Friday, July 6, 2012

Rolex Series Tests at Indy: Prelude to Super Weekend

The GrandAm Rolex Series tested at IMS July 6, 2012
The Rolex Grand Am and Continental Tire Challenge series competitors rolled onto Indianapolis Motor Speedway today for a two-day test session amidst the hottest weather seen in Indy in 75 years. The heat did not appear to slow anyone down who needed track time as preparation for the inaugural sports car races at IMS which are scheduled for July 27th as part of the Brickyard 400 "Super Weekend". I don't know if today was the hottest day ever that cars have been on the famed oval at IMS, but it certainly was the hottest day I can recall since I began shooting at Indy in 1984. And I wasn't even wearing a triple layer Nomex firesuit like the drivers! I can't imagine what that must have felt like.

One time along the entrance to pit lane from the Grand Am paddock area, I knelt down to take a low angle photo as the cars were coming out for the afternoon practice session, and I thought I was going to leave some skin on the IMS concrete. Although I didn't blister or melt out there today, I felt like I was going to at times, and scouting for photos took equal priority with finding shade whenever the opportunity presented itself. Thankfully the media center was open and I was able to replenish my water supply and take advantage of the air conditioning during lunch.

The Rolex competitors earned their keep today and I hope the data they compile will be useful for the race at the end of the month. I will not likely be able to shoot it however, as I have a commitment to ARCA at Lucas Oil Raceway that day, so unless it rains I will be in Clermont that day rather than Speedway. Lord knows we need the rain but race weekend is still three weeks away so I was glad to be able to get out there today and work the track's road course to shoot from areas not normally used during the Indy 500 or the Brickyard 400. After all, the Rolex guys are going the "wrong way", running the Speedway's infield road course in clockwise fashion and going north on the front straightaway. It does take some getting used to.

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