2015 is here!

Well, we’re still alive! And you’ll meet us soon!





With the Dubai & Daytona (Rolex) 24 Hours run again for another year, the 2015 season is go!

For now, we would like to give you a little ‘teaser’ of what to expect shortly:

- 2015 schedule including some interesting, non-attending dates

- Flagging & Communications in the USA: obstacles and enhancements on the road?

- Rolex 24H @ Daytona: a review from the sidelines

As always: have fun but take care and stay safe!

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2013 looming

With a lot of racing schedule announcements for 2013 recently, it´s about time to post the traditional combined racing calender by Orangemen – still provisional of course. 

Additions and suggestions are welcome. We´ll try to provide a monthly update (until early next year).

Mind you that the emphasis is on real racing series and not on parades!

Good luck with your 2013 planning!

Update Nov. 10 – Here´s the draft in xls format (Excel) calender2013v5nov2012

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2012 almost down the road

No regular updates over the last couple of months, shame on us.

The 2012 schedule was ambitious, to say the least. It doesn´t come as a surprise then to conclude we couldn´t fulfill all our goals. Due to different circumstances, we were forced to skip quite a few events in the second half of the season – life is about more than just racing.

Thanks for sticking with us, Orangemen will back next year. As a matter of fact, planning for 2013 is very much a ´work in progress´, unfortunately it seems there are some avoidable clashes already…

See you in 2013 (or at Road Atlanta next month)!

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FIA GT1 WC & FIA GT3 EC, Zolder, April 20-22th

Only the first event on (one of) our hometrack(s) – our season is truly under way now.

Headlining the event were both SRO’s showpieces that have been in troubled waters over the winter. It’s clear that something in the organization is lacking – only 17 cars for the ‘big boys’ and an abysmal 11 for their GT3 cousins. The true star series of the event was of course the Supercar Challenge (powered by Dunlop), hosting more than 75 cars split in 2 groups, doing 2 races each. Entertaining for sure.

You could definitely tell we were at a Belgium track but looking at the weather one could suspect it was Spa rather than Zolder (or Monza the weekend before for that matter!). Very mixed weather conditions would make for some entertaining races! First casualty didn’t take long therefor as one of the smaller Supercar Challenge cars got itself stuck on the tire wall backwards opposite post 16 after only 1 lap!

At the end of the Friday one the Heico Mercedes SLS crashed on top of the entrance tunnel, just upstream our post. We were on post 15 for the weekend, probably one of the easiest post to reach on a circuit anywhere, just 2 short turns from the road, around the medical center and voila! Plenty of room to park the car and no traffic jam leaving the track when we returned home on Sunday evening.

Back to the action, Saturday’s GT1 race saw the slower Chinese Porsche crashing into the tyre barrier at exact the same spot as where the little challenge car went of the day before. The Porsche continued to the pits but the tyre wall needed a little repair afterwards, causing a slight delay. No further drama for the remainder of the weekend, just a couple of spins and drive offs.

Spend Sunday as a tourist (apparently a busload of Dutch marshals invaded the post, totaling the number of marshals at a staggering 22!) and after the traditional breakfast for the entire crew, showed our UK friends Paul Buckland and John Dickinson around the place.

We had fun, the racing wasn’t great but entertaining enough.

Now Arjen is getting ready for his Spa WEC/Zandvoort ADAC GT doubleheader before we go to Pau for the Grand Prix and the Nurburgring 24H at the famous Nordschleiffe. Then it’s the Spa Classic and Blancpain Series at Silverstone before we head to France again for the big one: the Le Mans 24H. It’s a busy schedule but we love it!

The Zolder gallery can be found here.

See you soon.

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Blancpain Series, Monza, April 14-15th

Benvenuti a Monza!

Long trip this time as Arjen went to Monza just north of Milan by car. With him 4 Orangemen trainees who – we’re sad to say – did not (yet) passed their Orangemen exam. It also meant we were not able to join the action until Saturday – instead we had time for a little exploration of the famous Italian track.

A historic place and one can tell as soon as we arrived at the scene. Known for hosting the Italian Grand Prix, Monza celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. It’s the third oldest race facility in the world and it shows. And it’s a big place too! The track is exactly 3.6 miles long (nearly 6 km) and has a start-finish straight that goes on and on. On top of that there are more long straights, a couple of chicanes and less than a handful of real corners – Curva Grande, Lesmo 1 & 2 and the most famous of them all – the Parabolica. And then there is the mythical high speed oval with real steep banking. No racing anymore these days on the oval (it was last used in 1969), only once a year the Monza rally runs on the banking. Our home for the weekend would be the second chicane, better known as the Variante Roggia.

Missing the practice sessions on Friday meant we were in the deep for qualifying on Saturday – 55 GT3 cars tried to set a time in a 3-way split session of 15 minutes per driver.  To spice it all up, the weekend would see mixed weather conditions (but nowhere near the expected and more traditional Italian temperatures in the spring). For now it was dry – race day would be completely different. You don’t need to be Einstein to figure out that would lead to some havoc – and so it proved. It started innocent as I acted as the hotel porter and closed the wingdoor of one the Mercedes SLS cars but it got serious when the BMW Z4 no. 4 oversteered on the exit of the chicane into the guardrail – out on the spot and some – shall we say – rather inefficient recovery of the stroken car…  Soon after the restart another one of the pre-race favorite Audis decided to honour us with a visit and missed the BMW by an inch… Counted 3 flags in total but somehow they managed to finish the session. Saturday ended with a classic tangle of two British Formula 3 cars exiting the chicane towards Lesmo 1. No one hurt, apart from some egos.

