First Tour of the City

Both Roxie and Eleanor are on their way to us here in Vancouver, and like any new resident to the city we thought that we would take them on a bit of a tour of the City before we head off to the Vancouver Int’l Auto Show on the 26th.

Our itinerary for March 24th, is much like that of any other tourist / newcomer to the City.

10:00 – An early start in Steveston.  Feel free to meet us at the corner of #1 Rd and Bayview.  

11:30 – New Westminster for a “walk” long the Fraser River at Westminster Pier Park.  If we have time we will take them to visit the shops along Columbia St. The karts are really interested in seeing the corner combination from Clarkson St down onto Columbia St.

1:00 – North Vancouver (Waterfront Park) to pose for some memorable photos with Vancouver in the background.  

2:00 – Gastown, Vancouver, as it wouldn’t be a tour of Vancouver without a picture with the World Famous Steam Clock at Water St. and Cambie.  But just as important to karts will be an examination of the brickwork making up Water Street.  Depending on the weather we may even sit outside for a bit and have a bite to eat.

3:30 – If we have the energy we may hop over to Chinatown and see the Millennium Gate.

Not all of our stops will have the karts doing some road work, but we do have some ideas about locations that we could put on a bit of a display of Roxie and Eleanor during our tour, so please feel free to contact us if you would like to come out to see the “ladies” and we will give you more information.

Stay out of trouble and look forward to seeing you soon.

Greg

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First Announcements

I am thrilled to announce two big developments for G-Zero Championship Racing Series.
The first is that we have confirmed that we will be launching the Series to the public at the Vancouver International Auto Show in the final week of March.  Full details about what this launch will look like are still being ironed out but will likely include a Speaker’s engagement, appearances on a couple different local media programs, AND the debut and demonstration of our first kart.
Yes! After months and months of work and planning I am thrilled to announce that our first electric kart will be here in time for the show.
Below is a picture of the prototype at work,

Inline image 1

from EVC Racing, on its way to winning two collegiate electric karting championships during its development.  (The roll cage is just a precaution during its development.)
During the Auto Show, we plan to have a number of demonstrations for the public and are working with our hosts to have some space available for testing by interested teams / drivers.  (If you would like to talk about testing and becoming a team please reply here.)
This is only the beginning for the Series and we will be developing our public appearance and demonstration schedule over the coming month.
My two ‘asks’ of you are;
1) if you have a suggestion of where we should be bringing the kart out to, please let me know. Our mission for the next 4 months is to show off the kart(s) as much as possible.  This includes telling us which school your child(ren) attend, community events in your neighbourhood, or anything else where there might be people interested to learn more about the Series and seeing this vehicle.  We want to be showing the karts off as much as we can throughout the rest of the year so please make suggestions.  If you think your company might be interested in having us come out for a private event (say your company Barbecue)  please let me know who to contact here, I have other information about that specifically that I can pass along later.
2) if you want to keep hearing from us, come out to see the karts or even get in the kart, please join our Meetup Group, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
If you have any questions, suggests or just want to say “good luck” I look forward to hearing from you.
Stay out of trouble.
Greg
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Difference between a Cart and a Kart

Afternoon,

Our series has met an ever growing list of really great people who are keen to find out more about what we are putting together.  Most have helpful suggestions about what needs to get done, some have offered to help but a rare few have really become engaged and involved in this program.  We have been fortunate enough to have met and piqued the interest of one individual especially, James “Jesse” Purdy, who oddly enough has both a passion for both Karts and Carts.

The G-Zero Championship Racing Series is racing karts.  While some may call them “go-karts,” they are karts, designed to race at over 100 kph, carry a driver from start to finish and do so as fast a possible.

Jesse’s other passion is the not-for-profit that he has started.  The Safe Haven Shelters Society which builds carts.  These carts are designed travel at a walking pace, carry all the belongs of the individual that owns it and in most cases is their home as well.

We go racing for the entertainment, the thrills and excitement and to bring a revolutionary new form of motorsports to an audience that may have previously had little to no interest in this sport.  If along the way we happen to demonstrate the viability of electric vehicles and get people excited about this coming force in the automobile sector.  And Jesse has thrown a huge amount of experience, passion and insight into helping us work towards our goals and has gladly been working with us to move things along.

Jesse’ other passion, which takes away from talking about racing some days, is designing, building and giving to the world, the Hope Cart.  It is an amazing idea to change the way cities address their homeless population.  For a very long time, for the homeless, their options were to conform to societies and various government and NGOs deemed were the right way so solve their issues or go without the support network that is in place to help these individuals.  The Hope Cart adds another avenue for individuals that are ‘homeless’ giving them a place that is theirs, that will keep them warm and dry and will hopefully make their lives better.

