Race day. While I’m running around covering what I need to do John Rourke Adrenal Media is covering other aspects of the race, pit lane action, corporate etc. Its a very busy time.
We share the work load. This trip there is only two of us. Next race In Lisbon for the ELMS 4 hour race Paola is joing up with us again to lighten the work load.
Again we are in early at the circuit as we not sure what the traffic will be like.
The Geisha Girls \ Grid Girls have arrived wearing beautiful Komos. So never to miss an opportunity I got them all together for a group photo. We were then joined by Keiko Lhara who races for the Oak Racing. She explained she was a Geisha Girl a few years ago.
The Japanese fans love motor sport and they get in early to queue by sitting on the ground.
They are let in to the pit lane escorted by the Marshall
This then runs into the autograph session for the fans with the drivers. The pit lane is packed with fans. The Geisha girls are in attendance to give a beauty and colour to the area. The pit lane closes after 30 mins. I need to capture every team with the fans. The drivers are starting to recognise me and wearing the official race suit also helps. Soon I have bagged every team.
30 mins later we have the Grid walk. I have been asked to capture the FIA WEC delegates with the drivers infront of a banner at the front of the grid standing on a ladder.
Race is due to start at 11.00 finish 17:00. I have 20 mins to get to the end of the long straight for the first corner to capture the cars starting the race. This is a very important time to capture cars starting. The plan is to take my colleague Juliet with me on the scooter. Photograph three laps then hand over to her a card so that these can be processed back at the media by Jeff while I walk around the circuit using the shuttle bus.
The plan is for me to come in after every one hour of action with images of the leading cars, fastest lap and battles on the track. These can then be used for the various media outlets.
30 mins before the end I’m back at the Media Centre waiting to capture the finish. The Lotus car on entering the pit lane explodes into a big fire ball. I rush from the media office to get a shot looking down on the car. Meanwhile John who happens to be in the pit lane captures it on the ground. I’m blocked from looking down so I head down. I manage to get a shot after the fire is out. John got some cracking shots from his position. The main thing is that the driver got out ok he was very lucky.
Motorsport is dangerous and when we we are working in the pit lane we have race suits and helmets on. You also need eyes in the back of your head for when the cars pit. Golden rules never sit down or rest on one knee in the pit lane, never crimp in the pit lane, never put your camera or bags down. You do this you will be asked to meet the race control director!.
John captures the cars crossing the line with the flag in the image. Fish eye is the only way to get this image.
My role is Park Ferme
Then i rush up to the podium to capture the fans celebrating below with the drivers. I also need to capture the champagne and celebrations from the side on the podium. When the champagne is being sprayed I try to take cover behind the TV guy. But occasionally you get a faceful of champagne in the eye. That stings.
After this we spend a few hours editing. I checked that day I took 4,500 images. Checking the number on the cars can be an issue sometimes so you need to look at colour of the wing mirrors and advertising markings. As the season progresses I will get to know the drivers and the cars.
It has been a good race, congratulations to Toyota for winning
We fly back the next day and we miss the Typhoon. We have been lucky.