Decisions, decisions…

There were several motorsport events on this weekend but I made the decision to travel the 130 mile round trip to Mallory Park in Leicestershire to photograph the Vintage Sports-Car Clubs final circuit event of 2021. Mallory Park is my favourite circuit to photograph – not only does it have some great vantage points (some with a lake as a background) but it is easy enough to walk around (or drive if you’re lazy!). It was certainly the correct decision – a thoroughly enjoyable day and I even spent some time taking paddock shots, something I really must do more often. To cap it all I even had a quite large image of mine in the event programme, albeit with my name spelled incorrectly!

Just like buses

Yes, just like buses, you wait for a hill record to be beaten and it happens three times in as many minutes. The hill record at Shelsley Walsh has stood since 2008 when Martin Groves set a time of 22.58s. Yesterday, during the morning top 12 run-off Wallace Menzies broke it first with a run of 22.55s, then Sean Gould followed with an ever faster time of 22.37s. The final contender, Alex Summers, had all the pressure and although achieving a great time had to settle for second place with a run of 22.52s.

Not to be outdone, the ladies record was also broken. In the second and final run-off Nicola Menzies achieved a time of 24.70s taking the 24.73s record set by Sue Young in 2007.

This was a day that many hill climb enthusiasts will remember for some time.

A busy few weeks ahead

At the start of the year I was really questioning how much motorsport photography I wanted to to do this year – but here I am with busy weekends up until the second week of October. So what’s happening in the short-term? This weekend sees me at Shelsley Walsh for another round of the British Hillclimb Championship (and I’ve already been booked to take photographs of the event for Speedscene magazine). The following weekend sees me at Mallory Park with the Vintage Sports-Car Club, and the weekend after I’ll be heading down to Prescott for the annual visit of the Vintage Hot Rod Association. Here’s a shot from last years event:

VSCC at Prescott gallery now live

A gallery of over 770 images has now been uploaded to the website. I was fortunate in getting a spot between Orchard Corner and Pardon Hairpin which meant I could get one shot as they approached from Bridge with my 70-200mm lens, a second shot at the corner with my 28-75mm lens and then back to the 70-200mm for an upwards shot as they left Pardon – so three shots of each car. Of course it helps that I had two camera bodies in use – I couldn’t have changed lenses that quickly! It was only when I downloaded them into Lightroom that I realised that there must be a 30 second difference in the time set on each camera body because they are slightly out of sequence.

Jeremy Flann in a 1918 Curtiss Le Zibre Special 8200cc

VSCC at Prescott

So yesterday I made the 60 mile journey south into Gloucestershire to photograph the Vintage Sports-Car Clubs “short course’ hill climb at Prescott. Ettores loop isn’t used in this event as a throw-back to the original hill climbs which negates one of my favourite photography spots – but opens up another as the cars swing round for the short push up a steep climb to Pardon hairpin. The day started with the annual bicycle race and then there were two timed runs for the sizeable entry, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The forecasted rain stayed away – just a few light drizzles that didn’t even require the use of a hat – and the sun even shone briefly in the afternoon. With over 970 photographs taken on the day it will be a little while before the gallery is live but here are a few tasters:

VSCC ticket arrives

My complementary media ticket to this weekends Vintage Sports-Car Club ‘short’course’ at Prescott arrived yesterday. The short course is so-named because it excludes the Ettores loop and so follows the original line of the track (the Ettores loop was added later in 1960). The ‘long course’ event (which includes the Ettores loop) takes place later in the year at the end of September.