PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres: Blog http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog en-us (C) PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) Sun, 02 Oct 2016 06:57:00 GMT Sun, 02 Oct 2016 06:57:00 GMT http://www.picturesports.co.uk/img/s/v-5/u847556347-o1067108174-50.jpg PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres: Blog http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog 90 120 Dead Flies, Back Protectors and EN1621-2 http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/10/back-protectors-en1621-2 ChalkboardChalkboard Our motorcycling colleagues over at Confessions of a Born Again Biker have been using their grey matter. It is all that sitting about, drinking tea that does it. It causes them to think.

Due respect to them though, as they waded through several long documents to turn safety testing standards in to plain English that even we can understand. We worth a read.

We also have some advice for them … tear offs. It seems that having a dead fly encrusted visor didn’t bother them, if the lights were on.

Click on either of the images for their individual motorcycling adventures or enjoy the whole “CoaBAB” experience by clicking here.

ChalkboardChalkboard ChalkboardChalkboard

 

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) Back protectors Born again biker CoaBaB Motorcycling bikers biking confessions dead Flies moto motorcycle oldbikers rider ripoffs safety weather http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/10/back-protectors-en1621-2 Sun, 02 Oct 2016 06:56:29 GMT
Confessions of a Born Again Biker - Part 2 http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/9/confessions-of-a-born-again-biker---part-2 Confessions of a Born agaon Biker - LogoConfessions of a Born agaon Biker - Part 2Confessions of a born again biker. The inane blog posts of a bloke with a bike

Hello,

The blog post for part 2 of the Confessions of a Born Again Biker has moved to a dedicated web site, www.CoaBaB.com

Click here to be transferred - Thank you

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) Born again biker CoaBaB Motorcycling, motorcycle, Rain Alarm bikers biking, rider boil confessions in mobile phone app moto oldbikers rain weather http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/9/confessions-of-a-born-again-biker---part-2 Fri, 02 Sep 2016 17:33:55 GMT
Confessions of a Born Again Biker - Part 1 http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/8/confessions-of-a-born-again-biker---part-1 ChalkboardChalkboard

 

Hello,

The blog post for part 1 of the Confessions of a Born Again Biker has moved to a dedicated web site. 

Click here to be transferred - Thank you

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) Bell Helments Bike Chris Walker CoaBaB J&S Accessories Suzuki GSX650f biker born again confessions helmets motorcycle motorcycling retruning to motorbiking riding http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/8/confessions-of-a-born-again-biker---part-1 Sat, 27 Aug 2016 14:21:34 GMT
Death Valley on a MotorCycle http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/8/death-valley-on-a-motorcycle The astute among you will have noticed the absence of recent updates; if those nice people who keep asking me to cover events had their way, I wouldn’t even have time to write this. It is one thing to be busy and another for it to become a chore, which I must admit is a word I never thought I would use when it came to motorsport photography.

Passion and desire are two massively important factors for me when taking photos. Without them, the motivation to be creative isn’t there. The bland and mundane become the norm, and “anyone” can do bland. So in a strange turn of events, I’ve decided to have a year off and see if the photographic drive for my favourite sport is rekindled.  

Having made this decision and shared it with a few people, their response was to ask me if I would cover a list of events in the rest of this season, and then cover the 2017 Isle of Man TT Races. Go figure?

So, with a year off, what will I be doing? There are several things cooking. Riding through Death Valley on a motorcycle and a series of articles currently called Confessions of a Born Aging Biker are two possibilities. Another is addressing the ever expanding Off Track photographic assignments that present themselves.

There will be a few changes to the web site over the coming months, not least of which will be the content of the blog posts and the recent images on the home page. All of the current images will, of course, remain online.

I'd best dash - the phone is ringing and I think it's an editor asking me how the first article is going...

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) Confessions of a born again biker Death valley motorcycle year off http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/8/death-valley-on-a-motorcycle Wed, 17 Aug 2016 12:46:28 GMT
A Weekend in the Woods http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/6/a-weekend-in-the-woods #88 Dino ZAMPARELLI (GBR) racing the GT Marques entered Porsche#88 Dino ZAMPARELLI (GBR) racing the GT Marques entered Porsche19.06.2016 Croft Circuit near Dalton-on-Tees Darlington England. Round 7 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2016. #88 Dino ZAMPARELLI (GBR) racing the GT Marques entered Porsche Carrera at Croft. Photo: Dave Ayres Photographing motorsport can take you to some strange places. Take this past weekend; the British Touring Car Championship was at Croft - near Darlington - in North Yorkshire, and so I found myself standing in a wood in the middle of the track most of Sunday. Perhaps not exactly what you might have in mind as a typical location, but it does make a change from the normal motorsport photo. Climbing into a tree to get a better angle was considered, but they didn’t look that strong - and can you imagine the endless stream of jokes if I’d fallen out?

As the inevitable "health and safety" and the need to blame someone makes its slow march into motorsport, which normally means that the photographers are pushed further and further back, it was refreshing to note that Croft has so far managed to resist this onslaught. There were areas where we couldn't go ("Red Zones") - get caught in one of these and normally you will be removed from the circuit, but other than that, as long as we stayed behind the barriers, followed the instructions of the Marshals and absolutely and clearly understood that Motorsport is Dangerous, we were left to complete our own risk assessments.

Perhaps it is due in part to the layout of Croft. The track twists around itself and so there is nowhere that is especially far from any other point on the circuit. With Race Control in the middle of it all, if you threw caution to the wind and tried something stupid, you would be "up in front of the Beek" pretty much as soon as you finished thinking about being daft.

As a circuit to race on, Croft got universal praise from all of the drivers I spoke with. Although it looks very straightforward, evidently it is quite a technical circuit, with both slow and high-speed corners to test the handling and the size of your commitment. The surface is also fairly abrasive, so thinking out the whole race is important if you want to have some rubber left for the final laps of the weekend.

