Le Mans 24hr 2015

The latest motor sport event covered for my client… which was the same for Spa Classic & Nurburg24. Unlike the last two events we were late in getting press accreditation so it was more of a fact finding trip and to grab what imagery we could.

Instantly the Le Mans 24hr felt bigger than Nurburg…. well apart from the track distance!

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Not sure if this was an Aston Martin parade which was lined up early Saturday morning but was the closet the general public got to some of the cars which were in the starting line-up.

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It was baking on the Sat morning and the drivers were sat for a good 25mins in full race suits and lids waiting for the green light to enter the track.

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Eventually the Aston’s were paraded onto the track. I’ve said it before but the Aston’s for me are THE best sounding car on the WEC series… (the dodge Vipers are good 2nd place though.)

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A lot more action to see at 24 Le Mans than 24Nurburgring, maybe because the length of track is shorter and so you get to see more of the cars. Even Aston Racing team were getting putting on a show between them…

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Like I said we didn’t get any track access so we could only get limited photo opportunities. The winning Porsche above #19.

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Whilst shooting from the main Grandstand it was interesting to see the camera on a wire which ran the full length of the pit lane. It was about 1metre long and would have given some of the cars a run for their money on the straight…

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Great atmosphere and buzz around the circuit which went on for the whole time we were there and didn’t look like it would let up… Plenty to see and observe and one thing that caught my eye was a GULF sombrero. If I were to wear one of them then that would be my choice.

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Great place, more people than you could imagine, more tents than you could imagine!

You can see more images on the gallery here – Le Mans 24hr 2015 – Portfolio.

On British soil next with the GP and Silverstone Classic next month.

Till next time

Jona

WEC 2015 – Silverstone

A repeated trip this weekend just gone for the 6 hours of Silverstone and WEC. Only went for the Saturday to soak in the atmosphere, see practice and race laps for F3, ELMS & WEC.

My choice of car has not changed since last year, the Aston Martins still have the best sounding car and even just hearing them whilst walking to the grandstand put a smile on my face…

A decent run down to Silverstone from Yorkshire with my good friend Andy (fellow Makem….) and the weather came good with the arrival of the sun but still as ever the place had a decent strong wind to keep the temperature down.

Unlike last year we wanted to see a bit more track action and so we headed to the start finish line and the grandstand.

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The free qualifying session for ELMS and WEC were just coming to an end for the first race of the F3 series. Not the best view for photography but was a good distance to check out a new edition to the kit bag. A new short VRII lens. Only really had a quick play with on Saturday but liking it and look forward to using the VR technology for more automotive work.

The track was drying out on the race line but still was slightly ‘damp’ on the dirty side of the track. Which didn’t stop some straight line overtaking.

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If you like motorsport and like to get close to the action then I would recommend getting along to WEC. Obviously you can’t get track side for photography but there’s a few photography locations you can get a good position without fencing being in the way. You can also get access directly above the pit lane which lets you get a great view and close to the action.

With a few different race series taking part on the day the pit lane got a bit busy to say the least…

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Along from the gantry overlooking the pit lane you can have a great view of the pit exit. Again great to get close to the action.

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After this session we headed back to the pit lane. We met up with what I have called the “F1 family”… All those serious F1 fans (of which I cannot claim to be one!) who follow teams / drivers and the whole lifestyle that F1 brings. Like Mark Webber from the previous season came from F1 to WEC this season Max Chilton races now with Nissan Nismo who was just to happy to sign autographs and have a few photographs with fans.

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It has to be said the hats off to Nissan Nismo who had a few guys in their pit garage with a few display cars giving access for fans to engage with them, ask questions and even get inside one of their cars. Things that fans really appreciate.

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Andy and Sarah enjoying being up close and personal with Nissan Nismo. Even though these were demo / display cars it gave you first hand experience of what the real thing is like.

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Quite liked the ‘printed’ exhaust pipes for the display purposes…

Didn’t get much pit action which I like to capture but still a good day out. If you want to see more images from the day then you can click here.

Jona

 

WEC @ Silverstone

Silverstone held the WEC over the weekend just gone. I’ve got to admit I’m not that clued up on all the different classes that compete in the World Endurance Champoinship but I like the atmosphere and ‘goings on’ behind the scenes. The weather was on the chilly side but dry…which was a good start. We had a walked past ‘The Loop’ and took a few of the cars that were already out on the track before heading to the main area just behind the International Pit Straight.

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For me all the engines sounded similar until the Aston Martins came around. There a re a few teams running them which for me was good as there was plenty of opportunities to hear that sound…. Vantage works V8 GTE… just sounded savage… (you can check out the Aston Martin 2014 season preview vid here to give you an idea)

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We wandered around to the International Pit Straight to have a look what we could see. There seemed to be a lot of tyre washing and prep… so a fare few tyres got shot…

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I was with a few friends who are serious F1 fans… So throughout the day they were talking to a few drivers who they knew / recognized. One such driver was Sam bird @SamBirdRacing (Mercedes F1 3rd driver last season)… You can see with the help of Sam’s sunglasses (below) I took a ‘selfie’ of us all. I think it was Andy’s jacket that got most of the attention due to it being a Mercedes team jacket and not a general jacket that you would find for sale…

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Access to the pits was limited on the day we went, with only the National Pit Straight open for a brief 15mins in the afternoon. With no real connections with any team or driver I just wandered in the short space of time to see what I could capture.

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We got access to the Art GT (Mclaren) team paddock and was good to see things behind the door… Seeing Ricardo Gonzalez (@ricardo_racing) amongst a few others preparing for the next outing.

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All in all a good day out and great value.

You can see more images in my gallery here.

Jona