March 13th, 2006

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Burn, baby, burn

Sigh... My face got sunburned from standing out in the rain. I don't know how I managed to play baseball and ride bikes as a kid without getting roasted. I guess my skin is just less tolerant (heck, completely intolerant) than it used to be.

The reason I was out in the rain (well OK it only rained some of the time, but when it was sunny I had my back to the sun most of the time) is that I went to see the U.S. round of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations, at Laguna Seca. I think this is the first time I have paid to watch a race in... gosh... 15 years or so (well, Linda and I did go to the San Jose Grand Prix on the Saturday, so we did see the Trans-Am and USTCC support races). I figured I should support the fledgling A1GP series, though, because I like the concept (it's like the Olympics, or, as their official slogan goes, the World Cup of Motorsport).

I've watched every race too, so the chance to see them in person was cool, even if it was raining and the ground a muddy mess. But seeing SNOW on the hills around the track was something else... as was seeing that the Media Center had been demolished (a new one has been built down by pit lane).

France clinched the championship. Mexico won both races -- their first race wins in the series.

After the races, I met the founder of the series, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum al Maktoum. I shook his hand and told him I'd been enjoying the series and hope that it will be able to continue (there are lots of rumors floating about). He smiled and said, "Thank you. It will!"

Come to think of it, that's the first time I've ever met royalty.