Here within our series, we have lofty goals to change the face of motorsports and through that change the world, but we know that what we do is entertainment.  Working with Jesse, and his entire Safe Haven Shelters Society team has been not only a great boost for our organization, but it has also kept us grounded to what is real and what can be done to really change the world.

So this post is a personal thank you to Jesse and to all our supporters!

Stay out of trouble!

Greg

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Venue drafting, Nanaimo.

Hello,

So this past weekend we were lucky enough to return to Vancouver Island for some much needed R&R and again were struck by how much Nanaimo would be a great location to host one of our events.  The people both from the Downtown Nanaimo BIA and the city of Nanaimo have previously been great to talk with about having one of our events come to their community.  For our series it would also be work out really well as it will include more of the province in our plans, test teams with planning and working through travelling to events and ensure that we don’t over work the Lower Mainland.  Plus Nanaimo is a great city and their downtown has some very unique elements to it that would make hosting a race there really interesting.

So instead of spending time relaxing, I worked through the evenings to come up with a few different options for what a circuit through downtown Nanaimo could look like.   Here are the three options that we have to consider.

Any race would have to start on Front Street and go in a clockwise direction.

A little bit about each option.

Circuit A would include a very challenging corner coming rapidly down the hill on Front Street to turn right on to Wharf St, a narrowing of the street as drivers would come off Wharf St and onto Commercial St.  Plus that corner would have to be done properly as the bit of a hill means that drivers who exit that corner wrong will be at a disadvantage.

Circuit A + B would feature a longer straight stretch along Front St, that would include the downhill near Wharf Street as well as the cobble stone and underpass thought the Nanaimo  Museum bridge and then again a long uphill along Commercial St that would need drivers to get that corner properly.

Circuit A + C would introduce cobblestones at a different section of the track, a technically tricky narrow section across Commercial St. as well as a number of straights sections leading into 90 degree corners.

In the end we will likely have to bring a kart over and test each option.  Cobblestones, wet or dry add a technical challenge for both drivers and their teams as they have to set up their vehicles to be prepared for the travel over them. And in the wet they would be very interesting to watch but we would need to test them (drive over them repeatedly) to see if it is safe and not too jarring for the driver.

Let us know your thoughts, as we look for local insight and opinions about what would make for the most interested circuit for our teams and of course for our fans.

Thanks for your opinion and stay out of trouble!

Cheers,

Greg

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Sports and Politics

Today, those guys that defeated our beloved Canucks (we can favour one hockey team over another) made their ritual visit to the White House to meet the President of their country.  While it hasn’t happened for a while, we are sure that the next time a Canadian team wins the Stanley Cup they will be invited to visit with the Prime Minister.  While it is somewhat of a tradition that national championship teams visit with the President, the piece about today’s visit that is likely to get more press is the lack of Tim Thomas at the event. You can read more about it and his reason here.

While we as the sanctioning body for the series that we are working it bring to you, are fully and completely in favour of each and every individuals rights to free speech and political views, we also do not see his actions as the right thing to do for the NHL.  And we suspect that there will be language about this and other political stunts by players included in the next CBA.

Motorsports has also had its share of political statements, so it is not free and clear from the tough division of politics and sports.  From the odd awards ceremony during the 2006 Turkey Grand Prix, to the continued races within South Africa during the Apartheid, to the more recent cancellation of the 2011 Bahrian Grand Prix, the FIA has used a policy as political neutrality to avoid the controversies that can arise when politics and sport mix.  It is difficult to do, politicians like to be seen and sporting events are where they will be seen.  The FIA has laid out a clear policy about what politicians can and cannot do at their sanctioned events to attempt to make sure the two don’t mix anymore then they have to, which is what makes the event of the Turkish Grand Prix that much more puzzling.

While we all understand that for the sanctioning body, some days it really is about the money.  For motor sports, it is putting on events where the local government is willing to pay for you to come there and race, even if those locations may not be the most attractive in ways that are not measurable by accountants.  For the National Hockey League, visiting the White House is about the media exposure that having the Stanley Cup winning team meet with the President will generate.  The NHL knows that, the players know that and by marking a statement by simply not showing up for this team event, Tim Thomas clearly knows that.

We don’t envy the people within the NHL that have to make the decision if there should be any repercussions to Tim Thomas’ lack of appearance, but it is a lesson for our fledgling league. Define our policy about interaction with politics early!  And so for that we will thank Mr. Thomas, but only that, because he is after all on the Bruins.

