Ed Fahey

Adventures – Saloon,Sportscar/GT racing

Belgian Brilliance

Posted by Ed Fahey on June 21, 2011

2011 season is go!Time to get back on track with coverage from 2 trips to Belgium for Rounds 3/4 of the GT1 World Championship at Circuit Zolder and Round 2 of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup at Spa Francochamps

First to Zolder for GT1 and it was my first time at this track, Belgiums ‘other’ race circuit after Spa, after a quick blast up the motorway it was into a large forest, just as the GT1 cars were let out for their first practice session, the sounds of the GT1 cars echoing through the trees is a motivator like no other. This was also the first event for my new camera – a Nikon D7000 D-SLR, which replaces my D300 as the ‘main camera’ but Ill be keeping the D300 also. The D7000 took a little getting used to with numerous teething problems on the 1st day, but nothing too major and it was more a case of me being unfamiliar with it – a quick read of the manual solved everything – RTFM!

Martin Bartek - Gone but not forgotten

After a Friday of exploration it was time to get down to the proper action on Saturday and Sunday, mainly GT1 practice, qualifying and 2 races, although the weekend was a sad one, as in the week leading up to the event, Martin Bartek, founder of the Matech team which had prepared the GT1 and GT3 Ford GT’s for racing had passed away, so on Sunday morning a group photo of the Marc VDS and Belgian Racing Ford GT’s, adorned with Swiss Flags was arranged to remember and give respect to Martin.

For practice and qualifying I went into the forest around the back of the track to try and combine cars and nature, if such a thing is possible that is, a great tip given to me by the ever resourceful John Brooks was to go to the cut outs in the fence at

The Crest

the Klein chicane on the track, to get a nice shot of the cars as they came over the crest before approaching the Gilles Villenueve chicane and then deeper into the forest, a very enjoyable track with natural backdrops and not buildings. Onto the qualifying race and an unfortunate feature of the GT1world races this year has been contact of some shape or form at the first corner of the first lap, so predicting this, about 30 photographers had positioned themselves at the

Sign here please

entrance to the Earste corner, waiting for the inevitable  – we were not to be disappointed as the front row All-Inkl.com Lamborghini Murcielago and Young Driver Aston Martin DBR9 touched, scattering the pack to avoid the spun cars and promoting the SRT / Exim Bank Team China Corvette C6R into the lead, a lead which driver Nicky Catsburg held almost

Ooops - was not expecting that (or was I)

to the pitstop window as Fred Makowiecki finally got past after threatening for a good 24 mins beforehand, but once again it was the HEXIS Aston Martin team who pulled off the slickest of slick pitstops to get their car, now driven by Clivio Piccione into the lead. This was not to last though as Marc Basseng in the second All-Inkl Lamborghini was gradually reeling him in and made a move at the Jacky Ickx chicane, which is the last corner on the track, there was a tiny amount of contact but it was enough to retire the Aston out of a certain victory and allowing the All Inkl team to take their first GT1world race win.

Flame on......

Onto the next day and a quick 20 mins of warmup for the GT1 cars then the championship  race, just enough time to get the de facto flaming Lamborghini shot, then into the paddock for the autograph session, time to get shots of the drivers signing their lives away, then a review on the laptop and then time to get ready for the gridwalk and then the championship race, full of the usual stunning grid girls, and anxious looking team bosses, drivers and mechanics, along with some drivers getting in character.

Onto the race and I decided to go right onto the apex of Earste corner, safely behind the wall, ready to either catch a dramatic shot of the pack being unleashed or another coming together, again it was a coming together as Ricardo  Zonta in the Sumo Power Nissan was a bit to eager at the start, pushing the DKR Engineering Corvette into his Sumo Power team mate Jamie Campbell-Walter and into the wall, eliminating all 3 cars on the spot, and forcing me into making a hasty retreat behind the safety fence as both the Nissans were heading straight towards me at one point, at least myself, marshals and 2 other photographers beat a retreat, unlike one who sat unfazed as the out of control cars and shards of carbon fibre flew right towards him…

After a safety car period to clean up the mess, I shot a few pitstops and the outside of the Ickx chicane, then saw the footage of the earlier accident

This fool was lucky...

that had occured, and realised that I was too close for comfort,and was then called to the media office – I thought I was in trouble, but the stewards wanted my photos as evidence against the (foolish) photographer who had not moved, as I was commended for diving for cover, Id rather miss a shot than possibly never get another shot again. My photo is now used on the media briefing documents as an example of what not to do, the photo that is, rather than the photographer. The most important factor is – always have an escape route

Onto Spa and Round 2 of the ILMC, a circuit which was due a revisit after the 24H race in 2010. This race is traditionally the preview to the Le Mans 24 hour race and this year was the 1st race for the new Audi R18 TDI LMP1 car, against its new rival the Peugeot 908, sadly the Aston Martin AMR-One was withdrawn as it was not ready for the race, citing development issues, but there were almost 60 cars in the race over LMP1,LMP2,LMPC,GTE-PRO and GTE-AM classes, 5 separate races at the same time – which during practice and qualifying proved messy with all of the sessions red flagged with big crashes – enough to have the session abandoned due to the crash barriers/tyrewalls  needing repair/replacement, hopefully the 6 hour, 1000km race would not be safety cars every 25minutes. What was concerning was that most of the accidents were caused by slower/faster cars overtaking, 2 does not go into 1, especially at the level we are at here, but a few of the gentleman drivers should stick to lower level racing or sitting on the pitwall wearing a headset rather than a helmet…

After qualifying was ended early due to barrier damage and a totally destroyed OAK Racing LMP1 car, the 3 Audi R18′s were 1st,2nd and 3rd on the grid

Need for Speed

with the Peugeots scattered further along the grid, due to their qualifying strategy of last second runs being ruined due to the red flags, but would the Audis run away at the front?

