Tis the season,, to ride shotgun at your nearest raceway (and give blood)
I got to have a blast yesterday. An absolute blast!
Our nearby Infineon Raceway in Sonoma California had their Speedfest media day yesterday.
As I only had an available hour, it was easiest to bring you the true highlights.
They are as follows:
Marco Andretti was there: (umm, I didn’t get to see him, I think he was doing interviews at the time), Same goes for Scott Pruett (road racer extraordinaire), AJ Allmendinger (C.A.R.T. hot shoe now driving in NASCAR), Angelle Sampey (she’s a motorcycle drag racer runs the Army 01 bike). I saw none of them, yet were told I had just missed them giving interviews, (weep openly).
I had some great interview questions for Marco, my favorite being, : Who is the slowest driver in your family, Mom and Grandma included? (it would’ve been hysterical when it all came crashing down on Cousin John’s head (then again he’s been ensconced in the bosom of NASCAR for quite some time, so you can’t really taunt him either).
The American Red Cross was there doing a blood drive, and sadly, as we lacked the time (apparently they can’t drain a whole pint of blood during lunchtime (30 minutes) so I’m vowing to get myself to a blood-bank before too long). the real trick was that if you gave blood you got a hotlap with Jim Russel Driving/Racing school instructors if you give blood.
As we were on a short leash timewise and it was raining small mammals there weren’t a ton of people and they allowed us to take two ‘hotlaps’ in the pounding rain.
It was awesome, the most comfortable ride I’ve been on in a long time. Thanks Toyota Camry?!
Yes, we were shuttled around 2 different layouts of the Infineon raceway at, well as fast as you can go with a stock Camry with highly rated tires in a mild monsoon. The Russel Instructor’s performance was amazing, and the driver of the second hotlap car (we think it may have been Memo Gidley driving us!) was Tyler Mcquarrie passed us and completely obscured all vision through a monstrous puddle at the end of lap one. Take a look.
Just click this for the video. The two people in the backseat giggling and filming are my friends Scott and Fernando. In the passenger seat is yours truly being silent for a change.
Now for the gadgety goodness of this post, by clicking through my flikr post here, you can see some of the real clever parts of race cars up close (as well as some older cars).
Here’s what to note:
The pins on the wheel of the NASCAR wheel that align the lugnuts for speedy pit stops.
The twist knob on the wing of the Star Mazda car to adjust wing angle quickly in a pit stop.
Sweet steering wheels (I have a thing for L.C.D. screens embedded in wheels).
finally, my favorite, the rain flap for a go-kart’s radiator, pull up for less air, pull down for more!
We had a blast out there. Be looking in the next month or two for a full review of the Russel Racing School just as soon as I can afford to get my butt out there!
In unrelated, but U.S. racing news, congratulations to Scott Speed for getting picked up by Squadra Torro Rosso Ferrari for another year!!!