17 April 2006

Assen: Race Day

Clear skies, a little wind and chilly temperatures are a welcome sight compared for teams competing in Holland at the Assen circuit. There's no rain in sight and should be clearing for sun this afternoon, so things should be looking rather pleasant very soon.


13 April 2006


I'm posting this from Heathrow and only have 2:35 remaining on the pound coin I put in the machine. Anyway, its 11AM here and my flight to Brussels leaves in just over 1 hour. So far so good, I slept great on the flight over and feel pretty zippy for the time my body thinks it should be... I guess I've been on Euro time for awhile?

Anyway, time to run. Only 1:20 left on the machine....

11 April 2006


Rock Gal and I went climbing on Sunday (a few days ago now) and despite my lack of energy about half way through, we both had a great day with some break throughs for each of us.

Rock Gal has discovered that by getting on the smallest, crimpiest and most shit-for-slopers route in the gym she has convinced her psyche that anything large enough to actually put your hand on in later climbs is quite easy. She hopped on a climb on the slab that, as far as I could tell, was covered with holds roughly the size of pencil erasers. While it took quite a bit of effort and heart, she masterfully crept up the route and made some killer moves along the way.

Later, on a route that would normally give her pause and a reason for a take or two, she blasted up like it was nothing. Awesome. She makes me so proud, and full of awe! Basically, having been on all the small stuff, the larger slopers and mid-sized crimpers were a piece of cake. Every hold that had given her pause before was now a bomber hold that required less effort and did not destroy her confidence. What a woman!

As for me... I got to the gym and did a couple of routes but got tired, real tired, very quickly. I nearly fell asleep on the mats and did not foresee myself doing any more climbs. Until... I got a second wind and decided to jump on my favorite route while she waited for one to open up. I flashed up with what Rock Gal tells me was great technique and a flash of confidence. Backsteps and hand placements were more simple, things moved more fluidly and the moves just felt as though they needed to happen. After that I did two more routes (after she motored up a couple of tough ones) and felt tired but good. I wasn't sure were the energy had come from though. Was it the Clif Bar? Who knows. But those last two climbs were pretty smooth and only required one take, as I'd never been on one of the routes before that afternoon.

I'm glad I felt good up there, and I'm moving with more precise footwork.

World Endurance: Preview

Check it out! The World Endurance Championship is slated for broadcast and highlights on MotorTV so you can all check out the action from 2005 and get an idea of why I am going across the pond. Highlight videos are 26 minutes in length and run within the browser so they should work for Mac & PC.

MotorTV will also be showing reviews of the 2006 Assen and Le Mans round a week late, so be sure and check back for coverage of the race. And, who knows, I might get a few second of air time from pit lane.

Also be sure and check out the Official Le Mans website for live Webcams, time & scoring as well as photographs from the paddock, pit and track all weekend. You might also look in on Eurosport for live streaming radio coverage from the 24H on April 22/23.

I'll also be posting (hopefully) press releases and information to Motorsport.com during both rounds, but much of that is going to depend on my Internet access at the tracks, as well as time!

10 April 2006

Inching Closer

Had an Email from Hans today detailing internet access at Le Mans. Apparently, they charge for WiFi there, which I should have anticipated. Its 98 Euros for a full week of access, but I don't mind. I need the access enable to send updates to Motorsport.com and will be using it plenty both at night posting pictures and such for friends & family so it is well worth the hundred or so dollars for connectivity. No word on Assen, so maybe it is free...

Everything else is going smoothly and packing started last night. Rock Gal and EOC geeked out about her new Osprey backpack last night while I counted socks and underwear. I was dead tired from a great afternoon of climbing at Summit, but by the time I'd organized and gotten in bed (11PM) I couldn't sleep. It was not anxiety about the trip, it was iced tea from Alfredo's!

Speaking of caffeine (if that's how you spell it) I just downed a Red Bull. I'm hoping it will offset 3 hours of sleep on the couch. The bed was just too hot. No fault of Rock Gal's, the bedroom is just 5 degrees warmer than the living room and that's enough to crap out my ability to sleep. I can the Red Bull now.



