Sonoma Raceway- if it were in Australia, it would be right in the guts of the Barossa Valley. The place is unreal.
The thing that gets you is the sheer scale of the joint, it’s massive. It’s built into the side of a mountain, and they built another mountain on the other side, so it sits in an artificial valley.
As a punter, it’s excellent, there are great sight lines of much of the track from pretty much anywhere, but sometimes hard to get around due to aforementioned mountains. TV really dwarfs the place- they say there will be 90K people there on Sunday, and I believe it.
NASCAR also is massive. We might think V8 Supercars is pretty special, but we have nothing.
On NASCAR, and it also being a small world, I signed in at registration to get my pass (dur). Because the girl behind the counter was a Kiwi who used to live in Surfers Paradise with family in Gympie, I was issued with a paddock car pass. Epic victory!
Got to hang out a bit today with Marcos Ambrose. It was a pretty full on day, with very little spare time to catch your breath.
Starting with a media conference, Marcos was ferried to the top of a nearby hill to film the TV intros for the V8s to be shown in USA, then another TV bit in the pits.
Practice one was next, and Marcos set the quickest time with a mock qualifying run. It’s important because it means he goes out to qualify tomorrow with the four other quickest cars of the session.
The achievement was also honoured with a massive trophy. That’s right, for being good in practice, Barbie and her two daughters presented Marcos with a huge silver cup. Everyone’s a winner!
Got to meet Carl Edwards, who stopped by the trailer to chat to Marcos. He’s the same top bloke from the TV, and also outrageously funny…
Drove out through Sonoma, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more picturesque wine region. Light brown grass, bushy dark green vines, magic.
Found my way back onto the expressway, but the traffic was awful, so I took a detour out to Bodega Bay. The bay itself was pretty nice, but the outside where the Pacific hits the coast was amazing.
Stopped by the Boat House in Bodega Bay for Fish Tacos on the way home. Magic.
Nearly hit some deer on the side of the road, but I managed not to use them as an apex marker. Also on wildlife, a snake nearly slithered into me on the way out of the track. It was yellow and black, so I hope it’s good luck!
Finished the night by purchasing a six pack of 500ml beer for $5.99. I’m well ahead on the transaction.