#88 Dino ZAMPARELLI (GBR) racing the GT Marques entered Porsche#88 Dino ZAMPARELLI (GBR) racing the GT Marques entered Porsche17.06.2016 Croft Circuit near Dalton-on-Tees Darlington England. Round 7 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2016. #88 Dino ZAMPARELLI (GBR) racing the GT Marques entered Porsche Carrera at Croft. Photo: Dave Ayres Not that any of that bothered Dino Zamparelli and GT Marques Team over the weekend. Two pole positions, 2 fastest laps, 2 wins, driver of the weekend and team of the weekend. In short, there was nothing they didn’t win. The results also bring Dino back into strong contention for the title after a difficult weekend at Oulton Park.

Passing Dino in the paddock early on Sunday morning, I asked if he was "Having fun yet", a reference to his unmatched pace in qualifying on Saturday. The reply “Not yet, but I’m certainly going to” indicated that everything was going exactly as planned. Even when the rain came for the second race, it was only traffic that brought anyone into contention, such was Dino’s control on the weekend.

#2 Alex TOTH-JONES racing the Richardson Racing entered Ginetta#2 Alex TOTH-JONES racing the Richardson Racing entered Ginetta18.06.2016 Croft Circuit near Dalton-on-Tees Darlington England. #2 Alex TOTH-JONES racing the Richardson Racing entered Ginetta GT5 in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge. Photo: Dave Ayres In the Ginetta GT5 series, however, Alex Toth-Jones was not having the best of weekends. The repairs from the incidents at Silverstone have made the car “fat”. It is some 30 kilos over its ideal weight. Getting tagged yet again and spun out of a far-from-ideal mid-grid position in race 1 made race 2 even more of a mountain to climb.

A few of Alex’s hallmark overtakes and a series of fast laps that put him 8th fastest over the weekend brought some joy to an otherwise frustrating weekend.

As I write this I have to remind myself that this is Alex's 3rd weekend racing cars. Having watched Alex race karts with great success for several years, I often forget that he still has a novice sticker on the rear of the car. To qualify mid-pack at a circuit he only drove for 20 minutes the day before is in itself quite an achievement.

The other major feature of the weekend was Alex getting the signatures on his license required to race at Spa Francorchamps next month. Eau Rouge is an epic corner for any driver. The run down the hill is made looking at the ever rising track. At the bottom, the suspension compresses, and can knock the wind out of your lungs. As you power up to the blind apex exit, all you can see is sky and the tops of the trees.  

Next for me is a couple of trips to the wonderful Donington Park and then a retrun to the woods at Croft for the Dunlop Britcar Endurance races in late July. Happy days!

 

Photos: Simply click on the name to view the gallery  Ginetta --- Porsche Carrera Cup --- BTCC

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) BARC BTCC British Touring Car Championship Carrera Cup Championship Croft Croft Circuit GT GT5 Ginetta Porsche Protyre cars circuit competition image motorsport photo racing track http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/6/a-weekend-in-the-woods Mon, 20 Jun 2016 19:42:31 GMT
Rain of Biblical Proportions and Wedding Tackle http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/6/rain-of-biblical-proportions-and-wedding-t-ackle Alex Toth-Jones prepares to test the Ginetta with Richarson RaciAlex Toth-Jones prepares to test the Ginetta with Richarson RaciAlex Toth-Jones prepares to test the Ginetta with Richarson Racing at Silverstone. Taken 4th April 2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports.co.uk Before I get around to my standard apologising for being tardy over updates and bleating on about being busy, I'd like to share a quote that made me smile.

“It doesn’t matter how many turbos or cylinders you have, it comes down to feel, good setup and big wedding tackle …”, which, according to Ginetta Works Driver Michael Simpson, is what it takes to be good in the wet, which it absolutely was at Silverstone for the British GT race this past weekend. Whereas normally the rain follows me about, this time they cannot blame me as I wasn’t there! As for Croft this coming weekend, I’ll be guilty as charged.

The rain certainly suited some including the Ginetta GT5 driver we are supporting – Alex Toth-Jones.

In Race 1 he qualified 8th and was doing well, whereupon Alex got clipped and onto the gravel he spun. Frustation was the main emotion but no real problems to worry about, until another car decided to use his parked Ginetta as an aid to stopping and almost wrote the car off. Lots of tape and many hours of work from Richardson Racing later and Race 2 started from P37.

Race 2 was going well and Alex was working his way through the field with his customary finesse, but eventually had to retire the car whilst running 17th (20 overtakes completed, for those of you counting). A hole in the floor was allowing steam, made by the surface water boiling on the exhaust, into the car and had turned it into a sauna.

Race 3 and rain of biblical proportions arrived. Although the race was only 4 laps long before it was abandoned, 4 laps was all it took for Alex to move from 38th to 10th - a very smooth 7 overtakes per lap.

Naturally, Alex is keen to suggest he came 8th. So bad was the weather that the majority of the field missed the chequered flag and were half way around lap 5 when the field finally noticed the red flags were out. By this time Alex was up to 8th. “One more lap and that was back of the grid to a podium” was the effervescent suggestion, made while the post-race adrenaline was still pumping through his veins.

Even allowing for the boldness of the statement, there is no denying an awe-inspiring drive in highly challenging conditions. #YorkshireGrit at work!

So, I come to the part where I say that I’ve not been ignoring you, I’ve been out taking photos. Not unlike mythical London Buses, photography assignments have been arriving in groups rather than sequentially and hence the absence of blog posts.

Coming up this week is more Ginetta GT5 racing along with the always entertaining Porsche Carrera Cup, both racing at Croft as part of the BTCC race weekend. I can’t remember the last time I was at Croft; it's an age thing, I'm sure. Regardless of how many years ago it was, I can’t remember the classic places to stand, so I’ll wander up a day early for a snoop about. Any (sensible) suggestion gratefully received.

