Tag Archives: VW

Red Bull GRC Driver’s Parade on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk

The coolest part of the whole Red Bull GRC Atlantic City weekend for me, was the driver’s parade along the Boardwalk.

Why was it so cool?

In my opinion any time the series takes it’s presence, the cars, the drivers, the ambiance out in the public and brings the show to the ordinary people… that I think is the best thing they can do to promote the sport. And I commend the Red Bull GRC folks for organizing their driver’s parade right in the heart of AC, the place where everybody goes… the Boardwalk!

Naturally, I took a million pix…

Team Red Bull Honda getting ready to leave the paddock on Bader Field for the driver’s parade on the Boardwalk.

I rushed out and found a nice parking spot a block from the Kennedy Plaza where the teams were to have an autograph session.

The Boardwalk to me brings a lot of memories. My family and I used to go to Atlantic City a lot. Especially in the summer time… back when my father had a mild gambling problem, and we all joined him to go out on the boardwalk for a slice of pizza, and some go-cart racing on the Steel pier. I got my first speeding ticket just outside of AC where the Parkway meets the Atlantic City Expressway. Good times… Although the current state of the city, and it’s major attraction is a bit sad. This place used to be packed, super crowded… and now, even the seagulls left (they used to swoop down and terrorize unsuspecting tourists, with food in their hands). But it is what it is. And I’m glad the Red Bull GRC is breathing a little life into this city. It’s worth pointing out that according to a local cop working security detail for this event, all casinos remain open except those that used to display TRUMP on their buildings. Go figure…

And then the crowds swooped in…

If the background looks familiar, you may have seen it on TV not that many moons ago… it was the venue for the Miss America pageant…

I love the fact that teams allowed spectators, especially kids, to climb in their cars and get a closer look. Get the fans involved!

There’s that 600+hp turbo east of an engine…

At most Motorsport events I focus so much on the venue and the racing I forget to check out the surrounding area. The main attraction of Atlantic City in the summer time of course is it’s beach… and while I didn’t get a chance to go for a swim, it was nice to at least walk by the water at sunset.

and take some selfies…

During the autograph session the first 100 patrons received weekend guest passes for the race along with other prizes from teams and the series. That was really neat! (and probably propped up the numbers in attendance for the weekend)

And as the sun set, it was time to get back to the paddock.

Fin

Post Card from Red Bull Global Rallycross at Bader Field Atlantic City (Media Rides)

The maga photo gallery from Red Bull Global Rallycross at Bader Field,  Atlantic City continues. Here was a great opportunity to take some shots of complete cars (not when they’re in pieces in the team garage in the paddock) going around the track without getting in trouble (since we can’t take pix on station).

This was pretty awesome! And a great preview of things to come for the rest of the weekend. I was surprised to see cars shredding parts on the very first jump… bumpers flying off, etc.

The airport field provided a gorgeous backdrop of the Atlantic City skyline across the intercoastal waterway… it was beautiful!

Not sure what “Racing 4 Detroit” is, but I support the idea!

Props to the GRC crew for providing lunches for volunteers throughout the event weekend. Friday it was Popeyes chicken day.

More to come…

Post Card from Red Bull Global Rallycross at Bader Field Atlantic City (Paddock)

My first Red Bull Global Rallycross event in Atlantic City was a great success. So much cool stuff to check out, it was a sensory overload.

I’ll start by sharing some pix… from the paddock when I first arrived:

The two hour drive (no traffic) from home to Atlantic City was nice and uneventful… I stopped at one of the service areas and what do you know? There was a Red Bull display promoting this event… I couldn’t wait to check out the 600+ horsepower Civic “Supercar”

Was able to park right in the middle of the paddock between the Red Bull Honda team and one of the Supercar Lites teams… another Miata was already there, a fellow volunteer for the weekend.

