Embracing 2 legends

Porsche 917 Langheck at Valencia

March started with a planned visit to Valencia that took an unexpected twist.
Working with the Gedlich Racing track day group on a tour of Southern Europe (also including visits to Monteblanco, Portimao, Jerez, Castelloli and Ascari) my plan for the event was pretty much set-out.
Walking down pitlane my day suddenly changed completely.
I knew my friends from Scuderia M66 were bringing some special machinery, as always, but then I spotted a Porsche 917 long-tail.

Norbert Singer and Derek Bell And hang on; that’s Derek Bell, and Willi Kauhsen, and Porsche engineering genius Norbert Singer!
Seventh heaven doesn’t even begin to explain how I was feeling.

It turned out that this car was a recreation of John Woolfe's infamous 917-005, but that didn’t stop me wanting to have a poke around, which Derek – who I’ve shot many times at Goodwood – and team were more than happy to let me do.

Angel Nieto, Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi This was a shakedown run for the car and it was fascinating to see how seriously everyone involved was taking their task.

There was lots of thinking and discussing about the car set-up and balance, contrary to many historic outings, this one was not for show!

One huge irony was that rear downforce seemed pretty minimal, just like in 1970, something that seemed to complete the illusion of having stepped back in time!

Derek Bell in the 917
I love the relaxed attitude of DB here as he props open the door with his little finger.
This image was taken moments after he’d given the engineers some feedback and was waiting to hear what they were going to do about it.

This man is 76 years old, driving an insanely powerful ill-handling fragile beast, but this is his comfort zone!

Porsche 917 Langheck at Valencia

As mentioned, we were working with Scuderia M66, who brought an impressive collection of classic Porsche racing cars with them to Spain.

Scuderia M66's Porsche 917 and 910 at Valencia

Two of my favourites were the ex-Jo Siffert STP Can-Am 917/10-002 and this beautiful 910, which I’d see again in the UK just a few days later.

Scuderia M66's Porsche 910 at Valencia

From Valencia we travelled to Barcelona for our final Gedlich Racing Endless Summer event of the season.

Ferrari F458 from above at Castelloli

This also included some work for Donkervoort, documenting their new Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS.

Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS at Castelloli

…and from there on to Goodwood for the 76th Members’ Meeting which, for the first time since I became part of the Goodwood photography team, was held without my friend Henry Hope-Frost, who was sadly killed in a motorcycle accident a week earlier.

Henry Hope-Frost interviewing Stirling Moss

Pictured above, interviewing Sir Stirling Moss, Henry had made the pitlane reporting job at the Members’ Meeting and Revival (as well as the lead commentator role at the Festival of Speed) his own and the outpouring of grief from the motorsport community – both modern and historic – was huge.

It was therefore fitting to see him commemorated at 76MM both with a ‘Minute of Fever’; and with a series of stickers bearing his 'fever' catchphrase on various cars, cameras and helmets, as modelled here on the visor of Marino Franchitti while driving Nick Mason’s Maserati Birdcage.

Marino Franchitti in the Maserati Bird Cage

Is that snow on the grass behind Marino’s head? Erm, yes. Despite being mid-March, the white stuff was everywhere across southern England and that provided the opportunity to capture some incredible cars in a unique setting.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, my philosophy is to try and embrace the environment in which I'm shooting and make it a contributing part of every photo.

Which is definitely the case here as this glorious Jorgensen-sponsored Eagle 74A is driven carefully during the Formula 5000 parade.

Jorgensen Eagle 74A in the snow

The big patches of black created by the fat rear tyres really emphasise just how heavy the snow was at this point (though not how cold my fingers were).

Thankfully, there was no snow on Sunday and the day threw up some absolutely fantastic photo opportunities.

Moby Dick on track at 76MM

Jochen Mass handing over to Daniel Harper I loved seeing the Porsche 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’ unleashed on-track, an amazing chance for Porsche GB’s new junior driver Daniel Harper to get behind the wheel.

I also enjoyed grabbing this quick briefing from Porsche legend Jochen Mass with Daniel. Jochen’s period overalls and open-faced helmet are a throwback to a more innocent era, while Daniel, in his fresh new racesuit and sponsor-laden helmet, is very much a nod to the future.
It’s as if years of experience are being passed down in this image, which I took while wedged into a tiny gap between the car door and the pitwall.

