to point out the damage… see here: http://www.circuitoftheamericas.com/storm who knows if the pictures will stay up, so I just wanted to share a few here:

circuit of the americas main grandstand damage
photo courtesy of circuitoftheamericas.com
circuit of the americas double decker bus cota
photo courtesy of circuitoftheamericas.com
circuit of the americas flooding
photo courtesy of circuitoftheamericas.com
circuit of the americas tunnel 1 flooding
photo courtesy of circuitoftheamericas.com
circuit of the americas tunnel 2 wall collapse
photo courtesy of circuitoftheamericas.com
circuit of the americas storm damage tunnel 2
photo courtesy of circuitoftheamericas.com

The picture above of the Tunnel 2 is especially scary because it is essentially the evacuation site for the marshals, which we practiced getting to in an expedited fashion during one of the events specifically in situations of severe weather, life threatening weather like what the pictures of the aftermath depict.

While I chose not to participate in this year’s F1 Grand Prix at COTA I did volunteer there for the WEC/IMSA: Lone Star Le Mans races. I have gone there for two consecutive years to volunteer Formula 1. And I would have been there again for MotoGP had they responded to my inquiry sooner. I have a very special place for COTA in my heart for a variety of reasons. Not least because I find it to be the best circuit the US currently has to offer to the world. Yes, I acknowledge that there are other amazing tracks like Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California, Watkins Glen International in Upstate New York and Road Atlanta in Georgia. But COTA is the newest and most advanced circuit US has. It is the most impressive facility we currently have on a world stage, and in its current state it’s worth supporting!

I understand there have been a change in management because of the less than desired outcomes of recent events. The prospect of losing F1 could snowball in larger problems that could send COTA in the direction of what happened to Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. Mother nature hasn’t been cooperative this year, that was a big hit. But as American Motorsport volunteers and fans we ought to support this place because many more “good” things will come out of COTA in the future. I firmly believe it!

I really hope the Circuit of the Americas receives the support it deserves in the 2016 racing season…. whether it is for Pirelli World Challenge (PWC), IMSA Weathertech United SportsCar Series, World Endurance Championship (WEC), MotoGP, Formula 1 (F1) and all the other smaller track rentals that occur there. I have faith!

Why is Singapore GP oversubscribed with volunteers? Because they advertise! #SGPmarshal

Singapore GP does not need my help recruiting marshals, in a sense that sharing this news on this blog will not result in a spike of exposure for their recruiting efforts. They do an excellent job of recruiting themselves, and specifically by posting this message on the “official” Singapore Grand Prix facebook page:

source: SGP facebook page
source: SGP facebook page

Check it out here: www.facebook.com/SingaporeGP

The official page has just over 100k Like’s and about 1.5k visits /check-in’s. That’s a pretty significant pool of candidates of which historically over 3,000 candidates would submit their applications to fill approximately 1,200 spots. All volunteer in various capacities though some are highly specialized, just look at the poster above: the people in Green have to have a medical background whether doctors or nurses, and the people in red have to be Firefighters. They have to show a certificate of proof to be assigned that role.

This post was made on March 8:

SGP recruiting on their facebook

And as of March 18 it has received 260 likes, 29 comments and 128 shares. One of those shares was me contemplating this blog post with my facebook friends, I don’t know what the other 127 shares discussed but obviously they were interested in some capacity of volunteering for the 2015 Singapore GP. The hashtag SGP created for this campaign is #SGPMARSHAL and was used along with other hashtags like #F1, #SingaporeGP and #F1NighRace, all relatively trending topics. Singapore GP organization has way more marshals that it knows what to do with and yet they are continuing to recruit to keep existing marshals on their best behavior and have a supply of reserves to keep the numbers up year after year.

So the real reason for this blog post isn’t Singapore, it is to ask the question: why doesn’t the United States Grand Prix or COTA –  Circuit of the Americas do a similar marketing/recruiting exercise for it’s own marshaling force?