Onto race day and the Audis had intended to power off into the distance, even when Allan McNish spun on lap 1, but they were not expecting the 3 Peugeots to casually make their way through the field until they were behind and  starting to pass – all within the 1st hour, strange when the Audi physically looked faster, blasting around the track silently like a stealth bomber, the noise of the tyres and aerodynamics as loud as the engine – not quite what most expect from a racing car but the engineering and technology behind it all is very impressive and already used on roadcars – these days a diesel powered car is as good as the petrol powered version…

What made this race unusual from a Spa point of view was the weather – not one drop of rain fell for the 3 days I was there, given that Spa is famous for its downpours, or 1 side of the track is dry the other is wet, this was unusual and welcomed by all – given that the previous years 1000km race had to be stopped and then restarted due to a power failure in the pit buildings caused by heavy rainfall.

GT Battles - always close

So what of the race? Apart from 1 Peugeot 908 being pushed down the field due to a suspension problem it was one way traffic for Peugeot, taking advantage of Audis collision damage with other cars and teething problems with the R18′s, not to mention being faster too! LMP2 class was a fight between the 3 Oreca 03 cars and the Strakka Racing HPD ARX-01D, the Orecas scoring 1-2 with the HPD arrived in 3rd at the end. The GTE- PRO and GTE-AM classes proved the most exciting and close racing with a Ferrari 458 vs Porsche 997 vs Corvette C6R vs Aston Martin Vantage vs BMW M3 battle. The fastest Porsche and Ferrari clashed at the start, leaving the Felbermayr Porsche down on laps but the AF Corse Ferrari survived to win, just ahead of the Hankook Ferrari and BMW M3, in the AM class the IMSA Matmut Porsche won ahead of the Larbe Corvette and another AF Corse Ferrari 430, The class victory for the one-make FLM cars went to the Pegasus Racing entry.

So enough of the race, what about photography? Having loved my trip to Spa in 2010 I was relishing my return there, and covered almost every

Race Start

decent spot on the track for photography. I had wanted to get the start of the race from the outside of La Source, but the organsiers only allowed 10 photographers to be there, which probably was a good idea given the amount of people there. They also had the top of Eau Rouge/Radillion as a red zone, which disappointed many, but after Christophe Bouchots massive high speed off in the Level 5 Lola-HPD where he ended up in the tyrewall which most photographers would normally stand behind, again this was seen as a fair decision. Personally the Les Combes – Bruxelles section is my favourite part of the Spa circuit for photos as there are so many different photo oppurtunities there and its easily accessable also, 5 mins to move around and easy to move between the inside and outside of the track. This is where I chose to shoot the start, at the end of the Kemmel straight, the first part of the lap where the cars have to slow right down and weave through the Les Combes chicane, then downhill to Bruxelles and onwards. For the pits its time to negotiate to firstly get a pit pass, then on with the fireproof overalls and move about, constantly watching for cars entering/exiting and generally staying out of the way, if you do that, your fine!

Once again Belgium shows its love for GT and Sportscar racing, both events were exceptionally well attended and the crowd present to get drivers photos and autographs was amazing, if only other countries took it this seriously! Ill be back

 

© Ed Fahey June 2011

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Update time

Posted by Ed Fahey on May 6, 2011

Typing this from the media room at Spa Francochamps, getting ready for the Spa 1000km race so Ill have an update on that and the GT1 race at Zolder this week

Stay Tuned!

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Preview – FIA GT1 World Championship

Posted by Ed Fahey on March 23, 2011

The 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship starts soon at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, so here is a quick rundown of the runners and riders along with an analysis of each team and how I rate their chances.

As with 2010 all of the races will be streamed live on the GT1 website

Maserati are absent from the 2011 season, so Vitaphone Racing will not be defending their title, which leaves 5 of the 6 ‘brands’ from 2010 present. There has also been some team changes; Matech, Vitaphone, Hegersport and Phoenix Racing will not be returning, and there are 2 new teams; Exim Bank Team China and JRM Motorsport  which are detailed below. 3 of the 5 brands are shared teams – with the teams working closely together and not ‘rivals’ as such. Also the rules stipulate there must be 4 cars per brand on the grid.

There are no new car models for 2011 either – the previously proposed Alpina B6 had to be dropped due to homologation issues, and the Lexus LF-A was a bit of an internet rumour that was blown out of all proportion when certain websites ran the ‘story’.  There will be new cars in 2012 as this is the last year of both the Aston Martin DBR9 and Corvette C6R Z06, most likely GT3 cars will be upgraded and there are plenty to choose from!

Below you will find the list, in alphabetical order of the teams and drivers of the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship

Please note photos of certain cars may be updated over the next few days, also not all drivers will drive in every race, I have indicated this where the information is known

Aston Martin – Aston Martin DBR9

Photos – racemedia.be/Young Driver AMR

HEXIS AMR – France                                                                                                                              Young Driver AMR – Germany

3 – Clivio Piccione / Stef Dusseldorp                                                                                                                 7 – Tomas Enge / Alex Muller

4 – Christian Hohenadel / Andrea Piccini.                                                                                                      8 – Darren Turner / Stefan Mucke

The final year of the DBR9 and the only brand on the grid for 2011 with an unchanged team lineup. French team HEXIS had 3 wins in 2010, and only a constantly changing driver lineup over the rounds held them back from pushing harder at the front. Clivio Piccione returns, partnered with Dutch newcomer Stef Dusseldorp, while 2010 GT3 Europe champion Christian Hohenadel is paired with Andrea Piccini, who put in some solid performances in 2010 in both the Hexis Aston Martin and the Phoenix Corvette. Young Driver were also at the front in 2010 with 3 wins and if they had not have been disqualified at Round 2 in Silverstone they might well have taken the fight for the drivers championship to the final round, but even though Darren Turner and Tomas Enge have been split into different cars for 2011, their co-drivers are as strong, Enges co-pilot is former Vitaphone man Alex Muller, whereas Turner shares with fellow AMR factory driver Stefan Mucke. Another strong driver lineup and expect some good results here.

