I decided to start this blog to as an avenue for me to be able to post about some of the fun things that I do from time to time. It could be a Car Show revue, what I did on Vacation, what I like about this or that automobile, my experience with a photo shoot, what I have in my Automobilia collection, or whatever I think of at the moment. I hope you like it! All feedback will be appreciated.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2011

I woke early Saturday morning rather tired from having a long Friday and only 2 hours of sleep before that day started. One of the things about being a volunteer at this facility dies have it downside as far as that goes. But, who cares! It was RACE DAY! I got up at 5:00am and got showered and dressed the only thing I had to wear. Since I had come down on Friday with my friend in his Ferrari, I wasn't able to bring everything down with me. I had hoped that my wife and our 2 friends would have come down a lot earlier than they had, but that's not what I got. I ended up wearing the same clothes I had worn on Friday, all day at Concorso Italiano. But then, I really didn't get dirty, or smelly for that matter. So I put on my clothes and walked back to camp and grabbed my coffee, my radio and headset, and was all ready to go.

At first I had been told by another Assistant Director that I would be stationed with him at Center Gate for the day. But, as usual, that was changed. So I ended up stuck, well not really stuck, I ended up working the exit of turn 10 at the main fire lane where the cars come off the track. I figured, NO PROBLEM! It wasn't a problem at all, it was just a very very busy place to be all day. That's really a good thing I guess. I thought it would be a pretty simple task. My head Director, who happens to be the person that got me started here in the first place back in 2008. He stopped by and asked if all was good. Of course it was! He then told me that I'd better take it and own it, then he left. I didn't quite get it at first, but then it all began. What did he mean by "own it"? Well as I originally thought, I would only really be dealing with the cars exiting the track. Boy what a very quick wake up call that turned out to be for me. Then I knew what he meant by "own it".

It ended up being that I was dealing not only with the car exiting the track to go back to their assigned area, but I can pretty much say I can qualify to be a traffic officer in New York City. I not only took ownership of the task, I ran with it. Now to explain. Not only was I dealing with the cars exiting the track, I had to deal with the ones that were coming out of their rows to head down the main fire lane to head to Center Gate where they entered the pit lane to go onto the track. Then there was the chore of dealing with trying to keep the fans, I.E. spectators from walking in from of the cars. I did learn something pretty fast, no matter how much you blow a whistle they still just don't listen. Oh wait! I think the mentality of a lot of the spectators is this - I'm at a car show! Yeah! well it is in a way, but, HELLO! This is a racing event more than anything people! I really appreciate those that did actually listen to those of us there to keep you safe, but then there was the few that really didn't care, or really weren't paying attention as to what we were doing there. But, no one did get injured. Thanks to all 6 of us keeping ours eyes open at all times. They did get it after we did get them stopped, and moved back out of the way. OOOOOH! A RACE CAR! The other obstacle was trying to get the regular cars, and the golf carts stopped. But then no sooner do you do so that someone behind them doesn't realize we have car exiting at that time that they think it's okay to try to go around the ones that are stopped. Once again, it was a keen aware of the 6 of us yelling at these ones to realize what was going on here. It was so busy the entire day that it went by pretty fast.

Now besides dealing with that fun task, I really did have a fun time doing it. Then there was the occasional cool spectator to talk to. Besides being around these awesome cars all weekend, one of the reasons I do this is to meet fans and spectators from around the world. Other than the regular, you do come across some pretty famous drivers and entertainers. First one that came along on Saturday was some race car driver. I say it that way simply because I did recognize him, but could not remember his name. Then I started to talk with him. He was here to drive a very fine example of a Ferrari. I told him "I always see him here", and he said "Yeah, I'm out here all the time". Then I proceeded to say "I thought so, but I can't remember your name". He then replies "Brian Redman"! Boy did I feel a little stupid. But I can't remember them all right. Then as the busiest day I ever worked went on I saw this really cool guy walking across from me. It was none other than Michael Anthony. He was walking with a group of guys from BonspeedCarolla, and Brian Johnson of AC/DC.