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) Alex Toth-Jones Blog Carrera Croft GT5 Motorsport Picturesports Porsche Ramlings Silverstone ginetta rain http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/6/rain-of-biblical-proportions-and-wedding-t-ackle Mon, 13 Jun 2016 18:03:17 GMT
Alex Toth-Jones and Yorkshire Grit http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/5/alex-toth-jones-and-yorkshire-grit Alex Toth-Jones prepares to test the Ginetta with Richarson RaciAlex Toth-Jones prepares to test the Ginetta with Richarson RaciAlex Toth-Jones prepares to test the Ginetta with Richarson Racing at Silverstone. Taken 4th April 2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports.co.uk Motorsport is full of stories of people racing from the back of the grid to finish in the points. Ask any F1 supporter to talk about their favourite Canada race and it will most likely be Jenson Button coming back from stone last to winning the Grand Prix. If you are established in a series and known to be one of the competitive drivers in an equally competitive series, then the TV cameras will focus on you and the commentators’ voices will go up three octaves as to you work your way through the field.

But what happens if you are in your first ever car race, and not one of the names the commentators know?

If you are 19 year old, Leeds and Bradford-based Alex Toth-Jones – you may wish to note that name down for future reference – you qualify ninth, drop a place on the opening lap and then make up two places in the race to finish eighth. Not too shabby for the first of the two races that weekend as part of the BTCC Support package.  Yet the marker isn’t just “you can qualify well and finish in front of your grid position”; it is what you do when the race isn’t going your way that are the moments those in racing judge you by.

Starting eighth on the grid for race two, one of those “racing incidents” punts Alex Toth-Jones into absolute last place on the opening lap. The very back of the twenty-two-car field and over 20 seconds adrift. Now what? Alex, when I chatted to him about it a few days later, described the moment as “… so, I sucked it up, took a very deep breath and set off after them”.

Before you can overtake the rest of the field, you first have to catch them, even when the car is damaged in the incident and not handling well. So the first three laps involved Toth-Jones chasing the pack and getting into contention. Being on your own has its advantages, as there is no one to spoil the perfect line through the corners, even if the car due to the damage, has different ideas.

Toth-Jones was putting in some impressive laps, but time was ticking away and it was lap four when the overtaking began. By lap five, another two were behind him. Lap seven, and three more cars were passed and Toth-Jones was up to sixteenth place. More laps and more overtakes, but eventually it was the clock that beat Alex as the twelve-lap race finished. The chequered flag fell, and the results sheet showed Alex Toth-Jones, Car #2, entered by Richardson Racing, classified as finishing thirteenth.  What it didn’t show was an average improvement of at least one place per lap. When F1 can’t find twelve overtakes in a whole Grand Prix, here is someone who can find one every lap. If only the race had been another twelve laps long.

Talent, however, only gets you so far in motorsport; eventually the vulgar subject of money always comes around. Lodestone Projects, the Leeds based specialist refurbishment company and Party Perfection are doing what they can to foster local talent. The budget is always tight and every £5 note helps. If you are inclined to do a little something, Alex has a crowd funding page "Keep Alex Racing" where you can help keep “Yorkshire Grit” and sporting talent at the front of people's minds.

 

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) BTCC Brandford Crowd Funding Ginetta Leeds Lodestone Projects Richardson Racing grit motorsport overtaking racing yorkshire http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/5/alex-toth-jones-and-yorkshire-grit Wed, 11 May 2016 11:11:27 GMT
Confussed http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/5/confussed

I’m slightly confused, which isn’t that unusual for me. It seems for the first time in 2016, I will be neither cold nor wet this coming weekend (7th & 8th May)

The Britcar Endurance and Production series will be racing at Snetterton in glorious summer sunshine, according to the weather report anyway.

And it isn't just BritCar, you can add to your list of motorsport to delights the Caterham Graduate series and the Junior Saloon Car Championship along with three classes of Superkarts.

If you wish to enjoy the twenty degree plus sunshine with Britcar then Claire Hedley is the person to be talking to. There are even a couple of spaces left for Friday testing if you are quick.

Details for the full programme of racing are on the MSV website and more details on BritCar along with contact numbers and e-mail addresses can be found <here>

I wonder if anyone is brave enough to leave the wets in the garage?

 

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) BARC Britcar motorsport racing snetterton sunshine http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/5/confussed Tue, 03 May 2016 17:39:43 GMT
Motorsport. Why do we do it? http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/5/motorsport-why-do-we-do-it Cheap as Chip Racing - Kaitoke Kart Track Wellington NZCheap as Chip Racing - Kaitoke Kart Track Wellington NZCheap as Chip Racing Series at Kaitoke Kart Track, Upper Hutt, Wellington New Zealand 20th September 2009 I took a photograph this weekend of a gentleman sat overlooking the Craner Curves at the Donington Historic Festival. Sat on a portable chair, the gentleman in question was reviewing the programme while waiting for the 2nd qualifying session of the day to begin. Whereas some may think the image is a celebration of the lengths we will go to as “petrol heads” to enjoy our sport, for me it is much more about … well if I had to explain it, the chances are I couldn’t.

To the casual observer, Motorsport is, perhaps, just about being the fastest. It is popular for the press to present the drivers as 21st century chariot racers living life at an enhanced level and for the drivers to express their adulation for the team and explain how the car is the best and so on and so forth. You get the idea. The populist view of racing. If that view is true, then why is it will we watch and race anything from a Grand Prix car to a Honda C70 ?

I mention the Honda C70 as I spotted a seven and a half hour endurance race, the Plop Enduro (click for details), for the trusty single cylinder commuter motor cycle running at Mallory Park on the 14th of May. Organised by Scarisbrick and District Armada Motor Cycle Club any profits from the race go to the North West Air Ambulance, Blood Bikers and other chosen charities and while these are noble causes, it will be the idea of racing that attracts people. Plainly it isn’t the kudos of winning a Honda C70 race, the adulation of the adoring fans or the non-existent prize money that is attracting these stalwart competitors. It is that indescribable thing called Motorsport coupled with the chance to do something that benefits their chosen charities

Cheap as Chip Racing - Kaitoke Kart Track Wellington NZCheap as Chip Racing - Kaitoke Kart Track Wellington NZCheap as Chip Racing Series at Kaitoke Kart Track, Upper Hutt, Wellington New Zealand 20th September 2009 The addiction that is Motorsport is a worldwide pandemic. New Zealand – a place I was once informed was geographically the most remote county in the world -  for example has a race series entitled “Cheap as Chips”. In a similar fashion to the Plop Enduro, this series utilised Kart tracks to race all sorts of single cylinder, scooter, step though and other assorted commuter machinery. 