Chevrolet - Chevrolet Corvette C6R Z06

Photo: endurance-info.com

Exim Bank Team China – China                                             DKR Engineering – Luxembourg

11 – Mike Hezemans / Nick Catsburg(RD1 only)                                  47 – Jean-Claude Police / Laurent Cazenave

12 – TBA/TBA – car will not be at RD1                                48 – TBA/TBA – car will not be at RD1

The last year of the Z06 and for round 1 at least we only have 2 cars in the grid instead of 4. Despite taking 2 wins in 2010 the Corvettes endured a poor season – off the track as much as on it. After being fast at round 1 in 2010 the balance of performance adjustments slowed them right down at RD2 – coupled with the loss of 1 of the Phoenix cars in a fire – which didnt return until RD5 at Spa – and then this car was withdrawn ‘at its owners request’ for the rest of the season leaving Phoenix with 1 car and exclusion from scoring points for the rest of the season. The other Corvette team for 2010, Mad Croc Racing was a combination of Corvette teams Selleslagh Racing Team and DKR Engineering which had a mixed season, which apart from the final round at Argentina was a consistent season with points, and running at the best of your abilities when your drivers have more money than talent, and when sponsorship deals fall through leaving you unable to race – as neither Mad Croc car made the track at Argentina.

Moving onto 2011, Phoenix have gone but Selleslagh (running as Exim Bank Team China) and DKR remain – with for the moment, 1 car apiece. The rules require 4 cars per brand, but it has been said for future rounds that both teams will acquire an extra car – with only 8 C6R Z06′s built and 3 of the remaining 6 being unavailable it will be interesting to see what happens.

Longterm Corvette driver Mike Hezemans returns to the Exim car with former Megane trophy driver and fellow Dutchman Nick Catsburg, while French GT pairing Jean-Claude Police and Laurent Cazenave share the DKR car, with the Exim car having a slightly stronger pairing, but both should mount a challenge. Lets hope there are 4 Corvettes ontrack at some point in 2011 – which only happened at Abu Dhabi,Silverstone and Spa in 2010.

Ford - Ford GT Matech

Photos – Belgian Racing/Marc VDS Racing

Belgian Racing – Belgium                                                                                                               Marc VDS Racing – Belgium

9 – Antoine Leclerc / Vanina Ickx (Rounds 1-2 only)                                                       40 Bas Leinders / Marc Hennerici

10 – Martin Matzke / Milos Pavlovic                                                                                         41 Frederic Makowiecki / Maxime Martin

The distinctive Ford GT’s return for their second full season and without the Swiss Matech team who had originally conceived and developed them which has closed down. The newly formed  Belgian Racing have taken over the Matech cars and will be closely working with Marc VDS racing to run their cars during the season. Matech took 2 wins during 2010 and hopefully these cars will be at a competitive level in 2011.

Despite the name of the team, Belgian Racing are only fielding 1 Belgian driver so far and the only female driver on the grid to boot – Vanina Ickx, daughter of sportscar legend Jacky. Vanina has tried a diverse range of 4 wheeled motorsport, so only logical she gives GT1 a go, she is paired with French GT driver Antoine Leclerc who moves up to GT1 after GT3 and French GT. Serbian single seater graduate Milos Pavlovic is paired with GT3 driver Martin Matzke to complete the newest team on the grid.  Marc VDS enter their second full GT1 season with team manager/driver Bas Leinders sharing with Marc Hennerici who had some good runs with the Phoenix Corvette,while over in the second car Frederic Makowiecki, who moves across from Hexis AMR is paired with Maxime Martin who keeps his seat from last year

Lamborghini - Lamborghini Murcielago LP670 R-SV

Photos – endurance-info.com / Ed Fahey

Swiss Racing Team – Switzerland                                                 All-Inkl.com Münnich Motorsport – Germany

5 – Karl Wendlinger/Peter Cox                                                     37 – Marc Basseng  / Markus Winkelhock

6 – Max Nilsson/Jiri Janak                                                             38 – Dominik Schwager / Nicky Pastorelli

The Italian bulls return for 2011, Swiss Racing Team take over the Reiter engineering cars from 2010 after their forgettable season running Nissan GTR’s, so hopefully if how the Reiter cars ran in 2010, especially in the latter half of the 2010 season is repeated this year they will have a season to remember rather than forget. The most sucessful FIA GT driver of them all, Karl Wendlinger is paired with ex-Reiter driver Peter Cox, which makes for one of the stronger pairings on the grid. Max Nilsson stays on with the team for 2011 and is joined by Czech Jiri Janak. The only way is up for Swiss Racing in 2011. All-Inkl/Munnich Motorsport return with Marcus Winklehock being the only new driver in the team, sharing with team manager/driver Marc Basseng. Nicky Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager return for 2011, another pair of drivers who are also doing a ALMS campaign, but unlike the others they are in the same car in ALMS. All-Inkl had podium finishes in 2010 so the Lambos should provide a spectacle in 2011.

Nissan – Nissan GT-R (R35)

Photos – racemedia.be / Rich Sams

Sumo Power GT – United Kingdom                                                  JR Motorsport – United Kingdom

20 – David Brabham / Jamie Campbell-Walter                                                                            22 – Michael Krumm / Lucas Luhr

21 – Enrique Bernoldi / Ricardo Zonta                                                                                     23 – Peter Dumbreck / Richard Westbrook

Nissan had a very 90/10 season in 2010 as opposed to 50/50 – Sumo Power GT were at the front and winning whereas Swiss Racing Team were at the back. This has been resolved somewhat with all 4 Nissans now being run by the same ‘team’ both Sumo Power and JR being owned by the JRM Group, so resources and information can be shared, as this team has former Ferrari F1 man Nigel Stepney as technical director.

