George O'Donnell

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  • #338872
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    Photos that I took on the Saturday running if the Prologue are here:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gbodonnell/albums/72157679457687312

    It was a very long day. My first ever visit to Monza, first time at a test session, and first time seeing the cars of the WEC. I took the train from Milan at 7am and was in Monza 12 minutes later. I proceeded to walk to the circuit which took about an hour, but was pleasant because I could walk through the royal park.

    The paddock was open on Saturday. I didn’t stay there long but the notable people I saw included some of the Porsche drivers Hartley and Bernhard, and later I saw Pastor Maldonado who was taking selfies with a lot of fans (whilst also trying to talk to someone on the phone).

    I watched the cars from most points of the circuit. I was surprised about how impressively the cars could change direction – very similar to Formula 1. This was especially noticeable at the second chicane, where it is possible to watch the cars very close to the track.

    Maybe the best seat in sports (although quite dangerous) was to climb to the top of the banking and watch as the cars pass under. With the light passing through the trees it was an phenomenal place to watch.

    My favourite part of the session was the 7pm-9pm practice. It was just getting dark around 7pm and the LMP1 cars came out to set a quick lap. Soon there was a loud clap of thunder and some lightning, and it looked like that would be the session over. However after a deluge of rain (and less light) some of the cars came out onto the wet track. There was almost no lighting of the track (or the spectator areas) and I really got an appreciation of the difficulty of driving in the dark and the wet. It was very impressive to see.

    I’m not yet a convert to endurance racing, but I’m glad I could get a better understanding for the WEC series.

    #338844
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    Thanks for your advice PorscheF1. There are three ‘sessions’ during the Saturday test (9am-12pm, 2pm-5pm and 7pm-9pm). I-m especially looking forward to seeing the cars as it gets dark.

    #338710
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    Just bought my tickets. It was payday and you only live once etc. I hope to never pay as much to go to a Grand Prix ever again!

    Can’t wait though. Got tickets for Casino Square on Thursday, grandstand K on Saturday and Swimming Pool (L) on Sunday.

    I’ll be staying in San Remo, Italy which is about 75 minutes on the train (no direct trains though). I’ve recently moved to Milan, and I want to stay in Italy so that I can get a 5am train on Monday morning to be at work for 9:30am!

    #334556
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    I’m moving to Milan from February to September, so going to the Italian Grand Prix is a no brainer!

    I will plan to go to the circuit on a non-F1 day to get a feel for the track, but I think it’s likely best to get tickets now before the best seats go. Does anyone have suggestions about where to sit? I’d plan going for the three day weekend. There are a myriad of seating options – possible to get three day tickets in the same grandstand, or one day tickets in different seats.

    Ideally I’d like to be near to a TV screen, as I’ll offer to take my parents to the event and my mum doesn’t have a big appreciation of F1. I’m not sure if turn 1 would be that exciting because any DRS passes will have been completed there. No sure about being on the front straight either – often it’s a 1 stop race but the atmosphere there always seems incredible. On the back straight there isn’t often a lot of overtaking. Any advice from people who have been there in the past would be appreciated!

    #316175
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    Hi Abby,

    I went to Montreal in 2013 and had a great time. There’s a street downtown called ‘Crescent’ where they had a fan festival, similar to what was in Austin in 2014. They basically take over the street with stalls and a big stage; I was able to get an autograph from David Coulthard. Also Will Buxton had his famous ‘tweetup’ in a bar about a block away. I don’t remember there being any music but it rained heavily during race weekend in 2013 (except race day) which put a bit of a dampener on it. Also I remember it was more of a Thursday-Saturday festival rather than a Friday-Sunday festival.

    Check out this link:
    http://crescentgrandprix.com/?page_id=7&lang=en
    You’ll find up to date information there rather than my 2013 impressions!

    Hope you have a great time!
    George

    #289737
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    2005 Japanese Grand Prix was such a good race from start to finish so I’d have to choose that. However I’d have to give honorable shout outs to 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix and 1999 European Grand Prix for being very entertaining.

    The best race I’ve ever attended was 2012 European Grand Prix because the emotion around the track was electric. It was my second ever Grand Prix but it was the first race I ever attended after I had started working and paying out of my own pocket, so that made it special.

    #283502
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    Here’s some video from 2014 of the cars during free practice. I took some photos too but need to sort through them. The final video clip was shot from the top of the T15 grandstand which is where I watched the race – possibly the best seats in the whole circuit!

    #276128
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    The link to the information about the weekend (including exact details of the shuttle) has now been posted by COTA.
    http://circuitoftheamericas.com/f1/schedule

    I’m going to buy my tickets this weekend! So excited :-D

    #273948
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    Thanks Michael! I’m staying at the HI Austin which is about 30 mins walk from the Convention Center (but was incredibly cheap accommodation!!!) and will be arriving into Austin by bus (I am attending a wedding in Dallas a few days before). I’ve still not bought my race ticket yet but will be onto that soon.

    #273650
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    Does anyone have any updated information on getting to COTA? I will be staying in a hostel downtown but will not have my own transportation. In previous years there has been a shuttle bus from downtown to COTA but I can’t see any reference to a shuttle bus for 2014 on their website. Can anyone help?

    #253333
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    Not a fan. There’s very good rationale for introducing double points for the Indy 500 but not so much the others.

    #216230
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    I’ve complied all my video clips into this one Youtube video. Taken over the 3 days:

    #204304
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    Thank you for posting the schedule!

    I’d like to know roughly how long it takes to get into the circuit. My only other experience of this sort of event was Valencia last year and I don’t think that was at all typical because the Spanish people only turned up for the quali and race so there was no trouble getting in just before the sessions began. I’d imagine that the Canadian fans are a bit more keen to get to the track , so curious how long the queues are, how long it takes to get in, any insight about which entrances are quick to access the circuit?

    #204277
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    I booked my ticket for the Canadian Grand Prix! So excited now. Gone for the Silver Trio package.

    I’m from the UK and am planning a motorsport extravaganza of a trip. Going to Detroit the weekend prior for their Indycar double header, and then will head to Montreal.

    If you don’t mind hostels, I think they are the way to go. I went to Valencia last year, staying downtown in a hostel. A quick check of prices is £25 a night during the weekend.

    #216749
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    George O’Donnell
    Participant

    I went to the European Grand Prix this year. It was only my second ever race (first being Silverstone 2007), and a trip which I arranged a month beforehand. I was able to get a cheap Easyjet flight direct into Valencia (sharing with Eddie Jordan), stay in a hostel in the city centre (clean, cheap and in the heart of the city), and a 3 day grandstand pass for the end of the first sector. One of the best weekends of my life! Not only was the F1 race out of this world with an incredible home atmosphere, but the Sunday GP2 race was amazing too. The grandstand was so close to the track, and as you can see from the photos, I got very close to the drivers on the Sunday, and was able to extensively walk the track the following Monday evening. A phenomenal race, and for a sport which can often be quite distant for fans, it was brilliant to see some of my heroes close up. A great city too, and I’m really sad to not be able to return next year!

    The photo album is here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gbodonnell/sets/72157632156127492

    Additionally, I video blog under the alias of WildebeestTV. Honestly, this was not some of my best work, but I think the 4th part will be of interest to many people. I walked around the track the day after the event, which was cool given the context of the stories I’d watched the previous day, and it’s just strange to walk around a deserted F1 track – it felt so abandoned!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u59wWFyxe6k&list=PL3CF09AA9D1F3E2B3&index=4&feature=plpp_video

    The whole 4 part playlist is here:

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)