Its been a few weeks since my last blog, but now have a chance to take a look back at round 7 of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship that was held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) in early July. CTMP (aka Mosport) is a beautiful natural terrain 2.5 mile road course located in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. The 2 hour 40 minute race was won by Dane Cameron and Eric Curran in the #31 Action Express Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype. Hope you like the photos.
Map credit – http://canadiantiremotorsportpark.com
For this race decided to do a road trip. Left Boston early Thursday morning and about 10 hours later arrived at Mosport in mid-afternoon. This gave me enough time to get my credentials, photo vest, and to pick up the golf cart. Was also great to catch up with other photographers, especially my Canadian friends.
The day started with overcast skies and rain, so put on the rain gear, and headed off to the outside of Quebec Corner (Turn 3) for the morning sessions. Practice #1 for the Continental Tire Challenge started at 9.30 am. Slippy conditions made driving very challenging. James Clay or Tyler Cooke in the #84 Bimmer World Racing BMW 328i.
Moments later, oil on the track caused the #34 Alara Racing Mazda MX-5 to lose control and hit the tire barrier. Luckily, the driver and car were okay, and were able to continue the session.
I think the fans had the right idea by staying under cover and out of the rain.
Around 10.35 am, the WeatherTech Championship cars hit the track for their first practice session. John Potter or Andy Lally in the #44 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3.
Ryan Briscoe or Richard Westbrook in the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT.
By the time I got back to the paddock the skies were starting to clear and the ground was starting to dry. Went back to the media center to have lunch and edit photos.
For the afternoon practice session, went to the inside of Turn 4. In the “distance” with a BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM.
For some reason really like the lines of the PC cars. Maybe its the different types of livery or open cockpit? Tom Kimber-Smith or Robert Alon in the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA FLM09.
As the session progressed, the clouds started to clear, revealing the blue sky. Michael Marsal or Markus Palttala in the #97 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.
Ryan Briscoe or Richard Westbrook in the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT who would go on to win GTLM class in a couple of days.
Checked out a fan made DeltaWing on the way back to the media center.
CTMP has a great media center situated in the modern event center overlooking the front straight.
Beautiful cloudy blue skies greeted us early Saturday morning. Really like the modern design of the entrance to CTMP.
As you continue down the road you are go pass a series of Canadian flags.
For the morning practice session decided to stay in the pits for some driver and crew shots. Standing near the entrance to pit lane is a great place to be before the session starts/ends, since you get opportunities to take photos of drivers arriving/leaving pit lane. Mark Kvamme, one of the #88 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09 drivers.
Joel Miller, one of the #70 Mazda Motorsports Mazda drivers.
Jörg Bergmeister, one of the #73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R drivers.
#100 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM.
Cooper MacNeil, one of the #22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3R drivers.
Stayed in the pits for the qualifying sessions which started at 3.40 pm with the GTD class, followed by GTLM, PC, then P class. Each session was 15 minutes in length. In pit lane with the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 under beautiful white clouds.
Eric Curran, one of the #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP drivers.
Tristan Nunez took pole position in the #55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda.
For the 8.00 am warm-up session, went to the inside of Turn 8. It was the first time I’d been to this part of the track and found it to be a great location for panning, since you had an unobstructed 180 degree view of the cars as they speed through the Esses between Turns 8 and 9. The early morning light made the grass appear a golden green. Mario Farnbacher or Alex Riberas in the #23 Team Seattle / Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3R.
Madison Snow or Bryan Sellers in the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3.
Jonathan Bennett or Colin Braun in the #54 CORE Autosport ORECA FLM09 who would go on to win PC class later in the day.
Headed over to the paddock for the driver autograph session which is always popular with fans. Drivers from the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT team signing autographs.
Jordan Taylor, one of the drivers of the #10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP.
Oliver Gavin (top) and Tommy Milner (bottom) drivers of the #4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R.
Marc Goossens, one of the #90 VisitFlorida Racing Corvette DP drivers.
Christina Nielsen, one of the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 drivers.
Race fans were lined up for the 9.55 am open fan grid walk as the cars entered the pit lane area.
The open fan grid walk.
Was a great opportunity to get up close to the cars and see the sophisticated instrument panels.
A beautiful smile.
The Stars and Stripes.
Was really great to see members of the Canadian mounted police and hearing the bag pipes.
Left the open fan walk around 10.30 am so had time to get into position for the 11.05 am race start. Decided to cover the start of the race at the outside of Turn 1 since the cars would be bunched up as they went through this right-hand corner. Also, for a different perspective took the photos from the spectator side of the fence. Race start with the #10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP leading the prototypes into Turn 1.
GT race start, with Antonio Garcia or Jan Magnussen in the #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R leading the GTLM field into Turn 1.
Here’s a wide shot, to give you an idea of what this turn looks like from the spectators point of view.
Kept moving up the spectator area outside of Turn 1 so could get a shot of the cars speeding into this turn past the onlooking race fans. Robin Liddell or Andrew Davis in the #6 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT3.
After getting the car and fan shot, headed back down the Turn 1 hill, stopping every now and then to get some shots of the iconic Michelin and Canadian Tire signage.
As I got back to the bottom of Turn 1, noticed the clouds were causing “pockets of light” to appear on the track, so decided to stay a bit longer to get a couple of shots of the cars moving through these changing light conditions. Ricky Taylor or Jordan Taylor in the #10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP for Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP (upper) and Matthew McMurry or Johnny Mowlem in the #20 BAR1 Motorsports ORECA FLM09 (lower).
One more shot before leaving Turn 1. Katherine Legge or Sean Rayhall in the #0 Panoz DeltaWing Racing DWC13.
Headed down to Moss Corner (Turns 5a to 5b). This hairpin corner is named in honor of Sir Stirling Moss. Really like the change in elevation as the cars decelerate into Turn 5a, then accelerate through Turn 5b. Misha Goikhberg or Stephen Simpson in the #85 JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA FLM09.
Madison Snow or Bryan Sellers in the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3.
You can also get shots of the cars rising out of Turn 5a. Giancarlo Fisichella or Toni Wilander in the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE.
Here’s some wide shots of Moss corner. Its an awesome corner for photographers and spectators.
From Turn 5b, you can get some tight shots of the cars entering this corner. Lawson Eschenbach or Matt Bell in the #9 Stevenson Motorsports Audi R8 LMS GT3.Dane Cameron or Eric Curran in the race winning #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.
Bret Curtis or Jens Klingmann in the GTD class wining #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.
Speeding into Mario Andretti Straightaway.
With about 30 minutes to go until the end of the race, headed back to the media center, but on my way stopped along the road on the hill on drivers left of the track that looks toward the straight between Turns 5b and 5c. Other photographers told me about a shot where you can get the cars moving behind the trees in the foreground. For me, this was a hard shot, and after many attempts panning with the 500mm lens, I think I got a shot, although it could be sharper. Next time I come back to this track, I’ll spend more time practicing this shot. Dane Cameron or Eric Curran in the race winning #31 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.
The Michelin Man with the lovely WeatherTech promotional girls at victory circle.
We won! Action Express Racing celebrate their win at victory circle.
Prototype class victory podium.
Prototype Challenge class victory podium.
GTLM class victory podium.
GTD class victory podium.
Congratulations to all the winners and participants in the race. Also, many thanks to CTMP and everyone who helped me cover this event. Hope to be back next year.