Tag Archives: V8’s

Weekend of Thunder Trans Am at Thunderbolt New Jersey Motorsports Park minus Formula 4

It’s been at least three years since the last time I marshalled at NJMP. Or at least two years since I went there with HRD to audition for a job that I didn’t get. But after hearing about Trans Am holding a round there at Detroit GP I quickly signed up to volunteer. Besides Trans Am which is amazing in it’s own right, Formula 4 was supposed to make it’s rescheduled debut after cancelling the race at Lime Rock. Well, Formula 4 ended up cancelling again at NJMP and instead we got a NASCAR style weekend like what happens at the Glen where Trans Am had the event all to themselves with lots of downtime for the marshals.

mazda mx-5 miata at new jersey motorsports park thunderbolt lightning tempest

I mention downtime for the marshals because unlike other tracks that solely rely on volunteers, NJMP pays it’s workers. The good thing, after three year absence I noticed that most of the faces working as flaggers were very familiar. Which means NJMP retains it’s workforce. But the workers working this weekend were bitching a little about only having 4 hours of paid work on race day, since we had a late start and early finish with only two races on the schedule Sunday.

Unlike Detroit and Watkins Glen in the past, Trans Am at NJMP was pretty tame. There weren’t any major incidents, no blown engines, no heavy impacts… just little spins and continues, that’s it. I requested to work Start again saying that I really want to get practice with this position having worked it already at the Glen. But my request was denied. Instead I got to work Turn 2 on Friday, Turn 1 on Saturday and Turn 11 in the Octopus/Tail of the Devil on Sunday. All those turns were amazing, and I’m really happy with the experience I got at each post. I do wish I had a chance to work as a backup starter at least one day thought.

weekend of thunder trans am at njmp thunderbolt 1

Day 1 at Turn 2, wondering why NJMP and Lime Rock use an Orange strip Blue flag while the rest of the country uses Yellow stripe.

weekend of thunder trans am at njmp thunderbolt 35

Day 2 in the amazing Turn 1.

weekend of thunder trans am at njmp thunderbolt 40

Day 3 at Turn 11, which was even more amazing!

weekend of thunder trans am at njmp thunderbolt 41

The Starter Stand…

Unlike previous times where I basically CouchSurfed in Millville, this time around I camped at the track. It was convenient. I bought a new Coleman tent at Walmart because all my other tents that I own are living elsewhere so that I don’t have to carry them with me when I travel… (the latest one I left in Florida this year, there’s one in Texas which I left a few years ago, and one in Belgium I left ages ago). The brand new tent was amazingly spacious which was awesome, but less then 24 hours since setting it up I arrived to discover one of the poles broke on it, so I’ll have to take it back to the store for an exchange. Kind of bummed me out.

mazda mx-5 miata camping at njmp

I was the only camper at NJMP using a tent this weekend.

Luckily it didn’t rain and there wasn’t any foul weather. In fact it was a perfect sunny South Jersey weekend. I enjoyed it very much!

I took the opportunity to take lots of pictures in the paddock which was wide open to the spectators. Including some shots of my car with the extremely wide body Trans Am TA class cars.

weekend of thunder trans am at njmp thunderbolt 38

weekend of thunder trans am at njmp thunderbolt 39

That was pretty incredible.

I’m hoping I could make it back to NJMP again if not this year than maybe next. The track is about 150 miles from where I live and between 2 and 3 hours drive. Which is about the same as Palmer Motorsports Park in Massachusetts or Thompson Speedway in Connecticut. It’s not exactly close but most people assume that since I live in New Jersey it is my home track. Next weekend I’m off to my true home track, Lime Rock which is only 100 miles and 2 hours away… see ya!

Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars Volunteers Wanted!

Dear friends,

The registration process to marshal the Clipsal 500 round of the ’15 V8 Supercars season opener  has started. You are invited to join!