And then the garages started opening with people prepping the Supercars and Supercar Lites for Media rides later in the day:

Surprised to see CORE Autosport here wearing the same paint job as their Porsche 911 efforts in IMSA, but then the surprise wore off as I realized there were many major teams present from other series, like Andretti Autosport and Team RLL from IndyCar

Vee Dub with their Manufactuer plated Atlas SUV that also wore a Watkins Glen NASCAR Xfinity series parking pass… Hmm

Anybody wanna buy a Supercar Lites body-in-white? It’s a fast little bugger…!

Probably the most “famous” cars of the weekend. A slightly modified version of the rental car I drove from NY to Florida last year…

I was debating whether to drive down to AC early in the morning on race day Saturday or spend the extra $80 bux for a hotel on Friday night and be a tourist for the day…. naturally I’m really glad I did spend the money (although frugal me has a hard time justifying paying almost double for a hotel room that usually goes for $49 a night… but it’s peak tourist season in South Jersey where everyone hits the beach in the summer).

Also glad I showed up early because I would not have had the opportunities I had on Friday to take pictures during the rest of the weekend. Especially since my station was fairly remote and away from the paddock. So glad I was able to be here Friday!

Registered for Red Bull Global RallyCross at Bader Field Atlantic City, New Jersey in August

I just registered for an event I sort of knew about but put on a backburner for so long I realized that I don’t know anything about it. And so after significant research about both the series and the venue, I decided I must take part in it as a marshal.

The series: Red Bull Global RallyCross or GRC

The venue: Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey

This event will take place in early August on the same weekend as the NASCAR Xfinity Series Race at Mid-Ohio… so suffice to say I will not be driving all day to Ohio when I can go to South Jersey in just under three hours (or more since everyone will be heading down the Jersey Shore during the summer…)

What is it? I suspect it is a lot like Rally America event I participated in years ago at NJMP (which is also in South Jersey about half an hour away from Atlantic City). The cars will race part on asphalt and part on dirt. What’s different is that at GRC there will be more cars, I understand up to 10 cars at once. And there will be massive jumps involved. And having worked a number of races with the Robbie Gordon Stadium Super Trucks… it’s a no brainer that anything involving cars and high jumps brings the fucking crowds and makes them go wild. Mix in a little Red Bull and everyone acts like they got wings! … or so I speculate. Here’s an official promo video, which seems to put a ton of emphasis on the crashes:

I’ve been to Atlantic City a million times. Back in high school my dad had a gambling problem and I’d drive him there once a week it seems to feed the addiction. He’d lose money and I’d hang out on the Boardwalk. When the rest of the family would come down we’d go to the piers for Go Karts and everyone would have a jovial time. When I got a bit older I started going down to Atlantic City for conventions at one of the many Casino’s. It has been years since I’ve gone back and I am fully aware that the city has gone through major financial woes. But it is still a city on the ocean, with a beach, Boardwalk, and attractions for people to come from all over the area during the summer months. There’s a direct rail link with Philadelphia and so this GRC event will probably be packed.

(as an aside, Bader Field is an old decommissioned Atlantic City Municipal Airport with both air and seaport capabilities, that more recently hosted a minor league baseball team, a bunch of concerts and plays as home to South Jersey SCCA rallycross venue in the summer months according to Wikipedia hmmm!)

From the races I’ve seen posted about on Facebook the events are as popular as MotoGP or many Formula Drift events. Red Bull is involved so it’s hip as hell… And with personalities like Tanner Foust involved and Scott Speed, there’s the celebrity factor too. I am especially interested in seeing the Ford Fiesta ST looking things err… Supercars compete with all the VeeDubb equivalents and Subi’s.

I’ll share a spotter guide once it becomes available. It seems the series is completely on top of things doing great marketing for their events down to the important things (like the spotter guides for the fans)… which I applaud them for! Great job…

I also understand there are still spots open for marshals in case anyone else in the area is interested. The event is paid apparently and a hotel room is provided. (or so I hope)

Looking forward to it!