You get cars – and groups of them – at Goodwood that you’d never see anywhere else, and a case in point was one of the largest groups of Porsche 904s gathered for 30 years.
It always feels like a challenge to make the most out of such unique opportunities, and it's very satisfying when you feel like you succeeded in doing so.

Jorgensen Eagle 74A in the snow

This image is called '90-FOUR-mation'.
The four Porsches combine to show the four stages of cornering, allowing you to marvel at the different attitude shown by each; the loads being placed on the right-front tyre of the leading car, the weight transfer apparent in the green machine behind and the squat on the left-front corner from the silver car just beginning its turn-in.

It's definitely one of my favourites of the event, but the photo which best sums up 76MM for me, however, is this one.

76MM Gerry Marshall trophy

Taken during the Gerry Marshall Trophy as the colours of the Group 1 Touring Cars flood your senses.
The bright red of the Bastos Camaro and UFO BMW 530, the lights from the marquees behind the barriers and even the jostling for position by those holding the pit boards; this is historic motorsport at its very best!
This image will almost certainly also make it into the 2019 Racing poster calendar.

A gallery from this event can also be found here.

Enough for one month? Not yet as there was still time to squeeze in a trip to the Nurburgring for VLN 1;
the opening round of the Nordschleife-based endurance series.

Falken formation flying

The atmosphere at VLN races is quite unique. Although there always is a big crowd, it's far more laid back than the carnival nature of the 24-hour race in May, which is something l like.
As is perfectly demonstrated by this image, for instance.

Hohe Acht fans cheering

These are local fans at Hohe Acht cheering on local team Manthey-Racing 911 #911 and this is their back garden.
They also turned out to be fans of Frozenspeed and so they were more than happy to cheer on-cue for other cars as well.

This is the sister car, the #912 Manthey machine, earlier the same day viewed from an unusual angle.

Hohe Acht fans cheering

I love trying unusual perspectives and getting the best composition from this angle is definitely easier nowadays thanks to the tiltable screen of my Nikon D850.

It was interesting to see Andre Lotterer racing a production class Porsche Cayman in the event.

Hohe Acht fans cheering

Amazingly, despite his three Le Mans wins and multiple world titles, his Nurburgring licence had expired and so he was forced to drive this production class Cayman to get the signature needed to graduate back to GT3 machinery!
He took it in good faith, and as this photo shows, got pretty animated, which I was delighted to capture.

Hohe Acht fans cheering

Needless to say he looked spectacular out on track.

Hohe Acht fans cheering

Following VLN 1 I finally found the time to create a new artwork!
This work is titled:" The Karussell 7" and is inspired by the works of MC Escher, one of my favourite artists of all time.

Hohe Acht fans cheering

It's a tessellation of 7 Porsche 911s attacking the famous Karussell during VLN 1. (Click both images to enlarge)
Everything you see is part of the original 7 images and nothing has been added artificially to make them fit together.

The Karussell Seven detail

The tyre marks on the track are an important element and add to the balance and consistency of this piece,
they are also key to create the join at just the right point for a clean composition.
The print measures in at 3 meters, which allows you to enjoy each car in isolation from close up as much as you can enjoy the whole piece from a distance.

It's been a real pleasure trying to transfer MC Escher's style to real life images, I hope you like the result as much as I do!
A limited series of 7 numbered and signed large sized prints is available for purchase, please contact me if interested.

On to the next one!

Jochen Signature

Endless summer

Ascari landscape

... At least that's what it feels like at the moment for the Frozenspeed team, as we are preparing to set off for a whirlwind
11-day road trip across Southern Europe together with Gedlich Racing in pursuit of the perfect circuit photo, after having indulged in very similar trips in January and February.

This is prime time for warm-weather testing in this part of the world, and so far we've been busy at Ascari, Monteblanco, Portimao and Jerez, getting right into the heart of the action with some of the most exotic road and racing cars on the planet.

Huracan Performante at Ascari

The southern winter sun also provides a fantastic opportunity to capture the kind of images our clients tend to love, and never more so than in the evenings.

The low angle of the sun at this time of the year and it's warm soft light reduce the chance of over-exposing a shot, making it easier to create something really cool if you do it right.