Regarding drivers it cannot be argued that Nissan have the strongest lineup on the grid – twice ALMS Champion and a man with plenty of GT/Sportscar experience over the years David Brabham, dovetailing a ALMS season with GT1 paired with the always impressive and 2000 FIA GT Champion Jamie Campbell-Walter. Former Vitaphone and F1 driver Enrique Bernoldi joins ex Reiter, and 1998 FIA GT champion Ricardo Zonta in an all Brazilian lineup, while at JRM, Nissan stalwart and former Super GT champion Michael Krumm is joined by fellow German Lucas Luhr, who will be juggling a GT1, ALMS and VLN racing programme in 2011, while driving the other car are Peter Dumbreck, another consistent pilot and Richard Westbrook who put in some fantastic performances at the wheel of the Matech Ford GT in 2010, Westbrook is another to be doing selected ALMS rounds in 2011. These 4 cars would be the favourites on paper.

Pre-Season Verdict

With the previously dominant Maseratis gone it will be a difficult season to call, at least initially. Each car brand won at least 2 races in 2010 so when the BOP adjustments are complete it should provide a spectacle, particular when success ballast is ‘rewarded’. Being consistent will be more important than a handful of wins, but of course scoring as many points as possible is what is needed to win the championship.  Initially I feel Young Driver AMR and Sumo Power/JRM will be at the front with the Marc VDS Ford GT’s being the ones who could spring a surprise. If the car is running well Swiss Racing Team will be another to watch along with the Corvette teams, but given it is a brand new season with tried and tested (and proven) cars, it will be anyones game in 2011.

Race Dates:

26/03/11 Yas Marina
10/04/11 Zolder
08/05/11 Algarve
15/05/11 Sachsenring
05/06/11 Silverstone
03/07/11 Navarra
17/07/11 Paul Ricard
04/09/11 Ordos
23/10/11 Curitiba
06/11/11 San Luis

GT1 TV : www.gt1world.com

Spotters Guide: http://spotterguides.com/fia-gt1-2011-guide

© Ed Fahey 2011

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New – Car Features section

Posted by Ed Fahey on March 21, 2011

New for the site is a car features section, and I begin with a car rather dear to my heart – click  here

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An Interview with The Boss – Stephane Ratel

Posted by Ed Fahey on February 5, 2011

The Boss - Mr Ratel

Every motorsport series needs a Boss – or to put it more officially a class co-ordinator and for FIA GT1/3 its this man, Stephane Ratel, who also serves as both founder and CEO of these series. The informed Sportscar news site DailySportsCar have interviewed him and the links are below, which for a change you do not have to pay to read, as DSC is majorly a paid subscription site

PT1: GT1

PT2: FIA GT3 and Blancpain Endurance Series

PT3: The Future

Makes for interesting reading – mentions of Lexus entering GT1, GT1′s future, returning to racing in the USA, but sadly GT2 is no more for FIA GT and GT3 is seen as the long term option, with the possbilities of upgrading GT3 cars to GT1 spec among other things.

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Photos of the year 2010 Part 2 – Continental Cruising

Posted by Ed Fahey on January 6, 2011

Part 2 of 2 of my personal photos of the year 2010 and the stories that accompany them along with the basic shooting data. Some are photos I like, some are ones others like and some were just lucky shots that worked, and there are plenty of others that I just couldnt fit in! This time its the 2 trips I made to continental Europe for the Le Mans 24 hour race and the Spa 24 hour race. Both were several day excursions to catch each day of action and were most enjoyable.

Le Mans pitlane, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8, 1/1600, F3.2,  ISO250

Practice, practice,practice – the Corvette Racing team about to practice driver changes at Le Mans. Its the Thursday before the big race and already the tension is slowly rising, although the guy on the right smiling with the stopwatch lightens it somewhat and the guy to his left with the videocamera raises the tension again, although at that exact moment he was probably the most concerned!

Le Mans qualifying, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/125, F4,  ISO1600

Night Moves – GT2 class Porsche 997 negotiating the Esses at Le Mans

The main excitement of long distance endurance racing to me is racing at night, for both the excitement and the sheer speed, it seems even faster at night than in the day

Le Mans qualifying, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/80, F10,  ISO2000

The Thrill of the Chase – GT2 class Corvette ZR1 leads unidentified Lola LMP coupe

Night time requires different techniques – The auto focus works harder, will often hunt for a focus point (and miss) and then combined with manually controlling the cameras shutter speed and aperture results in a far more frustrating experiance with a lot more wastage – but when shots come out they are good!

Le Mans Group C qualifying, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/125, F9,  ISO320

Racing Lines – Group C qualifying in the rain.

Its rare you can combine two loves – shooting in the rain under cover and Group C! For the qualifying session I was present in 1 of the massive tribunes (grandstands) so a different viewpoint was presented, then in the few moments after the rain had stopped, but the track had yet to fully dry some nice rooster tails and reflections were present. You cant control the weather, so you may aswell use it to your fullest advantage

Le Mans Group C qualifying, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/125, F7.1,  ISO320

Les Couleurs – One of the most colourful 962 liveries is enhanced by the damp track conditions.

Im not one to reply on post processing to greatly enhance my images but a little ‘tweak’ here and there often makes a difference. I see and use it as a tool rather than a safety net and often some slight adjustment makes a big difference, as long as the basic colours stay the same and the green grass is green afterwards and not yellow!

Le Mans qualifying, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/200, F9,  ISO320

Track Impact – the three most talked about cars of Le Mans 2010 together ontrack at the Ford chicane

Who would win Le Mans 2010? Audi with their R15 TDi plus, Peugeot with their title defending 908 HDi FAP or would anyone care and instead be gawping at the BMW M3 GT2 ‘Art Car’ ? In the end it was Audi who won, after Peugeot failed after breaking one of the cardinal rules of motorsport – ‘If it aint broke, dont fix it’ . The BMW was another retirement.

