Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2013 Nationals Challenge

Idea submitted by Tom O'Gorman, our newest G-Fab member:
  1. All interested participants place names in a hat at the Pro banquet
  2. Each person draws a name
  3. Monday is used to acquire an outfit for the person whose name you drew
    1. Said outfit must be purchased within a budget (TBD)
    2. Said outfit must be appropriate - nothing indecent
  4. The outfit must be worn from arrival on site till departure off-site for the day, on the person's first non-competition day. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A-Stock Adventures

I've been dabbling in AS. Yep, that's my name on that car. Guess which one is me.

Photo by Perry Aidelbaum
It's fantastic. I like Corvettes. Of course, I could probably do better if perhaps I learned that 350 hp is ok to have, and I learned how to trust the car (and myself).

My impromptu driving buddy, Tom, has seriously opened up a can of whoop-ass in this car. James could win L2 with his "shitty times" so it's really me who is holding down DFL, which has been christened GangBang. 

I managed a 7th place finish in L2 at the Jersey Pro (4th in class though, L3 bumped to L2), and it was like 40 degrees out, and windy, and damp, and sucky for weather. I think I'm getting the hang of it, so perhaps in DC I won't suck as much. I won't suck, but I'll be exhausted - I'm roadtripping with my sister-in-law to get her new MiniCooper in Kansas City, and we're driving through the night to get to DC in time for practice. 

Fingers crossed I remember how to drive it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

G-Fab Goes to Texas

G-Fab went to its first-ever Formula 1 race last month. We headed to Austin, TX for the inaugural race at the Circuit of the Americas, and it was one of the best vacations we could have taken together.

Peej, Pie, Justin, Dave, Rachel, Eric, and Tim
The first time I heard the cars, I giggled uncontrollably. The first time I heard them at full throttle on the straight, I was grinning so hard I couldn't even speak. It was one of the greatest noises ever - sexy, raw, and LOUD. Anyone who says only boys get turned on by the sound of a Formula 1 car is wrong. (I'm looking at YOU, certain Jalopnik contributor).

We sat at T11, which gave us a pretty good view of the run down the hill and the whole hairpin, into some of the DRS zone. After walking around, we think next year we'll try for somewhere around T9, but if I have my way (and my fantasies come true), I'll have paddock access :-D
The track is mid to lower speeds most of the time, so Fernando and Felipe barely stood a chance. The downforce issues have been terrible all year, so I wasn't hoping for too much. Though, it would have been nice, considering the CW wasn't there.

One of the super odd things was that there were 209561057205620852605 porta-potties, but only 30 food and merchandise vendors. We waited in line practically forever to do everything but pee. The food was decent, but expensive. Though after waiting in line for an hour, you'll eat nearly anything. Everything we wanted to buy sold out by qualifying, which was not really good foresight on their part, but also poor judgement on our part. I wanted a blue Ferrari hat, and a Force India shirt (this was my fault though, since they had SFI stuff - just not in my size), and PJ wanted a McLaren jacket and lanyard. And alas, they were sold out of everything. Note to self: Buy everything you want on day 1, during FP1. 

During FP 1, 2, and 3, we walked around and were able to get some really great shots of the cars. It was nice to have actual seats for qualifying and the race though, since there were over 270,000 people there in 3 days (and because yours truly is very short, which does not bode well for GA). We will definitely be getting grandstand seats again.

Lewis Hamilton
My other favorite driver, Nico Hülkenberg, who will be moving to Sauber next year. This is a good thing for me, since I cannot find a Force India women's shirt in my size. 
Oh hai, Fernando!
Each night, we went to the downtown FanFest area. There, we tried our hands at pitstops, simulators, and RC racing. The RC cars were kind of awkward, but PJ was able to win, so I think I need more practice.

They might need a little more practice before they are hired. 
Chair alone: $30,000
I was absolutely terrible at this. It was really fun though. I just need more practice. 
While downtown, we also ran into a few old friends. Janna lives in Austin, and Chris lives in Hawaii, so it was nice to be able to meet up with them and hang out. Janna got to do data entry in race control for the event, which is such a great thing. We miss them a lot, and I hope we get to visit them on their own turf too :)
Dave, Janna, Eric, Pie, Chris, Justin, Peej, Tim
Peej and I got up close and personal in the Ferrari garage. This was by far the highlight of the race (aside from Lewis being able to pass Sebastian and win - I might have cried if Seb had pole and won). I brushed up on my Spanish and got in touch with someone from Santander, and we had been corresponding all season. As part of their "Mas Mujeres en F1" initiative, I was able to get a pit pass, and he told PJ (in a Ferrari shirt) that it was his lucky day, and he was handed one as well.
Marussia Tires. People think autocrossers have a problem. They haven't seen anything yet. 
Busy inside the Ferrari garage. Just beyond the car is Fernando's chair - you can kind of see it under the wing. I want that chair for my living room.
Pit stop practice at Lotus.  Kimi Räikkönen nearly knocked us over trying to get into the paddock area on the other side of the garage, and then couldn't pull the doors open. It was kind of awesome. PS - he is really short.
McLaren, just next door to Ferrari. I did see the back of Jenson Button's head for a second.
One of the best days we've ever spent together. 
All in all, it was an amazing vacation filled with incredible memories. What started out as an impulsive and whiny want turned into an experience that only people who have gone to these races really understand. I can't wait to go back next year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Still Needs a Name

Newman, you are slacking.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Newman Has Landed

Newman has been invited to contribute to this blog.

Hang on to your hats, folks.