and with that, the season has begun!

Well, I have to say, despite the serious lack of formal coverage, and my bleary eyed rant at 3am, I was able to thoroughly enjoy the Daytona Rolex 24 this weekend with the help of fellow race enthusiasts such as myself and the efforts of some highly creative and talented folks at the race itself.

Firstly, major kudos go out to the folks at TRG! and their innovative coverage of the race, allowing fans to become part of the action all weekend via pit cam (which was unfortunately reduced to still photography by the powers that be… ) on-the-fly youtube videos that had the production value of something far more advanced, constantly updated photo albums and a live chat room that provided a steady stream of not only information, but the opportunity to chat with drivers fresh from their stints in the car, crewmen, suits, PR folks and the like.

To be able to hop into the chat with them throughout the weekend and essentially ride along with the team on their way to their 1-2 victory in the GT class was a real treat, and a fascinating look behind the curtain. While I have had many an opportunity to be in the thick of the action at several racing events, to experience the joy, the frustration, the fear, the exhaustion, all in real time along with the team, only enhanced my enjoyment of this race as a viewer, a journalist and a fan. TRG should be the example by which all teams & racing series present themselves to their fans on race weekend, not the exception to the rule. And the sooner the series and the broadcasters support these efforts rather than thwart them, the better.

Secondly, to my fellow keyboard jockeys! In particular the boys at FuriousWedge and their clever bloggathon initiative!

What a hoot to participate with y’all via our mutual blogs and twitter accounts this weekend.

When our little community comes together like this it makes me all at once proud and grateful to call you my colleagues and friends. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the 2009 racing season. Suddenly the cold, harsh winter doesn’t seem so bleak, and the season ahead seems far less grim.

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