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Fan in the Stands

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#51 jonpollak

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 19:40

Well then...
Having not been to a race, or in the mood to convey my thoughts on this site, for a while I thought this thread might have been "archived" in the switch over to the new format.
Nope...it's still "LIVE"

So ...I had better post something then hadn't I?


You wouldn't happen to have anymore pictures of Françoise Hardy on the set of Grand Prix.

Would you?

Posted Image Posted Image


#52 jonpollak

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 00:40

Over the past year or so I have noticed that the professionals have picked up what I have so casually discarded.
That is to say, the adventures of the "Three Amigos" are now serialised in a column available via the Telegraph.
Not only that...They actually have access to things.

2010 Edition 1 is ready for consumption.

Please read it



Edited by jonpollak, 18 March 2010 - 10:27.

#53 Buttoneer

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 14:59

Dodgins has covered all of these in his feature columns to a greater or lesser extent. I was amazed, looking through the list of incidents, how many of the paragraphs started with "Tony..." :lol:

#54 jonpollak

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 17:26

Wild Things Run Fast
Jp takes the long route to view the 2013 Indy 500

After a whirlwind tour here in the embattled Middle East..
My 6 am wake-up call this morning is the adhān (call to prayer) bellowing out of the İngilizce Türkçe Sözlükten Çeviri.

Start the Clock !!!
Jp's 'cross the globe odyssey' begins NOW.. :drunk:

Our tour coordinator has just bundled me into the van and departure from Ataturk airport is in 2 hrs.
I change at Heathrow for Chicago then a short flight to Cinci where I rent pick up a cheap and cheerful rental and drive up I-74 to a northside hotel in Indy.
First stop..Attempt to get to The Burger Bash by 7pm Friday
Then a few hours sleep before watching Monaco qualy and a trip to the Speedway to say hello to a friend, pick up my scanner, watch the Champions League final and maybe even the Nationwide race. But it's gonna be an early night as we will leave for the track at daybreak (I HATE traffic..and so do my friends coming with)

I'll exchange the 72 virgins in Jannah and eternal blah blah blah for my own personal paradise.

21 hours later…
Made it..

Enjoyable afternoon at the track today.
Got to see friends and check out the tourbus to end all tourbuses
Something called a Newell..What a Jewel !
Makes our mode of transport look like the projects in LeFrak City.
The paint has just dried on the pit stalls...my trousers have some telltale residue.
Crews are just making last minute adjustments to the fuel rigs
There appears to be an issue with Powers rig though... So look to see if that's an issue tomorrow.
Found a place to watch the GP tomorrow morning too ....If I get there in time.

Race Day:

Am I the only one who didn't want to see TK win?

Yes Mr Minion, I believe you are.

Sorry for not posting sooner but... (insert lame 'having too much fun to waste time on Autosport' excuse here)
What a great day it was here at the Speedway.
The night before I was privileged to get to chat to one of my all time favorite Indy500 drivers.
Mr.Johnny Rutherford related some funny Pace Car stories and told me how NO ONE was as proficient at the job as James Garner.

After convincing the dullard of a yellow shirt, who stood blocking the entrance to his parking lot, that the people who need to park there should be able to turn right off 16th street I was happy to receive the plaudits from the pissed-off race goers in the car park queue.. One even shoved a beer in my hand (at 7:30 am) "I'll take you up on that upon our departure" I said. His is the spirit and joie de vivre of the 300,000 rabid fans that make the sojourn to this event every year. These are..My People.

Straight to 16th&Georgetown to soak up the early atmosphere. GodWhackers, scalpers,hawkers and gawkers all congregate to do just as I do...'check it out'.
Being 'early doors' I had no issues with the revised search policy and got inside in about 45 seconds...others I hear were not as lucky.
Keith Duncan and I went up to Rossco's fabulous TOWER SWEET only to find it empty, barring the attendant, so I filled up on brekkie before heading down to the pits and paddock for a snoop.

One's access to restricted areas are determined by 2 things here.
1) What credential you have
2) How good you are at creating a diversion towards the aforementioned yellowshirts..like the evergreen "OOHH LOOK, SHINY TOY"
I usually use the latter but had the right pass today.