Circuit of the Americas www.facebook.com/CircuitofTheAmericas  in comparison has 292k Like’s or almost three times as many as Singapore GP, and 45k visits/check-in’s or thirty (30!!!) times as many visits… That’s a ridiculously higher number of exposure in both categories. Not to mention instead of a single Night Race, COTA hosts a full calendar of high profile events from the Pirelli World Challenge sports car event to WEC – World Endurance Championship / IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship double header. From MotoGP to F1! And a number of smaller events and track rentals that could seriously benefit from a larger pool of volunteers (or even paid workers for that matter).

So why don’t they do it?

I think… and I could be completely wrong… but I really think that at all levels of management starting from the big wigs running COTA to the smaller wigs running the marshaling services, and the hired wigs that help with the recruiting for individual events like MotoGP, WEC or F1 have way too much “ego!” at play when it comes to the advertising aspect of the volunteer positions. There are too many assumptions that advertising requires too much time, money or effort… or basically resources they don’t have. Or are short on, or don’t really care too much about. There seems to be some foolish reliance on making due with what little they have… the richest country in the world, with the newest and most expensive circuit in the land is willing to cut corners in the safety department by running skeleton marshal crews, because they don’t have enough budget (time, money, effort). There’s the presumption that the volunteers must be experienced instead of assembling eager amateurs/ Motorsport enthusiasts and training them to the standards that the FIA requires for WEC or F1, or FIM requires for MotoGP… Oh no, we must only rely on trusted and experienced SCCA marshals because they’re the best… So much ego! So much wrong with this picture!

Why not take a page out of  the  SGP playbook/ best practices/ success stories? Why not advertise to the audience COTA already has? 300,000 fans is an incredible pool of people, many of whom would probably love to plan a trip to volunteer a weekend in Austin, Texas whether for F1 in October/November, or WEC in September, MotoGP in April or PWC in March… there are so many people that could potentially pick this hobby up and continue volunteering throughout the year closer to where they actually live. Be it within the US or internationally. Plenty of Mexican visitors to the USGP and they’re about to host their own GP again. Plenty of Aussies willing to travel to America to volunteer in Austin. Why not recruit them? I really hope that the 2015 United States Grand Prix marshal recruiting process doesn’t start too close to the event date. I hope everyone that is interested in participating in the event is given the information they need to start making their plans early instead of waiting until the last minute just for an opportunity to apply.

I should point out that COTA has created a facebook page just for their marshals: www.facebook.com/cotatrackmarshals and while it is certainly a plus to have something so specific, at 411 Like’s and 55 visits/check-in’s (at the time of the writing of this post) it doesn’t really compare to the audience of 300,000 facebookers on the main COTA page. That should be used for recruiting volunteers more than anything else. It could be done in conjunction with the official page on the COTA web site:

www.circuitoftheamericas.com/volunteer

 

I will also acknowledge that writing this post can be construed as criticism of both the United States F1 Grand Prix as an event and Cicrcuit of the Americas – the race track that hosts it… and while that is not my intention I know there are ego’s at play and I can’t prevent them from thinking the worst. I have already experienced what people told me was punishment while volunteering for the US GP last year  where I was assigned a position where I couldn’t see anything. I wrote a post complaining about that experience and all kinds of people got all bent out of shape about how dare I criticize such a wonderful event. I certainly didn’t see the need to paint a rosy picture which I’m sure would have been very welcomed when the reality didn’t correspond to it. The same people that got ridiculously offended were also the ones that promised to prevent me from marshaling ever again, so I don’t know how much stock I would put into that promise. I know for a fact though that I wouldn’t volunteer my time, spend a bunch of money on travel and accommodation, just to be “punished” , for whatever reason. I’d rather stay home. But I would get over my own ego and support all of COTA’s recruitment efforts because I know it would improve the sport and the marshaling situation in the US which is dismal, we are very short on people. The more new marshals that volunteer, the more training there would be offered for all of us, the more we all benefit. Much like what Singapore GP has been experiencing for years. My fingers are crossed with the hopes of improvement, and that improvement starts with better advertising. Use your facebook page for good Circuit of the Americas! Please advertise all the available volunteer opportunities and continue doing it often…

I have taken the liberty of creating some useful hashtags for such a campaign, feel free to use them: #USGPmarshal, #USF1marshal, #COTAmarshal, #WECmarshalCOTA, #MotoGPmarshalCOTA, #PWCmarshalCOTA, #F1marshalCOTA etc. the possibilities are endless!