So what is it that possesses us to spend hours in our respective garages, preparing these machines? As said at the top of this diatribe, if we – and it is we for I include myself among the addicted – tried to explain it, the chances are we couldn’t. It isn’t fame or fortune. It isn’t about just going fast as we introduce all sorts of rules and regulations to ensure that we can’t simply buy a bigger engine and go faster. We control the machine you can enter by age, style and purpose. We prescribe the tyres to be used, the fuel you can use and the clothes you must wear. You can race on two, three, four or even more wheels and if all of that isn’t enough, we will help and encourage you to race just about anything. 

You can race on tarmac, dirt, grass, ice and gravel. We race up things and down them, in straight lines and on courses with so many corners it takes years to learn them all. We will even bring our addiction to domestic chores and race lawn mowers. We are happily beyond understanding. 

And to the gentleman in the photo that started this whole chain of thought; Due respect Sir. I trust the weekend was enjoyable. Give it a few years and I’ll be there with you.

Me not to many years from nowMe not to many years from now01.05.2016 Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. The 2016 Donington Historic Festival. Me, not to many years from now. Happy Petrol Head

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) The passion of motorsport motorsport plop Enduro questions why http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/5/motorsport-why-do-we-do-it Mon, 02 May 2016 08:47:50 GMT
Saturday at the Donington Historic Festival http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/saturday-at-the-donington-historic-festival #16 Urs Muller racing a Maserati 6CM in the HGPCA Nuvolari Troph#16 Urs Muller racing a Maserati 6CM in the HGPCA Nuvolari Troph29.04.2016 Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. The 2016 Donington Historic Festival. #16 Urs Muller racing a Maserati 6CM in the HGPCA Nuvolari Trophy Pre 1950 Grand Prix Cars race. Photo: Dave Ayres A few images from Saturday at the Donington Historic Festival. An amazing celebration of motor racing that ranges from "modern" day F1 and Touring cars back to pre 1950s Grand Prix, World Sports Cars and early F2.

There is just something engaging about watching the drivers, because you can actual see the driver rather than just the top of their helmet, wrestling with a 3 feet wide (that is metre to our friends in the metric world) steering wheel, as they try get the tyres to grip. All this while chasing the car in front, who is also having exactly the same handling issues.

More of the same tomorrow (Sunday) Oh and by the way, it snowed again. This time for just a few minutes and it did nothing to the quality of the racing other than put the schedule a few minutes behind.

The weather forecast for Sunday is dry most of the day with sunshine!

To view the other images from today, organised by race number <click here>

#14 Oliver Bryant racing a Lola T70 Mk3B in the 1000km for World#14 Oliver Bryant racing a Lola T70 Mk3B in the 1000km for World29.04.2016 Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. The 2016 Donington Historic Festival. #14 Oliver Bryant racing a Lola T70 Mk3B in the 1000km for World Sports Cars race. Photo: Dave Ayres #33 Mark Bates racing a Porsche 911 in the 1000km for World Spor#33 Mark Bates racing a Porsche 911 in the 1000km for World Spor29.04.2016 Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. The 2016 Donington Historic Festival. #33 Mark Bates racing a Porsche 911 in the 1000km for World Sports Cars race. Photo:Dave Ayres

#4 Sandy Watson racing a Martin OConnell & Andrew Kirkaldy - Che#4 Sandy Watson racing a Martin OConnell & Andrew Kirkaldy - Che29.04.2016 Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. The 2016 Donington Historic Festival. #4 Sandy Watson racing a Martin OConnell & Andrew Kirkaldy - Chevron B8 in the 1000km for World Sports Cars race. Photo: Dave Ayres

 

 

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/saturday-at-the-donington-historic-festival Sat, 30 Apr 2016 19:48:01 GMT
Donington Historic Festival http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/donington-historic-festival Simon Hadfield - Aston Martin DBR4Simon Hadfield - Aston Martin DBR4Simon Hadfield - Aston Martin DBR4 - Testing at Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. Thursday 25.02.2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports If you have not yet discovered the Donington Historic Festival, then you are in luck. This coming weekend (30th April to the 2nd May) sees one of the most impressive collections of classic, historic, F1 and Touring Cars gathered together for three days of competitive-yet-amicable motorsport, anywhere in the country.

I’m biased, though. Cars without sophisticated electronics, where the driver has to work every aspect of the car, are my “thing” – not to mention the event’s at Donington, one of my favourite circuits. 

Donington’s fast-flowing corners seem to bring out the best in race cars of all types. Handling is more important than power – but power helps.  Chatting in the pits to a driver who had just swapped a more powerful 4-litre engine for a 3-litre with a more progressive torque curve confirmed this theory. Despite the reduction in power he was going faster; the change in weight distribution was making the car turn better.

But, as normal, I’m already wandering off topic. The Donington Historic Festival or DHF is on over the holiday weekend 30th April to the 2nd May. Now in its 6th year, the 2016 Festival features 17 races over the three days plus all the normal qualifying sessions.

As well as the inspiring cars dating back beyond the 1950s, this year’s event also includes demonstration runs from some spectacular F1 cars on both the Saturday and the Sunday.

The newest of these cars, the Jordan EJ12, is from 2002. Add to that Michael Schumacher’s 1992 Benetton B192, and the 1990 Camel Lotus 102 that was raced by Martin Brundle. 

Representing the 1980s will be the 1983 Williams FW08 as raced by Keke Rosberg, Jean-Pierre Jarier’s 1983 Osella FA1-D and two Tolemans, the 1985 TG-185 (Teo Fabi) and 1984 TG-184 that was Ayrton Senna’s regular test car. 

I do wonder what "art work" the owners will be running on 1977 Hesketh 308E that was driven by Rupert Keegan. It was while Keegan was driving for Surtees that Durex were the sponsors. The 1977 Hesketh was sponsored by Rizla Cigarette papers, Penthouse “Gentleman’s” Magazine, along with British Air Ferries (BAF), the airline owned at the time by the Keegan family. Two out of those three may not be politically correct, but they are very much part of racing heritage, so I do hope they have stayed with them.

