IMSA at Lime Rock Park
The day before the IMSA was spent cleaning, claying and waxing my Scion, preparing to travel to Connecticut the next morning to photograph for the races at Lime Rock Park. Though my vehicle is not being raced or shown, I enjoy the feeling of a smooth, shiny car as I drive. The next morning, I started out early getting ready for the long drive ahead of me. As I drove down Route 2, down pass the last exit for Princeton, I get to experience one of my favorite parts of this drive at this time: the fog coming over a small lake laying next to the highway. The pine trees that surround this lake are only visible as the fog moves past them. I am excited for the trip and don’t mind the three hours it will take to get there. I have found that since living in central Mass, the long drives to locations provide me with the opportunity to plan out my day. I thought about the turns and spots I would be positioning myself in throughout the races. When I arrived, I joined the Media Meeting at 9am. Fellow photographers and friends Wayne DesLauries and Shawn Pierce were waiting for me and it was great to see them and catch up! We continued our tradition of watching out for each other while the other is photographing a racecar. Since we are so close to the track and we are focusing our attention through the viewfinder, it is hard to see the larger picture, literally. Having that buddy to make sure you are safe from dangers is crucial.After the meeting I hit the pits looking for unique or unusual shots to get before qualifying rounds begun. I try to take it all in and not just the sights for the picture. I know that it is more than that and the more I connect to the event the better I can capture it. After getting some quick shots in, I have about ten minutes to spare before the races start. I make my way to Turn 4, where my friends were setting up as well. It seems like every photographer like this spot! It has some stellar natural lighting, which is part of the draw. I settle in. Once the race commences, travel across the track, for obvious reasons, is prohibited. The first group raced were everyday cars such as Audis, BMWs, and Miatas, that had been modded into racecars. As cars raced by, I practiced some new shot angles and strategies I had read about. I found that for a better photo, I needed to change my shutter speed to capture the car in its glory of racing around the turns. As I moved to different locations around the outer wall, I noted the type of lens that would be ideal at that spot. After a few of the next races, I made my way onto the pit row as the crews were making their calculations and notations about the drivers and their stats. They use past data and current information about their driver to determine the best ways to move the drivers up the grid. The roaring of engines, excited voices, and tools working echoed in my ear. The cars come ripping into the pit and the crew jumps over the wall to fill up fuel, change drivers and adjust aerodynamic splitters. It was exhilarating and solidified the experience of the race. Seeing how the back stage is run is one of the perks of my job. I am grateful for this perspective of the races and love capturing it on film.
As the day was winding down, Wayne, Shawn and I decided to walk the shop area, after we put our gear away. I try to allow myself time to enjoy the event without my camera around my neck or close by. We were hanging near the Continental Booth when we all saw some models that seemed available to pose with cars. Wayne and I both had the same idea as we made our way to go back to get our camera gear. The models Heather, Alassandra, and Mara were on point as they posed in front of the booth car. These models were beautiful and very sweet. I was sure to exchange my information with them, as they would be ideal for upcoming shoots that I am planning. It was a perfect opportunity to make a connection!