#MarshalCam Interviews at COTA Formula 1 USGP

Following an excellent weekend for the #MarshalCam project at Road Atlanta over Petit Le Mans, the lucky streak continued at the Circuit of the Americas during the United States F1 Grand Prix. I got very positive response to the idea and managed to shoot several videos.

First up, Dave from Washington

Though I didn’t know him personally, Dave overheard me asking another marshal for an interview and jumped right in. Turns out Dave was actually captain at the previous turn to mine, at 11B. And we shared a few delicious meals together in Austin as he was splitting accommodation with my friends Michael and Sean.

Then Shyam jumped in front of the camera.

Shyam is a special story because I’ve known him the longest of all the marshals I volunteered with at COTA. We actually met in Singapore during my first year volunteering there. Shyam has since moved to San Francisco and has now become an American marshal, though the more accurate description is an Indian marshal from Singapore currently living in the US.

And finally Michael:

Like my buddy Julio in Australia, Michael has a ridiculous amount of experience spanning two decades. I have a great deal of admiration for him and all the events he has under his belt, including a paid stint following CHAMPCAR around including international races in Mexico.

cota marshal cam

Enjoy the videos and please submit yours for the #MarshalCam project! Thanks for your support and for spreading the word about Motorsport volunteering.

United States Formula 1 Grand Prix Debrief

I can describe the feeling after the USGP F1 event as simply “Meh!”

Why?

This was a trip where my presence there felt more like a job and less like the hobby I specifically came there to enjoy. So instead of getting my thrills trackside working the light panel or waving flags, I was looking forward to going out on the town and enjoying Halloween in Austin night after night. This is the most I’ve ever drank during an F1 weekend, so imagine how shitty things must have been that I tried to drown them with alcohol.

I have to say that it is not my intention to give a scathing review to a top level pro event on the US calendar. There are plenty of assholes out there that bitch and moan and joining their choir in complaining won’t result in anything constructive happening. But I will speculate why I got the shit assignment I received and why I don’t agree with it, in hopes that in the future people reading this may reconsider. Or maybe I, referring to this post in the future see how petty I was.

But let me start the post with the positive. The Porsche Supercup marshal demo was a brilliant idea and I’m glad that after two years of no effort at training something was done. Sure, none of the people that could actually use this training in practice were actually there as the demo was shown to corner captains and light panel operators and not recovery or track marshals. It was a start. The food in Austin was fantastic as always!

usgp austin mexican food

I overdozed on Mexican and Tex-Mex on the very first day. By the first night margaritas seemed to be the theme of the trip. I had many… many drinks. Weird saying that for a guy that doesn’t drink. But in good company the drinks flowed freely.

usgp austin margaritas

Maybe that’s the reason most other marshals look forward to the beer parties post race. I was always the one to vocally criticize such a concept considering getting shitfaced and working “safety” on a side of the track are polar opposites. But maybe that’s a perfect mechanism to deal with the bullshit in Motorsport volunteering.

