Petit Le Mans Week 2011

2011 Petit Le Mans Race Start (Darren Pierson)

2011 Petit Le Mans Race Start Race Start (Darren Pierson)

The ILMC/WEC races are starting to have an IndyCar weekend feel to them. The faster cars show up and bring a self-important, aren’t you glad we are here, now go away we are busy vibe. I like the fact that there are so many international entrants, but somehow the Audi vs. Peugeot thing seems to overshadow the rest of the week. Look at the picture to the left, thats the start of the race, the 1st and only seven cars in the field of view are ILMC cars.  The 1st ALMS regular was 9th on the grid. Not sure what to think about that, but I do think the Diesel vs Petrol controversy needs a leveling. I’m not completely convinced that the disparity between the diesels and everyone else is simply that fact that Audi and Peugeot have put umpteen Euros into development of the cars.  Certainly that is a huge factor, but I don’t think its the whole story. On the bright side, as my wife pointed out, having the ILMC cars in town certainly brings up the scarf count in Braselton.

#8 Performance Tech Cooper Prototype Lite: Tristan Nunez (Darren Pierson)

#8 Performance Tech Cooper Prototype Lite: Tristan Nunez (Darren Pierson)

Cooper Lites started out bright and early on Tuesday and both Cooper and GT3 had morning as well as afternoon sessions.  It was a good day to get the feel of the track and to get solid shots of all of the cars.  During the morning session, Tristan Nunez’s car caught on fire while on track.  It looked pretty comprehensive, but luckily his crew was able to get him back on track. Like the last several race weekends I was going to be swamped with Cooper and GT3 coverage, so my plan was to stick to Night Practice, Quali and the Race for my ALMS shooting. This turned out to be a reasonable trade off as both Cooper and GT3 were having their season end banquets.

Several new pieces of safety fence had been added to the track, small sections to protect the flag stands at six and seven, and most notably, a huge section running from turn one all the way up to turn two. Shooting from ground level at turn one has always been a bit dangerous. Yes you are behind k-wall and have some time to move back if a car overshoots the turn, but I wouldn’t want to test the theory.

#62 Snow Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Madison Snow (Darren Pierson)

#62 Snow Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: Madison Snow (Darren Pierson)

The photo stand that is set up for turn one is pretty worthless photographically as only half of the platform can see up the front straight without obstruction. The fence is easy enough to shoot though, so rather than elbow with people I tend to shoot the starts from the ground level or from elsewhere. As you can see from the first picture, I shot the start of the ALMS race this year from the bottom of the esses and I think it made for a dramatic image.

Its been a long several weeks and to be honest, I am looking forward to not having a destination to push towards after this race. It will be nice to have a weekend just be a weekend. Perhaps. For a little bit. Then we have to start planning, the Rolex 24 hour isn’t that far away. You can view all of my motorsports work at dPerceptions. Galleries for all three series can be accessed via the links below.

Thanks for following along all season, we will see you at the track in 2012.

#05 Core Autosport Oreca FLM09: Jon Bennett, Frankie Montecalvo, Ryan Dalziel (Darren Pierson)

#05 Core Autosport Oreca FLM09: Jon Bennett, Frankie Montecalvo, Ryan Dalziel (Darren Pierson)


Cooper Entire Week

GT3 Entire Week

ALMS HighlightsALMS Entire Week


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