2014 Sebring to Lime Rock Park – Part One of My Motorsport Photography Year

At this time of year its natural to look back at what you have done, reflect on lessons learnt, be thankful for what you have, and look forward to next year. In some ways 2014 was the first year of my motorsports photography “apprenticeship”. I learnt a lot this year in terms of refining technique, seeing “light and shadows”, composition, and planning. But most importantly, it was experiencing what happens behind the scenes at race car events and meeting the people who make these events happen. Was lucky to have experienced different race series from sprint and endurance sportscar racing to open wheel racing. Special thanks to my wife who let me go away on my race car photography weekends, GTSport Racing, Motorsport.com, North American Sportscar, other photographers, race organizers and staff who helped me this year. Here’s part one of my motorsports photography year. Hope you like the photos.

12 Hours of Sebring – TUSCC (March 13 to 15)

My first race of the year was the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida which was the second round of the Tudor United Sportscar Championship (TUSCC). This is always a special race for me, since its a chance to catch up with friends, experience some warm weather, and to dust off the camera gear and get into the photography “swing of things” after a long winter hiatus. You experience the full range of lighting conditions at this race since it starts mid-morning and finishes into the night twelve hours later. Hope the photos below reflect some of this experience. 2014 Sebring (222A4745-2) The beautiful warm afternoon light illuminates the #31 Marsh Racing Corvette prototype driven by Eric Curran or Boris Said as it exits Turn 5 (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 200mm, f/11, 1/200, ISO 100) 2014 Sebring (HC7A0992) The beautiful sunset at the end of the front straight (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II with 1.4x extender III, 140mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 100) 2014 Sebring (HC7A1115)Brake discs glowing on the #94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 driven by Dane Cameron or Markus Palttala as they brake into Turn 3 (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II with 1.4x extender III, 140mm, f/4, 1/160, ISO 100)

St. Petersburg – Indy Car (March 28 to 30)

Round one of the Indy Car series was held on the streets of St. Petersburg in Florida. This race was very special for me since it was my first street circuit and Indy Car race. Can’t explain how excited I was to see an Indy Car speed by me for the first time. 2014 St Petes (HC7A1429) This was probably one of the first photos I took of an Indy Car on the “other side of the fence”. Tony Kanaan in the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing speeding through the Turn 1 to 2 straight (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 75mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO 100) HC7A2702 The track is situated next to Tampa Bay and the long Turn 9 to 10 straight borders the marina. A great place to see this part of the track is from the top of the baseball stadium (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 70mm, f/5, 1/1000, ISO 100) 2014 St Petes (HC7A2719) I think this shot from the top of the baseball stadium of Juan Pablo Montoya in the #2 Team Penske speeding down the Turn 9 to 10 straight was my favorite photo from this race (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 70mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 100) 2014 St Petes (222A6897) Sparks fly as the Indy Cars speed down the long Turn 3 to 4 straight with shadows cast over the track (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 100)

St. Petersburg – PWC (March 28 to 30) 2014 St. Petes (PWC GT Field) The Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) season also started on the streets of St. Petersburg. Seeing over 100 sports cars lined up on the front straight before the race weekend was a sight to behold and added to my excitement for the season to begin (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, f/4, 1/160, ISO 100) 2014 St. Petes (HC7A1768)Was fortunate to have the opportunity to shoot for GTSport Racing. Here’s Jack Baldwin in the #73 Porsche Cayman S entering Turn 5 (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 200mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO 100) 2014 St. Petes (#54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes-Benz) Even in black and white, the chrome livery of the #54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3 shines through as Tim Pappas speeds past race fans (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 130mm, f/13, 1/160, ISO 100) 2014 St. Petes (222A6593) The lovely PWC promotional girls (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, f/4, 1/2500, ISO 100)