Phil Keen - ListerPhil Keen - ListerPhil Keen - Lister - Testing at Donington Park Circuit near Derby in England. Thursday 25.02.2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports Should the howl of early F1 cars not be your thing, then perhaps the DHF can tempt you with the Touring Cars that started the whole BTCC movement that you see today.

Colin Turkington is racing in the HSCC Super Touring Car Challenge driving Steve Soper’s DTM BMW M3 while John Cleland is also in the mix, racing a Vauxhall Vectra (naturally).

Rickard Rydell’s 5-cylinder Volvo S40 machine will return to racing after 17 years, driven by Jason Minshaw, accompanied by a who’s-who grid of 1980 and 1990 touring cars.

Add to all of that historic F2 cars, a dedicated e-Type Jaguar race, a two-hour endurance race for 1964-71 World Sportscar Championship Sports, Touring and GT Cars and a plethora of other machinery that even includes a race converted Morris Minor “Police” car and I ask you, in all seriousness, what else are you going to do this holiday weekend? 

Go to B&Q? 

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) Classic Cars DHF Donington Historic Festival F1 F2 Hesketh Touring cars circuit historic motorsport on track racing http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/donington-historic-festival Wed, 27 Apr 2016 09:11:01 GMT
PMW Expo Hot Lap of Brands Hatch GP Circuit http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/pmw-expo-hot-lap-of-brands-hatch-gp-circuit Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson won the first round of British GT4 Championship in the PMW Expo Racing/Optimum Motorsport Ginetta. Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke finished second for Century Motorsport with Jordan Stilp and William Phillips made it three G55 GT4s on the podium.

The perfect weekend for the PMW Expo team who also had time to create a video, "walking" you through a hot lap of the Brands GP Circuit.

 

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) Brands Brands Hatch British GT Expo G55 Ginetta Hot Lap PMW Professional Motorsport World Video onboard http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/pmw-expo-hot-lap-of-brands-hatch-gp-circuit Thu, 21 Apr 2016 18:21:21 GMT
A Weekend with WEC http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/a-weekend-with-wec Bykolles Racing Team - CLM P1/01 (LMP1) Car racing at Silverstone in the Snow#4 Bykolles Racing Team - CLM P1/01 (LMP1)15.04.2016 Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. Qualyfying Practice for Round 1 of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 6 Hours of Silverstone. #4 Bykolles Racing Team - CLM P1/01 (LMP1). Driven by Simon Trummer / James Rossiter / Oliver Webb. Photo: Dave Ayres It is normal for the English to make jokes about the weather. It is a national obsession, to the point that we’re even suggesting that the snow following a very wet Silverstone on Friday and Saturday was actually Scottish weather.

 

It isn’t the first time that we have had such inclement weather at this time of year, but it would be the first time that a session of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) was cancelled due to snow. Watching the cars tiptoe their way around Copse corner, normally a 140 mph+ right-hander at Silverstone,  was a surreal experience.

 

After a few spinners brought out the red flags, the Race Director made the decision not to pull them back in and the photographers joined the Marshals in the numerous hiding places from the weather around the circuit. Having gathered under the grandstand at Copse for a while, race control then decided to start the Porsche Carrera Cup race scheduled for late on Saturday using Championship places rather than run the qualifying.

 

Anne marshaling in the snow at SilverstoneAnne (aka "Who Killed Kenny") one of the Marshal at SilvertoneAnne, one of the volenteer marshals at Silverstone doing her "You killed Kenny" impression. 15.04.2016 Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. Qualyfying Practice for Round 1 of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 6 Hours of Silverstone. A lot is said by circuit commentators about Marshals, they always get a thank you and you will often see drivers waving their thanks on slowing down laps. They do what they do because they enjoy it and when you enjoy something the weather isn’t always that important. Still, do spare a though for the Marshals who, unlike me, can’t wander back to the press room to hunt down a cup of tea. They just stick around until the racing is done, come rain, sun or even snow. The photo is of Anne doing her “You Killed Kenny” impression. 

 

The good news about changeable weather is that it plays about with the light. There is a long explanation about dust particles being removed, the refraction of light through water and all kinds of other factors, but the bottom line is when the weather changes so does the light. Catch the light at the right moment and the results can be inspiring, which helps when you are getting frustrated at the sponsorship signage around the circuit.

Jonas GELZINIS (LTU) - Juta Racing racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup at Silverstone#8 Jonas GELZINIS (LTU) - Juta Racing15.04.2016 Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. Free Practice for Rounds 3 & 4 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. #8 Jonas GELZINIS (LTU) - Juta Racing

The sponsorship, in part, makes the event happen and so the sponsors are a vital part of the whole package. They do their homework, too, and ensure that their signs are in all the right places. The MotorSport.com signs for example may seem to be in an odd spot at the end of the straight where there is no grandstand to see them;  they are, however, in the background of hundreds of European Le Mans Series, WEC and Porsche photos. The keen observes will have noticed that it is not raining in this photo. Something of a rare moment on Friday and Saturday.

 

 


And so to the races...

The start of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Race at SilverstonePorsche Carrera Cup GB . Race 2 Start17.04.2016 Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. Round 4 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB 2016. Race 2 Start Porsche Carrera Cup was two wins for Dan Cammish, followed in second and third on both occasions by Dino Zamparelli and Charlie Eastwood respectively. Despite the same result in both races, don’t think they were boring – far from it. Saturday’s race was a journey into the unknown; qualifying had been cancelled and Sunday’s race was held under clear blue skies and sunshine. The Redline Racing teammates spent lots of time in close company and there was even a spot of “rubbing is racing” in a few of the corners. At least the results on the track were the actual results.

 

European Le Mans Series – Where to start? LMP2 and the overall podium went to the #38 G-Drive Racing car driven by Dolan, Tincknell and van der Garde who were followed home by #32 SMP Racing BR01 and #22 S024! Ligier. The LPM3 class has #2 United Autosport car taking the win, followed by their sister #3 car in second and #9 Graff car in third. A total Ligier JS P2 – Nissan engine lockout on the podium. So far so good. You win on the track and you are the winner.