Le Mans qualifying, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/3, F4,  ISO320

Fencing – Racing Box Lola-Judd LMP2 accelerates hard out of Indianapolis on the way to Arnage

Le Mans 2010 was the only event of 2010 where I did not have a media pass. Not one to let this affect me too much, but sometimes you must improvise to get rid of fences. Sometimes though the public areas are raised so you can get a better angle on shots, aslong as you lower the shutter right down to blur out the fence and adjust the aperture to suit. One of my personal favourite shots of 2010

Le Mans qualifying, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/50, F5,  ISO2500

Night chasing – OAK racing LMP2 Pescarolo-Judd leads Racing Box Lola-Judd LMP2 away from Arnage into the night

Another one of my favourites and one that needed patience. With no daylight left and the floodlights at Arnage aimed at the corner itself rather than away, I realisied that the powerful headlights of the cars would be useful to provide lighting for a good photo – but the car behind needed to be reasonably close, took a while but I was happy with the result.

Le Mans warmup, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/160, F4,  ISO250

Arty Farty – The BMW M3 GT2 Art Car – designed by Jeff Koons at Tetre Rouge

Tetre Rouge, just before the Mulsanne straight and 1 of the more common spectator areas at Le Mans. judging by the photographic equipment some people were carrying, more than a few photographers didnt get passes for 2010 either or were not bothered!

Le Mans race, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/200, F4,  ISO400

Into the night – Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 car heads into the falling light during the 24 hour race

Another example of being creative, this and the next shot were taken from the bar that overlooks the pit exit on the start/finish straight

Le Mans race, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/100, F4,  ISO400

Spirit of Speed – racing into the night, but none of these cars would finish the race sadly, but as the sun lows the atmosphere certainly increases

Le Mans race, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/2, F2.8,  ISO400

Hotel Paradiso – 24 hour Nirvana!

Le Mans race, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans,France. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/30, F5.6,  ISO800

The Wee Hours – and the race goes on

Taken at 03.36 at Mulsanne corner, the Corvette at the time was running second in the GT2 class, one of the last photos I took during the darkness, before getting a bit of rest!

FIA GT1World free practice, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/125, F11,  ISO400

The finest corner in the world – Eau Rouge – with my favourite lighting, the sun shining after a light shower, almost a rainbow present!

FIA GT1World free practice, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/100, F4,  ISO250

The sun has dried up the rain now, but its still a little dark after the rain, the lighting though and the cars headlights make for some decent lensflare

FIA GT1World free practice, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/125, F13,  ISO400

Eau Rouge from the opposite side, with a rooster tail – It doesnt get better than this

I could easily fill this post with pages and pages of Eau Rouge phtoos – have a look at my Flickr for plenty of Eau Rouge rain shots

FIA GT2 Europe 24 hours of Spa, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8, 1/30, F2.8,  ISO200

An ambience shot I like, I dont take enough of these, its a 2011 resolution!

FIA GT1World qualifying race,formation lap, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/800, F3.2, ISO200

GTR’s forming for battle – formation lap of the qualifying race and some fervent brake and tire warming is in progress.

FIA GT1World qualifying race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/250, F4.5, ISO200

Flaming balls of fire – Its not when a Murcielago flames its when!

My favourite shot of the year. A simple case of waiting for just the right moment and then click! Didnt need to get a second one!

Blancpain Lamborghini Super Trofeo Race 3, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/125, F4.5, ISO200

Crash – running out of braking – or talent?

I know that the combination of 560bhp 4×4 Lamborghini Gallardo SuperTrofeos and some wealthy but mostly amatuer drivers would hit disaster sooner or later, but I was not expecting it to happen right infront of me! One of several lucky shots taken during the Spa weekend

FIA GT1World warmup, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/250, F4, ISO320

Modern cameras dont like the very bright headlights of racecars, so its a case of setup and ensuring you are not looking directly into the headlights

FIA GT1World Championship Race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/800, F4, ISO200

Charge! Well over 14,000bhp is released as the pack races down towards La Source

Not one of my best shots of 2010, but one that gives good memories of a great weekend

FIA GT1World Championship Race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8, 1/640, F3.5, ISO200

Getting close at La Source

Another great corner – you can literally reach out and touch the cars as they pass, like Eau Rouge, I could fill the page with La Source pics

FIA GT1World Championship Race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8, 1/500, F2.8, ISO200

Nissan pitstop – a fine study of the results of often military like training and precision

The pits are always dangerous – moreso when there is a race on. A pitstop can win or lose the teams race so its best to stand well clear, I stood in the garage for this one and caught the 2 main elements, the tyre changers and the drivers swopping. Only later did I notice Sumo Power GT team boss James Rumsey watching the stop, in the top left of the photo

FIA GT1World Championship Race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8, 1/2000, F2.8, ISO200

Celebration! – Frank Kechele celebrates his first GT1 win with one of his team members

Right place and time for this one, despite being in the middle of the ‘scrum’ I stood my ground and was rewarded with this emotional shot

FIA GT1World Championship Race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8, 1/1000, F2.8, ISO200

Catch! – Another right time and place shot, was heading back to the media centre and I turned to see this mechanic walking under the podium ready to catch the bottle to continue the celebration, a quick ‘seize the moment and click-click-click’ shot

FIA GT Spa 24 hour race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70/200 F2.8, 1/400, F6.3, ISO400

Depart de 24 hours – Race start!

Off we go for 24 hours and Im in the small crowd of photographers at Eau Rouge to capture the pack racing up Eau Rouge for the first time, there might be loads of people with the same shot, but sometimes thats good too

FIA GT Spa 24 hour race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/30, F8, ISO250

Need for Speed – Ford GT entering the Les Combes complex

Had to fit one of my zoom bursts in somewhere, they dont always work out but when they do, they are most satisfying!

FIA GT Spa 24 hour race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/250, F4, ISO250

Lucky Break  – in more ways than one!

The sole Mosler MT900R of the race takes a trip across the gravel at Les Combes, but continues – This is also my luckiest shot of the year, as I was about to change memory cards (with only 2 photos left) and heard the Mosler approach so decided just to click off a shot as it passed – and then into the gravel it goes, and the photo came out better than I expected. It always happens when you least expect it, same as the Trofeo crash seen earlier, you just gotta be ready to act quickly!

