Well what a 2013 that was! Let me just start by saying how blessed I feel to be able to experience all the incredible things I have in the past 12 months. I’ve been able to travel to legendary tracks I’ve only dreamt of going to like Mosport, Pocono and Road Atlanta, and work with clients I thought to be out of my reach only a year ago. I’ve gained valuable advice and experience from people in the industry including, but certainly not limited to, fellow photographer Michael Wong and PR genius Kelly Brouillet. They’ve helped me immeasurably over the course of this season.
A few weeks ago I made my first visit to Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans working for the popular enthusiast site GTspirit.com. To cover such a big international race was really something special. Going to a new track to shoot leaves you with something of a blank canvas to work with, which is both a blessing and a curse. At a track like Lime Rock which is basically a second home to me, the shots and angles are nothing new, and finding new and interesting angles is half the challenge. But going to uncharted territory for me like Road Atlanta leaves endless possibilities. You don’t look at each corner in such a narrow view, and the photos I captured I think reflect that.
Prior to my big season finale at the Petit Le Mans, I was busy moving up and down the eastern seaboard. Perhaps the highlight of my season came the Grand Am finale at Lime Rock Park. I spent the weekend working for BMW North America, covering the season finale of the Grand Am Rolex Series, as well as the always entertaining Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Overcast weather on Friday as well as the pressures of shooting for the championship winning manufacturer as they clinched the title proved a challenge, but by the second day the clouds parted and I settled into a groove and pumped out some of my best work. Working for BMW was such an unreal experience I still can’t quite believe I’m typing this, but if all goes well I hope to be working with them a lot more in 2014!
Just 5 days later I was back trackside once more at Virginia International Raceway, a track i hadn’t visited since 2011. The 8 hour drive was more than worth it to see the incredible racing ALMS provided, particularly in the GT class. The exciting battle for the manufacturers championship was on display in the closing laps, with fans of the BMW team enjoying the action amongst the crowds of passionate Corvette enthusiasts.The two factions of sports car fans cheering on their respective marques combined to provide an incredible atmosphere that was really cool to experience first hand.
The picturesque scenery of VIR also provided the perfect backdrop for some amazing photos. The absence of the famed oak tree was immediately noticeable, and unfortunately led to the loss of a few iconic photo opportunities. The Oak Tree always cast a beautiful late day shadow across the track and losing that made the angles at the far end of the track frankly, ordinary. Still though, despite the unintentional scenery alterations, I managed to capture a few really good shots of the action. The track is certainly worth the drive and I wouldn’t think twice about returning in 2014 with the excellent GT category on showcase.
2013 has been incredibly kind to me, and if all goes to plan 2014 should take me to a whole new level. I hope to be able to share those plans with you soon. After all the 2014 season, and the future of sports car racing, kicks off in just 79 days!