Tag Archives: CME

Shakes dust off the keyboard…

Well helloooooooo out there. How’s everybody doing?
My media credential for CIAS arrived last week.
It was like being handed the relay torch for the new season of auto racing before us. I had been feeling rather blasé about racing over the winter to be honest, but once I opened that package, BAM! I was in race mode overdrive.

And now you’re all scratching your head saying “what the fuck is she talking about? she’s been silent for weeks!”

Well, yes, that’s because it’s mostly all been behind the scenes. Lot’s of “i” dotting and “t” crossing, and planning, and making lists, and sorting through files and folders and drawers and stuff. Lots of “stuff”. (with lot’s of stuff still to do!)

But after a truly dreadful off season, I can now say without a doubt that I am actually very excited for 2013 and the upcoming racing season.

By the end of this weekend the first major race of the season will have concluded. The Rolex 24, a mega event whose participants are some of the top names from all levels and genres of the North American racing community. A chance for the drivers to kick the rust off so to speak, while their people network and schmooze and leak rumours of sponsor signings and secured seats in their respective series.
Every year I plan to get down there, and every year that plan is massively derailed by some unexpected road bump. This year was no different in that regard. Dammit.

As it stands I won’t be able to catch any of it until Sunday due to a variety of other commitments, but really, come on… the first 23 hours don’t mean diddly-squat other than culling the herd down for the final shootout. It’s all about that last hour. I will be around for that. And maybe some drunk tweets in the wee hours with the punchy folks doing the marathon viewing.

Speaking of which I did a quick write up over at OWW for Daytona
Zach (otherwise known as IndyCarAdvocate) did a great little IndyCar Guide to Rolex 24 on his blog
And it wouldn’t be the 24hrs of Daytona without the Annual Blogathon over at Grabbagsports! There are a couple of great previews up already. oh and Click here for the schedule of the weekend’s events

Let me know if I’ve missed anything noteworthy in the comments 😉

2013 kickoff

Two weeks from now the CME (Canadian Motorsports Expo)(see banner in sidebar) opens its doors to thousands of pasty white Canadian race fans who will groggily come out of hibernation to catch up with friends and colleagues, and check out the latest offerings from local vendors and venues. More on that later this weekend.

The following week, CIAS (Canadian International Auto Show) rolls into town. A convention centre full of shiny new cars! Yum! And a day of catching up on all the latest gossip with my fellow auto writers.

Then, before you know it, 5 weeks later, I’ll be boarding a plane for St. Petes for the first race of the season. (yes, that’s my plane ticket in the photo above) (yes, my suitcase already has some stuff pre-packed) (yes, I’m a Virgo)

It’s gonna be an interesting year. I just feel it my bones.
What about you guys? You still lurking in the shadows ready for another year of bitching and bellyaching and all the beautiful moments in between?

Canadian Motorsports Expo Takes Giant Step Forward

I must say, I was suitably impressed with the CME this year. Just walking into the show on Friday I immediately had the sense that it had finally found it’s legs after several awkward toddler years.

Is it spectacular? Not yet, but you could definitely see and feel the potential and growth, more so than during any other year I have attended.

There are still some niggley things to work out. Flow of the show itself (layout of aisles/booths, scheduling of the mainstage/seminar room talks, sound on the mainstage) but those are all fixable technical issues. Other than that, the substance of the show itself, well, things were much improved in that area.

There was a larger corporate presence this year, which not only added to the look/feel of the show, but also upped the quality of the presentations and seminars. Sadly, I had to miss out on some I really wanted to see, due to scheduling conflicts. (will suggest a doubling up on presentations for next year)

Though I jinxed it on Thursday by talking about the weather (Bad Meesh!) and then predicting Snowmageddon (which actually did happen, though not that bad) the foot traffic appeared to be heavier, right from the get go. I noticed more people milling about, and with a larger hall this year and wider aisles, you would expect the opposite interpretation. I also heard vendors remarking that they had had more inquiries and traffic at their booth on the Friday than they had had during the entire weekend in previous years. So it would appear to have been a successful weekend no matter what side of the aisle you were on.

One can only assume, especially when you take into consideration all of the announcements about the growth of racing and racing venues in Canada during this year’s show, that next year we will see even more outreach for this “little show that could”.

I can’t stress enough how informative and enjoyable the discussion panels and Q&A’s are, especially if you’re a race fan. The opportunity to speak with drivers and industry leaders in a casual setting in the off season, when they aren’t bogged down by the stresses of the season yet, is invaluable, and rare.
Unfortunately, my trusty digital recorder decided he had had enough this year, and failed me on two occasions over the weekend, otherwise you would hear a complete example of what you missed. Trust me. They were phenomenal discussions! But hey, maybe that is better. Maybe that is what will convince you to pop up and check out the show next year for yourself.

Anyway, here are a few shots from the weekend.  (will upload a gallery elsewhere later, as FB pic resolutions are shite)

I didn’t take too many general show pics this year, as I was too busy meeting, greeting, listening and hobnobbing! But I did manage some from the presentations I was able to enjoy.

I will also be posting an interview I did with the Mayor of Hinchtown 😉 later this week. Always great to chat with that boy. Feel like I’ve watched him grow up before my eyes.

EDIT: OH Eureka! So, turns out I did manage to capture all but a little bit at the end of the Media Panel Discussion on Saturday! I will figure out how to upload it so you can hear it.

Also, Stephanie from More Front Wing managed to capture the Q&A from Hinch so head over there and have a listen to that!  (Thanks for choosing one of my pics for your story Steph! 😉 )

So there ya go! Another year under our belts to kick off what is setting up to be a pretty damned exciting racing season for all genres of racing, both here in North America, and across the pond!

Thanks again to everyone at Inside Track magazine, specifically Greg MacPherson, for their hard work putting this show together and assistance on site! See you next year!