Huracan Super Trofeo EVO catching the evening sun at Portimao

I always try and use the natural environment to give the subject of any photo some sort of context and in this instance, the dominance of yellows and oranges in the background can either be used to make a dark car look more imposing, like this Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO, or to create some interesting effects with lighter coloured cars.

The following image, also taken at Portimao, works so well because of the many different shades of yellow, from the sky, the background, and particularly because the horizontal black stripes on this SPV Racing Ligier LMP3 machine work perfectly to increase the sensation of speed against a matching grandstand background.

Porimao SPV Racing Ligier LMP3Ascari landscape

Of course, you can also do the opposite and play the light and car off against each other; the effect being what's been created with this rare Porsche 964RSR.
The strength of the light streaming through the cockpit side windows is a nice detail.

Porsche 964RSR catching the evening light at Portimao

Another reason I love this time of the year is the heavy density of the air, which can allow you to capture super effects if you go out looking for them.

This Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, still at Portimao, is a case in point. Look at the way the heat haze from the exhaust and engine reveals - in minute detail - how strongly the air is directed once the car has cut through it.

Porsche GT4 aerodynamic effects revealed

Another example of how heat haze can really add an extra dimension to a photo is illustrated in this Mercedes-AMG GT3. The haze from the side exhaust and front brake discs and diffuser vortex are all clearly visible.
Combined with the driver's eyes - visibly trained on the corner apex - and the load on the outside tyres while the insides almost lift off the ground - you can really tell how hard he's pushing.

Mercedes AMG-GT3 at Portimao

And I can't leave this section without mentioning flare.
It' a pain in the behind for many photographers, but I absolutely love it and you can really use it to your advantage.
The trick is the catch the light-source when it's half covered by the subject.

Huracan cockpit view at Portimao

It's not easy and you miss it as often as you catch it, but when you do get the shot, you're always impressed with the result, as I am with this image of the Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 at Monteblanco.

Konrad Motorsport Huracan at Monteblanco

Scuderia StileF at work in the Ascari pitlane

Top it off with a bit of zoom for maximum effect.

GT3 cup in the Monteblanco pitlane

I love shooting cars, but bikes stir up a set of emotions within me all of their own, as you'll already know if you read the previous photoblog on the 2017 Spanish MotoGP.
So when we found out there was Portimao WSBK test day the day after our trackday that was too tempting an opportunity to miss before traveling on to Jerez.

Much like a new car, a new bike looks stunning in bare carbon fibre.
As demonstrated by rookie sensation Toprak Razgatlioglu, who was having his first ride of the Puccetti Kawasaki superbike.

WSBK Portimao Toprak Razgatlioglu wheelie

The winter sun bounces off every surface of the ZX10-RR and the consistency of the dark colour really helps accentuate the lines. By focusing on the rider you can also create an effect on the bike and edge of the tyres that makes the whole machine look alive, while the blurred effect of the grandstand seats behind (the 3 colours there are a photographer's dream) enhances this further.

Toprak was one of many to pull a wheelie over the brow, as many teams were busy honing their electronics package to try and minimise the time of non-contact with Portimao's rollercoaster like track surface.
Here's Eugene Laverty also fighting (out of the seat, weight forward) to keep the front of his Milwaukee Aprilia RSV down.

WSBK Portimao Eugene Laverty wheelie

Leon Camier gets extra marks for looking like a motocross rider coming over the brow of the hil on his Ten Kate Honda Fireblade; being about a foot taller than some his rivals. You can really see the relationship between bike and rider here.

WSBK Portimao Leon Camier wheelie

Even in the downhill sections, the struggle to keep the front wheel down was obvious.
Triple world champion Jonathan Rea was the least spectacular looking rider of the bunch (relatively speaking!) and when you are watching them close up from trackside it's clear the Kawasaki's electronics are in a different league to the rest.
The bike and rider generally look about 10kph slower but are actually faster than anyone else.
On the other end of the spectrum was the MV Agusta which was kicking and jumping like an untamed bull in the bottom half of the time sheets.

WSBK Portimao Jonathan Rea wheelie

My favourite shot from the day, however, was this one of Marco Melandri sliding his Ducati Panigale up the hill.