I kept on saying “that’s bullshit!” time and again working post 11C on the back straight. I could only see a sliver of the turn in front of me at 11 before the cars disappeared in a dip by 11B, and then quickly reappeared a few seconds later (for F1, longer for Ferrari and Porsche support races) leaving me with little time to make the correct decision when to blue flag. And the rule of thumb with flagging when uncertain is not to flag at all. So I was standing there initially guessing, especially during practice sessions. And got to push the Blue button a whole of four times on the closing laps of the race (and didn’t do anything at all for the support races). That was bullshit! The station ahead of me, which I got a sneak peak at simply because we had no porter john anywhere near us, and the closest one was either across a hot track or by walking a mile to 11B. The views they had were splendid. Plenty of opportunity to see the traffic coming at you and blue flag the shit out of the cars in a perfect passing zone. But they didn’t. And that was bullshit! The few times I saw a blue flag during practice gave me a heads up at 11C to get ready and flag or do nothing if the pass was completed before me. But basically I was frustrated. I wanted to do my best but I couldn’t do magic.

usgp cota 3

I don’t quite understand what was the reasoning for me being there. I asked to switch stations. Not because I wanted a better turn on track, I would have been perfectly happy settling for a crap assignment on a different part of the track because over my last three visits to the Circuit of the Americas I worked Turns 12, 13 and now 11. There are like twenty (20) other options out there. But I also don’t agree with 11C as my assignment, why not 11B? Obviously whomever was at 11B wasn’t any good. Why not put that person at 11C and let him either guess or not do anything (remember when uncertain it’s better not to flag than display the wrong flag). I would have had a perfect time at 11B even though it’s still a straight but a straight with a view, much like post Alpha at Road Atlanta that I was thrilled with during Petit Le Mans. I don’t get it…  And I know complaining about it makes me look like a douchebag. But not saying anything may get me another shit assignment next time, so I lose again. And if I decide not to volunteer for F1 next year in protest, I’m pretty much a loser because I miss out on an otherwise awesome pro event altogether.

So I was not happy with the visibility issue operating the light panel at my turn. I also wasn’t very happy with the corner captain who seemed more concerned enforcing the “no pictures!” rule and “wearing the official hats” than actually something useful, like having a plan of attack should something actually happen. I am sick and tired of people focusing so much on the “photo” rules which are trivial. I never wanted to take pictures of cars on track more than I wanted this weekend simply because it was constantly repeated. No pictures, no pictures… fuck! Now I want to take a picture just because I’m constantly reminded about it. The official hats was another fucking joke. I like to save my official hat, and really like to wear my lucky orange hat that I’ve done for the past fourteen (14) GP’s I was a part of. Looking on this site proves it. But no… since I didn’t bring my official hat with me to the station I was told to stand there wearing nothing at all. So I wore my bandana. This idiot would rather have me get sunburn(ed) than be a little reasonable and let me come back wearing the official hat the next day. I have little respect for that kind of micro-management! What got me the most was the last official statement made before the race: “Hope nothing happens here!” Why NOT? Well then, stay the fuck home. Watch the race on TV! There’s nothing more counterproductive volunteering at an event than the “captain” telling you he hopes nothing happens in your corner instead of telling you something useful like: “here’s the plan of attack in response to an incident.” The official mantra that we are all professional we know what we’re doing is bullshit! If we don’t respond to an incident by ourselves, hands-on… we’ve learned nothing! Showing up to GP’s year after year teaches us nothing until we see something happen that we learned from. The anti-training, anti-learning attitude is pathetic! Ugh…. It is so frustrating talking about how there’s no training and not even a slight desire to learn new things – I will just Shut Up… enjoy the pics from the race instead:

usgp austin red bull demo

ferrari pit walk

usgp cota 1

usgp cota 2

Only 212 marshals registered to volunteer in 2014, down from 218 the previous year… that’s a serious skeleton crew if I ever saw one, Sepang in Malaysia uses a minimum of 300+ marshals and they have 10 less turns to cover. Shame, damn shame for lack of workers! It is simply unsafe and dangerous…

