The purpose of this blog is to inform those who are interested about my journey as one of three students from around the world who earned placements at Infiniti-Red Bull Racing as a result of the Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy. Family, friends, colleagues, aspiring engineers, and any other followers are welcome to visit this page and, if desired, give me feedback or ask questions. It is an effort to streamline documenting the next 12 months for all of these varying audiences, some of which do not participate in social media.

I have never written a journal, never written a blog. This is a first for me. This being the most meaningful and fantastic opportunity I could ever dream of, I would like to share best I can the details of what goes on in my day-to-day during the academy. I am incredibly honored to have won a placement at Infiniti-Red Bull Racing, and I seek to make this opportunity worth everything it possibly can be.

I will write once or twice a week, depending on the accumulation of events and catching up on the previous few days. If you'd like, you can sign up for email notifications for when I create a new post! See the link toward the bottom of this page. I hope you all enjoy, and thank you so much for visiting!

Thursday, 25 September 2014


On Saturday morning, Jack, Will, Jason and I relaxed and (re)watched Senna.  If you haven’t seen this movie documentary, you must do so now.  We’ve been setting up our laptops to play on the TV and using our awesome UE Boom Infiniti-Red Bull Racing edition Bluetooth speakers.

One of our UE Boom I-RBR edition speakers

These speakers are unbelievable.  You can use two of them in a stereo mode, and they make for awesome additions to our flat.  We got them when the three of us were in the Paddock Club at Silverstone as VIP guests during the British Grand Prix.

Paddock Club at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix in July

For the rest of the weekend, Jason and Will and I did our own things.  Jason and Will both went to visit friends in London, and I did some catching up on the personal side of things, followed by exploring.

One of my goals while I’m here is to get to know a lot of the area in the UK; my sights are set on traveling the continent, but I also want to see what’s local and get to know a lot of it!  The first thing I looked up was, naturally, a good driving road.  I found a few forum threads where motorheads had mentioned the B660 as one of the best driving roads in the area Buckinghamshire area.  So I set out to find that in the Q50.


I started by going up the A509 through Olney and on up toward Wellingborough.  One of the first things I realized is that my route, provided by the GPS on the Q50, took me through some super narrow tiny villages.  At one point, I wasn’t sure if I was driving on what was intended to be a footpath, because the streets are so narrow with totally blind corners, and people park on one or both sides.  This made for some interesting one-way situations.

One of the many interesting impromptu one-way situations

One of the hardest things about switching which side you drive on is being able to judge where the other side of the car is.  For me, it’s been a little difficult and perilous to judge where the left side of the car is, and playing it conservatively isn’t always an option when you’ve got no room on either side.  Oh, and the Q50 isn’t exactly a small car in Europe.  Being that the one-ways were a first for me in a country where I don’t totally understand the courtesies of the road just yet and don’t have total confidence in my ability to judge the width of my car, I did my best to not freak out.

I then headed east on the A45 through Rushden and a few more small towns.  I got to a few lakes just north of Thrapston before looking back at the GPS and rerouting to find the B660.  I took the A14 straight over to the B660 and turned off my GPS for the rest of the trip.  Life gets pretty interesting when you don’t have a destination.

The B660 didn’t disappoint.  It’s a two lane road which winds around the countryside and over some rolling hills, incorporating a few hairpin-esque turns.  Being that I didn’t know the road well, and the lanes are still very tight with some relatively blind corners, I took it easy.  The road also brings you through little towns every so often, which slowed the drive down a bit anyway.  It was a fun, peaceful drive that offered some gorgeous views.

View from the B660

I made it up to a tiny village called Great Gidding, where I decided it was about time to turn around since the sun had decided to set.  I pulled off on a gravel road and stopped for a second to enjoy the view.

"Put a little gravel in my travel"

Dusk in Great Gidding

I found another little town down the gravel road called Luddington, which was cool…but then I found myself a little more offroad than I wanted to as I made it back to the B660 to head south toward Bedford.


A little more offroad than I was hoping to find...

When I made it south of where I started, the road was even better.  There were a few more tight corners and some sweepers, and the road quality is excellent.  I also went through another little village called Little Catworth, which had some cool character.  The B660 was beautiful at dusk.  Just getting out and seeing the countryside was a great way to spend the day.

More of the B660

Kimbolton was a really awesome town, too, with a really nice main street and the casual castle.


Kimbolton Castle in the background, which now serves as a school

I finally made it to Bedford after passing another nice small town called Mowsbury.  Bedford was really cool to see at night.


Cool sculptures in Bedford

I am getting better at navigating the tight roads and understanding how people drive here, mainly by just putting myself on the road.  I will say that the drivers in the UK are relatively assertive and confident in their driving, and they’re also just plain better at driving and common courtesy than most people.  Oh, and roundabouts…most Americans are no strangers to driving circles.  We have them here and there throughout the US.  But nearly every intersection around is a roundabout, and they’re completely different than those in the US. 

A Milton Keynes roundabout we navigate every day

First, there’s up to three lanes to enter the circle.  Two lanes generally form the actual circle, and you take the one on the inside if you’re going at least 2 exits, until you make your intent to exit and you cut across the outside lane.  The outside lane is for those who are exiting on the first or second exit, depending on the layout.  Seems simple, and it is once you get to know them.  It took Jason and I a few attempts to really understand what was going on.  They move FAST.  Still, every time I hear a car horn, I naturally assume it’s for me.

I definitely plan to do more exploring, especially with my roomies, as the year goes on.  At an equivalent to $8/gallon, carpooling is definitely the better choice…

The rest of the weekend was dedicated to watching the F1 race and good ol’ American football.  Jason and I got out the cheese and crackers and beer for the race, which was a night race in Singapore this week.

Watching our first F1 race as team members!

The mesmerizing Singapore circuit at night

The new mid-season rules regarding radio communication to the driver added a few interesting moments for sure.  Rosberg went out, and tire strategy became very interesting toward the end.  Seb’s tires were pretty much gone by the end of the race, but he held on for second behind Hamilton, and Ricciardo grabbed third.  This was our second double podium of the season and Seb’s best finish so far.  It was thrilling to watch our first race as team members!

Vettel and Ricciardo on track

Vettel and Ricciardo with the double podium finish.  Not quite there but a great result!

Christian Horner gave the entire team a debrief on the race this week, as he does every week.  For an idea of what that’s like, check out the video of Christian in the 24 hours after the Italian Grand Prix:

Oh, and the three of us are flying out to the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan on Monday to work with Vettel on developing the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge.  So, that’s pretty neat.

Virtual image of the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.  Flying there on Monday!

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge

Only five races left!  Back to work!

No comments:

Post a Comment