Long Beach – Indy Car (April 11 to 13) 2014 Long Beach (222A7957)Round 2 was held on the famous streets of Long Beach in California. Indy Cars lined up on the long front straight and ready for the race to start (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 100) 2014 Long Beach (HC7A4444) Ryan Hunter-Reay in the #28 Andretti Autosport speeding down the front straight (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 200mm, f/7.1, 1/1000, ISO 100) 2014 Long Beach (HC7A3271) Carlos Huertas in the #18 Dale Coyne Racing about to pass the iconic fountain at Turns 2 to 3 (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 100) 2014 Long Beach (HC7A3807) Juan Pablo Montoya in the #2 Team Penske getting close to the wall at the Turn 11 hairpin (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 102mm, f/16, 1/125, ISO 100)

Long Beach – TUSCC (April 11 to 13) 2014 Long Beach (#911 Porsche North America Porsche)The third round of the TUSCC was also held at Long Beach. I first entered the track near the inside of Turn 8, then walked down Season Way looking for cut-outs in the fence to photograph from. The cars were going this long straight at tremendous speed and the noise of was deafening since it was trapped in the building overpass. Despite this, decided to try to get a shot of the cars and was lucky to get a clean photo of Nick Tandy or Richard Lietz in the #911 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 100) 2014 Long Beach (#1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b)The early morning sun brilliantly illuminated the front of the #1 Extreme Speed Motorsports HPD ARX-03b driven by Scott Sharp or Ryan Dalziel as it speeds through Turn 9 (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 100) 2014 Long Beach (#31 Marsh Racing) Eric Curran or  Boris Said in the #31 Marsh Racing Corvette prototype exiting the Turn 11 hairpin with another car in hot pursuit (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 70mm, f/13, 1/60, ISO 100) 2014 Long Beach (#5 Action Express Racing) Joao Barbosa or Christian Fittipaldi in the #5 Action Express Racing Corvette prototype on the front straight in the late afternoon sun  (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 100)

Long Beach – PWC (April 11 to 13) 2014 Long Beach (Race start) In early April the PWC series headed west to the streets of Long Beach California to compete in the “Roar by the Shore”. Cadillac Racing had a dominant weekend with their cars qualifying in the top positions, and Johnny O’Connell in the #3 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe winning the race (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 200mm, f/7.1, 1/800, ISO 100) 2014 Long Beach (#21 Global Motorsports Group) The front straight was one of my favorite places to photograph, since one got a real sense of speed as the cars raced mere inches from the side wall, as shown by Andrew Palmer in the #21 Global Motorsports Group Audi R8 Ultra (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 135mm, f/18, 1/160, ISO 100) 222A8160 James Sofronas in the #14 Global Motorsports Group Audi R8 Ultra leading its sister car on the front straight (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/8, 1/800, ISO 100) 2014 Long Beach (Long Beach PWC ) Through the Turn 11 hairpin with Don Istook in the #01 RS Werkes Racing Audi TT RS (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, f/10, 1/80, ISO 100)

Barber Motorsport Park – PWC (April 24 to 26) 2014 Barber (Barber Motorsport Park) At the end of April the PWC headed back east to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham Alabama. This was one of the most picturesque race tracks I had been to, with beautiful landscaped infields, sculptures, and spiders! (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, f/8, 1/400, ISO 100) 2014 Barber (HC7A5401) Avid race fans are always an important part of a race car events success (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 50mm f/1.2L, f/4.5, 1/1600, ISO 100) 2014 Barber (#73 GTSport Racing Porsche Caymen S) Jack Baldwin in the #73 GTSport Racing Porsche Cayman S had an incredible weekend with a win and a third place in GTS class, especially when you consider the major set-back they had at Long Beach (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/9, 1/200, ISO 100) 2014 Barber (Anthony Lazzaro and Nick Mancuso) Car racing is about people and emotion. That’s why I like this shot of Anthony Lazzaro and Nick Mancuso after their clean sweep of Round 3 in their R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia’s (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 70mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO 100)