WSBK Portimao Marco Melandri sliding his Ducati Panigale

If you're a MotoGP fan, you'll remember his insane slide out of the final corner as he hustled to victory in a wet/dry Australian GP in 2006. Whilst this slide may not be quite so insane - Marco told me at one point that modern electronics make it more or less impossible to repeat - it's still mighty impressive!
I love how, despite the crossed up angle of the bike, his body position is precise and balanced, leaving you in no doubt that he's in complete control of the situation.
Bike racers, a different breed!

As it happens Melandri went on to win both races of the WSBK season opener at Phillip Island, making this image all the more special.

Now we are about to set off for another road trip with Gedlich Racing, visiting Ascari, Valencia and Barcelona Castelloli and from there it's straight to the Goodwood Members' Meeting before returning to the Nurburgring for the first VLN race of the season.

It's going to be another busy year and I am eagerly looking forward to experience and cover some of Europe's biggest motorsport events, including the Nurburgring and Spa 24 hours; a full season of the VLN at the Nordschleife, the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix, Goodwood Festival of Speed, Revival and Members' Meeting and plenty of private track days and tests.

Jochen Signature

If you like what you see, maybe we can help you in 2018?
Feel free to drop us a line at to discuss your needs.

MotoGP: Turning the fever-ometer up to 11

I placed a big black tick on my bucket list in May as I arrived at Jerez de la Frontera, eager and ready to experience the most atmospheric MotoGP event of them all; the Spanish Grand Prix.
It didn’t disappoint.

Marquez and Iannone accelerating on to the back straight

Call me crazy, but even on a freezing cold midweek day in winter – my first visit to Jerez for a private track day, the place had an aura. The grandstands were empty, but you could feel something, and memories of dramatic last-corner collisions between Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau, and latterly Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez, left me wanting, no; needing, to return for the main event.

GP Thursday is traditionally preparation day and I’ll try to walk the track to suss out the best photo positions (often temporary advertising hoardings or safety measures can obstruct your access or view, so it’s always good to check).
This time, I immediately bumped into Paolo Simoncelli, father of the late Marco Simoncelli – of whom I was a great fan.
Paolo, who had been an occasional paddock visitor since his son’s death at Sepang in 2011, was back full-time in 2017 with his SIC58 Moto3 team and was showing his rider Tatsuki Suzuki around the circuit.

Paolo Simoncelli guiding Tatsuki Suzuki on a Thursday trackwalk

I like the contrast in the expressions; young Suzuki’s delight and innocence contrasted with the paternal look of Simoncelli Sr, a man well aware of the risks of the sport. It’s always important to have a sense of perspective in a sport as dangerous as motorcycle racing and this sums it up in an image.

Next up: the rider press conference.
They’re not exactly the most interesting of affairs (Sepang a few years ago excepted), but this one had its moments.

Jerez press conference I was extremely pleased to catch this moment; I think it says something about the personalities of each rider. Lorenzo looks suspicious, Cal Crutchlow grumpy, Rossi entirely at ease as he speaks to the assembled press, and Marquez staring straight ahead, concerned only about his own performance this weekend rather than any mind games anyone else might have in store for him.

Angel Nieto, Giacomo Agostini and Valentino Rossi A treat had presented itself during the build-up too as I spotted ‘The Doctor’ exchanging words with Giacomo Agostini and Angel Nieto; the three most-successful grand prix riders of all time with now 327 wins and 489 podiums between them.
Rossi is a fan, first and foremost, and the fact that these guys respect his achievements is a source of great pride to him.
You can see in his face that while comfortable in his surroundings, he still has an element of deference towards them.
Of course, this image is all the more poignant as it was to be Nieto’s final Spanish GP attendance.

Marc Marquez in pitlane Keeping things current, isn’t Marquez a fascinating character?
As I mentioned earlier, he doesn’t seem to have any interest in what the rest are doing; he’s focused on his job, his task, his expectations.
But there’s no sign of that edgy intensity you get with Lorenzo.
I grabbed a moment with him – and no more – on Sunday morning as he quickly returned to the Honda garage after attending the Moto2 podium ceremony to applaud his brother Alex's maiden win.
“Hey Marc” I shouted to him, provoking this reaction. Utter relaxation. ‘That,’ I told myself, ‘is a man who is totally comfortable in his environment.’.
Such was the tightness of the schedule, he was changed, on his bike and headed to the grid just a few minutes later.