Before I go into details about Clipsal 500 or V8 Supercars, watch this:

That my friends, is quality racing and something you will absolutely enjoy while volunteering in Adelaide, South Australia. I was fortunate enough to participate a few years ago and had an absolute blast. Adelaide is a convenient circuit to get to… If you’re flying to Australia internationally you have plenty of options when searching for an airfare deal. Flying into Sydney or Melbourne is feasible as a connecting flight to Adelaide is very short. Regardless where you stay in the city, the track is walking distance from downtown. CAMS and SAMROA take excellent care of their guest marshals. And so does V8 Supercars organization.

v8 supercars track & event officials

For more information about the event, visit Clipsal 500 web site: www.clipsal500.com.au/

For more information about V8 Supercars, visit: www.v8supercars.com.au/

For more information about V8 Supercars Volunteers, visit: www.v8supercarsvolunteers.com.au/

And do let me know if you require any help organizing your trip!


Top photo credit V8 Supercars Australia official web site.

New V8 Supercars volunteers web site

Though I already applied and was accepted for Australian V8 Supercars at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX there is a new Aussie web site dedicated to marshals interested in volunteering for some of the home V8’s races. Check out: http://www.v8supercarsvolunteers.com.au/

I’ve just registered which was a pretty painless process, and will keep the site in mind next time I go to Australia.

Accepted to V8 Supercars at Circuit of the Americas

Great news, after a quick enquiry on Facebook which flag chief to contact to participate in the V8 Supercars debut at the Circuit of the Americas, I got my application submitted and accepted within hours. Fantastic news as a matter of fact, though the next logical step is flights, car rentals and accommodation. Which is of course the expensive part.

Ever since I returned from my two month road trip to Asia Pacific a few days ago I’ve been searching and booking flights for this year’s racing season. Today alone I booked a one way Newark to Paris for the 24 hours of Le Mans which I’m praying I get accepted for, and of course the V8 Supercar trip to Austin, Texas. Of course, as part of that trip I also booked a slightly complex itinerary to include Monterey, California… the ALMS race at Laguna Seca. I’ve been dying to visit that track forever it seems, and now I finally have the opportunity to do so. The other day I also booked a cheap JetBlue flight from Newark to San Francisco for Grand-Am at Laguna Seca but that trip isn’t until September, very lucky to have only paid $120 round trip which will also hopefully yield me some 5k American Airlines frequent flyer miles which I can then in turn use to book my trip home from Singapore. I have already booked a one way heading to Singapore using Virgin America miles as soon as they announced their partnership with Singapore Airlines…. sounds complex, and it is… but for me its simple. 2013 will be an excellent year to do some amazing racing. The way the economy is going and the fact I’m still unemployed, it will probably be the last year I could do this kind of travel. Might as well enjoy it!

I should also point out that it’s rather ironic that this year I’ll be doing three events in California and so far there’s nothing notable happening at New Jersey Motorsport Park.

Go figure!

To see if you’re flying with me, go here: http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=JerseyVics or here: http://www.openflights.org/user/JerseyVics

Russ meets V8 Supercars

all ford day 1

I was going through some old pictures and came across this gem… taken in March 2009 at the All Ford Day in Geelong, Victoria.

This was my introduction to the Australian V8 Supercars. Prior to this day I knew very little about them. On this day I got extremely lucky as both Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards signed my goofy FPV/FPR (Ford Performance Vehicles/Ford Performance Racing) hat that I bought to protect my skull from scorching Ozzie sun. I was reluctant to let them sign it when a buddy of mine suggested it, because… wait for it… I didn’t want to ruin the hat!  LOL

all ford day 2

Those were amazing days. At the very start of my year down under, when the financial crisis hit in the US and I decided to change my two week tourist visa to a one-year working holiday in Australia. The best thing I ever did in my life. Only way it would have been better if I had gotten involved in motorsports there, but I honestly didn’t know I could. A few days after this picture was taken I walked the F1 set up track at Albert Park, but left Melbourne for Sydney before the race because I got a job there. A few months later I flew to Perth, Western Australia to watch my first V8 Supercars race live, thanks to another Ford buddy of mine that invited me there and shouted the tickets to the race.

australian V8s barbagallo

Before I left Australia I decided to gift my Melbourne host a V8 Race driving experience around Calder Park. So I bought two of them and got some wheel time as well. It was all fun until I spun it off into the grass and my instructor completely freaked out.

v8 race 1

v8 race 2

v8 race 3

I love Australia!