usgp cota 212 marshals

One more word for the highlight of the event. It really wasn’t booze even when margaritas were the theme of the trip. It was the actual Road Trip itself. I had such an adventure getting to and from the event I must share it with the world because it was exciting and exhausting at the same time. I booked the $1 Megabus from New York to Boston to fly to Austin for $54 on JetBlue. Camped at the track until taking the $1 Megabus to Houston to fly back to Boston for $54. But alas the Megabus in Austin broke down as we were boarding. The puddle of coolant on the ground meant we weren’t going anywhere quick, and worrying how I will kill the four or five hours of nothing to do in Houston before my flight quickly changed to worrying how the hell am I going to actually make my damn flight. Luckily, when I heard there was another bus two hours later I wanted to be sure I was one of the first passengers from my bus to get onto it. I was lucky despite there being a great deal of people that didn’t make it. Now instead of having a whole row of seats to myself I was crammed next to a Hungarian tourist visiting US for five weeks. So the three hour trip went by really quickly as we talked about everything from surfing in Hawaii to volunteering at Hungaroring. Made my flight with minutes to spare after having a quick bite at Pappas BBQ. And then spend the night roaming Boston Logan Airport. This time instead of taking the $1 Megabus back to NYC like I had booked, I decided to use 4,000 British Airways Avios points for point/cash redemption with US Airways back to LaGuardia on a quick 45 minute hop. It’s amazing to me how JetBlue and USAir Embraer 190’s though the same plane, are configured differently resulting in serious lack of space and comfort on the USAir flight. But I made it home and quickly collapsed in bed for some much needed sleep.

usgp austin megabus breakdown

Next post will have #MarshalCam videos from USGP at COTA, another positive to come out from this weirdly disappointing weekend.

The Officials Newsletter by Lynne Huntting PressSnoop.com

Another positive feature of the United States Grand Prix has been the Officials Newsletter by Lynne Huntting, the publisher of PressSnoop.com Motorsport blog and a long time San Francisco Region SCCA marshal. We’ve actually met a number of times now, like Australian GP in Melbourne and the Monterey Sports Car race at Laguna Seca, not to mention the past three US Grand Prix in Austin. But this is the first time she’s got a bunch of pictures of me in the newsletters and the least I could do is thank her publicly for it.

officials newsletter turn 11c usgp cota

officials newsletter marshal pit walk cota

Lynne assembled a team of photographers to publish the newsletter every day of the event, distributing them in full color format every morning to let us have a read during the downtime on post. And what a brilliant idea that is, showing all the marshals they are recognized and appreciated for their volunteering.

officials newsletter mustering tent cota

It also occurred to me to give Lynne a #MarshalCam patch for the work she does because, her and the team actually do take proper photos of the marshals in actions when we are not allowed to do so ourselves.

officials-newsletter-cota

To download the four Newsletters published, click links below:

Friday Issue 1: http://sowdivscca.com/f1/friday-final.pdf
Saturday Issue 2: http://sowdivscca.com/f1/saturday-final.pdf
Sunday Issue 3: http://sowdivscca.com/f1/sunday-final.pdf
Post Event Issue 4: http://sowdivscca.com/f1/monday-final.pdf

I would also encourage you to read Lynne’s blog at: PressSnoop.com 

Thank you Lynne!

All photos are courtesy of the Officials Newsletter Team

officials newsletter ferrari challenge cota

officials newsletter porsche supercup cota

officials newsletter f1 usgp cota

Outstanding Porsche Supercup Marshal Demo at Circuit of the Americas

Thank you to whomever organized the Porsche Supercup marshal demo during the United States Grand Prix Formula One weekend at the Circuit of the Americas. It was a brilliant experience, educational and very helpful to those marshals that were able to attend during the Thursday Speed/Systems Test.

porsche supercup demo cota 3

I am a huge fan of any and all training opportunities that present themselves and this was a perfect effort to display to those of us that attended how open the series (Porsche Supercup) is to answer questions marshals may have in dealing with their equipment. Though the volunteers that attended the event were mainly “corner captains” and “TSP operators” like myself, and not “recovery or track marshals” it was still great to see the car so close, without the adrenaline and time constraints of dealing with an active incident during a crash in practice or a race.

porsche supercup demo cota 1

While personally I have already witnessed a textbook recovery of a Porsche Supercup 911 GT3 during the Silverstone GP a few years back, I was actually injured when that happened, and wasn’t part of the recovery process. They did let me flag though which was nice and it was especially nice to observe how a single “hooker” and a “manitou driver” handled the situation professionally without having four or five recovery marshals running around each corner trying to balance the car. The way the system is set up, only one person on the ground can handle everything minimizing any risk of exposure to the other speeding cars on track.


