Tuesdaygram

23 Jul

CORE autosport Tattoo
So you know how I always have this excuse for falling off the face of the earth and not blogging… I call it “work.” While hanging my head in shame that I didn’t get a blog post up yesterday, it occurred to me that maybe my “work” is interesting enough to blog about. It’s interesting enough for a crapton of Instagramming! I keep putting “work” in quotes because… can working in car racing really be work? Traveling to a different race track each weekend, your desk is pit lane, surrounded by fast and gorgeous race cars, preparing for a live TV broadcast… Well, yeah, it’s a lot of work.

The days start with a 6:30 AM departure from the hotel and, if you’re lucky (and it’s not race day), you’ll leave the track around 7:30 PM. Each day is like running a marathon, whilst juggling; you have to keep each driver on task with their list of interviews and fan appearances for the day (often there is more than one thing happening at a time). FYI, race car drivers are like squirrels; they are quick and nimble, distracted by shiny things, and quick to escape when you need them. All day you have to remember to update your social media feeds with what’s going on and take photos of everything. The team’s website will also need constant updating. Then, at the end of the day, when you’re exhausted, sweaty, sun burnt, sore and have a headache, you must sit and write a press release (and cross your fingers that the internet in the media center works). If you’re lucky, the hotel is 30 minutes or less away from the track, but as most race tracks are in the middle of nowhere, don’t be shocked if you’re looking at a 45-minute drive back to the hotel.

My team is CORE autosport. We race in the American Le Mans Series and the Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup by Yokohama. We have three cars and four drivers. Patrick Long and Tom Kimber-Smith drive our No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GT class. Colin Braun and Jon Bennett driver the No. 05 ORECA FLM09 in the PC class. Jon also drives the No. 54 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the GT3 Cup series. This is our home:

CORE autosport paddock
This last weekend we raced at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly known as Mosport) in Canada.

CTMP

I love Canada. Mainly because of Tim Hortons, which has the best donuts known to man. You heard me Dunkin Donut lovers BEST DONUTS KNOWN TO MAN. Unfortunately you can only get them in Canada, Ohio, Michigan and upstate New York. My favorites are the Old Fashioned Glazed and Sour Cream Glazed. I will admit, their Boston Creme donut can’t hold a candle to Dunkin.

Tim Hortons

And everyday I got to the track there was a box of Tim Bits waiting somewhere. Whew, gives me the chanced to nibble on the chocolate, cherry or honey dip varieties as well.

Tim Bits

This is Colin Braun in the No. 05 ORECA FLM09. The best way to describe it is a carbon fiber body on top of an Indy Car with a Corvette engine. All the cars in this class are the same. We’re the two-time defending champions.

Colin Braun CORE autosport

This is Patrick Long. He drives the No. 06 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. He’s a Porsche Factory Driver, the only American factory driver. He’s kind of a big deal. He could drive a Porsche blindfolded.

Patrick Long B&W CORE autosport

This is Tom Kimber-Smith. Tom is from England but is living in the U.S. for the summer. He’s won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times! He had never been to Mosport before, this is him right before he drove the circuit for the first time.

Tom Kimber-Smith CORE autosport

Tom isn’t as familiar with Porsches as Pat is, so Pat gives him good advice on the radio, especially since Tom had never been to this track before.

Patrick Long radio pit lane

Qualifying didn’t go so well. We thought we had the pole in PC by a BIG margin, but they had to end qualifying early and the rules say the grid gets set on points when that happens. This is our engineer Travis explaining to Colin that even though we were the fastest, he didn’t get the pole. Colin was not happy – it would have been his fourth pole in five races.

Colin Braun and Travis in Pit Lane

And the Porsche just wasn’t quick at Mosport. I fessed up that I may have had something to do with that…

Tim Bit in the Porsche

Jon had a good day though. He was on the GT3 Cup Master’s Podium in Race 1 (there’s two GT3 Cup races at each track).

Jon Bennett GT3 Podium

So when we’re not on track, the guys do fan activities, like tech talks:

CORE autosport Tech Talk

Or visit the Porscheplatz where all the Porsche diehards hang out

Porscheplatz CORE autosport

One of the guys there wanted Patrick to sign his Porsche 911. I told you he was kind of a big deal…

Patrick Signs a Porsche

I make the team cookies each weekend. It was monster cookies this weekend (those will be a blog post in the near future). Don’t you love the custom cookie jar? I got it from an Etsy vendor.

CORE cookies

ALMS events are super fan friendly. We have an open grid before the race starts where fans can meet and get pictures with their favorite drivers on the front straight. Here’s Pat & Tom with some young fans.

Fan Photo CORE autosport

Even dogs are allowed on the grid at CTMP! This is Patrick’s dog Renny.

Renny

Tom does a quick interview with ESPN2.

Tom Interview

We won the PC class! Colin brought us back from almost two laps down, set the fastest lap of the race in the PC category and won by a large margin. That kid was on a mission! In GT, we finished eighth, which was disappointing for us, but we could tell it just wasn’t a good weekend for the Porsches in general. The crew was pretty tired by the end of the race, even if it was only 2 hours and 45 minutes long… our longest race is 12 hours!

Tired crew

On to my home track: Road America! Hopefully I can pull another Tuesdaygram together for you afterwards. Our race is LIVE on ABC, Sunday, August 11 at 3 PM ET.

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2 Responses to “Tuesdaygram”

  1. Wayne January 21, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    Erin, I am the geek that had Patrick sign my car….and never thought to get a picture of it.

    Thank you for sharing that picture, I’m glad I was able to find one.

    Mosport was the car’s first outing after 12 years in boxes and long restoration. Patrick date stamped it on its 40th re-birthday. If I had known in advance I would have had you bake a cake 🙂

    • Red January 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

      Wow, that’s mighty impressive that you found me and that picture!

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