Vintage sprint

Sunday saw Round 1 of this years Speed Championship of the Vintage Sports-Car Club (VSCC) held at the Curborough sprint circuit run by the Shenstone & District Car Club. A single lap of the course is 831 metres (just over 1/2 mile) and the record is 26.69 seconds – although that was in a modern single-seater racing car and not one that is over 80 years old. The aim (obviously) is to go around faster than everyone else although there are various different classes to give everyone a fair chance against similar entries.

The job of a photographer is to get some interesting shots – which is harder than it sounds when you just have a single car going around a flat circuit. The options tend to be limited to panning shots on the straight sections or capturing body-roll on the corners. And so this is what I did – interspersed with a few in the paddock.

1912 Luxior 8200cc || © John Hallett Photography
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My motorsport season looms

Just into the new year and I’ve already had a reminder from the Vintage Sports-Car Club to register my media interests for the forthcoming season. Together with my other accreditation at Loton Park, Shelsley Walsh & Prescott it means that my motorsport calendar is already full (in fact it may need some thinning out).

Let’s hope that none of the days are as wet as the one below:

Vintage finale

Today saw the final speed event of the VSCC calendar with a hillclimb at Prescott. It was a misty start but the sun soon broke through and the afternoon was positively warm – not bad considering it’s Autumn now. Here are a few random images from the day:

VSCC at Loton Park

The weekend was the annual visit of the Vintage Sports-Car Club to Loton Park in Shropshire. I went along today and was a little surprised by the lack of cars in the paddock as I arrived and it wasn’t long before I learned that with the Goodwood Revival next weekend many had decided to give Loton a miss in order to keep their cars in top condition. It was a shame because a lot of the more interesting cars for me (Edwardians and ERA’s) were just not there. I did my best though and came away with over 300 acceptable images which are now in a gallery on my website. Here is my favourite shot of the day:

1918 Piccard-Pictet Sturtevant Aero SPL

Not something I usually do

Here’s a few from the VSCC’s last circuit race of 2021 which took place at Mallory Park last Sunday. These are some paddock shots – not something that I usually do but I enjoyed it and so maybe I should make an effort to do more.

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!

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: