Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sports Car Review 2013

Brickyard Superweekend Rolex winners Alex Popow & Ryan Dalziel
While I only got to shoot two main sports car races in 2013, they were epic. My sports car season started with the Rolex and Continental Tire Series races at Barber Motorsports Park in April as part of the Grand Prix of Alabama Indycar weekend. The other sports car race was at Indianapolis as part of the Brickyard Superweekend at the end of July. I did manage to grab a few shots of the Pirelli World Challenge race at Mid Ohio in August but that weekend was consumed with shooting Indycar and Indy Lights so I don't really count that as a race I worked per se. Both the Barber and IMS weekends were part of my 2013 work for motorsport.com which you can see the photos here from IMS and from Barber here.

Wayne Taylor Celebrates win
The Barber weekend was capped by an enthusiastic win by Wayne Taylor's Corvette team with Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor at the wheel. Max "The Axe" is always a thrill to watch race and the twisty, hilly confines of the Barber track made for some close and interesting racing as the prototypes raced through the GT traffic. Then Wayne gave a little air guitar solo in Victory Lane afterwards to the delight of those witnessing the Victory Lane celebration. As it turns out, that race proved to be the start of something really big for Taylor and Angelelli as they went on to claim would would be the last ever GrandAm season title at the end of the year. Then at Indianapolis, the 8 Star team of Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel surprised a lot of people by winning  over a field full of experienced drivers from a variety of backgrounds. Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan, former F1 and Indycar driver Rubens Barrichello was entered, as was Sebastian Bourdais among others. Thankfully the weather this year was better than 2012. although a little rain would have made it even more interesting!
Scott Pruett & Memo Rojas were unable to grab another season title in 2013 for owner Chip Ganassi
Both weekends were a lot of work but resulted in photos I was quite pleased with, especially since I had never been to Barber before and I missed the 2012 Rolex race at IMS due to my photo commitments to ARCA. My biggest disappointments this year in sports cars were missing the Rolex event at Mid Ohio which I have covered for years, and then not having the American LeMans Series (ALMS) race during the Mid Ohio Indycar weekend. Those events have been staples of my sports car photography the last few years, but I was working at Michigan for ARCA when the Rolex race was at Mid Ohio and ALMS just simply didn't schedule a race at Mid Ohio.

In 2014, my season will start off even earlier as I am scheduled to shoot the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in January for Associated Press. That race will be the first event in the newly merged Tudor United Sportscar Racing series and I couldn't be more excited to have this opportunity. It will be my first chance to shoot the Rolex 24 Hours and it should be a historic event as reports now are that there are 29 prototype cars set to compete. It should be a wild and woolly 24 hours with probably 60 cars or more on the track competing. I will bring back photos and more stories from the road, so until then here's a slideshow of my 2013 sports car work that will have to tide us over.

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