Then Sunday came! It wasn't anywhere close to as busy as Sunday was. The day went fairly easy to. I started doing the same routine as the day before with less hassle. Then I see Brian Johnson needing to get by. He did have to stop briefly to wait for the cars to finish exiting the track, then he went by. As the morning went on, those of us Assistant Directors that were working this area did manage to get some downtime to run around. Mine just happened to be during the lunch break, so I really didn't get the extra spare time that the others did. But no big deal. I ate my lunch, then grabbed my camera and ran to find Brian Johnson. And, fortunately I got there just in time. He was about to leave. I got a quick pic with him, grabbed my video camera and started to record. Then not only did my card fill up, the battery died. Away it went and out came my camera. I started shooting as he was leaving on the door of a Mercedes 300SL convertible. Not in the greatest shape, but hey, it was a 300SL Convertible. He saw me and gave me the finger. No, not the middle finger. He pointed at me as my finger was clicking away when they were pulling out of the tent. Wow! what a cool experience this ended up being.  He was definitely a cool guy. Then I headed over to the pit garages to find someone else. I was looking for a friend that had his Ferrari F1 car there for the event. Then I found it. I walked up to Bud and said hello and then began to drool at the site of his ride. The ride in particular was a 1980 Ferrari 312 T5 that was driven by Gilles Villeneuve. This car was awesome. And as when Bud was here for Ferrari Racing Days back in May, I had to ask that one question again, "Can I sit it it?" And he gratefully replied, "Absolutely!" As I prepared to get in, I had another friend, Keith, on hand to capture a photo as he had when I sat in the F2003-GA that Bud had brought out in May. Then one of the Prep Mechanics said to that I'd better take off my shoes. I gladly did just so. Why take the shoes off though? So I could actually get my feet into the cockpit. As I took the directions of Bud to place my hands and get in, I slid my butt into the car and then I didn't quite fit. Man what a tight fit. But I didn't care one bit if my butt fit or not. I was sitting in another Ferrari F1 car. Twice in 1 year! I couldn't believe it.

Once I got myself out of the Ferrari, it was time to get back to Turn 10 and get ready for the afternoon races. I went through the afternoon and since I had my camera on hand, I was to get a few shots of a few cool  cars at the end of the day. But before that came, the second to the last race ended and I stepped away for about 10 minutes. I asked one of the other volunteers to come with me to take yet another photo. I went over to see Adam Carolla and get a pic with him after he had gotten out of the Datsun 2000 that he had just finished racing. This car was beautiful too. So I got my picture and headed back. Then I came across Rick Knoop. I had met Rick and spoke to him last year when I was helping out to get all the trucks and trailers into the designated spaces. I Talked with him briefly and got a friendly photo and back to Turn 10. After a short bit, the day was done and I was relieved. I took off and headed over to the Souvenir Store so I could grab the Event Poster and Program. I always make sure to get them before I miss out on them. Once I was done there, it was back to the trailer to get ready to head out. I grabbed a few more photos of some cars that were still out before they got loaded into their haulers. After a few more hours, I finally headed home. Another awesome event was over. Now to wait for the next one. The American Le Mans race in September. I love this event as well. Since the race is 6 hours, I get to run around and put the camera to use. Until then, hopefully other things come for me to write about.
Sitting in the Ferrari 312 T5
Me with Brian Johnson of AC/DC
TO SEE MORE PHOTOS - http://razzi.me/albums/2675-moterey-motorsports-reunion-2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Concorso Italiano 2011: Video included

Well! How do I start? The previous evening I had gone to San Francisco to view "Senna - The Movie" at the Embarcadero Cinema. All I can say is - Phenomenal! But that's not what this blog entry is about. But I needed to start off with it anyways. Why? Well, I didn't get out of the theater until rather late as the Director, Asif Kapadia was there answering questions from the audience. I got to the parking garage and ended up waiting about 20 minutes for the attendant to let me out.

Once I was out of the garage, and on my way out of the city, I was heading back to Livermore to get a couple hours of sleep. I had to go to Livermore since I was meeting up with my friend Rob at his house around 4:45 am so we could leave around 5:00 am. I ended up sleeping in my car for 2 hours, woke up, changed my clothes, brushed my teeth and drove over to his house. The Ferrari was in the driveway and warming up. After a little bit, it was time to go. We stopped for a quick top off of the fuel, then we were on our way.

We drove down to San Jose and got off the freeway so we could meet up with a few other that wanted to caravan down to the event. We grabbed some coffee and then waited for quite a while. I'm not sure when the others started showing up, but we were there for at least an hour. Once everyone had arrived, off we went once again. We then drove to Gilroy and exited the freeway again. We were picking up 1 more person. Once that was done, back on 101 we went.

I had decided it would be easier to take the group through Salinas and head in on 68 rather than go the longer route out and around through Seaside and then back in on 68. Well, we ended up stuck in a little bit of traffic. It wasn't to bad, but not knowing how the traffic was coming in from the West, I think it was still the better choice. I always drive this way when I go to the track, so it was the choice I made.

We did manage to get to Laguna Seca Golf Ranch at a decent time, and once we were in, it was all smiles. We walked around pretty much 90% of the day. The other 10% was talking to others that were attending the event. I took quite a bit of video and not to many photos. I was being pretty picky about what I wanted to photograph. But, when I found something of interest, I was snapping away. The highlight for me was the Ferrari F50 GT that was sitting there outside the Ferrari Hospitality tent. The F50 GT was flanked with an F50 on each side. I had been wanting to see one of these for several years, and finally I had. I went back to this beast several times throughout the day to try and get better shots. But it all depended on who would stay out of the view of the camera. IT SUCKS not having a wide angle lens. But, I managed to get a lot of pics of it anyways.