1,000+ mile Road Trip from LaGuardia Airport in NYC to Daytona Beach, Florida in a Hertz VW Beetle

October is an awesome month to go down to Florida, and with the hurricane season travel deals it is probably the cheapest way to go. So I booked three trips to Florida in three consecutive weeks. The first trip required a little bit of driving, which I love… so I’ll share the Road Trip details in this post… perhaps they’ll save someone the trouble of considering such a thing in the future or maybe encourage others to take the trip themselves. My experience of course could be completely different from others…

A few weeks ago JetBlue announced a flash sale… fares as low as $19 bux they advertised, typically from New York to Boston or Long Beach to San Francisco in California. The ones that caught my eye were the ones I have taken advantage of many times before, NY to South Florida, my favorite destination in the world! NYC to Miami area – Ft. Lauderdale specifically were only $39 bux each way. I booked two round trips, and with the recent JetBlue flight to California I figured if I book one more leg I’ll qualify for their 5,000 mile bonus that is awarded after 3 round trip flights flown in a year. So I was on the lookout for one more leg, and I sure found it. The flight from Daytona Beach to JFK in NY was only $29 bux….  sweet! But how do I get down there? … I remembered seeing a Hertz promo for one way rentals from certain airports down to Florida for only $9.99 per day. I checked the rate from Newark to Daytona Beach and the 3 day rental came out to some $62 bux with tax included. I thought that was a steal! I quickly booked it… but continued checking other permutations and before long ended up booking another much more favorable rate from LaGuardia airport to Daytona Beach airport for only $36 bux all inclusive, and this rental was for four days! Wow!

The Hertz LaGuardia experience was pretty shitty, I started writing details about it but figured it’s not worth the time… long story short I got a bad car. The black VW Bettle I picked up had a massive mechanical rattle coming out from the rear bumper and an even stronger hum which I suspect was a broken wheel bearing. I didn’t feel safe or sane enough to put up with it for 1,000+ miles, so I went to another Hertz in New Jersey to exchange it… three times! The fuckers at Paramus HLE refused to change cars for me saying they had nothing available, which was odd. The other fuckers at Hackensack HLE where I was sent to try my luck next explained to me that they were not going to make any money on me so they were not willing to just swap the cars out but were willing to give me another car if I paid more money to them. They suggested I try Newark Airport Hertz which I did, and where the manager reluctantly switched cars for me, and even more reluctantly put me in a similar upgrade that I started out with, which was a white VW Beetle… it didn’t have the noisy rattles or hum’s, but the wheel balance was off so the steering felt like a jack hammer especially at highway speeds. But whatever, they did what they could. I wasted some toll money and more importantly several hours of my time, and was now going to hit rush hour evening traffic at every major city along the Northeast corridor.

Luckily I took the longer way around to avoid all the Mid-Atlantic tolls, and Interstate 81 was good to me. No traffic, smooth sailing and I made it to my Shenandoah Motel around 9pm so I could start out bright and early the next morning. The first day was meant to be an easy drive of 400 miles. The next day it was about 700 more to my destination in Jacksonville. I timed the trip so that I didn’t spend any more money out of pocket for food. My plan was to hit a few TGI Friday restaurants along the way, order take-out and eat while i drive since I bought a deeply discounted TGI Fridays gift card on eBay. Similarly my fuel stops had to be at ExxonMobil, Sunoco or Speedway because I purchased discounted gift cards with those brands. And everything worked out super smoothly. Along the way I even managed to stop by Statesville, North Carolina to visit Long Road Racing again to check out the 2017 MX-5 Cup cars being built.

In Jacksonville I was to meet up with a fellow MX-5 owner from Miata.net someone who I’ve chatted with several times before and who has an identical car to mine: a 2007 Copper Red GT PRHT but apparently equipped with a TrunkMonkey which mine didn’t come with 😉 It was a pretty awesome meet-up, we sampled some delicious seafood together right near my shady motel… interestingly enough when I arrived to check in there were several cop cars there and a crime scene unit investigating a Jaguar XJ with a shot out rear window. While checking in I overheard the Sheriff telling the motel manager not to call 911 when he has issues instead he gave him a list of non-emergency phone numbers… “if you have someone selling drugs out of the rooms, call these detectives” and “if you have prostitution going on, call this vice unit…” Hmmm!