 

silverstone porsche supercup recovery brooklands

Silverstone Grand Prix Porsche Supercup recovery and mechanism

silverstone porsche supercup recovery mechanism

Thank you Circuit of the Americas, thank you to the USGP marshal organizers (Bill Armitage) and thank you Porsche Supercup for allowing us this excellent opportunity! (and damn you Shyam for getting to recover four (4) Porsche Supercup cars at Turn 12 over two back to back incidents, I didn’t have a single incident to deal with at that turn the previous year).

Updated United States Grand Prix Formula One Spotter Guide

Since the last time I posted an F1 Spotter Guide for the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, there have been changes. Caterham and Marussia both pulled out and are seemingly going through financial hardships. While this is in no way a Motorsports news site, it’s important to reflect the starting grid more accurately as the spotter guides are a necessary component of a marshal’s kit. But if I were to make a comment on the happenings, I am amazed that we won’t see these four backmarkers in Austin, I had no idea teams could do that – simply pull out from an event.

2014 Formula 1 USGP spotter guide

Special thanks to Andy Blackmore Design for his excellent work with this unofficial spotter guide. Download the full scale version directly from his web site: www.SpotterGuides.com 

I’m off to Texas tomorrow… Yeeeee Haawww!

Formula One Weekend at COTA Spotter Guides

As the US round of Formula One gets closer, we’re getting some updated spotter guides both from the main attraction and the support races. To me, Porsche Supercup will steal the show. Not because we don’t already have sufficient spec 911 GT3 racing in North America, we have two very large fields of Porsche Carerra Cup cars sanctioned by IMSA in US and Canada. But because the level of racing in the Supercup series is professionally superior, as far as I see it. We’ll still get to watch rich guys bang in the Ferrari Challenge and all the amateur goodness that comes with that entertainment package, but besides Formula One, Porsche Supercup will be the one to watch. The Supercup cars are also a treat to recover, when lift is required. Like DTM in Germany they utilize a two clip system on the roof, where the car is lifted off the ground (most likely the gravel trap) and moved to a desired spot, much like the Formula One cars get lifted by a crane.

porsche supercup cota spotter guide

I love Andy Blackmore’s spotter guides, but this one from RaceCam.de looks pretty neat with the featured driver. Should be very helpful to use on race day for sure. (source: www.racecam.de/)

Sadly, one of the stars of Porsche Supercup lost his life in a freak accident in Australia last year. Sean Edwards Foundation has now introduced new safety tests to be used at various events.

Similarly, there was a freak accident at Suzuka with Jules Bianchi suffering a serious head injury. His name is still on the F1 spotter guide which I’m sure will either feature another driver or we’ll see the car parked up like it was in Sochi.

2014 F1 spotter guide

Download the hi-res version on Andy Blackmore’s www.spotterguides.com/

Stay tuned for more from the United States F1 Grand Prix at COTA.

United States Grand Prix application process

Dear friends,

The long awaited United States Grand Prix application process has began thanks to the recent mailing from the Circuit of the Americas. As has been the case in previous years the application process consists of a few forms, first to determine who you are as a marshal and second to establish what role you should play at the event, in terms of filling out a personal profile.

cota f1 application

I have already booked my flights for this event so fingers crossed very tightly wishing I get accepted. I’m also hoping to get the light panel operator position which I’ve got the most experience with and would thoroughly enjoy this time as well.

Returning marshals were first to be notified with the application mailing but I’m sure general call for volunteers will follow shortly. The general application process for those that haven’t worked last year, is via the COTA web site here: www.circuitoftheamericas.com/volunteer/marshals

Cheers! and Good luck!