Thanks for reading and Stay out of Trouble!

Greg

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It really comes down to the media

Evening,

So this afternoon I was having a conversation with a potential team owner for our series and the conversation got around to the continuing fact that while Formula 1 continues to push into even more markets around the globe and those further its claim to the the pinnacle of motor sports, it continues to fall back having a list of drivers from the European roots of the series.  His disapproval of this was focused on the perceived snub of Robert Wickens after winning last seasons Formula Renault 3.5 championship and that if F1 really wanted to be demand the World Championship that it is, then drivers like Mr. Wickens and other up-and-coming drivers from around the globe need to be given a fair chance to get a seat with a team.

After he finished his bit of a rant, (sorry Ryan it was a bit of a rant) we both mockingly laughed at the idea that there was anything fair about good or great drivers getting to continue to driver better and faster race cars.  And it has to do with money, doesn’t it always.  You see, any motor sports formula beyond karting (and sometimes even in the karting ranks) you need a lot more sponsorship dollars to even get in the car.  And for aspiring teams and drivers, the skill of finding funding to go racing is one they either learn early or struggle with for a long time.  Obviously with talent money comes easier but all talent being equal, the driver with the better sponsorship package is going to get to race in the better car (because they will be able to buy better parts, test more, hire better crews…) and so while Mr. Wickens may be as good or better driver for taking the next step in the Formula ladder, the new crop of F1 drivers for 2012 clearly have better (or more) money backing them.

But there is a second part to the reason that Mr. Wickens is not in a F1 car for 2012 and that is the role that the media plays in motor sports.  Over in Europe, every nation has at least one dedicated sports channel, any number of sports radio channels and gobs of specialize sports print media outlets.  All this adds up to an incredible media demand on all things related to the sports that that media focuses on.  And as a fairly large amount of that media is focused on the the circus that is F1 they have to continuously push out more stories about the series.  Every time the media does this, they of course will focus on their national drivers first, their national team second and then the sponsors from their country. So while having a Canadian driver (that is good) on a team based in Italy with Canadian companies backing him might sound the same to most of us, to the media he might as well be a phantom compared to a Spanish driver racing for the same team with Spanish backing.  So even if Mr. Wickens was able to raise the same amount of money as the Spanish driver he still won’t get the ride because the media outside of Canada is not going to pay him the same attention that the Spanish driver would get, not until he starts winning.  Of course he can’t start winning until he is giving a ride…

Anyways, I could keep going on with this as I did over coffee but hopefully I articulated the argument quickly enough.  Let me know if you want to talk further about this or anything else about motor sports and I will be happy to talk.

Stay out of trouble!

Greg

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A Social Media Eureka Moment

If you happen to be following some of the more prolific tweeters from Metro Vancouver today (@VIAwesome, @DennisPang, @erin_gee, @hummingbird604 to name a few), you would likely have notcied the #shitvancouveritessay hashtag start to trend. (At this time it is trending third in Vancouver and actually on the list across Canada.)

This is just one of the many great things that social media can do and do very quickly.  Suddenly (and really for no reason in this case) people start to catch on to something that other people are having fun with and suddenly “Eureka!” you have yourself a social trend.  With social media these things can come and go rather quickly and for entrepreneurs in the tech world, they may very well be hoping to build or have the next Eureka moment happen around their app or widget but that next great app may only be so for a very brief time frame.  For real world entrepreneurs, like our team, there is that desire to have a “Eureka” moment as well but many are still trying to figure out where and how they can tie in a hashtag that early adapters will also buy into.  Building a real world product that can deliver a Eureka doesn’t happen often, I doubt many Eureka moments happen around the newest John Deere tractor (unless you are in the tractor business, I guess).  But to bring on board an investor in this period of world’s economic cycle, all entrepreneurs need to devise a plan that includes a Social Media Eureka moment.

As such, when we talk with other start-ups about their trials with social media, we actually feel somewhat blessed.  Social media and sporting events mesh really well, because sporting events aren’t really events unless they are social.  As such, we speed a lot of time playing around with hashtag ideas.  Debate within the team right now (on this subject) is whether or not we can contrive and control  the social media in any manner when it comes to our events.  We of course would like an organic Eureka moment to happen when we get rolling but are working, as much as we think we can, to make one start when we want it to get started.

If you have suggestions on hashtags that would be great during one of our karting events, let us know.

Thanks again for reading and stay out of trouble.

Greg

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