Tag Archives: www.MarshalCam.com

Postcard from 2015 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta Presented by Mazda and Interrupted by Joaquin

All ya’ll ain’t gonna believe what happened. Well, maybe you will, but here’s my little preview of the “season finale” at Road Atlanta during the 2015 Petit Le Mans presented by Mazda (the presented by Mazda bit is obviously a joke, while accurate, it was repetitively used by the flag chief in a NASCAR-style shout-out to the sponsors). I like Mazda even though their booth babe tricked me into taking a survey without actually giving me the hat I was promised for my participation. So screw Mazda! or at least the people they outsourced the marketing duties to during the event.

2015 petit le mans mazda owner's lounge

On a positive note, when Corvette Racing advertises a FREE t-shirt for completing their survey, they actually give you a t-shirt… get it Mazda?

2015 petit le mans mazda owner's lounge 1

I will make a few posts about each of the topics I wanted to share from Petit Le Mans, but this entry will act like a snapshot of things to come accompanied by some teaser pictures.

This year’s Petit Le Mans was wet… so wet it was cut short, thanks to Hurricane Joaquin stirring shit up in the Atlantic. But I was well prepared. I had a great station assignment that I actually requested, and as luck would have it, I stayed pretty dry throughout this soaker of a week(end).

hurricane joaquin
credit: borrowed from Facebook

The saddest part of the trip was catching a glimpse of the MX-5 Cup graveyard near the Skip Barber facility at Road Atlanta. I took some pix, they aren’t pretty:

skip barber mx-5 cup miata graveyard road atlanta

skip barber mx-5 cup miata graveyard road atlanta 1

The action on track cheered me up a bit. I was close to the action and close to the pits, which means I was super close to cars. I love being this close to cars! Like this close:

2015 petit le mans continental tire sports car challenge

This is the view from station, with flags in the foreground.

2015 petit le mans pit lane lamborghini super trofeo blancpain

mazda mx-5 cup during petit le mans 2015 miatas galore

I got a chance to meet up with some great people that fed me well. I love southern BBQ. I couldn’t get enough of it! I’m also glad to see some European friends that I last met in Belgium during Spa 24h.

2015 petit le mans marshal dinner with teddy racing

I had some fun in my rental vehicle which I probably overpaid for, just like the flight, and like the cost of the way to get to the flight… I flew out of Philly International the day after Pope Francis left town. But the rental was worth every penny in the flood that literally took over the camp site. I was dry. I was comfortable. And I was happy! I even got a chance to sit in the truck during the red flag period of the race, with the heat on full blast pointed at my sox… shoes off, getting some much needed rest and warmth from the heater and IMSA radio called by John Hindy from Radio Le Mans thru the car’s stereo!

2015 petit le mans red flag

Yep… I got to park on the pit lane for the main event!

petit le mans 2015 rental car and camping vehicle

All in all an excellent weekend. There were some people that went out of their way to sort of shut me down and rain on my parade, and I wasn’t really in a position to ignore them, but shit like that happens. I was just happy that the good moments outnumbered the bad.

2015 petit le mans grid walk 7

I don’t hate Teddy!

PS. I got to win another “Mazda” hat during the marshal party! So thanks but no thanks Mazda booth! But I’m happy I got to take some pix with an ND Miata, both the safety cars and the display models.

2015 petit le mans presented by mazda marshal swag

2015 petit le mans grid walk 2

I also got a chance to sign the nose on the #60 Ligier P2 prototype, they didn’t win and crashed often… but a GTLM car won. A Porsche… which I suspect was done for publicity, both for IMSA and for Porsche in their North American headquarters home of Georgia. Hmm…

New #MarshalCam Patches arrived from Hong Kong

Great news! My latest $400 order of Marshal Cam patches has arrived from Hong Kong. Yay…

First, I can’t believe I’ve spent that much money on freaking patches. But I’m happy to have a new stash to give out to marshals that share their story on the Marshal Cam web site: www.MarshalCam.com

marshal cam australia and america patches for marshal interviews

What is Marshal Cam?

It’s an idea I started a few years ago to interview marshals I meet around the world about their hobby, with the hopes of promoting the concept of volunteering in Motorsport. I believe by placing these videos online for everyone to see may result in kids stumbling upon them and picking up marshaling as an interest. Something they could do locally like many marshals do, or travel internationally which is what I enjoy doing the most. We as a marshaling community certainly need more people getting involved and sadly few organizations do much about recruiting like they should, this involves the FIA and even local clubs like the SCCA in the US.

So there you have it. It’s my contribution to this hobby which is also a fun thing to do for the people that choose to participate in the project.

So far I’ve given out 100 patches from the previous batch I ordered, read more about it here: Marshal Cam Patches have arrived from Hong Kong. The patches were designed by Joey in Singapore. The red, white and blue design is inspired by the American interstate system sign while the green and yellow design is inspired by the Australian interstate system sign. This should be a neat gift I will be offering to marshals I meet on my travels to the Pacific in February.

For anyone interested in participating in this project, this is what you need to do: answer the Marshal Cam questionnaire in front of a camera, and submit the video through YouTube or Facebook using #MarshalCam hashtag.

For the camera shy people, I will be selling the patches to recoup some of the costs, if you are interested in buying one or a few, please get in touch through facebook. Get them while supplies last.

marshal cam patches australia design america new 1

Cheers!

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:

assen tt motogp marshal video 1

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.

assen tt motogp marshal video 2

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)

assen tt motogp marshal video 3

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.

assen tt motogp marshal video 4

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

assen tt motogp marshal video 5

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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!

assen tt motogp marshal video 7

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.

assen tt motogp marshal video 8

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.

assen tt motogp marshal video 9

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

assen tt motogp marshal video 10

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/

#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.