A couple of weeks ago my wife and I met some friends at Watkins Glen International (WGI) for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. WGI, also known as the mecca of North American racing, is located in the Finger Lakes district in upstate New York. Spent the day covering the WeatherTech Championship practice, paddock, and qualifying; and the Lamborghini Trofeo race from the “spectators” side of the fence. Hope you like the photos.
Morning WeatherTech Championship practice
Arrived at the track around 10.00 am and parked the car at the infield section called the Riesbeck near the outside of Turn 11, then walked through the pedestrian tunnel between Turns 8 and 9 to get to the inside of The Boot. The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship uses the 3.38 mile long course which includes The Boot, which is a great place for spectators to get unobstructed photos of the cars speeding through this picturesque and hilly part of the circuit.
Spent the morning walking around the inside of the The Boot to get my bearings and to scout for photo locations. As I was walking past the hill near Turn 6 (drivers right) happened to see a clearing in the trees which enabled shots of the cars framed between tree branches, which reminded me of the Canada corner “tree” shot at Road America. Here’s a shot of the #70 Mazda Motorsports Mazda: Tom Long, Joel Miller.
A little further down the hill you can get unobstructed shots of the cars at the apex of Turn 6. #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA FLM09: Tom Kimber-Smith, Robert Alon.
The Turn 6 to 7 straight is a great place to get panning shots of the cars. #25 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM: Bill Auberlen, Dirk Werner.
Along the Turn 6 to 7 straight with the “Cruising Monkey” Dodge Viper. #33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R: Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen.
After the morning practice session ended, left The Boot and walked through the pedestrian walk-through to get to the area between the outside of Turn 8 (drivers left), then headed past some campsites to the pedestrian walk-through between Turns 10 and 11 to get to the paddock.
Thought the catch fencing against the blue cloudy sky looked cool.
After having lunch, walked around the paddock, which was a great opportunity to get photos of the cars in the garage and drivers.
The #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA FLM09 in the IMSA inspection station.
João Barbosa was in front of the Action Express Racing garage meeting fans and signing autographs.
Was cool to watch the team work on the bright yellow Corvette Racing Corvette C7.Rs.
Christina Nielsen, one of the drivers of the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3, during the drivers autographs session.
Really like the lines on the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT.
Glamour in the paddock.
Some detail shots of the vertical stabilizer on the Mazda Motorsports Mazda (top) and Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2 – HPD (bottom).
Rear-end damage on the #56 Porsche GT3 Cup car.
Afternoon WeatherTech Championship Qualifying
Headed back to The Boot for the afternoon qualifying session since the afternoon sun would be lighting the front and right hand side of the cars. This time went to the tree-lined area on drivers right next to the Turn 5 to 6 straight (the Chute) which enters the “laces” part of the The Boot. This was a great place to get shots of the cars as they descended into The Boot with the signature blue guard rails framing the cars. Corvette Racing Corvette C7.Rs.
Rapid descent with the #68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488.
Looking down the track you can get rear shots of the cars speeding through Turn 6. #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3: Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers.
Really liked how the glare of the track contrasts the dark shadows of the car. #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA FLM09: Tom Kimber-Smith, Robert Alon.
Really liked how the afternoon sun made the grass glow a golden yellow. #0 Panoz DeltaWing Racing DWC13: Katherine Legge, Sean Rayhall.
Afternoon Lamborghini Trofeo race
The afternoon Trofeo race was held between 5.35 and 6.25 pm under the beautiful low light of the afternoon sun. I wish more races were held in the late afternoon under this type of beautiful light which made the colors of the cars pop against the dark backgrounds. For this session went to Turn 6 (top), then along the Turn 6 to 7 straight (middle), and finished at the Turn 7 hairpin (bottom).
After the track sessions ended, went to our friends campsite and had a great barbecue and chat, then left the track under the beautiful sky of the setting sun.