|Ready to go to work at Barber!|
To view some of my IZOD Indycar series photos from Barber, go to the following link at motorsport.com:
Sunday's Indycar race wrapped up a hectic weekend schedule and followed the Firestone Indy Lights race which was won easily by Carlos Munoz from the pole heading up a disappointing nine car field. So now these series move on from the Alabama roller coaster natural terrain paradise at Barber Motorsports Park to the seaside streets of Long Beach, California - the site of one of Hunter-Reay's greatest Indycar wins, following not long after his mother died from cancer. Another Andretti Autosport win will surely set them up as favorites for the Indianapolis 500, practice for which opens in a little more than four weeks from now.
To view my Firestone Indy Lights Series photos from Barber, go to the following link at motorsport.com:
While Sunday at Barber was dedicated to open wheel racers, Saturday was a mixed bag with practice and qualifying in the morning for Indycar & Indy Lights, and the afternoon filled with sports car racing. The Rolex Grand Am Series race ran for two hours and was followed by a longer race for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge which took the racing action almost up to dusk. Both races were highly entertaining as Wayne Taylor's Corvette team took the protoype and overall win with Max Angelleli and Jordan Taylor at the wheel. The Continental Tire series had a huge field of cars and one of my favorite paint schemed cars, sponsored by Rum Bum and driven by Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi, took the GS win. I love these series and am so glad that the Grand Am and American LeMans Series will merge in 2014 under the banner of "United Sportscar Racing", a move I along with many other American fans of sports car and endurance racing have long awaited. I know the 2014 Daytona 24 Hours will be a sight to behold and I hope to be there shooting.
To view some of my Grand Am photos from Barber, go to the following link at motorsport.com:
Even though this was my first race weekend to shoot in 2013, it still felt like old home week down in Alabama. And saying I was "busy" doesn't do the time spent justice, as Saturday was a very long day with continuous shooting or editing photos from the time I arrived at the track for the 7:15 a.m. photo meeting to when I finally shut down my editing for the night at the hotel after 11:00 p.m. local time. Sunday was similar and even though the photo meeting was later than on Saturday, I still was at the track shortly after 7:00 a.m. to edit photos and update my blog, and had another 11:00 p.m. curtain call that night after still more editing.
So you think you want to be a motorsports photographer? You better be ready for anything, and come prepared to become immersed in the different world which exists at the tracks. When I am at a race, I feel both safe and confident. People will ask me if I worry about the danger, and I tell them no because I know what I am doing. I do not discount the risks involved by any means, but I've been doing this since 1984 and I know certain things in my bones: don't turn your back on the cars; don't walk in front of a crash track; communicate with corner workers; keep your eyes and ears open; and above all, know where to dive if a car heads in your direction. The challenges at each track are different - access, finding your way around, technical problems with camera gear, the internet or your computer, shooting locations, lighting, etc., - but sometimes the greatest challenge involves just getting to the track, as I discovered earlier this year with my planned Daytona 500 trip. For this trip I changed time zones twice and drove over 1100 miles round trip to make it happen. So if you can manage all that and still come away with some good pictures that help tell the story of a race event, then as tired as you may be afterwards, you will sleep soundly knowing that you gave it your all. And the sounds of race cars will continue to hum in your head for days to come. Until the next race.
I will see you then!