Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Scuderia Toro Rosso

I work for a very good company, NOVA Chemicals, and I'm constantly finding out that they have interests beyond what I see at work. One of those interests is its sponsorship of Scuderia Toro Rosso, a Grand Prix racing team. This is one of the cars in their stable:

Employees were offered a chance at a very unique experience if we were going to be in Austin on Friday, November 15th.  Since I wasn't that far away, on vacation in San Antonio, I was anxious to take them up on their generous offer.  We were given passes to the Paddock Club, the beautiful suite located across from the Grandstand and directly above the Toro Rosso garages.  Follow the Paddock Club link and click on the various parts of the site for some great pictures.  Amazing.  We walked along Pit Lane and saw the cars, crews and drivers up close and some company personnel were on hand to answer all of our questions.  There are garages along Pit Lane and the driver's name is above each one, along with a flag of his home country.  For the Toro Rosso team the drivers were Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Jean-√Čric Vergne of France. After a fabulous gourmet lunch we went behind the garages and saw the area where the break rooms were for the crews, the Engineer's office and more.  Then, it was into the garage where we put on headphones and listened to the driver talking to his teammates.

Click to Enlarge

It was amazing to see how fast the tires were changed - in 2.5 seconds or less.  The cars are able to go from 0 to 100mph and back to 0 in 7 seconds.  The sounds of the cars going around the track were deafening.  I learned a lot.

It was a full and exciting day and an experience that I never thought I'd have.  Now, I'm hooked on Formula One and watched all the coverage on TV from that weekend as well as the following weekend when the race was in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

If the chance to go again comes up again next year, I'm going to be very, very tempted.  I'm collecting adventures in life and this is certainly a favorite.

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