Whoa, I just saw Andy Hall! That probably only means anything to one person reading this, and if Mylia does remember who I'm talking about, she's sure to squeal with glee. Andy was one of the first people in ALMS to welcome me in and really help set things going. He left the series over a year ago, is doing quite a bit of other stuff these days. I think he's doing some PR work for Dodge Motorsports -- well, it's nice to know someone is doing that... Heh, that buzzard stole my job! It's good to see him back, even if he's not the go-to guy anymore. Anyone who's responsible for running a media relations office in racing, could learn a bit from watching Andy.
The network here at Sebring is in total shambles - I'm writing this offline. Some of the others in the office are having no trouble at all, but neither my iBook nor Tim's Win2k notebook can pull an IP address to save our lives. Signal strength is over 90% (should be, since we're only a few feet from the antenna) but the damn router just won't play nice. It's not just my machines, either -- fully 2/3 of the media here, ain't got no link to play with. I may have to file my dispatches to Autoextremist via carrier pigeon. Or worse, dialup.
When I checked-in yesterday morning to get my press credentials, I was handed a pair of tickets to the big Sebring Gala. First time for me. The town of Sebring holds a big bash every year, yummy buffet and open bar all night. Lots of music, right on Lake Jackson. They had the Budweiser clydesdales last night, beside the civic center. I got to chat with the clydesdales' handlers for a while, and came away with the impression that these giant animals are very well cared-for. The handlers genuinely seem tuned-in to the clydesdales and look after them in the best way possible.
As for the rest of the party? Music, booze, and... cuties everywhere. The place was just packed to the seams with hot chicks, left, right, and every which way. Tim (best friend from high school who's along for the trip as my assistant) took advantage of the free booze. I, for the most part, didn't. I might be down here to have fun, but it's also with the single-minded determination to make something out of the trip. Besides, I had to drive the 4-5 miles or so back to the track afterwards.
There's some new drink called Tilt, that takes the "let's mix some alcohol with Red Bull" idea and puts it in a can. If you like Red Bull, Tilt will get you, well, quite tilted. If you don't, well, don't bother.
I slept in the car last night. After telling myself that, no matter what, I'd have better accommodations this time around, I was left with no alternative when I got back here at 0130 than to just pass out in the driver's seat. Tim didn't fare much better.