2014 Part 1 – Indy Car Race at the GP of Alabama (Apr 27)

The start of the IndyCar race on Sunday afternoon was delayed due to heavy rain and thunderstorms. The weather was so severe that organizers advised everyone to find shelter in permanent structures. However, the storms cleared after a couple of hours and the 100-minute timed race started with 23 cars on a wet track. After 69 laps, Ryan Hunter-Reay won the race driving the #28 DHL Andretti Autosport, with Marco Andretti in the #25 Snapple Andretti Autosport runner up, and Scott Dixon in the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing placing third. Hope you like the photos.

From a photographer’s perspective, I really enjoy photographing in the wet due to the dramatic images that can be captured. So when it was announced the race would start, we all prepared by putting on our wet weather clothing and rain covers on our camera equipment, then headed off to the track, expecting more rain during the race. However, it ended up, the race would run under over cast skies, with late afternoon light, and no rain.  For the race session, I went back to the inside of the track in the “Spider” area so I could capture the start as the cars raced down the Turn 4 to 5 hill, and during the race as they sped down the Turn 11 to 12 straight with “rooster tails” of water streaming behind them.

2014 Barber GP (Storms)I think this severe weather advisory said it all. At times during the storm, we all wondered if the race would even start on Sunday, but thankfully, the storm subsided, and the race started in the late afternoon (Apple iPhone 4, 3.8mm, f/2.8, 1/20, ISO80)

2014 Indy Car (222A9911)The IndyCars did a couple of laps behind the Safety Car before starting the race on a wet track (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L IS II, f/6.3, 1/800, ISO 400)

2014 Indy Car (222A9934)Race start, with top qualifier, Will Power in the #12 Team Penske leading the field down the hill between Turns 4 and 5 on a wet track (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L IS II, f/6.3, 1/800, ISO 400)

2014 Indy Car (222A9946)Watching the IndyCars as they raced down the Turn 11 to 12 straight on a wet track with “rooster tails” of water spraying from behind them, was one of the most exciting things I have seen. There was so much water on the track during the early laps of the race, that photographers were being showered with water as the cars raced by. As expected, the leading #12 Team Penske Will Power had a clear view of the track, but the cars behind were being covered with water spray which was obstructing the drivers field of view (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L IS II, f/4, 1/1000, ISO 200)

Was amazing watching through the camera viewfinder how the trailing cars were obstructed due to the “clouds of rain” on the track, then as they got closer to you, the nose of the car would appear, then the rest of the car as it sped by you. I said to myself “wow, this is what motorsport photography is all about, and felt very lucky to be here”

2014 Indy Car (222A0041)#11KVSH Racing Sebastien Bourdais speeding along the wet track on the Turn 11 to 12 straight (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L IS II, f/4.5, 1/2000, ISO 320)

2014 Indy Car (222A9979)Early race leader #12 Team Penske Will Power, leading race winner #28 DHL Andretti Autosport Ryan Hunter-Reay down the Turn 11 to 12 straight (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L IS II, f/4, 1/1000, ISO 125 or 160)

2014 Indy Car (222A0034)#28 DHL Andretti Autosport Ryan Hunter-Reay heading “right at you” on the Turn 11 to 12 straight (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L IS II, f/4, 1/2000, ISO 320)

2014 Indy Car (222A0271)Despite the in-climate weather, it was great that many fans stayed at the track to watch the race (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L IS II, f/4, 1/800, ISO 125)

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