It was nice to walk around this show for once and meet others that were as passionate about being here as I was. I was finally able to put faces with names of those of whom frequent certain forum sites. Maybe next time it won't be as brief as it was. The one person that I did get to spend more than a brief moment with this year was the infamous Valentino Balboni, the master of all Lamborghini drivers. Last year I managed to meet him and get my AUTOart Lamborghini Countach signed, as well as the box, and a few photographs with him. This time around I was able to get another photo taken with him, as well as getting some video of him speaking some great words. I'll be adding the video to my Youtube once I get through all the video I have. Check out what I do have so far.

More show highlights for me - The beautiful 1952 Ferrari 212/225 Barchetta that was brought in by The Petersen Museum. This was the Ferrari that Enzo had given to Ford. This car was stunning. Then there were the 250 Berlinetta Lussos. This has been one of my favorite 250 series Ferraris for years. As far as Lamborghini goes, I would have to sat that seeing the several examples of Miuras on display was a treasure. Then there was the latest Lamborghini, The Aventador. I wish I had spent more time looking this car over. But I didn't. For some reason every year I always feel rushed. It just seems like there isn't enough time in the day to really look everything over to appreciate it as much as I would like to. Oh Well! There's always next year right?

Well once that was all over, it was time to head into Carmel for a great dinner at Little Napoli. Rob and I, along with another Ferraristi, Jeff, along with his girlfriend had dinner here last year with a few others. However, this year it was just the 4 of us. We talked for a long time about various things, finished dinner, then went next door to the Wine Bar that is part of Little Napoli. We were there for quite some time, talking some more, and viewing the cars and people wandering around outside. After dinner, it was time to have Rob take me to the track and drop me off as I didn't want to go all the way back home just to be back at the track early in the morning to volunteer for another weekend. I was dropped off, and away home the friends went.
Ferrari F50GT

The Henry Ford 1952 Ferrari 212/225 Barchetta
Matte Black Lamborghini Aventador

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"SENNA" The movie

First off, I have to say WOW! This is a great movie.

I had first heard that it was going to be playing in San Francisco at the Embarcadero Cinema when received an invite through the San Francisco Formula 1 Group. It was scheduled to play over the weekend, but on Thursday evening their was a pre-screening with Asif Kapadia, the Director. I just couldn't resist. So I purchased 2 tickets. Then I remembered I was supposed to be up around 3:30 am the following morning to be at a friend house so we could leave by 5:00 am and head down to Monterey for Concorso Italiano. But, I decided I could do it anyways. And, well I am very glad I did.

I left my house around 5:00 PM on Thursday and met my wife at a friends house so I could use her car to go to the city. She didn't want to go with me, so I had invited a great friend, Price. I had met Price while working in San Francisco at The Ferrari Store. I got the car around 6:30 or so and off I went. I managed to get to Embarcadero Center around 8:00 PM, parked the car, and up stairs to the theater. I had gotten there a little early. Only about a dozen viewers had shown so far. Then in walks a familiar face. Paul, the SCCA Start/Finish Flag Man. I had met him back in 2008 at the Rolex Historics when Mario Andretti was running the Lotus 79. Paul had some of Marios race used gloves that he was wanting to get signed. Well he succeeded at that. Now back to Senna. I ended up talking with Paul, well more like Paul talking most of the time, and sitting with him and Price during the film. After another short bit of chatting, it was time to start the film. It was introduced by Peter Habicht of the SFF1 Club. From beginning to end, I was truly amazed at what I was watching.

Now I need to take a step back. For me I just had to watch this movie as I was a late bloomer to the Formula 1 scene. I didn't become a fan until mid 2003. Why so late? I never had the chance to watch it on TV or see it live. Then when planning a trip to Italy, I had hoped to be able to adjust the schedule so I could be in Monaco for the race. But we were to be in Rome that weekend. So, when we drove through Monaco 2 weeks prior to the race, being in such awe, and driving the road in which the coarse is part of, I realized that seeing where the greatest drivers have raced for so many years, I just couldn't wait to get home and upgrade my satellite package in order to be able to watch it. I have always been a Ferrari enthusiast, but never into racing. But all it took was planning a trip to Italy and I just ended up becoming a fan of the sport. The more I learned about the sport, the more interested I became. I learned about some of the greats of the past. Including Ayrton Senna. Hearing little, but very interesting. I even have a book about him that for some reason I have never read. Now that I have seen the film, I will definitely be sure I read it.