FIA GT Spa 24 hour race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/250, F2.8, ISO250

A Dab of Oppo – sideways Lamborghini Gallardo at Bruxelles

Readers of the brilliant Sniff Petrol website will be familiar with A Dab of Oppo – the Gallardo is a bitch and I spanked it! Another lucky shot,heard tyre screeching, turn around and shoot!

FIA GT Spa 24 hour race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/250, F2.8, ISO400

Darkness Descends at Pouhon

The beauty of the summer is that sunset is a slow gradual process, rather than the sudden darkness that arrives in winter. As such you can experiment with lighting. Also a brief shower had enhanced the lighting slightly, just the way I like it!

FIA GT Spa 24 hour race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/100, F2.8, ISO3200

2200 and the darkness has set in so time for some proper after dark stuff before those media shuttles stop running!

FIA GT Spa 24 hour race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8, 1/160, F2.8, ISO800

Pitstop at night, not as frantic as a GT1 stop but still plenty to see and not get too close to!

FIA GT Spa 24 hour race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8, 1/1, F2.8, ISO400

Eau Rouge by Night

A self explanatory photo, 0100 and the race is not even at the half way point…

FIA GT Spa 24 hour race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8, 1/30, F2.8, ISO400

Leading pitstop – the leader pits at 0245

German Precision – watching BMW Motorsport performing a pitstop is akin to a finely cherographed dance routine, no mistakes and swiftness

FIA GT Spa 24 hour race, Circuit de Spa-Francochamps, Spa,Belgium. Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8, 1/30, F2.8, ISO400

Happy Faces – A job well done for Trackspeed, satisfaction all round!

And so ends the review of 2010, not every shot could be included here but they are all on my Flickr under Le Mans and Spa!

Happy New Year and heres to 2011!

Ed Fahey – January 2011

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Photos of the year 2010 Part 1 – Island Hopping

Posted by Ed Fahey on December 28, 2010

2010, a year of changes, development and adventure, both home and away, and Part 1 of 2 of my personal photos of the year and the stories that accompany them along with the basic shooting data. Some are photos I like, some are ones others like and some were just lucky shots that worked, and there are plenty of others that I just couldnt fit in! For Part 1 its the pick of the photos I took in Ireland and the UK, during ITCC, FIA GT1 / FIA GT3 rounds and Rallycross

ITCC Round 1 – Mondello Park, Ireland; Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/1000, F4.5,  ISO250

Tomas O’Sullivan leaps from third place on the grid to lead ITCC Rd1 going into Honda corner.

The official beginning of the biggest series in Irish circuit racing in 2010 – The Irish Touring Car Championship. What began as a desire from several Time Attack competitors and racing drivers to bring a proper saloon racing class back to Mondello quickly developed into the only over subscribed class of 2010 – an outstanding acheivement given Ireland is still in the grip of the most crippling recession the country has ever seen. The racing was close and exciting and although there were only 2 different overall winners during the season it didnt matter given the amount of battles down through the field the entertainment was everywhere and not just at the front.

ITCC Round 2 -  Kirkistown,Northern Ireland; Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/500, F6.3,  ISO200

Martin Tracey rides the kerbs at the Chicane on his way to winning Round 2 of the ITCC.

At the front of the pack, the ITCC was all about one man in 2010 – Martin Tracey in his stunning black Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth, with 1980′s BTCC parentage, taking 7 wins out of 8, but he nearly didnt win at Round 2 as he was pushed all the way by Brian Sexton with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 and only running low on fuel stopped Brian taking round 2 after the duel of the year

ITCC Round 2 – Kirkistown,Northern Ireland; Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/640, F5.6,  ISO200

Brian Sexton gets away with murder at Colonial during lap 1 of Round 2 of the ITCC.

Martin Tracey won this round but he was pushed almost the entire way by Brian Sexton, Brian qualified on pole position and almost threw it away totally at Colonial which is the first slow down point at Kirkistown, only the Evos 4wd saving him!

FIA GT1 World Championship Round 2, Silverstone, England; Nikon D300, Sigma 18-50 F2.8,1/200, F2.8,ISO200

Corvette C6R being warmed up ahead of the qualifying race, this photo does nothing for the V8 noise!

I got the chance to photograph the FIA GT series twice during 2010, but it was almost only one oppurtunity as the Icelandic volcanic mountain Eyjafjallajökull spewed hot ash into Europes airspace grounding flights as a result,almost affecting not only my trip there, but also the teams!

FIA GT1 World Championship Round 2, Silverstone, England; Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/200, F6.3,ISO400

Italian V12′s into the Arena.

The weekend saw the debut of the new Silverstone ‘Arena’ GP layout which combines parts of the ‘National’ circuit into the GP layout, although sadly my favourite part of Silverstone, Bridge is lost. At least some good photo oppurtunites are given with the new section though, they will be even better when the development work is complete, as at the time I was there ‘building site’ would be the best description to give

FIA GT3 European Championship Round 1, Silverstone, England Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/1000, F2.8,ISO200

A GT3 battle on the Wellington straight, Gallardo vs Corvette

The weekend also saw the opening rounds of the excellent GT3 European championship, with almost ITCC levels of racing/overtaking going on, except with far more expensive GT cars instead of saloons. Always a joy to watch and photograph

FIA GT1 World Championship Round 2, Silverstone, England – Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8, 1/160, F8,ISO320

Sunday morning warmup, Maserati MC12′s through the spray at Luffield

With the short, 1 hour races and only 2 per weekend, you have to take every session in to maximise your photo oppurtunites, even if it means shooting in poor weather, but as long as my camera and I are well sealed against the water I enjoy shooting in the rain, throws a new perspective onto things

FIA GT1 World Championship Round 2, Silverstone, England – Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8. 1/200, F6.3,ISO400

Darren Turner/Tomas Enge lead Race 2 on their way to victory – which was short lived due to post race disqualification for a breach in ride height/skid plank regulations.