As soon as I got to the paddock I saw the hardest working schmooze woman in racing doing her thing.
Talking a great race... I don't know how she does it but if self-promotion and stick-at-it-tude was rewarded she would be in a Penske seat. But it isn't.
Hung out with my benefactors for a bit when Gordon Kirby came up for a chinwag..not with me mind you, although he did recognise me from back in the days of yore, but with the person of interest smiling in the background."What's the deal" Kirby asked. "For some reason..We are SHIT" was Hull's reply. Gordon has more anecdotes and info about racing than I've had hot dinners.

Walking back to the transporters I eavesdropped on a local TV interview where the reporter asked a driver...
"What's your biggest fear around here now that you've gotten the worst out of the way"
"Not getting a good result" was the answer he offered.
Oh dear...It seems there are drivers who just have bad Indy JuJu..

Speaking of TV interviewers...Who's the Hottest Girl at the track 24/7?
Yeah she is...Charming, sweet and so willing to chat to anyone about anything.
I reminded her of our night together at a club years ago and saw a flicker in her eye ...so I left the recollections when her producer came over to talk about in-race features.

I ambled to the pits to see the cars roll out and noticed how some of the cars use natty rims on their rolling tyres.
That Bia sure is a badass as she dispassionately turned down a marriage proposal offered on the grid in front of 300 thousand people.
Timing is everything ..The guy's an idiot.

The Ganassi guys seemed to be working to find a solution right up to the last minute.
Guess it wasn't found...Oh well.

I was looking at Sato's car and wondering out loud when a camera crew from GaoraTV asked for an interview with me.
Why I will never know but in my best Japanese I think I said "May I order the oven broiled tractor please?"
Or at least that's what the producer lady reckoned I'd said.

Just as race time beckoned I hightailed it back upstairs for a Splash and Go before the off.
Talk about a well thought out solution for hard drinking race fans... This place has it all.

The race was enthralling. I cannot stress how important it is for anyone calling themselves a race fan to attend this event.
It DOES NOT transfer to TV in anyway shape or form like it does when you are a part of it.

At the end of it, when the place erupted for TK, I went down to return my scanner ..only to find a gate open behind the Pagoda entrance.
Grabbing the chance with both hands I was heartened to see Yellowshirts and Indiana State Police accosting some poor idiot trying to jump the fence.
With diversion in place I sashayed into the winners circle and got right next to the celebrations.
I shouted out "Você vai ficar bêbado hoje à noite"
He looked over and I snapped this.

I wonder if he's woken up with a hangover


Edited by jonpollak, 24 November 2015 - 04:47.

#55 Frank Grimes

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 00:47

Fantastic story - Indy is on my bucket list for sure. I've been to the first two USGPs in Indy but I doubt they could hold a candle to the real event.

#56 jonpollak

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:29

Thanks Frank.
It really is an indescribable experience.
No matter how hard I try.

#57 cheesy poofs

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 14:52

Great piece Monsieur jp.

Loved Indy when I was there. Although I haven't been there since the '93 & '94 races, I have fond memories of the place and the races I saw there.


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Posted 01 June 2013 - 21:48

Fantastic story - Indy is on my bucket list for sure. I've been to the first two USGPs in Indy but I doubt they could hold a candle to the real event.

Went in 2004. Nothing out of this world. I liked Monza 100x more.

#59 jonpollak

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 17:57

Went in 2004. Nothing out of this world. I liked Monza 100x more.

Obviously you had chosen to attend during the mind numbing IRL portion of this event.
Hence your disenchantment.


#60 jonpollak

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 17:43

Jp gets his hot-diggity-gigitty-boogity on..Y'all.


