1. What is your most memorable experience from your years as a marshall?
- My Most memorable experience was at the first time the SCCA Runoffs came to Mid Ohio. My wife Joellyn and I were working on the outside of what is today turn 9. A Formula Ford became high centered on the turns downhill exit in a very dangerous area. We signaled our corner captain to let us attempt to move the car under a waving yellow. He signaled go and we were able to lift the front off the track to free it safely and he continued. It was a real adrenalin rush with cars going by only a couple feet away! We knew the captain and he told the safety steward "don't worry, they know what they're doing. There were many more in almost 50 years of being a marshall but that one sticks in my mind.
2. What ignited your passion for motorsport?
- Surprisingly my mother. My father was a salesman and was gone 3 or 4 nights a week so mom and I would go to local tracks around Milwaukee, Wisconsin such as Hales Corners and Slinger Speedway. Been hooked ever since.
3. Which is your favorite roadcourse that you have visited?
- I live in Neenah, Wisconsin which is one hour from Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin and it's one of the best. I've had the pleasure to work all over America at these tracks also: Black Hawk Farms, Donnybrook (now Brainerd Int'l, Milwaukee State Fair Park, Gingerman Raceway, Grattan Raceway, Mid Ohio, Virginia Int'l Raceway, Watkins Glen, Sebring, Daytona, Heartland Park, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Second Creek Raceway (now gone), Long Beach, Fontana, Hermanos Rodriguez, and MoSport. Virginia International was a beautiful track and great Southern hospitality.
4. Who is your favorite sports car driver?
- That's a tough one to answer. In F1 I like Verstappen. Indy car I like James Hinchliff. My favorite amateur driver is my good friend Cliff Ebben who also runs Trans Am.
5. Why and how did you become a marshall?
- My first car was a Triumph TR3. There were 4 around town. We'd run local solos and slowest had to buy the beer afterwards. One owner was a jeweler in town and he was an SCCA marshall. He invited me to try it down at Black Hawk Farms in Illinois and worked in the pouring rain. I wa soaking wet but loved every minute of it. Why? Well, I knew I couldn't afford to race so this got me close to the action. Over the years I've made so many friends and the excitement and adrenalin is addictive. I've been a corner captain for many years and hope in the future to maybe work with possibly training new marshalls.
6. Do yo prefer open wheel or tin-tops in racing?
- I guess I prefer open wheel but find myself really enjoying the variation IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge have for the variety and close competition in the GT classes. F1 needs to be able to improve the equality between teams while Indycar seems to be slowly improving. The best racing is amateur road racing because everybody wants to beat the driver ahead of them while many times the pros will be satisfied with a good finish.
7. How did you wind up in the xtrememotorsports99 league?
- I found out about iRacing during lunch break with my marshalls at Canada Corner at Road America. So SCCA offered a discount to iRacing and I joined at the young age of 66. I learned of Xtreme Motorsports League through SCCA marshall Bob Brist who recommended me to admin Kevin Ford. Bob drives a Mustang in Xtreme. It is the best run league by far and has strong competition with clean and helpful drivers. Great fun with great people.
8. What do you recommend for someone just picking up sim-racing for the 1st time?
- If you really like auto racing then you may find sim racing to be a blast. Like any form of competition, it can get expensive. In my opinion, iRacing is the best but there are many alternatives such as Automobilista, Assetto Corsa, Race Room, etc... Most offer racing against computer generated competition except iRacing which is against other real people. Find wheels and pedals you can afford and work your way up as able. Be careful! It can be addictive and don't let it cause issues with life at home. Study up about sim-racing before purchasing.
9. What advice do you have for someone looking to get involved in real-life track activities?
- I had friends who almost lost their marriage or automotive business due to driving and owning race cars. I realized early that owning and driving a race car was not gonna happen so what would be next best. There are many alternatives such as working in tech-inspection, grid, pit marshall, registration, course marshall, and corner marshall. I chose to be a corner marshall which involves flagging, communications, and observation. No matter what your area of fun, safety is number one. If you're interested in working at a road race, show up at an amateur SCCA event and many times you can get a special membership to try out your specialty. It's been one of the biggest enjoyments of my life.
10. What goals do you have for the 2017-2018 seasons in sim-racing?
- In Xtreme league, its a top 5 finish in ST class, hopefully top 3. I also belong to the Absolute Beginner's League, and a 60+ league but have not been able to run the whole seasons with them both. Both are very enjoyable leagues also.
10A. How did you meet Edgar FRITO Sanchinelli?
- The first time I saw Edgar's name was just ahead of me in my first ABL Formula Neagle race at Montreal. As I ran more ABL races, I kept finding myself racing near Edgar and he always raced cleanly and we had fun. Next thing you know we're chatting and texting. I consider Edgar to be one of my close friends in sim-racing. Thanks Edgar, hope we have many more sim races ahead.
FRITO on steam
Edgar FRITO Sanchinelli