As it turned out, he couldn’t get near team-mate Pedrosa during the race, as had been the case all weekend, no matter how hard he tried (see exhibits 1 , 2 and 3 ), but he did take second place, whilst serving up lashings of his unique riding style.
No more so than in this image, taken at Peluqui; the right-hander that indicates you’re nearing the end of the lap.

Marc Marquez racing his shadow

There was no ‘chance’ about this image, which was taken during Sunday's warm-up practice.
Once I saw the Spaniard’s elbow come down against the kerb, there was a need to catch this action in alignment with the fitting sponsors’ board behind him.
A blend of patience, timing and experience got the job done. Thanks to the relatively slow-speed nature and constant radius of the turn it was possible to combine bike and rider crispness with just the right amount of background blur to make this shot work.

Gigi Dall'Igna on his throne

I was honoured when Mat Oxley – probably the most universally-respected MotoGP journalist – agreed to team up for one of his Motor Sport Magazine blogs. You can probably imagine my reaction when I found out that Freddie Spencer was also going to use my images in his column from the weekend!

I’m a big fan of working with scenery and believe that at a live motorsport event, the backdrop (including a dynamic crowd) are as much a part of the atmosphere as what’s happening on-track (especially when fast jets are involved – like the Aviojets of Patrulla Aguila, who appeared on Sunday as the race was about to start).

Patrukka Aguila Jerez demonstration

The Spanish crowd, in particular, are as emotionally involved in their riders’ progress as any I’ve ever witnessed, and I’m particularly pleased with the image below, which I think bottles something you can’t, well, bottle.
During sessions, you’re totally focused on the track action, but in the gaps, things go a little flat as the flasks and sandwiches come out and bums go back on seats. That wasn’t going to work for this shot though.
I started waving my arms to gee them up. First one body rose, then another, and then more.
An enthusiastic reaction, but nowhere near the full-on buzz you get during races.
After getting a few images I started to speed along the service road on the push-scooter I use at races and they instantly reacted. Arms waving, air-horns sounding… This was my moment to strike, and this was the result!

Spanish fans

Alex Marquez sliding his Kalex-Honda into the Dry Sack hairpin Moto2 qualifying practice gave me the chance to capture one of my favourite shots of the entire year, as Alex Marquez slid his Moto2 Kalex-Honda into the Dry Sack hairpin.
Just look at how out-of-shape the bike is; the rear totally stepped out while the front heads to Cadiz.
In contrast there's the razor-sharp focus on the rider's helmet. His visor reflecting the track and symbolizing his determination and focus as his eyes are firmly locked on to the corner apex.
Alex's got this under control.

Jerez Moto3 race

Both the Moto3 and Moto2 races were mega-exciting and got me properly warmed up for the main race.

Jerez Moto2 race start

For the MotoGP race, I decided to position myself on the inside of turns 1 and 2, mainly because of the wide variety of shot range but also because of the proximity of the final corner, in case things seemed to head for another final corner clash.
One of my favourite race images caught the battle between Maverick Vinales and Andrea Dovizioso.
See how the rising asphalt and off-camber exit has created two wildly differing attitudes?
That’s part of the magic of bike racing and you can really see the effort both riders are putting in as their tyres lose grip towards the latter stages.

Maverick Vinales Andrea Dovizioso duel

And then suddenly it was all over.
Podium, editing, sunset, departure.
A pretty abrupt end to a mesmerising weekend.
I’ll be back though; mark my words.

Marc Marquez wheelieing across the line Jerez MotoGP podium

I hope you enjoyed this review and the images as much as I enjoyed making them and look forward to getting back to you soon!

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2017 Goodwood memories

There’s nowhere quite like Goodwood. It’s a cliché, but in motorsport terms, it’s absolutely true.

Goodwood Revival Whitsun Trophy

Caught at work during the Goodwood Revival I’ve been working for Goodwood since the 2010 Festival of Speed, first as a guest photographer and then as a fixed member of the estate’s official photography team since the 2012 Revival.
It’s allowed me to capture moments I simply wouldn’t be able to witness anywhere else in the world, some of which you can see here in my annual 'Goodwood Snappers’ Selection’ column.

