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ELMS 4 Hours Silverstone 2018

Rendezvous at Silverstone Circuit for the ELMS and the FIA WEC Super Season weekend double header. This is the only time in the season that both series meet and in doing so provide a total of 10 hours of race action in one weekend (4 hours of ELMS and 6 Hours of WEC).

The 4 hours of Silverstone European Le Mans Series race took place on Saturday and was won by the G-Drive Racing (26) trio Roman Rusinov, Andrea Pizzitola and Jean-Eric Vergne. They proved once again to be unbeatable after their third victory in four races, strengthening their lead in the championship as their rivals struggled around them. Their closest rival Racing Engineering (24) crashed out due to a mechanical failure with half an hour to go promoting the Dragonspeed (21) trio Hendrik Hedman, Ben Hanley and Nicolas Lapierre to second place. The IDEC Sports (28) trio Paul Lafargue, Paul Loup-Chatin and Memo Rojas slipped to third place due to a splash & dash in the closing stages of the race.

In the LMP3 category, United Autosports (3) trio Anthony Wells, Garret Grist and Matthew Bell took the win, followed by the Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen Team (7) of Colin Noble, Alex Kapadia and Christian Stubbe-Olsen. Third was the Ultimate Racing Norma M30 (17) of Matthieu and Jean-Baptiste Lahaye with François Heriau.

The GTE class delivered a dramatic finish, determined by 10 second time penalties for the two leading Ferraris and a collision in the last corner for the pursuing Proton Porsche driven by Matteo Cairoli. In the end the Proton Competition (88) Matteo Cairoli, Gianluca Roda and Giorgio Roda were beaten to the finish line by the British JMW Motorsport (66) Ferrari trio Miguel Molina, Liam Griffin and Alex MacDowall by a meager 0.124s.

Enjoy some of the race action from the ELMS weekend with a selection of photos captured throughout the weekend.

Also, stay tuned for a photo-reportage of the FIA WEC race that will be featured in a separate Blog Post.

 

 

ELMS 4 Hours of the Red Bull Ring

Set in the idyllic mountains of the Steiermark, the Red Bull Ring was host to the third round of the 2018 European Le Mans Series championship. This historic circuit (known as Zeltweg in the 70s) got a major revamp in recent years and is now an ultramodern and stunning racetrack with all the state-of-the-art facilities a racetrack can dream of.

Breath-taking views and ever-changing weather conditions added to the drama throughout the weekend and was a guarantee for exciting racing.

Top spot went to G-Drive Racing (26, Roman Rusinov, Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola) followed by Racing Engineering (24, Norman Nato, Olivier Pla, Paul Petit) and United Autosports (22, Philip Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque) in third place. Winners in the LMP3 category were RLR MSport (15, John Farano, Job van Uitert, Rob Garofall) and Proton Competition (88, Gian Luca Roda, Giorgio Roda, Matteo Cairoli) took the LMGTE Class victory.

It has been more than 35 years since I last visited this circuit, and just like then, this weekend will remain etched in my memory. Fantastic!

The Oldtimer Grand Prix meets Sleeklens

The Oldtimer Grand Prix takes place once a year at the Nürburgring in Germany. It is an event in which around 500 historic race-cars from the 20s until the 80s take part and share track time. Each category boasts a great number of very special cars in their line-up varying from touring cars and DTM right to F1. There are plenty of highlights to talk about during this amazing weekend.

I am not a portrait photographer so when Sleeklens asked me to try out their portrait presets I decided to apply these to my domain, classic racing photography. Each photo uses a different combination of their presets to create a unique look. Despite not using the Sleeklens presets as intended (for portrait photography), I was impressed with what they do and how this effects the end result.

Sleeklens offers an endless amount of possibilities to enhance your photography results. I hope you like my photos and that you check out the Lightroom presets from www.sleeklens.com for your own work.

www.sleeklens.com

Where is Mount Fuji?

It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to go to Japan and watch a race at the Fuji Speedway. Fuji Speedway is a technical yet fast racetrack at the foothills of Mount Fuji, a perfect backdrop from which to watch round 7 of the World Endurance Championship 2017.

I was invited by a good friend of mine who races in the WEC for TDS Racing in the LMP2 category. A perfect opportunity to visit this mythical place, I thought. So, with my new Leica M10 in my hand-luggage I traveled all the way to Tokyo where I was welcomed by a mighty rain storm. It took me three trains, lots of language challenges and a taxi ride before I arrived at my hotel. It was still raining. Time for bed.

When I woke up early the next morning, I shot out of bed and went straight to the window to discover that the rain had not subsided. I met up with the racing drivers and we headed to the track. Conversation in the car was mostly centered around a wet set-up and how to drive the track in these conditions. Nothing in the conversation led me to believe that the weather was going to improve all weekend. There was always hope of course.

Saturday qualifying was a wet affair. The short and intense session did not go so well for car #28 but with a 6 Hour race ahead on Sunday, there was still everything to fight for. The clouds hung low all day and not once was there a hint of Mount Fuji on the horizon. Maybe tomorrow.

On Sunday morning, I was awoken by rain beating on my window. That’s promising. Once we arrived at the circuit it became clear that the rain was dueling with fog and visibility was even worse than the previous day. Where is Mount Fuji?

The race did get underway in these treacherous conditions and amazingly without major incidents which says a lot about the impressive talent of all the drivers out there.

Red Flag. Due to bad visibility, the race was interrupted shortly after it was started and all cars gathered on the main straight where they waited impatiently for conditions to improve. After a while visibility did get better and the race got back underway again. Chasing each other down the straight at 280km/h with no visibility on a slippery and drenched circuit is very impressive but also extremely dangerous. It was therefore no surprise when the second red flag came out and the race was not restarted.

At this point in time TDS Racing #28 was in 4th position in their category and moving up the ranks fast. It was not meant to be that day and they missed the podium by the smallest of margins.

Despite the poor weather conditions and the shortened race, I had a great weekend. It was my first visit to Japan and I fell in love with the place immediately. Tokyo is breathtaking and the Hakone area where I stayed simply beautiful. The Japanese people are very polite, well mannered, and willing to help. They queue in neat lines everywhere and don’t push in, try that in Europe. 

I cannot wait to visit again and perhaps next time I can get a glimpse of Mount Fuji. It is supposed to be amazing.

 

 

Blackbird Automotive Journal: Mulsanne Memories

The first thing that jumps out at me when I pick-up my copy of the Blackbird Automotive Journal Volume 11 is the intense red colour of the cropped Porsche 917 that adorns its cover. What makes it even more striking is that it is a photo that I took for Blackbird myself at the Le Mans Classic event in 2016. My first cover shot!

Blackbird Automotive Journal is a quarterly publication that combines great stories with stunning photography. Although we live in a world of digital media there is something wonderful about print and holding a copy of this quality magazine in one’s hands is very satisfying, a must for all car enthusiasts.

The article ‘Mulsanne Memories’ tell the story of the 2016 Le Mans Classic event and accompanying the text are a selection of my photos. Although the event feels far away now, reading this article brings back fond memories of an unforgettable weekend behind the camera.

Be sure to get your copy of this stunning magazine and read ‘Mulsanne Memories’ as well as the other superb stories that unfold within this must have publication.

www.blackbird-autojournal.com