G-DRIVE RACING - Gibson 015S-Nissan (LMP2) car racing in the ELMS series at Silverstone#38 G-DRIVE RACING - Gibson 015S-Nissan (LMP2)15.04.2016 Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. Free Practice for Round 1 of the European Le Mans Series 2016 (ELMS). #38 Simon Dolan (GBR) / Harry Tincknell (GBR) / Giedo Van Der Garde (NLD) driving the G-DRIVE RACING Gibson 015S-Nissan LMP2 car. Photo: Dave Ayres GTE – The class win, on track, went the way of the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari GTE, right up until the point that it was excluded from the results when it failed a post-race technical inspection. The win therefore went to the #99 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage which was then followed home by Richie Stanaway in the #96 Aston Martin. I say “followed”, it limped across the line on three wheels, following contact with the #56 AT Racing Ferrari, who managed to bring their car home fourth. The Stewards, however viewed it differently, and handed out a five-minute time penalty, which reversed the positions between #99 and #56. With the #66 car being excluded, the final, final result is #99 Aston Martin, #56 Ferrari and then the #96 Aston Martin.

 

World Endurance Championship – The winner on the day was the pole-sitting #7 Audi driven by Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler, followed home by the #2 Porsche driven by Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb. However, when Bernard Cottrell (Race Director) tweeted that he was just off to get “Chinese for the Troops” on Sunday evening, something was up. Sure enough the news breaks that the plank under the #7 Audi was worn and the car had been excluded from the results, promoting Porsche to the top step of the podium. Come Monday morning and a statement is released by the Audi team saying:

Audi Sport Team Joest - Audi R18 (LMP1) car racing in the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone#7 Audi Sport Team Joest - Audi R18 (LMP1)16.04.2016 Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. Qualyfying Practice for Round 1 of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) 6 Hours of Silverstone. #7 Audi Sport Team Joest - Audi R18 (LMP1). Driven by Marcel Fassler / Andre Lotterer / Benoit Treluyer. Photo: Dave Ayres “Audi Sport Team Joest has appealed against the exclusion of winners Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer. Hence, the result of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season opener remains provisional.”
“The Stewards of the Meeting received a report from the Technical Delegate explaining that the thickness of the front skid block of car no. 7 doesn’t comply with article 3.5.6 a3 of the LMP1 Technical Regulations. Audi Sport Team Joest has appealed the decision to exclude the number 7 car from the results. Hence the race result will depend on the decision of a sport tribunal.”

And that was just the first WEC weekend. Roll on Spa

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) 24h Aston Martin Carrera Cup" Dave Ayres ELMS Endurance Racing European Le Mans Series LMGTE LMP2 LPM1 Le Mans Porsche, Prototypes Silverstone Silverstone Circuit WEC World Endurance Championship circuit competition images on track photos pictures picturesports racing rain snow http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/a-weekend-with-wec Mon, 18 Apr 2016 15:43:36 GMT
Britcar on Motors TV http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/britcar-on-motors-tv To say that Britcar has has a impressive start to the year would be putting it mildly. A lot of hard work over the winter resulted in over 40 cars starting Round 1 of the Dunlop Endurance Series (aka "Britcar") at Silverstone over the Easter weekend.

The schedule for the rest of 2016 is just as impressive with races for the Britcar Production, Endurance and Protoypes across the UK and at Spa Francorchamps. Exactly how many Red Bulls Claire Hedley has been drinking is a mystery and if you are wondering what all the fuss is about, here is the trailer for the TV coverage from Round 1, which airs on Motors TV at 6.55pm on the 22nd April 2016. 

If you prefer your racing in live rather than on TV, the next round which features all three Britcar classes is at Snetterton over the weekend of the 7th and 8th May.

By the way, those very accommodating people at the RACSPA (the organisers for Spa) have confirmed that ... "the noise limit is 110 DB in dynamic, 15 meter from the middle of the track" ... for the Spa Round, which means that all Dunlop Endurance, Production and Prototype cars are eligible.

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship Endurance Racing GT GT Cars Motors TV Motorsport Prototypes Silverstone Silverstone Circuit circuit competition on track racing http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/britcar-on-motors-tv Wed, 13 Apr 2016 19:16:11 GMT
Club racing is the new MotoGP http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/club-racing-is-the-new-motogp #111 CABLE / PAYNE Yamaha LCR (F1)#111 CABLE / PAYNE Yamaha LCR (F1)#111 CABLE / PAYNE Yamaha LCR (F1) racing with the British Motorcycle Racing Club at Donington Park near Derby in England. 10th April 2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports Superbly Sunny Sunday and I’m at Donington Park photographing the BMCRC – “BEMSEE” -  Motorcycle races, which includes the F1 & F2 sidecar races which are something of a personal favourite.

There is something wonderfully awkward about sidecar racing. Three wheels, only one of which steers, constantly changing weight distribution, different lines to the solos and you can’t lean the “bike”, unless you lift the 3rd wheel in the air and that only works for right hand corners.

Sadly, I don’t get to cover these as much as I would like. I can hear the fake sympathy now, when I say that next weekend I have to return to Silverstone to cover WEC (World Endurance), the ELMS (European Le Mans Series) and the brilliant Porsche Carrera Cup GB, which comes without an acronym.  

BMCRC - MRO at Donington ParkBMCRC - MRO at Donington ParkBMCRC - MRO 2016 Motorcycle Racing Championship at Donington Park near Derby in England. 10th April 2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports

But, back to motorcycle racing. Some of the bikes racing in the BMCRC Championship this year are works of art and are being ridden by people who know what they are doing.  Making Coppice, the corner that leads on to the Exhibition straight at Donington, one constantly accelerating bend, rather than two (or sometimes three) corners does take skill and confidence in the machine. 

Pots of money is not required though if you wish to race. Getting involved in racing an MZ 250cc (yes MZ not TZ) with the British MZ Racing Club (BMZRC) and you are unlikely to need a fortune. The German 250cc single cylinder motorcycle has been around since before Barry Sheene won his first World Championship and hasn’t changed much in all that time. The most complicated electronics on the bike are likely to be the compulsory rain light and the battery that powers it. Yet, don’t be tempted to think that it will be boring.

