Monday, March 24, 2008

Daytona - Sleep, Rain Dances And Chaz Davies

Well, it was with some trepidation that I headed off to Daytona for the first round of the AMA Superbike Series and the Daytona 200. In years past sleeping in the evening just hasn't happened with some folks who are less than thoughtful thinking that it is good fun to ride back to the hotel at 3am with straight through exhausts, The lack of consideration given to folks who might just be sleeping during those early morning hours has made this annual working trip to Daytona somewhat less enjoyable than it should be. NOT THIS YEAR!

Two factors were at play this year that made this the most enjoyable and productive trip I have ever had to Daytona ever. First, one factor I could control was the accommodations. I found a lovely house to rent in New Smyrna Beach (thank you D&C). I slept like a KING!Plus it was far enough away from the madden(ing) crowds and in a residential district that it made the evenings simply perfect. The second factor that was out of my control was the weather. It rained in the evenings that pretty much kept many off the road and as a result assisted in making the evenings even quieter! Hopefully it's rain in the evenings next year. As long as it doesn't rain during the days when there is practice, qualifying and then race days I'm happy. I'm in Daytona for the road racing only. Speaking of road racing, Josh Hayes won the Daytona 200, only to have it taken away due to a technicality (it is under appeal so who knows), however, the race win was given to Chaz Davies who was originally second. I was happy for Josh and I'm also happy for Chaz, but it's a shame that these things happen bearing in mind that both Josh and Chaz are good friends of ours. In fact during the whole week, with Hodgson taking pole for the 200 vs Chaz and then Josh winning and losing to Chaz it was a mixed emotions week one way or another. The upside, it was good to be at the races again....I'd just like to share a shot from Thursday's SuperSport race. The weather was rolling in and it just got darker and darker....Oh, and maybe it's time to review and re-write my "who has the best media hospitality" guide. Not quite sure where I'd put Daytona...Next up, we have some testing and then it's off to Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham in Alabama.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

I was only 11 years old."What do you want to be when you grow up" I was asked by my career counsellor just prior to the transition from junior school to secondary school. This question was being asked to help the counsellor pick the right "O level" courses for you to take when you finally arrived at your designated secondary school."A racing driver" I replied. For some reason this caused the counsellor to laugh at me as if I had just told him that I could fly or walk on water. My mum and dad knew this was what I wanted to do, but opportunities for go-karting or Metrakit bikes just wasn't there when I was only 11.When you consider how much I am involved with the racing industry these days, it is a comment that hasn't really resurfaced (nor affects my day to day life) but lurks in the back of my mind and pops up from time to time. One of those times was this week when I attended the Red Bull Rookies Testing last Wednesday at Laguna Seca (thanks Jordan).Watching and listening to these excited young men with very boyish faces being talked to and coached by Kevin Schwantz, I felt for a brief moment the same enthusiasm and pure joy of what I would've felt if I had been able to have that same opportunity. It was a lovely day for me. Lot's of smiles.Daytona next...