2016 British GT and BRDC F4 Media Day
The Avon Tyres British GT Championship was the bread and butter of my 2013 – 2015 seasons along with the Britcar championships. Both series have undergone a re-branding, Britcar due to a change of owner and the British GT Championship as a result of a sponsorship deal coming to an end. I’ve been eager to continue working with these championships as they go through their changes and with that in mind I headed to Norfolk on a Tuesday to hit the British GT media day for the first time.
The added bonus of the BRDC Formula 4 Championship sharing the media day was just icing on the cake.
Media day has been a staple of the calendar for years but I have never been able to spare the time for it. This year I was determined to go, I was also determined to give a full service package to our major clients TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk. That plan took a hit before I even left Sheffield.
It is a rule of the British GT Championship that you need a fire-suit to work in the pit lane so in the early part of the year, while I was doing all I could to deplete the bank account I ordered a black OMP race suit. Unfortunately my supplier let me down and didn’t sent it in time to get to me. I won’t name them, it wouldn’t be fair to name and shame until I have given them a chance to sort the problem out.
It was just the first of a number of issues which made the British GT media day one of the most unsatisfactory shoots I have done in years.
The night before I went to bed early, to be up at 5am for the drive to the circuit. Six hours after I went to bed I was still watching NCIS episodes and wide awake, (I cant sleep without noise in the background). So when I finally dropped off I was set to get about two hours sleep, but I over-slept by two hours so I headed off after four.
That put me late into the circuit, with my shooting plan shot by a lack of a fire-suit and therefore, no pit lane access.
Still I had a job to do and I was determined to do it. I headed off to the first corner to get some nice panning shots. The light was poor, very overcast and dull which limited my options for shooting. I couldn’t use a teleconverter to get really close because it would have halved the light to the sensor. With little light on offer my only choice would have been to up the ISO setting which would have made the pictures overly grainy.
I’ll be honest, I was on the back foot and I started to panic. I was letting people down and couldn’t figure out a way around it. Everything I tried came off badly. I ditched the ideas I had at the start and went back to the drawing board, or more to the point, to Murrys, the final chicane.
This has to be my favorite corner on the circuit. There are so many angles available and you get so close to the action that it takes a rank amateur to get nothing of any use. I played myself back into GT work by going back to basics, which at least gave me something for TCF to use on the morning content.
I played myself back into GT work by going back to basics.
Now that I have had time to think about what happened I realise that I came at the media day with completely the wrong mind set. I was cocky, over confident and frankly deserving of the slap down that the photo-gods gave me.
I am often asked ‘how did you get that shot?’ or ‘what settings did you use for that?’ These questions just show that the questioner doesn’t get professional motorsport photography, or any action photography for that matter. What these people don’t apparently know, and what I forgot, was that you can’t force any action sport to give you what you want.
If you head off to an event with the exact shots you want set in stone in your head, you are automatically on a losing streak. I’ve shot Snetterton many times before, so I went there knowing what I was going to come back with, not what I wanted, what I was going to get no matter what. Guess what, my lovely plan didn’t fit with the light, with the situation on the ground. My plan didn’t survive first contact with the enemy.
I shot the press conference then went out to lunch. As I chatted with the other parts of #TeamTCF I was reformulating my plan in my head, wiping away pre-planned thoughts about what I was going to get and replacing it with a wait and see attitude.
The afternoon was a much more satisfying session. Still I was annoyed that I wasn’t doing my best work but I accepted I was producing the best I could. IN the morning session I shot around 400 exposures and kept about 50. In the afternoon I completed 313 image set in about another 400 actuations.
You can see some of the photos here, with bigger image views in the portfolio section. The full shoot is available in the archive which you can reach from the links above.
New F4 cars
Only 4 teams from the BRDC F4 Championshp came to media day.
BRDC F4 Graduates
Now race in the British GT Championship.
Round trip from Sheffield to Snetterton
View all the images on our archive.