Monthly Archives: May 2016

Monaco GP

Attending the Monaco GP in the weekend meant another dream come true for me… and I can happily say it exceeded my expectations through and through. I think the fact that I’m still feeling a bit chalky writing this on Tuesday afternoon, goes to show just how full on the weekend was. From arriving back to Monaco late on Thursday afternoon from my Munich trip, I was already pretty tired, but there was no time to rest, and I was literally straight off the train to my apartment to drop my bags off and freshen up, and on my friends Yacht in the heart of the action in less than 45 minutes after arriving!

It’s great how things always seem to fall into place at the last minute, because I hadn’t really had time to plan anything for the weekend in terms of where I would watch from etc, because there was a possibility I was going to be at the Nurburgring 24h instead which is the same weekend… but with only a few days in hand and still no plans made, I remembered that one of my old team mates from F3 days’ manager had invited me onto her yacht a couple years ago… and so it was a case of a very late RSVP 😉

Besides just being on a yacht in Monaco for the Grand Prix, I met some super cool people, and made some awesome friends. Some of the highlights of the weekend included partying with Sergio Perez’s family and friends who were next to us on their yacht, and also being personally invited by Eddie Jordan to enjoy his band live on the roof of the Yacht Club De Monaco along with a couple of my new friends from the Yacht I was on – Impulse, Chris & Collin from Kiltads. This led to a pretty epic night that somehow culminated with us in a booth at one of the most exclusive clubs in Monaco without paying for anything…. though I’m sure some poor dude would have copped the bill at the end of the night, I’m sure as hell glad it wasn’t me!

BMW Factory Munich

So after a few days back in Monaco, I made my way up here to Munich where I had a few meetings for a new project I’m working on in Health Care. Of course being in Munich there was no way I was going to miss going to see the BMW Factory and Museum, the heart of the very reason I started racing, through my love for old BMW’s which I acquired during high school when me and my brother Steve started buying and selling second hand cars to make money!

It wasn’t long before we developed a fondness for the E30, and it soon led to a fixation for us with the “golden era” of DTM through the E30 M3, and it was this that eventually inspired me to turn an 1984 318i that I had bought as a parts car, into a DTM look a like, just to take to the track now and then for fun… but I won’t get into that just yet, that’s a whole other story!

Having said that though, it was one of my absolute highlights today to see in the flesh the actual car that inspired me all those years ago to go against what everyone was telling me, and turn this pristine E30 into a track car… Hope you enjoy the pics as much as me, and I look forward to sharing that story about the E30 soon in another post!

GT4 pau review

What a fantastic weekend…! Thoroughly enjoyed myself overt the last few days. The event itself reminded me a lot of Trois Rivieres which I touched on briefly in my last post, and so it really made me super pumped all weekend to be reminded of such good memories constantly everywhere I looked!

The whole town truly turns into a racing town for the whole event, and it makes for such a nice atmosphere when everywhere you go there is so much enthusiasm for motorsport and everything that goes along with it!

Atmosphere aside, the racing was great. We’re still ironing out some minor issues with the car such as the downshifts, which are still giving us a hard time when under abs. But apart from this the KTM was an absolute rocket ship here all weekend. This weekends balance of performance saw us loose quite a lot of RPM with a reduced RPM, so it made passing very difficult, and for a track where it’s really only possible to pass on the straights, it meant we didn’t have enough power to make it happen, in fact we ended up loosing substantially on every straight, no matter how close we were to the two Porsches infront, they would just pull away on the straights.

Qualifying was very frustrating for me, I was the quickest on track, but I didn’t get one clear lap in, until right on the last lap, where I had purple sectors until our downshift demon hit hard going into the final chicane, and when I needed 2nd gear I instead had 3rd gear and a whole lot of turbo lag for my drive onto the start finish straight – which ultimately cost me what would have certainly been pole position for race 1, so that was very frustrating, but it was still good enough for P3 and the second row of the grid, which was better than nothing.

Race 1 ended with mixed emotions, it started off great, and I held on to 3rd place with massive pressure from the 4th place bmw behind me, and the two Porsche Caymens started to pull a large gap to me, but after a couple laps into the race, I was able to pull a gap on the bimmer behind me, and caught up to the two Porsches, who continued to pull away from me on the straight each lap when I was right on their tail and ready to pass, so it was pretty frustrating, but then to make matters worse, we top 3 had been running our own race for quite some time, when we hit a lapped car who then proceeded to let the two Caymens through under blue flag, but raced me under blue flags for a whole lap before he let me pass, which let the BMW behind me catch up and squeeze past me, so that was seriously annoying and unfair, and ruined some great racing. This was only the beginning though as it was at this stage basically dark, and with our radio not working, and not being able to see the pit board, I didn’t know when to pit, which resulted in me coming in 2 laps early, and the team & Immanuel my team mate not expecting me – so it was absolute chaos, not to mention it had started to rain, and there was mass confusion whether we should switch to wets or not, but given it was Immanuels first time in the wet & at a street circuit I made the call to switch, and amidst all this confusion, the car stalled and we lost our pit timer, so we ended up releasing Immanuel around 40 seconds later then we had to.. so that dropped us right back and from there we were sitting ducks when the track started to become quicker in the closing stages of the race on slicks.

Race 2 wasn’t much better, and Immanuel was running a solid 10th place before touching a road marking on the exit of turn 9 and touched the wall ending our race before I got a chance to drive – so it was disappointing, but at the same time that’s racing, and it’s just how it goes sometimes, especially in endurance racing when you’re sharing the car…. So onwards and upwards to race 3 in almost two months time in Spa!

GT4 pau preview

My second race of the season is fast approaching, and I’m looking seriously forward to it! The annual Grand Prix de Pau is coming this weekend, and after following it each year through Formula 3, but having never getting the chance to race there myself, I’m pretty pumped to get cracking!

I have a true love for street circuits, after my first ever one in Trois Rivieres Quebec Canada back in 2011 in Formula Ford led to one of my favourite races of my career ever, battling from like 9th place to finish on the podium in 3rd with by far the most pace out of anyone on track…. So since then I have always loved street circuits!

I’ve gone on to race at a few since then, like the Canadian Grand Prix, as well as Adelaide Australia, which was my first Formula 3 race ever, which I think also helped my confidence I now have to street circuits as it was my first time experiencing a car with so much downforce, and having to trust it straight away at a track with walls everywhere! So with all these positive experiences at street circuits I’m feeling very confident for the weekend ahead!

Moving to Monaco

For the past 4 years ever since first visiting Monaco in 2012 for just one night, I have dreamed of living here while racing full time in Europe. I can finally say that dream has come true for me….! It feels surreal to be staying here after dreaming about it for so long, and finally being able to explore it in person, not just on Instagram 😉 My flat has some pretty epic views, and even though my flat is way up on the hills, it’s a pretty epic location… and the complex I’m in is complete with it’s own pool… just in case I don’t want to go lie on the beach 😉

So far, my reactions to this beautiful place are 1.Wow it is expensive and 2. It’s quite boring! I knew from my first time here that this was the case, but between staying for one night 4 years ago when I was only 19 and didn’t have any real interest in saving money, or quaams about of spending 40 euros for spaghetti bolognaise and a glass of coke, but it seems this time after growing up a little bit, and having a lot more responsibilities financially speaking, to go out for dinner here is equally as stressful as it is pleasant.

That being said, I am actually rarely going out to eat, and I’m enjoying having a kitchen to cook my own meals for the first time in 3 weeks after staying in hotels the whole trip so far anyway!