I like flame shots, it took a while to get this one, but it was worth it! Again shooting in the Arena section of Silverstone. As regular readers will know, some flame shots are easier to acheive!

FIA GT1 World Championship Round 2, Silverstone, England – Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8. 1/640, F8,ISO250

Raging Bull – Lamborghini Murcielago in the Arena section

Sometimes photos just work, whether its the angle of the shot, the composition, or in this case the use of lighting. The sun just broke through the clouds enough to light up the Lambo quite nicely. I dont mind that the shutter speed could have been much lower in this case.

ITCC Round 4 – Mondello Park, Ireland; Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8;  1/400, F2.8,ISO200

Chain Reaction – one mistake from the yellow Integra leads to calamity

Sometimes things happen without you realising they are happening until its too late, mostly when accidents occur, this was the beginning of a 4 car mini pileup

ITCC Round 4 – Mondello Park, Ireland; Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8;  1/400, F2.8,ISO200

Side by Side by Side

The diversity of the ITCC is shown with 3 abreast racing into Turn 1 of Mondello, just a well timed shot that might aswell be a posed shot

ITCC Round 5 – Mondello Park, Ireland; Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8;  1/320, F4,ISO200

Pulling away – Martin Tracey after taking the lead of ITCC Round 5 strides away to victory, lapping a good proportion of the field in the process

Like your own eyes, D-SLR cameras dont like looking directly into a cars headlights and cameras will compensate this leading to very dark photos, unless you know you way around the camera, in which case YOU decide what your doing rather than what the camera wants to do!

ITCC Round 6 – Mondello Park, Ireland; Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8;  1/160, F10,ISO200

Abandon Ship – Brian Moore makes a quick exit as his Impreza flames up at ITCC Round 6

Motorsport photography is about luck as much as it is about skill. You often see incidents occuring in the distance or see the aftermath, but occasionally it happens right infront of you…

ITCC Round 7 – Mondello Park, Ireland; Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8;  1/400, F5.6,ISO200

Fast and Furious – Stephen Maher ahead of Tom Fahy in a fairly intense battle through Turns 7a/b at Mondello Park

Another diverse ITCC race and one that sums up the close yet diverse nature of the series

Irish Rallycross Championship Round 4 – Mondello Park, Ireland; Nikon D300, Sigma 70-200 F2.8;  1/200, F4.5,ISO250

Opposite Lock – Andy Scott puts down the power exiting Rallycross 1 kicking up the dirt in the process.

As winter arrives the sun is lower, giving you a new angle on photos, provided the sun is behind and not infront of you!

And so ends part 1 of my 2010 review. Part 2 to follow with some proper long distance material.

Ed Fahey – December 2010

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Rallycross

Posted by Ed Fahey on December 22, 2010

Well my season is almost over so its down to Mondello Park for some Rallycross. Im not a big fan of modern rallying in general but I like rallycross, probably the circuit racing aspect as opposed to seeing the car pass and you dont see it again, also the big power outputs of some cars and the close racing aspect to it with the odd bit of contact thrown in too all add to it.

Into Rallycross 1

Ill freely admit to not knowing much about the drivers or their names, but if does not take away from the spectacle of it all spread over several classes, from standard Peugeot 205′s (Stockhatches) to 650bhp+ turbocharged 4wd cars (Supercars) along with other classes including juniors, modifed and rally cars.

I only shot from 2 places due to the low sun and there is nothing worse than shooting into the sun, you may aswell not bother, but it was interesting to see how drivers were taking the first corner which goes from tarmac to loose surface back to tarmac, with a small jump on the outside if you run too wide… More on my Flickr page

Jump...

And so ends 2010, with only the photos of the year to follow. Most of the 2011 season is on the drawing board with ITCC,FIA GT1,FIA GT3, Le Mans Series and the Blancpain Endurance Series all on the radar, along with a few other races and events

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ITCC Rounds 7/8 – The Finals

Posted by Ed Fahey on September 29, 2010

Catch me if you can...

Rounds 7/8 of the Irish Touring Car Championship and again at Mondello, except this time on the longer 3.5km ‘international’ circuit that in the past was used for the British Touring Car Championship, so I concentrated most of my efforts on the longer track, as there are a few interesting sections on it not to mention the cars can stretch their legs a bit more.

Instead of a race overview, Ill be describing what I was actually doing on this day – the role of official photographer, interspersed with what happened during the races.

In the points, Martin Tracey in his Westward Engineering Ford Sierra RS500 just needed good results to secure the championship, with Stephen Maher in the S Maher Construction BMW M3 Compact in a similar position to take the rookie championship.

A different view of Mondello

Out for qualifying and a slightly different area I found to take pics was the outside of Turn 3 – purely for the climb and drop into Turn 4, making Mondello Park look like Lime Rock Park almost. Its a rarely photographed part of Mondello and Im surprised more photographers dont go there. Maybe its due to the long walk or that you need a 4×4 if you want to drive there…

Turn 3 also backs onto Turn 5/Lola which is one of the faster bends on the track, so a quick run (through mud and wet grass usually) and you have 2 decent corners to photograph. With there being 3 ITCC sessions today (qualifying and 2 races) there was more time to move about the track.

In qualifying it was Brian Sexton in the Jomo Engineering Mitsubishi Evo 6 on pole, over half a second ahead of Martin Tracey in the Westward Engineering Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth and Johnny Whelan in his very yellow Bikez.ie Peugeot 306 making up the Top 3 on the grid with Barry Rabbitt in the Tuning Factory Integra 4th. Unfortunatley for Sexton, the Evo expired during qualifying and sadly for him he was unable to take his place on the grid, so Tracey and everyone else moved up a spot.