Now back to the film. The way it was done was something of beauty. I just wish that it had been longer. But, thanks to Asif Kapadia, we were all told as to why it was the length it was. After a long Q&A we finally went out to the lobby to get a poster. Then Asif came out and signed them. It was pretty cool. I did manage to get a iPhone shot with him. I'll post it when I can. But as far as the film. GO SEE IT! You will not be disappointed. F1 fan or not. I would like to say more, but I will leave that open to those that have seen it, or hopefully will soon see it.

If you would like to see the Q&A, Thanks to Rahul of the Golden Gate Lotus Club for the 50+ minutes he was able to capture on his iPhone. - http://youtu.be/fgvHzjNfozE
I managed to meet him as well while being stuck in the parking garage at 1:30 AM.
Asif Kapadia signing my movie poster
Asif Kapadia and Me
Film Poster

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion - 2011

I made it down for the weekend to work the Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion. This is the event that kicks off all the festivities for Monterey Week. This is the week where auto enthusiast, hobbyist, rich and ridiculously wealthy from around the world come out to play. But as for me, I am just your average enthusiast. I do however spend most of my time at the track helping out as a Paddock Volunteer for SCRAMP. I only get away from the track on Friday every year. I do in order to attend one of my favorite events that I've actually been able to attend, outside of the track. That Event? Well, it's Concorso Italiano. My experience for that event will come later.

So let's get back to the Pre-Reunion. I left my house a little late on Saturday morning and didn't actually get to the track until sometime after 1:00 in the afternoon. I hadn't actually planned on working Saturday as I wanted to get some photo and video shots and just work the event on Sunday. No sooner do I get there that I get hit up by one of my Directors to work. Only 4 Assistant Directors had shown up to work and that just wasn't cutting it. The only other help that was there was a couple of others that volunteered to help out. So I put on my uniform shirt, MRLS cap, credentials, and my whistle, grabbed my video camera and started taking some video of a couple cars just outside our area. About 30 minutes later I got to where I was asked to work. Off and on I was able to get some video of the cars going by, as well as some of the Trans-Am cars that were staged right there behind me. It was a decent afternoon considering I really had not planned on working. I was able to speak to one of the owners of a nice Gold and Bark Blue Mustang. I had met this gentleman last year when I had spent the entire week at the track. It seems that every year that I work, I get to know the participants a little more. However, as bad as I am with names, I just always forget those. But, I always remember the faces of the lucky ones that get to race throughout the weekend.

After the day was done, I took off around 7:00 PM to do some car spotting around town. I ran around for 2 hours and really didn't see much. Considering the week had just started, I had kind of figured there wouldn't be to many sweet rides running around just yet. So I headed back to the track and went to bed.

On Sunday morning I had slept in a little later than I usually do when at the track. I didn't get much sleep Friday night, so I figured I would make a little up. At least until on of my Directors decided to come and interupt my sleep and woke me up. He didn't event knock on the door! He just opened it right up. So, needless to say, I was a little pissed off about that. I then went ahead and got dressed, grabbed my coffee, brushed my teeth, grabbed my camera and video camera, then jumped on a scooter to see what other cars I hadn't seen the day before. I went to the Bonhams display and saw something that I just couldn't pass up. Besides the beautiful 1953 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe Vignale and the 1927 Bentley 6.5 litre Sports Tourer that I had recorded on Saturday, sitting there on display was a 1979 BMW M1 Pro-car. For those that know of the Peter Gregg BMW M1, this is the art car painted by Frank Stella. I had only ever seen 1 other M1 before, a street version, and I just couldn't pass up the chance to shoot some photos of this car.  I am very glad that I did. I may never see this car again in my life. I also took some pics of the Ferrari. Once I was done I grabbed my radio and headset and headed to center gate for my duties. Throughout the day I was able to shoot more video. By the end of the day, I was beat. Around 8:00 I finally decided it was time to take the 2.5 hour drive back home. I will be back in Monterey on Friday for Concorso Italiano, so I will share that experience when I return.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Well I just might be able to get down this weekend for the kick off of Monterey Week. I finish my last day of Summer Semester on Thursday, and will be hopefully heading to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Friday to spend the weekend at the track for the Pre-Reunion festivities. Hopefully I'll get another opportunity like last year to shoot some sweet cars from the Start/Finish flag stand. I got some awesome shots from there! I CAN'T WAIT! Then I'll come back home Sunday afternoon and then head back down on Friday with my good friend Rob in his 1985 308 GTS to Concorso Italiano for the day. I love this event! This year looks to be an amazing event with some great examples of "Barn Finds" as well as a lot of other gorgeous Italian masterpieces. SEE YOU THERE!