Another great day at The Circuit of the Americas with sunny skies and great WEC racing. Went to the track early for the Pit Walk. This was a great opportunity to get close to the WEC race cars, meet drivers, and see the glamour of the COTA girls. Was lucky to be able to get behind the barrier to get close to the Toyota Hybrid TS030 and see some of the drivers including Alan Davidson. Also met the pro photographer Eric Gilbert from Motorsport.com.
Glamour of the COTA girls at the Pit Walk.
With the Pit Walk over, the grid assembled on the front straight and cars were readied for the start of the WEC race at The Circuit of the Americas. Was fun watching the teams prepare for the race. Managed to get a shot of Audi Motorsports Dr Wolfgang Ullrich wishing R18 driver Marcel Fassler the best before the race.
Watched the start of the race from the Audi Motorsport Experience paddock suite and got a couple of photographs of the cars racing up the steep hill into Turn 1. Also took some pit action shots, then had a quick lunch and headed to the walkover bridge between Turns 2 and 3.
Took some panning shots from outside the track of the cars racing down the straights between Turns 2 and 3 from the walkover bridge. Great spot to catch cars trying to overtake each over, with the cars looking like fighter planes with lead plane and wingman.
Continued walking on the outside of the track from Turns 3 to 7, and noticed a pro photographer on the spectator side of the fencing, shooting through the fence. Was wondering what he was doing and noticed he was photographing through the outer catch fencing into a cut-out in the inner catch fencing. Waited until he was finished photographing, then decided to give it a go since wanted some low front shots of the cars. This was very challenging since the cars were speeding straight towards you, and had to shoot between the wire of the outer fence, into the cut-out of the inner fence, and between to pro-videographers standing in front of the cut-out. After a bit of trail and error with shutter speeds and DOF, managed to get a couple of good shots
Continued walking to Turns 7 and 8 which lead into a uphill climb for the cars. Tried a couple of “artsy” shots to take advantage of the track learning to set-off the cars in the photograph.
Got to Turn 7 and found a place on the hill where you can shoot over the catch fencing to get panning shots of the cars racing this corner into the uphill.
Watching the cars go uphill into Turn 8 looks like they are heading for the sky. Makes for some great photo opportunities with the afternoon sun lighting the side of the car, and the blue sky in the background.
After over several hours of photographing at the track today, I was very tired. But what a day, in fact four days of photographing at The Circuit of the Americas in the rain and sun. Highly recommend a visit to this race track for the great on and off track action, and the hospitality of the COTA staff, race teams, and spectators.
Getting packed and ready to head back home tomorrow, for a short work week, then off to Lime Rock Park with Laura for the Grand-AM season final race.