My brief, for quite a while now, has been to focus on the track action; cataloguing everything that moves for the Goodwood archive and ensuring that their 1000-strong media guests have access to whatever they need image-wise from the event.
At FoS I inevitably end up in the collecting areas at the top or bottom of the hill as I move around the site to shoot in various positions, and it's these hives of activity that sometimes allow you to capture those brief moments of magic that can be kept forever.

Valtteri Bottas ready to go This image of Valtteri Bottas in his Mercedes F1 car as he waited for the modern F1 parade, is just one example of what I’m talking about.
From spotting the gap, kneeling down, adjusting my camera settings, shooting and moving on, the whole process took about five seconds. But with experience and instinct, that's all you need to get that magic image.
Valtteri seemed to sense my presence and glanced my way just long enough to reveal the whites of his eyes; the center focus making him seem calm amid the storm created by the blurring effect around him. You can almost see into his mind.

That instinct I was speaking about also helped with this shot of racing raconteur Alain de Cadenet from the 75th Members’ Meeting in March. The Members’ meetings are far more laid-back than the FoS or Revival with crowd numbers capped and the focus on the racing in the style of the club meetings at the circuit in the 1950s and ‘60s, rather than the fanfare of the better-known events.

Alain de Cadenet and kid with his McLaren M8C Against this informal backdrop, scenes like this become possible.
The little boy was so interested in the McLaren M8C that ‘Cad’ invited him to try it for size. Look at his expression!
He’ll never forget this moment and Alain clearly recognises this too, as you can see from the pride on his face.
It’s what binds us all together as motor racing fans.

Passion does the same, and Tim Morley has shown this in spades as he’s restored this wonderful Bastos Rover SD1; the last racing example ever built.
You can see the satisfaction in his face as he stands proudly next to it, awaiting the start of the Group A touring car demonstration at 75MM.
Chassis TWR20, raced in period by Denny Hulme, Win Percy, Jean-Louis Schlesser, Tom Walkinshaw and others, has undergone a 15-year rebuild, so Tim’s certainly earned the opportunity to smile about it!

Bastos Rover SD1

Tom Kristensen playing with the crowd Tom Kristensen also has passion by the bucketload.
This image was created at the collecting area at the top of the FoS hill in June and is an example of how a little guidance from you – the photographer – can create a truly memorable shot.
TK was signing autographs and agreed to have some photos taken with the crowd on my request.
As he approached, some began cheering.
I gestured that they should turn it up to 11 and they obliged.
What ‘Mr Le Mans’ did next, in covering his ears, was pure pantomime, but it worked fantastically!

I’m of the opinion that a good photographer uses his or her environment to its maximum.
If it’s a barren landscape, then intrusions are rarely welcome, but if it’s a rock concert, the people ARE your environment and play a key role in giving your shots a context.
FoS is the rock concert of the motor racing world and the uniqueness of the event in allowing enthusiastic spectators to get within touching distance of some of the most legendary cars and drivers of all time means people will always be your backdrop.
A busy paddock is never going to be the place for a clear studio-style set-up shot, but that’s not the point of this event. The crowd definitely enhance this one.

No matter how heavy your brief, thankfully, you always do get a few moments to indulge your own imagination.
I’ve always felt there aren’t enough tight cockpit shots of legends at the wheel from the 1950s, ‘60s and '70s, so I was delighted to capture Sir Jackie Stewart taking a quiet moment of reflection inside one of the most beautiful racing cars ever built; the Ferrari 330 P4.

Sir Jackie Stewart in the Ferrari 330 P4

He looks pensive; as I imagine he might have done when he raced this car at Brands Hatch 50 years ago and I feel privileged to have stolen in for just long enough to catch the moment.
The skin and hair show his age, but the eyes are still young. I think I’ve caught his character pretty well.

Goodwood is probably the only place I can think of that still has the potential to take your breath away as you’re trudging wearily back to the car after the end of a physically draining event. I had such an experience this year.
Despite having taken over 10,000 photos in four days, when I spotted this incongruous-looking transporter, I felt obliged to get my phone out. Featuring the 1971 Le Mans-winning Porsche 917K, the Can-Am Killer 917/30, 935 ‘Moby Dick’ and what looks like a Nurburgring 1000km-spec 962, there’s 4 legendary machines on display.
Or rather, partly on display.
And in a few minutes, these icons will be locked away and begin their trip home; the thousands of drivers who pass this truck on the A27 oblivious to the iconic machinery hidden inside.

