Mark Lappage @ Teesside
I can’t believe that 2011 is over in 8 days. It’s flew by, Maybe I’m getting too old now? This was my second year of covering the BDC for the fine folks at OMGDrift, and it couldn’t have been better. On top of the fantastic local talent we saw the likes of Frederic Aasbo and Remmo Niezen. Outside of the super smoky side of motorsport, I’ve had a super enjoyable year. My full review after the jump!
My photographic year started pretty early. I was at Rowrah, a kart track about 20 miles away from home. I was club champion three years in a row here when I was a kid, so I have a ton of memories from here. This time though, I was behind a camera instead of behind a steering wheel. Karting is a strange thing to photograph – drift cars are quite predictable, and sooooo much easier than karts. These things are super quick, and it makes panning or getting a clean, crisp shot quite a challenge.
Another local event I attended, in March, was the Malcolm Wilson Rally. It’s a great event. Malcolm was in the WRC in the past, but now runs the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, based about 10 miles away from me. His son, Matthew Wilson, is now in the WRC in the Stobart Ford, and he’s doing very well for himself. What’s great about the British rally scene is the amount of old cars that still run. Honestly, there is nothing better than a MkII Escort tearing through the forests. Awe inspiring.
Paul Bird in his Ex-WRC Focus is also a sight to behold. I’ll miss seeing the larger cars driven in the WRC, but I suppose the new S2000 rules are just as exciting. I’ll have to make it down to Wales next year for Rally GB.
Matt Campling @ Donington
Aaaaand finally, some smoke! The first round of the BDC was at Donington, and it was a fantastic, sunny start to the season. It feels like such a long time ago!
Paul Cheshire @ Donington
Paul Cheshire’s new G35 should have been the star of the show, but it experienced problems during the weekend and it struggled through the whole season. It’s a very ambitious project and I really hope that Paul has a successful 2012.
Remmo Niezen and Dan O’Brian @ Norfolk
Rumours were circulating before Round 2 that a well known driver from Europe was going to come to the arena in Norfolk. It was Remmo Niezen. I’d seen videos of him in the past but seeing him drive in person is a whole other thing. He dominated the event.
I showed up pretty early to the event on Saturday, and I ended up leaving the track and going to a nearby aquarium for some underwater photo fun. It was actually pretty cool and I got some great photos while passing the time for the main event.
Remmo Niezen @ Norfolk
I love the lighting at Norfolk, it’s the only night event on the calendar, and last year it was my favourite event. Night photography is a whole different beast, and playing with the floodlit arena was probably my photographic highlight of the year at this point.
I seem to experiment more with my photos at Norfolk than anywhere else on the calendar. This shot of Danni Murphy is probably my favourite of the weekend – it sums up the chaos of this weekend pretty well.
Between the rounds of the BDC, I arranged a quick photoshoot with a friend who downhill mountain bikes competitively. For the camera geeks reading, I’d hired a 70-200 2.8 Nikkor Lens for Round 3 and I used this as some practice. It’s an awesome piece of glass, and I wish I had the money to own one. Shooting things without engines was really refreshing.
However, the glass was really for Teesside, Round 3 on the BDC calendar. This place is the home of the British Drift Championship, and it was a great experience shooting there. It’s enclosed by spectator banks, making the acoustics fantastic.
Seeing the drivers go all out with up to six car tandems was one of the best events of the year, I was too busy watching in awe to take any great photos.
Round 4 took us to Scotland, at the Knockhill circuit. It’s such a fantastic track, with the first corner coming over a blind crest. It’s a true drivers challenge, and it’s their favourite event of the year.
You can see right over the pine forests and down to Edinburgh, and the massive Forth Bridge. Spectacular views and spectacular driving.
Silverstone was dominated by one thing and one thing only. Team Need For Speed. Frederic Aasbo and Darren MacNamara both attended the event, in the Supra, and the brand new rotary powered AE86. Two legendary drivers and two legendary cars didn’t disappoint this weekend.
Both blew me away in terms of driving skill, but the British drivers held their own too and I think it’s safe to say that we’re catching up to our friends over the Atlantic.
The only podium shot I’ve ever been proud of came out of this event, I somehow caught the flash of another photographer in the photo so the lighting looks great.
The TRAX event was coupled with the BDC, so I had a huge car show to enjoy as well as the fantastic drifting. I don’t usually shoot static objects so it was fun to break out of my normal routine. I really enjoyed it and some of the cars that were on display were fantastic!
This gorgeous Buick was my pick of the show, a real head turner!
Round 6 of the BDC was at the Nissan Factory. I never posted my pictures to OMGDrift. When I got home and popped the card into the laptop I got a corrupted message Try as I might to recover the card, there was nothing that could be done. Lowest point of the year. It’s one of the worst feelings you can have. So instead, there’s a photo of an otter.
Luckily, my shots from the Grizedale Stages Rally a few weeks ago turned out okay, and I spotted one gem on the stage. An AE86 rally car!
That’s about it for my 2011. Two days away from Christmas it’s time to relax and have fun and prepare for a crazy 2012. Happy Holidays!