I had a girlfriend in College named Diane Gudmunsted. A free spirited lass from Sveltstad Norway.
She had an AMC Pacer and the back deck (boot) was kitted out with throw rugs and pillows and exotics oils.
A veritable tantric knocking shop, as long as you were prostrate...I STILL have that welt on the top of my head from the big back window.
She taught me everything I know.
That Pacer went up in flames at the cast party for LAVC Theatre Arts production of Cabaret after my assistant, Lacy Overall, threw her highball into the front seat along with a lit Sherman cigarette. The words she murmured were something to the effect of... 'He gave her class / she gave him sex.'
A few years later I went to Riverside Raceway to see my first, and to this date only, NASCAR race.. The Budweiser 400
I got a call from Diane's father asking me if I was driving her to the race...
I said "What?..Diane? going to the race?..First I had heard of it."
Oh Yes..She's the trophy girl, has been for 3 years.
And so it was, on the occasion of RCR's first ever victory Diane stood proud in her flimsy blue wraparound skirt and flowing Norse mane.
Now the good news...(and keep it under your hat)
Jp has been surreptitiously recruited by the GeneralRegionalOperationsTeam or GROT to keep an eye on the proceedings,the fortunes of RCR and, a certain person of interest. So then, Je Suis your man on the ground at Daytona. That's right folks..Stand by for another thrilling episode of Jp's Trackside Reports ©
Yee Haa baby..


Fast forward one week..

Ok so... The other day I was in Miami and had to spend $14.34 for a beer.
What a poser frickin waste of space that town has become.
It used to be a super destination.. Well, not anymore.. it's all posers and over priced bull$hit.

I went to the credentials office this morning and was ushered through faster than any other series I have ever..BOOM Hot pass for Jp.

Once I got in the first thing I saw was.... a Mclaren
I was confused.

Then the second thing I saw was.... Am I in some bizarre parallel universe?

Jeff Gordon was in the house, early doors, and has a following as big as Jr.
Poor guy is gonna HATE the farewell tour.
To his credit he went straight to the car and asked for engine changes

Ya know, I Love these Krashlowski fans..To a man they are eriudite and peacefully thoughtful just like BK's muse Eleanor Roosevelt...Look at the love beaming in through the 'fan window'

Stopped by at the Champs pit . He was in a jovial and courteous mood.
Then he saw the newest member of the $hithead club and he went all ...meh.

Noticed that the press corp is getting younger. These kids are either unpaid interns or on work experience for class credit.

All of a sudden I saw someone I knew..!!! I asked this hipster guy standing next to us to snap a pic so I could send it to a mutual friend but he was more interested in taking pictures of himself then focus on us. I finally got a security guard to take the shot.

Soon enough it was Time for the NationBuschFinity race and the drivers made their way to the grid.

I hung with Brenden as he was born in the same hospital as me Cedars of Lebanon.
Meanwhile BK was gittin' giggy wit it

EVREYONE in his stall turned when a whacko came into the pits...

But he's a regular and has a hot pass for life or something like that.

Soon the race started and I ran into an old friend...

She seemed perturbed and unhappy but it may have just been my proximity to her that soured the moment.

Brenden thought his tyres were a bit ...under performing

The action suddenly became furious .
As soon as I snapped THIS PIC


Traffic out was a breeze...we will see what happens tomorrow...

RACE DAY here in Daytona.
It's packed and hot and ATT cell service is like an ice cream cone in hell.
But hey..I'm already having a good 'ol time.

EDIT: Yes, I am tuning in. Fingers crossed for no injuries.

That's what I thought this morning as the throngs invaded the pitlane..
Man oh man, This kind of human schlamozzle would send the F1 Jizzeratti into a tailspin


JP can you get a closeup of Kyle's aircast?

He and Sam send you regards Deluxx.


I'm one year into my last rethink. One thing had led to another and I somehow ended up editing a real life magazine about fish feed.

I is hungry too..
Time for a look at the hospitality lunch menu..


I think this race has been great. It has been "pure".
I followed the 48 for the whole race and damn it has been exciting for me.

Here's an autograph for ya RT

Now? Now we cry.

I know I'll do, if Logano wins. Can't stand the kid.

Ha..That's YOUR hatewagon departing the station then.
$hithead was awesome today...glad I joined the club.(see one of my previous posts for hysterical link)


Edit: And in Gordon's final 500, he gets wrecked by the 3. Now that's funny.

Edit: Irony is the best racing resolution.

Obsevation 1
Ok so the sound of the pack as they roar past is a prerequisite for any of you so called race fans to experience.

Observation 2
The end of the race, with 3 wide lap after lap, was worth all my effort to get here..
I scanned 'your favorites' on the fanvision radio during that section and heard mostly silence.