Porsche transporter

Willys Jeep taxi It’s the little sub-stories that I really love to capture and tell in my photos.
This driver was taking people around the circuit to the various vantage points during the Revival in his wartime Willy’s Jeep; dressed-up in full US army regalia.
As he was giving me a lift I instinctively grabbed my camera and took this image.
It was pure spontaneity and it couldn’t have come out better. His expression says it all; pride, detail, fun!

Frank Stippler Ferrari 250 SWB Fun is always a buzz word at Goodwood. I still have fun even when I’m lying flat on by stomach in damp grass, trying to shoot Frank Stippler popping out from behind the bushes, sideways as usual, in his Ferrari 250 SWB.

If you liked what you’ve seen in this blog, the annual Frozenspeed poster calendar is available here, priced at 25 Euros.
The final print run has just become available and is selling well so order fast to avoid disappointment.

2018 Racing calendar

I hope you enjoyed this review and the images as much as I enjoyed making them and look forward to getting back to you soon!

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July 2017 Blog: Two legendary tracks, three incredible events

Manthey-Racing 911 approaching Ex-Muehle'

Motorsport has been my love and passion for as long as I can remember.
So much so that more than 10 years ago I decided to give up my job as an engineer to become a full-time motorsport photographer, dedicating myself to covering motorsport to the best of my abilities, getting as close as possible to the action and capturing it as a documentary.
I remember how at the time I felt safe thinking that I could easily return to engineering, but it's safe to say I haven't looked back since!

I’m Jochen and through Frozenspeed Motorsport Photography, I spend the year darting from racetrack to racetrack chasing the perfect image.

I’ve decided to start a blog to share my passion, images and some of the stories behind them, with you.

July has been another intense month with plenty of travelling through Germany and Belgium as some of the biggest events in the sportscar racing calendar descended on the Nurburgring and Spa-Francorchamps.

VLN 4 – July 8th

VLN 911 duel I have a very special connection with the Nurburgring Nordschleife and the VLN endurance series and this image really shows you why.
This is Eiskurve, one of my favourite locations to shoot from because of the way the bumps and kerbs unsettle the car multiple times, creating a great spectacle against a beautiful Nurburgring background.

The 2 Porsche GT3Rs going head-to-head are driven by Ringmeisters Romain Dumas and Frank Stippler.
Dumas's Manthey 911 has settled again but you can see how Stippler is still fighting his car as he accelerates over the kerb.
I love how the sensation of speed is emphasised by having the Manthey 911 pin sharp and the following car blurred out, which is achieved by walking a thin photography line.

Having spent so much time on and around the Nordschleife during the past 15 years, I know exactly where to shoot from to get unique action and/or atmosphere images.
This extends to seasonal foilage and gaps in the trees, which really show why it's called 'The Green Hell’.
With images like this, timing is everything.
Over years you develop a good feeling for timing when the car will be at that perfect point to capture an image like this.

Manthey Green Hell'

I’ve been photographing for Manthey-Racing for over a decade and it’s very rewarding when a Nurburgring legend like Olaf Manthey, makes a point of telling you how much he likes a certain photo.
I have been happy to see how Manthey-Racing have reverted to using their iconic yellow and green livery, which helps the car stand out against a dark background and just looks great in general.

FIA WEC Nurburgring – July 14-16th

I’ve taken over 100.000 images already in 2017 (using single frame mode), but this one is my clear favourite so far!
Showing Brendon Hartley exiting his Porsche 919 Hybrid during qualifying, this image uses a special zoom technique I've been practicing recently. With the camera trained firmly on the New Zealander, he appears in razor-sharp focus while everything around him is in blur. This draws your complete attention and creates the effect that he’s the perfect calm in the eye of the storm, which is a good metaphor for this kind of pitlane action as it looks wild and chaotic, yet everybody knows exactly what to do and performs their job perfectly.

Brendan Hartley handing over his Porsche 919 to Timo Bernhard'

Given rare and exclusive access to the Porsche prototype garage, you can tell a story that few photographers can and really reveal the emotions that play a part in top-level endurance racing.
It was a very special feeling to cover the weekend from inside the legendary Porsche prototype factory team and I am very grateful to have gotten the chance to do this before the programme ends later this year.