BMCRC - MRO at Donington ParkBMCRC - MRO at Donington ParkBMCRC - MRO 2016 Motorcycle Racing Championship at Donington Park near Derby in England. 10th April 2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports Watching the race on Sunday and Peter Woodall is the man to beat, winning both races by a comfortable margin, on equipment that is comparable to everyone else’s. Reading the Technical Regulations, all two pages of them, and they clearly indicate that having a large budget isn’t going to get you further up the grid. What is needed is a blend of being able to ride well, manage the momentum and having half an idea about setup. I say half an idea because there isn’t much that the regulations will allow you to change. The tyres used in qualifying by just one of the MotoGP teams will most likely cost more than an entire season in BMZRC. 

So what am I going on about? Essentially it is this question which I’m unable to answer. "What is the difference between racing that costs millions and racing that costs substantially less?"

If it's creating a bike that is so powerful that only the few can ride it on the limit, then that argument would have to conclude that the bikes must always evolve beyond the riders ability to make interesting racing and that I can’t agree with. Sunday’s racing had everything I could hope for in a motor race and all for a few quid. 

Trust me, club racing is the new MotoGP (queue letter from Dorna Lawyers) and while I'm waiting, the photos can be found <here>

 

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) 2016 BMCRC BMZRC British MZ Racing Club British Motorcycle Racing Club Castle Donington Circuit Donington Donington Park MRO Motorcycle Racing Organisation championship moto motobike motorcycle motorsport racing series sport http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/club-racing-is-the-new-motogp Mon, 11 Apr 2016 18:27:01 GMT
Congratulations to Team Abba with Rollcentre http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/congratulations-to-team-abba-with-rollcentre Winners of the 24 Hours of Silverstone Cross the finish lineWinners of the 24 Hours of Silverstone Cross the finish lineWinners of the 24 Hours of Silverstone Cross the finish line. Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. Photo: Dave Ayres Congratulations to #246 Team Abba with Rollcentre Racing on winning a thrilling 24 Hours of Silverstone.  From last place on the grid to take the overall win only took them 512 laps of the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit totaling 1,913 miles or 3,061 kilometres for the metrically minded.  

Finishing in 2nd place was #303 Red Camel-Jordans.nl in their Seat Leon Cup Racer, three laps down on the winners and in 3rd are #1 Memac Ogilvy Duel Racing also in a Seat Leon Cup Racer who finish a further two laps down.

Huge thanks to Creventic who organise the 24H Series. A wonderful event and from a photographer's point of view they are a delight to work with. The coffee was excellent too. 

There are 379 photographs online for your viewing pleasure, all arranged in race number order <click here>. Take a look towards the bottom for the Podium shots. 

 

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) 24 Hour Series 24H Series.com 24h Dave Ayres Endurance Racing GT GT Cars International Endurance Series Prototypes Silverstone Silverstone Circuit Touring Car Endurance Series Touting Cars circuit competition images night on track photos pictures picturesports racing http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/congratulations-to-team-abba-with-rollcentre Sun, 03 Apr 2016 20:25:50 GMT
Twenty hours gone and four to go http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/twenty-hours-gone-and-four-to-go #139 Sub Zero Wolf - competing in Touring Car Endurance Series a#139 Sub Zero Wolf - competing in Touring Car Endurance Series a#139 Sub Zero Wolf - Seat Leon Cup Racer (2000cc) Drivers: Robert Smith (ENG) - Paul Smith (ENG) - Craig Davies (ENG) competing in Round 1 of the Touring Car Endurance Series. Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. 1st - 3rd April 2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports 24 Hour Endurance Racing is unique. More than just a race to see who is fastest, it is a whole team event. 

Four hours in to the Silverstone 24HSeries race, the #139 Sub Zero Wolf Seat Leon blew a turbo and filled the pit lane with smoke. Take that to the local Seat dealer and you are waiting weeks for the car. Yet a few hours later Sub Zero Wolf are back out racing and still going with 4 hours left to run.

TeamBRIT – 16 hours of perfect running and working their way up the order when the DSG gearbox on the VW Golf decides to “pack a sad” and they limp back to the pits. Less than an hour later though, complete with new gearbox they are back on track and chasing to make up positions.

However perhaps the best example from the first 20 hours of the race is the #246 Abba Commercial Rollcentre Racing  BMW M3 V8, who started at the back of the grid and had spent practice and qualifying eating driver shafts and gearboxes, yet now are leading the race.

That said, it isn’t over until it is over. Just ask Team Bleekemolen

#246 Rollcentre Racing competing in 24 Hour International Endura#246 Rollcentre Racing competing in 24 Hour International Endura#246 Rollcentre Racing - BMW M3 V8 (4000cc) Drivers: Richard Roberts (ENG) - Charles Lamb (ENG) - Martin Short (ENG) - Richard Neary (ENG) competing in Round 3 of the 24H International Endurance Series. Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. 1st - 3rd April 2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports After 15 hours leading the race, the engine on the #127 Team Bleekemolen Seat Leon Cup let go in a spectacular fashion on the opposite side of the circuit from the pit lane. 15 Hours and pulling away, until … but that is Endurance racing. Everything and everybody plays there part. 

Four hours to go. I wonder what will happen next?

The images from the first 20 hours are online - just click here

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) 24 Hour Series 24H Series.com 24h Dave Ayres Endurance Racing GT GT Cars International Endurance Series Prototypes Silverstone Silverstone Circuit Touring Car Endurance Series Touting Cars circuit competition images night on track photos pictures picturesports racing http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/twenty-hours-gone-and-four-to-go Sun, 03 Apr 2016 11:33:20 GMT
Not a bad way to start http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/not-a-bad-way-to-start #24 Paul White - Ginetta G5r7 & #25 Michael Munemann and Sir Chr#24 Paul White - Ginetta G5r7 & #25 Michael Munemann and Sir Chr#24 Paul White - Ginetta G5r7 & #25 Michael Munemann and Sir Chris Hoy - Ginetta G5r7 competing in Round 1 of the Britcar Dunlop Prototype Series held at Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. April 1st 2016. Photo: Dave Ayres Picturesports Some times it just all works. In bold print on the photography brief for the weekend are the words "...and a group shot of the Ginettas".