Observation 3
Hendrick have it together...Not only are there free massages in the garage anytime the car is out...
The crew chief does the child minding!!!!

I hear she's a handful.

My little side project turned out well
See about 1:26-1:33 in.

No Amber Lounge for this victory...


What a fun weekend


Edited by jonpollak, 16 June 2015 - 06:59.

#61 paulb

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 22:55

I can't believe this is the first time I saw this thread.  Remarkable stuff.  :up:

#62 stewie

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 15:15

Cracking thread here, my fellow lampie. Never seen it before!

Did chuckle at your 2004 post where you said you hope they never ruin the engine noise.....  :rotfl:

#63 jonpollak

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 16:38

Well thanks stewie... :D

Your observation is VERY ironic isn't it.


I must re-up some of those earlier snaps as those photo sharing sites I used went belly up pretty quickly.


EDIT: done... See how long these ones last⚠️

Edited by jonpollak, 02 March 2015 - 22:47.

#64 jonpollak

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 12:38

A story for Sophie B...


In 2003 I was gifted a job as a Production Coordinator for the Autosport Awards show at the Albert Hall.

Having worked the previous 2 years at the Albert Hall for these shows I observed that the NEC Arena was a rather soulless and antiseptic venue  after the stints at the Albert.

    But then this trend is in keeping with most F1 venues these days isn't it...?

The evening started OK but went downhill rather quickly.

I was originally tasked with looking after the sweet and gentle Beverly Turner
Poor Bev was given no instructions at all before she was unleashed onstage with a totally new script owing to the many no-shows. She then had to wait  for the TelePrompter to be changed before each vignette. I did feel sorry for her but Martin Brundle kept her spirits up with tales of the hilarity backstage This comedy consisted of the replacement artists for the said no-shows, namely The Cheeky Girls
They were not as entertaining as the reaction to them was by the hounding press pack.

I then had an idea that was a little stroke of genius...Let's get Ron in a photo op with these little hotties !!

So I asked him if he would mind doing a photo call and he sheepishly said "I don't have a problem with that..Sure".

So we chatted idly until our chance came. Charlie Whiting was stood there, looking rather like a schoolmaster who was not too pleased by these events  but after seeing the hilarity of my placements IE: Ron Dennis  having his press call standing next to them and the cat calls of the attending media.,Mr Whiting's mood lightened dramatically.


Back on stage...
Eddie Jordan's band contained one Keith Prior, a friend of mine from THE CURE tours I did...but back then he was the drum tech not the LEAD drummer?.....So now Keith carries Eddie 'tempo issues' Jordan, on a platter, musically speaking of course

I was a bit nonplussed over the events on stage and as it turned out I saw a disgruntled production assistant announcing that there were 'thousands of BernieAwards®' in the open Fed-Ex truck outside !!

Great Door Stops these things make !!

After that I took the opportunity to have a few words with Christiano De Matta....He was very nice and told me a few CART Party stories...He too thought the fuss over the Transylvanians a bit much and as we agreed that Brazilian girls tend to make the rest pale into insignificance, he said Boa Noite and retired
I took this as a cue myself, as the show was now up to an hour overtime I thought...Better head to the bar before last call....I was not alone in those thoughts.
Upon my arrival I found most of the Autosport staff, a few familiar faces (and a famous jaw line) knocking 'em back  I dove into the fray and before I knew it ...I too was well oiled..At one point the discussion turned to height (Justin Wilson etc) and it was suggested I attempt to squeeze in the car sitting in the entrance to the ballroom
 I removed the steering wheel..(I know how to do this now) and In I jumped  I fit in fine..No Problems....However I ruined the retaining clip while attempting to re attach the steering wheel....yet AGAIN!! *

I awoke the next morning remembering nothing....Good thing I took pictures....
Now, if I can only get them in focus next time.....



#65 JasWil

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 11:14

Ah memories! Loved that bar in Montmello, we waited there for the queue for the train to die down too.
Great Patisserie in the village too - 2 crossiants and eight small cans of beer for the price of one cup of Skippy P!ss at the circuit.

#66 Peat

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Posted Yesterday, 21:21

How have i only just found this thread?

Epic stuff jp. The Indy 2013 reminiscences are great.