Sunday was wet. No heavy rain but rather a constant fall of water from the skies. As it seemed, the race director had his course in the US as the race started under Safety Car – o crap. The race director must have spotted it right though as one of the drivers managed to crash his McLaren in the Variante Ascari while the SC was still out… After more than 30 minutes we finally saw the real start of the race which turned out to be a good one. Porsche’s Prospeed had the race in the bag until the last hour as Heinrici faided. But it was a Belgium 1-2-3 at the finish, Marc VDS BMW Z4 winning from 2nd place WRT Audi R8 and KRK Mercedes SLS.

Good race and good food (not mentioning the Whisky….) versus not so good weather and long trip – we’ll be back next year however, only then we’ll be flying again. And make sure to visit one of the remaining Blancpain events – this series is well worth it.

Mille Grazie to Massimo, Roberto and all the guys and dolls from post 3 and 3.1!

The pics can be found here.


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Pictures from Florida

The pictures from the 12h of Sebring and the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are now up on our website.

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Indycars at St. Petersburg

As a usual addition to the trip to Sebring I also added the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to this years calendar. A great event every year with a lot of familiar faces on and of track. Due to work (yes, even I have to work sometimes) I wasn’t able to make friday, so it was a short 2 day weekend compared to most other races. Nonetheless saturday was a long day with hardly any breaks. But with races for Indylight, ferrari’s, F2000′s and World challenge it was most certainly not boring. After that CFR region SCCA had a wonderfull dinner prepared as usual to get some energy back for the next day. After a short night, Sunday had races for F200, Inylights and World challenge again, which had good racing again, both in the front of the pack as the back of it. World challenge had the regular safetycar as usual, but that’s no surprise. The main Indycar race was interesting as well although at some point cars seemed to be dropping as flies, but obviously cars can get restarted by the safety team and continue, which helps the number of cars on track. Due to the fact that we had the safety team next to us, there was unfortunately no orangemen action, although Nancy and Rod made TV this time.


After the Ferrari race at the end and the clean up, we discovered that our orangebear, who had been the cross track worker for the weekend was not there anymore, after asking around nobody had seen him being picked up and even after looking into tires and asking some fencing people as well as TV people, we had to conclude that it was stolen. An outrage !!

The orangebear was a great gift from our fellow orangemen from the UK and had been our companion since the Sebring race. After the people from the city of St. Petersburg, who stay with us at turn 4, heard about the bear being stolen, they asked around some more and brought it up on their Monday morning meeting, the organisers brought the word out that if the bears was not to be returned, people world be fired and surprisingly it turned up. It was apparently stolen by one of the fencing people. So needless to say I was happy to hear they called on Monday before I left and I went and picked it up on my way to the airport. Thanks again Jerry and Tom !

All-in-all a great trip, Thanks to all our friends across the pond !

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Sebring Wednesday

Sebring has started. A coming together with al lot of great friends and family. Weather is great and all the support series came into action on Wednesday. It was an early start after the pre-pre party on Monday and the little bit milder pre party on Tuesday. Not a lot of action for the Orangemen, but we will save that for later.

Support series contained F2000 (combined with Formula Continental), Prototypes Lites, Mazda MX-5 Cup, Porsche GT3 Cup NA and – best by far – the SVRA Historics, run in 2 groups. With fields well over the 64 for the big one on Saturday and – hold your breath – 3 Audis R8s with Andy Wallace driving the Champion one, it was the treat of the day!

Award of the day: has to go to this local Porsche Driver from Venezuela – apparently that country is back going counter-raise from turn 7…

Now it’s time for a margaritas and a good night sleep, probably one more that the other !

See you tomorrow.

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Pictures of the 24 h of Daytona

I finally managed to put the pictures of the 24h of Daytona online. You can find them at http://www.orangemen.nl/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=101

and I’m already sorry for the lack of babes. Nonetheless it was good to warm up so early in the year. Can’t wait for sebring ! Only three weeks now.

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50th Daytona 24

Well I finally arrived in Tampa on my way to the 24 hours of Daytona. Will head there in the morning, it’s going to be a short night, but good racing should make up for that tomorrow… I will try to keep everybody posted.

Just finished day 2 at the Daytona 24. Oh well, found out there are only 2 groups, 24 hours and continental GT’s both great fields with 60 and 80 cars respectively, but still it isn’t much for a great race like this. The continental race started a bit quite with a wet track, but at the race went on, the drivers got more courageous, so we saw some more action. Now trying to get some more sleep for the race tomorrow at 3:30 pm. Just wonder why I have to be there at 8:30???

The day started with the past winners (all but 3) of the Rolex 24, very nice to see, then a whole lot of doing nothing (almost like f1) and finally the race started at 3:30pm. Good start good racing, but after 2 hours the safety car begun. untill the end of my 7-11pm shift there were more that 10 ! So I’ m thinking there will be more than one per hour (more than 24 total), those nascar softies can’t do anything without a pace car. We even went full course for a piece of rubber….. great. See if we can beat that tomorrow. Now to sleep for a short night (again).

Another pace car when I got in this morning, but it appeared to be me because there had only been 10 all race. First 3 cars still within a few seconds from each other and changing at every caution. Not bad. My shift was smooth and at the end the first 2 cars were still close to each other. The third(nr. 8) was one lap back, but got closer on the next caution, which meant the race was back on between the nrs 60, 8 and 01. Half an hour before the end of the race the difference between the 60 and 8 was 12 seconds, which went down to about 5 seconds just before the end (hand counted by me…) but in the end nr. 60 won… not a bad race after all, but I think those Daytona guys should stick to nascar. Happy to have been at the 50th anniversary, but the race in general lacks character, like for example Le Mans, Sebring and the nurburgring. So I guess I won’t be back for the 51st, but I sure wouldn’t have missed this one.

Now it’s back to the Netherlands and wait for Sebring, when I should be joined by Arjen and Gert. See you there.

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