4th photo I take this morning and ... Tada! -

Best go and see if I can do it again :-) or I could just drink tea all day. Tempting but I don't think I'll get away with it.

Update: The nice people at Creventic, who organise the 24 Hour Series, came around the press room with fresh coffee this morning. I've been introduced to the Urn. I've taken my own kettle but I don't think I've ever been offered fresh coffee while sat hunched over a laptop editing photos.

Colour me impressed.

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) G5r7 Ginetta Ginetta Cars Group shot Motorsport Silverstone images photo racing http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/4/not-a-bad-way-to-start Fri, 01 Apr 2016 11:05:58 GMT
24Hours at Silverstone http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/3/24hours-at-silverstone #35 Andrew Howard \ Jonny Adam \ Harry Whale \ Jamie Chadwick \#35 Andrew Howard \ Jonny Adam \ Harry Whale \ Jamie Chadwick \#35 Andrew Howard \ Jonny Adam \ Harry Whale \ Jamie Chadwick \ Ross Gunn - Aston Martin Vantage - night qualifying for the Britcar Dunlop 24hr race at Silverstone Circuit Northamptonshire England. Friday 24th April 2015. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports This weekend (April 1st - 3rd) sees the return of the quieter 24 Hour race at Silverstone for its 2nd year. A change of management sees Britcar hand over to Creventic, who also run the 7 race “24 Hour Series".

The change in management has expanded the interest in the race with entries this year from as far as field as Lebanon, Hong Kong and numerous European counties joining a 15 strong UK contingent, for 24 hours of excitement.

Alas, Beechdean's Aston Martin (pictured) who won last years race are not back to defend the title. 

The fickle British weather is playing its part with only some light rain in the early hours of Sunday morning forecast, all of which will add to the mix.  

The weekend is also the first outing for the Britcar Prototype Series which will see the works supported Ginetta G57s running against the likes of Rileys, Aquilla, Rapier, Praga R1, Tampolli and Radicals. The grid hasn’t been announced, yet for a series just out of development, the works Ginetta support is a real success story.

Also racing are the Historic Racing Drivers Club and the ever entertaining Super 7 Inter Series. Qualifying and racing starts on Friday with night practice for the 24 Hour on Friday evening. More racing on Saturday with the 24 Hour race getting underway at 4pm. 

Incidentally, the HRDC web site is well worth a visit. The style of the site is very much in keeping with the Historic theme. Excellent stuff. www.hrdc.eu

So, cameras cleaned. Rain gear and kettle packed, just in case. Looking forward to an excellent 3 days of racing. 

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) 24 Hour Series Britcar Endurance Race HRDC Historic Racing Drivers Club Images Motorsport Night Racing Photography Prototypes Racing Silverstone http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/3/24hours-at-silverstone Wed, 30 Mar 2016 21:51:08 GMT
Going Around In Circles http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/3/going-around-in-circles #1 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) - Redline Racing - Porsche Carrera Cup GB#1 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) - Redline Racing - Porsche Carrera Cup GB#1 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) - Redline Racing - Porsche Carrera Cup GB Media Day. Silverstone Circuit Northamtonshire England. 23rd March 2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports Whereas the 2016 racing season has officially started, the weeks leading up to Easter are normally where you will find the Media Days. This year we seem to have packed them in to the 4 days before Good Friday with Renault, BTCC, Formula MSA and Porsche have all held their 2016 launch days this week.

Media Days are an excellent opportunity to get images that just don’t fit in to a normal race weekend. Tracking shots for example are difficult (make that almost impossible) to work in to race day schedule. Teams who are normally fully focused on the objective of winning have more time and drivers on media days are in a very different mental place compared to the one you often find them in on race day.

It isn’t “all gravy” though. March in Northern Europe is a  roller coaster of weather. A few days ago we were rejoicing in spring sunshine, but as I make my way through the road works to Silverstone for the Porsche Carrera Cup Media Day, I’m looking at slate grey skies and hoping it doesn‘t start to rain, which thankfully it didn’t.

#81 Euan MCKAY (GBR) - IN2 Racing - Porsche Carerra Cup GB#81 Euan MCKAY (GBR) - IN2 Racing - Porsche Carerra Cup GB#81 Euan MCKAY (GBR) - IN2 Racing - Porsche Carrera Cup GB Media Day. Silverstone Circuit Northamtonshire England. 23rd March 2016. Photo: Dave Ayres - Picturesports With the Carrera Cup opening weekend at Brands Hatch just a few days away on the 2nd and 3rd of April, you would think that everything by now would be locked down and ready. Alas it isn’t always so. A few cars are still waiting for the final stickers to be applied and a few of the drivers are doing their best to hide last year’s logos as their 2016 race suits haven’t yet arrived. It will be, as the saying goes, all right on the night or in our case race day.

With media duties completed, the pit lane settles down to an afternoon of testing, the first chance to see who has the basic setup nailed and who will be playing catch-up at Brands Hatch. Although the Carrera Cup is a one make series, there are levels within the series. The PRO drivers as you might expect are towards the top of the timing sheets with the series rookies Charlie Eastwood, Lewis Plato and Alessandro Latif all making top 5 appearances across the sessions. In the Pro-AM Classes Dan and Euan McKay made prominent appearances in their respective classes, along with Sean Hudspeth.

Add all the sessions together and it is the usual suspects of Dan Cammish, Tom Oliphant and Dino Zamparelli that close out to the top 3 places, split by 0.12 of a second. A sign of things to come? Perhaps, then again there is the Kimi Räikkönen view – and please read this in a stoic Finnish mono tone -“testing is just going around in circles”.

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dayres@picturesports.co.uk (PictureSports - Photography by Dave Ayres) Carrera Cup Dan Cammish Dino Zamparelli Motorsport Porsche Ramlings Silverstone Testing Tom Oliphant images http://www.picturesports.co.uk/blog/2016/3/going-around-in-circles Fri, 25 Mar 2016 07:27:09 GMT