Barber Motorsport Park – Indy Car (April 24 to 26) 2014 Barber (HC7A5433) The third round of the Indy Car series was held at Barber Motorsports Park. Here’s Carlos Munoz in the #34 Andretti Autosport – HVM Racing accelerating through the uphill Turn 2 right-hander (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L with 1.4x extender III, f/7.1, 1/1000, ISO 100) 2014 Barber (HC7A5482)“Cutting the grass” with Sebastian Saavedra in the #17 KV AFS Racing at the exit of Turn 2 (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L with 1.4x extender III, f/7.1, 1/800, ISO 100) 2014 Barber (222A9934) Torrential rain and thunderstorms delayed the start of the race. However, the race started in the late afternoon on a damp track under overcast skies with a pack of Indy Cars at the Turn 5 hill (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/6.3, 1/800, ISO 400) 2014 Barber (222A9946)“Rooster tail” of water spray streaming behind Will Power in the #12 Team Penske as he speeds down the long Turn 11 to 12 straight early in the race (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/4, 1/1000, ISO 200)

Detroit – PWC (May 29 to 31) 2014 Detroit (PWC Flag Girls)At the end of May the PWC headed north to the streets of the Motor City for the Chevorlet Detroit Belle Grand Prix. Here is the glamor of the PWC Flag girls in front of Johnny O’Connell’s Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, who would go onto win both races (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 70mm, f/4, 1/8000, ISO 125) 2014 Detroit (PWC Sat Race Grid) Countdown to the race start, with the iconic GM Building in the background (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 150mm, f/7.1, 1/1000, ISO 100) 2014 Detroit (#60 Roush Road Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302R) Even on street circuits, you have opportunities to capture the cars under beautiful light, as shown with Jack Roush Jr. in the #60 Roush Road Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302R during early morning qualifying (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/4, 1/1000, ISO 160) 2014 Detroit (#41 EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3R) The beautiful livery and speed of the #41 EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3R driven by Michael Mills (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 200mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO 100)

Detroit – Indy Car (May 29 to 31) 2014 Detroit (Detroit IndyCar Saturday Race Start)Rounds 6 and 7 of the Indy Car Series were held on the streets of Detroit. Race start on the front straight (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 200mm, f/7.1, 1/1000, ISO 100) 2014 Detroit (#18 Dale Coyne Racing)Around the Turn 1 right-hander with Carlos Huertas in the #18 Dale Coyne Racing (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 102mm, f/14, 1/250, ISO 100) 2014 Detroit (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing) Scott Dixon in the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing leading a train of Indy Cars through Turn 5 (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/16, 1/320, ISO 100) 2014 Detroit (#12 Team Penske) “Through the shadows and light” along the Turn 11 to 12 straight with Will Power in the #12 Team Penske (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 500mm f/4L, f/5, 1/2000, ISO 100)

Lime Rock Park – CTSCC (May 24) 2014 CTSCC (Lime Rock Park)Over the Memorial Day Weekend, Lime Rock Park hosted the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC). The track is situated in the Berkshire mountains in upper Connecticut with beautiful grassed spectator areas surrounding the road course (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 100mm, f/2.8, 1/1000, ISO 100) 2014 CTSCC (#28 Tim Bell Racing Nissan 370Z) Seeing the cars “speeding across the grass” is an amazing sight. Here’s Tim Bell & Dane Cameron in the #28 Tim Bell Racing Nissan 370Z (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 142mm, f/11, 1/100, ISO 100) 2014 CTSCC (#27 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5) One of the highlights from the race weekend was the ST class win by Liam Dwyer (USMC Staff Sargent) and Tom Long in the #27 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 105mm, f/10, 1/200, ISO 100) 2014 CTSCC (#13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997)“Into the clouds” with Matt Plumb or Nick Longhi in the #13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997 (Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 200mm, f/10, 1/1000, ISO 100)   This the end of part one of my year in motorsports photography. Hope you are enjoying my journey. Part two will be published shortly.

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2 thoughts on “2014 Sebring to Lime Rock Park – Part One of My Motorsport Photography Year

  1. Great write-up accompanied by excellent images David! I love your consistency, variety in shots! Personally I would like to thank you as well for all the tips and advice you have given me this year! That helped me tremendously in improving my motorsport photography, thank you! All the best for you and your wife in 2015, and I am looking forward to new great images from you in the new year!

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