My first event of the 2021 racing season took place this past weekend just across the river from home, in Brooklyn NYC. It was my first time being on the scrutineering team though the role didn’t differ much from the previous two NYC FE’s I did as a Pit Lane marshal. I was tasked with pushing race cars in/out of the scrutineering garage and it was a great way to get my hands on every single race car in the race.
With Covid still raging aroung the world and people pretending like it’s almost over, I was really worried if I could make it through the event. I went without so much as a sniffle over the past year and a half but as soon as I arrived in our worker hotel in the Financial district of Manhattan my nose started running. And it only got worse as the days went by. I had tested for Covid 3 times in a course of 5 days so I knew it wasn’t the Coronavirus that was making me sick. But even with the mask on all the time I was afraid of being contagious to others. Looking back on the multiple races over the years I tend to get sick with cold & flu just in time for long anticipated race weekends. I don’t know if it’s a psychological thing or just bad luck. But it seems to happen often, and it sure happened this time too.
Luckily by Sunday I was feeling great, and I’m glad I stayed. The local Thai place around the corner from the hotel helped me self medicate with their delicious Tom Yum soups and various Curries I got over the course of several days.
I’m so grateful to the event organizers for arranging the worker hotel in lower Manhattan because the location was perfect. For the first time ever I got to take the East River ferry to go directly across to the Red Hook pier from Wall Street. A convenient and quick journey that took me directly to the race track (street course on the docks).
I made that journey multiple times, getting to the track to get tested for Covid as well as several times leaving the event as Scrutineers finished later than most of the other volunteers and the worker buses had already left for the hotel. It was only a few blocks walk from the Wall Street pier and a great opportunity to grab some food on the way back.
I’m quite surprised with myself that the only photos I took were on the set up days leading up to the races. And not a single shot taken on the two race days. But I’m happy that with friends at the event at least I made it into other people’s shots, to share here.
I was hoping my first stint on the FE scrutineering team would actually involve some scrutineering but as slow as things started out it picked up rather quickly at the end of each qualifying session and races. I was thoroughly sweating my butt off pushing cars especially when the drivers used their brakes unnecessarily when we braced to push. Maybe in the future I’ll get to join the observers or initial scrutineers to do something more technical.
Until that time I’m happy with what I got so far and very much looking forward to the next one.