Action - everywhere

Onto the first race and I head to Turns 7a/7b a double right hander and one of the main overtaking spots on the International track, as its at the end of a reasonable length straight so its a prime outbraking spot. This corner is a good bit into the ‘lap’ so any early attacks are over and the race is settling down as they approach me. Tracey is already pulling ahead as usual, excpet he has Whelan not too far away and who closes right in under braking for 7a. These 2 pull away slowly leaving Rabbitt, Philip Burdock in his B-Racing Honda Civic and Tomas O’Rourke in his Ferrybank Motors Opel Astra to squabble among themselves, while all down through the field there are battles, there are not any cars on their own, everyone seems to have at least one car to battle with, which makes for some great photos, but with only 8 laps I had to move along quickly to capture different angles of the action, so from 7b, about half way up, then onto the apex of Turn 8/Birranes bends to catch the cars riding the kerbs.

Squabbling For the record Matrin Tracey held on to win, after being pushed almost the entire way by Johnny Whelan, who then suffered braking issues and ended up in the gravel at turn 3 as a result, but it was good to see Tracey being given a bit of a run instead of casually walking away with the race.

After this exciting race, could it get any better? Yes it could!

Race 2, and I decided to go on the inside of the approach to Lola which backs onto Devaneys, a double left hander which then leads the cars back into Bikeworld and rejoins the shorter track, so I could walk between the 2 bends and get more of the frequent action and like the last race was almost entirely groups of cars circulating rather than cars on their own.

Into Lola...

Race 2 and Barry Rabbitt was the man on the move, getting into second behind Johnny Whelan, behind Martin Tracey who led from the lights. Whelan then overcame Rabbit, Tomas O’Rourke then also got past Rabbitt, leaving him to scrap it out with Philip Burdock once again as he had done in the first race, and apart from the various retirements or the lead few cars thats the only recollections I can give of the race, since I concentrated on photos, given the fast and furious action going on all around me, overtaking and just general dicing, it was certainly the finest racing Id seen in a long time and all clean too with no deliberate contact! Martin Tracey stayed ahead to win and to seal the inagural ITCC championship, with Stephen Maher sealing the Rookie championship

My colleague Stephen, however was tasked with making notes of what happened during the day, and his report of the day can be seen here

Ed Fahey – September 2010

Addional photos from the day can be seen here

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ITCC Round 6

Posted by Ed Fahey on September 8, 2010

Preparing to qualify

Round 6 of the Irish Touring Car Championship and again at Mondello. Just one round today with a non championship race also. After the carnage of the previous 2 rounds it was refreshing to see the damaged cars back, along with stern warnings to play fair, as if you want full contact, go banger racing!

The weather was pleasant on this day too, with clear skies giving fine conditions, both on track and to allow for good photos, although personally I like dark skies too, but its one or the other unless you are at Spa!

Instead of a race overview, Ill be describing what I was actually doing on this day – the role of official photographer, interspersed with what happened during the races.

Qualifying and I decided to go to the inside of Dunlop, which is the last corner before going down the start/finish straight, a good spot to capture side on pans and also when people outbrake themselves and either lockup or end up in the big gravel trap around the outside of the bend if they get it wrong.. Also the pit exit is behind you so you can get the cars coming into and pits and nice shots of them going onto the start/finish straight.Qualifying produced only one drama, and one that I had anticipated – Paul O’Brien suffered a stuck throttle on his Scirocco and took a trip into the gravel as a result… I had gambled correctly and I got lucky. Not always though!

Gravel splashdown!

The short races coupled with the amount of action packed into them means its not possible to move between corners without the possibility of missing something, whatever that may be! For the race I decided to go to the Esses, one of the main overtaking spots on the track and away from Turn 1 (or Honda) completely, unlike most other photographers, who seem to stick to that corner at every single meeting… Their loss as it later turned out!

Time to leave!

The race itself didnt last long before 2 incidents occured which called for a restart – Jimmy Hughes in his Integra went off into, you guessed it the gravel at Dunlop while Brian Moore’s Impreza suffered a broken fuel line right infront of me and the car went up in flames quite dramatically, at first when the car approached it looked like he had lost a wheel with the flames looking like sparks as they licked under the car, but as soon as he realised what was happening and pulled up the fire quickly took hold, but the Mondello track team were quickly there to put it out.

Onto the restart and as before it was pole sitter Martin Tracey in the Westward Engineering

Trying to hold on..

Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth out front, pursued initially by Barry Rabbitts Tuning Factory Honda Integra, Tracey going on for yet another win, Rabbitt having to back off with a suspension problem, better to settle for second place rather than push and end up in the gravel. Philip Burdock in the B-Racing Civic and Donal Arundel in the shrill sounding Mazda MX6 were a distant third and fourth, with Stephen Maher in the his BMW 3-series

Midfield battle

compact fifth but behind them a close scrap for sixth with a train of cars going around constantly swopping places, but not swopping paint, which for a change made for some crowded photos throughout the race and not just for the first few laps.

The second race was a non championship, non points race so a few people elected to sit it out and let others have their fun, mainly the top 2 cars from race one. I decided to risk it and shoot from the outside of Dunlop as you can get the cars coming over the crest into the corner, and if someone else went into the gravel Id have a head on shot, but not this time.

The finishing results from the first race decided the grid so it was Philip Burdock on pole with Donal Arundel alongside. The real mover though

Side by side by side

was Stephen Maher who lept into the lead at the start but a spin put him back down the order somewhat and he then valiantly fought his way back up, to 3rd until mechanical issues sidelined him, elsewhere Phil Brennan in the Octane.ie Rover 25,Keith Rabbitt in his MINI and Paul O’Brien in his Scirocco engaged in 3 abreast racing down the strart/finish straight which made the grandstand jump to attention, a brief safety car period bunched the field up again but Burdock held on for his first ITCC win, not for points but still there is satisfaction about crossing the line 1st.

The final two rounds take place soon at Mondello except on the full international circuit, and it will be interesting to see what changes if any to the racing this will bring.

Ed Fahey – September 2010

For more photos click here

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