WEC LMP1 drivers' WEC LMP1 pit pass'

One of my assignments for the weekend was to cover the Manthey-run factory Porsche GTE 911 RSRs.
Not too tricky a task individually, but much more difficult to shoot together. Trying to get an image like the one below always reminds you that a race has no script and your influence as a photographer is very limited. .
As an example, I had inside information that Timo Bernhard would start the #2 919 with a double-stint, at the end of which I planned to shoot him exiting the car. Standing trackside later on, I could only look on as I saw on the giant screen that he climbed out after a single stint; a consequence of a late strategy change.
You simply have to see how everything unfolds; stay on your toes and react to the changing conditions.

This includes keeping track of the cars and their closing rates to predict when they will catch each other and plan where you want to be when that happens. In this case this was the entry to the Ravenol corner, meaning I could focus on the details of the RSR's impressive diffuser configuration with a fitting background, considering the dull sky of a dreary day.

911 RSR duel'

On the section of track leading up to this corner I got to capture the incredible contrast between the LMP1 and GTE Porsches.
I am fascinated by the LMP prototypes anyway, but when you combine them with the GT cars on track, their incredible speed gets a reference point and you get to see just how impressive they really are.
In this shot the pair of GTE cars are like fish in the sea and I like how the prototype is looming in the gap between them like a Great White Shark (fin included).
You might get the chance to capture an image like this once in a whole weekend, so you have to take the opportunity when you do.
Capturing an image like this is comparable to putting a 3lb bait on an extra thick fishing line and ignoring the school of tasty, but familiar, fish swimming by. You might very well catch nothing, but if you do get a bite, it will be spectacular!
I also like the marbles on-track and the unused Michael Schumacher S grandstand behind as they reveal the spirit of endurance racing and make for a clean image composition.

WEC Porsche armada'

A larger gallery from the WEC Nurburgring weekend can be found here.

Blancpain 24 hours of Spa – July 26-30th

And so to the 24 Hours of Spa, the highlight of the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Putting 60-plus closely matched GT3 cars in the hands of the world's top GT drivers together on this challenging track for 24 hours results in, what is in my opinion, the most intense GT race of the year.

Spa 24h battlefield'

Spa 24h start

You can't think of Spa without thinking of Eau Rouge.
One of the most incredible corners in the world that tests the skills of both drivers and photographers to the max.

Focusing on the Team 75 Bernhard Porsche at the start,
I got lucky as exactly the kind of moment I was hoping for (spectacle without drama) unfolded right in front of me
(and Kevin Estre) as Mirko Bortolotti fought to keep his Huracan under control after he reached this impossible angle going up Raidillon.

I headed back there at night and caught the Andy Soucek Bentley, which finished second, going through at full-pelt.
Images like this are technically very tough because the cars come past at 230kph at a distance of only two meters.
By using a tripod and getting the angle, strength and timing of the flash right, you can use a long exposure to create the effect of the trailing lights up the hill;
but not too long because this is all for nothing if there’s another car following close behind.

Spa 24h Bentley Eau Rouge

Between Eau Rouge and La Source is the old pits; another special place to work at,
especially at night when the low ambient light allows you to fill in the light just where you want it.

Teamwork is a vital and fascinating part of endurance racing, as demonstrated by this mechanic changing wheels.
Just look at the determination in his eyes! However tired he is – and you can tell by the amount of dirt on the car that this is some way into the night – he is fully-focused on doing a perfect job.
I also love the curvature of the air hose, which helps complete the image.

Spa 24h Team Bernhard pitstop

A larger gallery from the Spa 24h weekend can be found here.

Besides these highlighted events I also enjoyed fantastic days on track with Destination Nurburgring, RSR, RMA, Gedlich Racing, Schnelleschwaben, at Goodwood and with various other partners and clients.

July done, next up for me are the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix and the VLN 6 hour race, plus a host of races and track days full of exotic machinery at Spa, Assen, the Nurburgring and the Bilster Berg resort.

I hope you enjoyed this write up and the images as much as I enjoyed making them and look forward to getting back to you soon!

Jochen Signature

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