Here's a picture for you. British Superbike series at Cadwell Park.

Two days and counting. The nerves are starting to set in a little, but its all good.

01 April 2006

Pondering Possible Press Publications Profoundly Perplexing.

Having my project rejected by Roadracing World on Friday, I was feeling a little discouraged. John Ulrich is one of the most open editors to new content and new types of stories, so getting a no from them is a little more of a hit. However, having spoken with Bill and Rock Gal, I'm starting to feel a bit better.

Bill suggested that by establishing strong contacts in 2006, and maintaining those ties through the year, we might find a way to bring a rider to the series in 2007. He hinted at someone with "fewer ties and commitments, someone like John Haner" and I think that's a neat idea. Assisting the orchestration of such a project would be pretty exciting and rewarding, to say the least.

Given my present goals however, I just sent the following letter to three of the top UK magazines.

(Addressed to X magazine),
As an American freelance writer it is not often that I get the chance to cover something truly special. However, I am traveling to Europe mid-April to join Primo Racing as a volunteer mechanic on their World Endurance Championship team at the first two rounds of the 2006 championship season. I am arriving in Brussels just in time to join the team on their drive to The Netherlands to take part in the Assen 500K before we make the trek to Le Mans for the 24 Hour Moto event.

I would like to offer (magazine X) a(n exclusive) story covering the event from inside a private team, Primo Racing, at both rounds of the championship. I will be traveling, eating, sleeping and working with the team for over two weeks, the extent of my available holiday time from my employer here in the States. To further this project I have been in touch with many other teams and have been granted interviews with other concerns competing in the championship. Diablo666 and Terry Rymer have invited me to their pit for several interviews, as have their sister team Bolliger. PhaseOne and Shell Advance have also been in contact, and many other possibilities are presenting themselves daily. On top of this, FGSport have granted me full press credentials at both Assen and Le Mans, and access to professional photographers will be excessive as series photographer Martin Gelder has been in touch to offer such an opportunity. Seeing as how I will likely be the only American in the paddock at both rounds, Roger Bennett at Eurosport has contacted me regarding several on-air interviews over Eurosport's radio broadcast during the Le Mans 24H event, an opportunity that is certainly perfect for the mention of a certain magazine for which I could be providing an exciting and engaging story!

If you would enjoy seeing exclusive content from both rounds of the Championship and an insider's view of the World Endurance Championship, as well as interviews with the principals and riders of many top teams, please contact me. I will be in Europe from 12 of April through the 28 of April and also plan on visiting Spa and the Nurburgring aboard a Suzuki GS1200 on loan from Primo Racing after the Le Mans event. I will have my cell phone with me in Europe, but email is probably the most efficient means of contacting me. Your time and attention are greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Greg Sampson

The middle paragraph is a bit long and perhaps awkward as such, but there's nothing I can do about it now. With the email now sent to Bike, Performance Bikes and Motorcycle Racer I am left to simply wait for a response, which will hopefully be favorable.

I also sent messages to RubberMag and Crash, two internet based racing news organizations. I will also likely contact Motorsport with content, but they are a small concern and won't have a budget to pay me. Still, it could be a publication and at this point, that is about all that matters.

Outside of motorsport rags I have also written to Budget Travel and another travel rag that I've forgotten... I don't expect responses from either as they tend to concentrate on beach/cruises and outdoor/natural activities respectively. My next hits will be the AMA magazine and AA's in-flight rag, though I'm not too keen on either of those as real opportunities.

I suppose we'll see what happens. With luck I'll find some new contacts while in the press centers at both events. That, alone, could provide me with some serious clout given that I can gain a rapport with people solidly in the business.

On the home front, I have also attempted to contact Jason Pridmore through the Star School website (he rode for PhaseOne back in 2003) and am trying to get in contact with Joe Prussiano, David Estock and Michael Barnes via a variety of message boards from WERA and CCS. It has not been easy.

How else can I open doors?