Finally, after an early wake up I was on my way to the ultimate destination in Daytona Beach (well technically to Port Orange where my fellow marshal friends that were hosting me for the night had moved to). I was in no particular rush and debated whether to continue along I95 for about an hour and a half or take the more scenic route along the Atlantic Coast and A1A… which is what I ended up doing. I picked up Florida A1A in St. Augustine and went as far as I could before a few detours around the Hurricane Matthew damage from two weeks ago. That was crazy. Never seen so much garbage on the side of the roads and standing water from water damage that the hurricane caused. In Flagler Beach the whole road got washed out. It was pretty insane, considering the area didn’t even experience the full brunt of the storm. They were very lucky though that the damage was what it was.

Once in Daytona I made the obligatory stop at the Speedway for a selfie and then we went out to  a nice restaurant near the beach for dinner. It was such a wonderful time. Before you know it, it was time to fly home. I dropped off my Beetle at the Hertz in Daytona Beach International Airport and was on my short two hour flight home. Ironically JetBlue calls the DAB – NYC flight #500 I guess it has something to do with the Speedway which I could clearly see out the airport window, along with several cars driving around the oval while waiting for my delayed plane.

Awesome trip,  I am especially looking forward to two more trips down to Miami Beach area… I really want to go for a swim at South Beach, which I love! The seas were way too rough in the Daytona!

Some pix from the trip:

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I started out with this “upgrade” a 36k mile VW Bug with Cali plates and a real bad rattle coming out from the rear bumper area, along with a strong wheel bearing hum which provided an interesting sound track of base and drums for the 70 miles I had this car for.

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I have to say it did look great, had very comfortable leather seats that wrapped around you and plenty of room for storage.

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But I couldn’t wait to swap it out for something else, and after two failed attempts at HLE’s in Bergen County, New Jersey I ended up with a white VW Bug from Hertz at Newark Liberty Airport.

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It was much… sooo much, better even though it had vices of it’s own, like the badly balanced tires which made the steering wheel feel like a jack-hammer at highway speeds.

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After wasting a good three hours trying to swap cars I hit the road.

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To make up time I only ordered stuff to-go and to save money I went with Friday’s since I bought their discounted gift card on ebay.

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I have to give props to the social media team at Long Road Racing in Statesville, NC I checked in on facebook saying “drive-by wave to the best MX-5 shop on the east coast” and they invited me to stop-by.

Got a nice t-shirt just for visiting… how nice?!

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I <3 Florida!

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The white bug got incredible gas mileage, at one point showing 36.7 mpg which is even better than my Miata on the trip I took in March.

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Someone suggested I must stop at the Florida Visitor Center to sample the free orange juice… I did!

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and tried the grapefruit juice too…

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Crime scene at my Motel in Jacksonville, Florida… looked like someone either shot at them or was hooting out of the car… hmm!

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Dinner in Jacksonville, just down the road from the Motel and while checking out a Copper Red MX-5 GT PRHT from a local club there.

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Bright and early the next morning I headed further south, this time along the Atlantic Coast and Florida’s A1A

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Hurricane Matthew damage along the coast from St. Augustine all the way down to Ormond Beach, Florida

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Notice those big mounds of sand from the beach, on the other side of the road… further down tractors were moving the sand back.

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Some areas looked like they got hit while others looked untouched.

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The damage wasn’t just along the beach but further inland too.

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Finally arrived at my destination and took some obligatory selfies.

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It was too cold and too rough to go in the water, but we went to the beach nonetheless… to survey more damage in Flagler Beach.

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And of course ran across a familiar car what is my Miata doing there?

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Dinner at Charlie Horse in Ormond Beach was delicious.

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And the next morning I was back at the airport for the flight home. Interesting that only JetBlue has a true flight out of the south providing an A320 jet service to New York, while the competition from Delta and American fly smaller MD-80’s and CRJ’s to points closer to the South and especially those with NASCAR interests 🙂

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I do love how you can see the Speedway so close… especially on take off. There were some cars on the oval doing laps, clearly visible.

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I <3 Florida! I can’t wait to move and live there.

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