Formula Renault

Events – BTCC Snetterton and Support Races

Norfolk based circuit Snetterton has recently been redesigned to incorporate a new 1 mile infield section of further twists and turns. Adding extra technical difficulty to the circuit it also improves track safety and boasts better vantage points for spectators. Last year I drove the original Snetterton layout and had huge amounts of fun, so naturally I was slightly dubious as to what the new Snetterton 300 layout would have to offer. With the new improved spectator viewing areas, it provides plenty of new photographic opportunities to tryout. Lap times from the BTCC series are now nearer the 2 minute mark but still provide action packed close racing, as the below photograph shows the grid entering the new 'Palmer' left hander.

This is the first round after a lengthy summer break which saw changes to the grid, now boasting 27 starters! Welch Motorsport made an appearance in their NGTC Proton, as well as Martin Byford taking a drive in the AmD Miltek Golf. Over the summer break teams were able to make developments to the cars, most impressive of all was seeing Dynojet's Frank Wrathall place 4th in Round 16, the highest this car has ever placed. Sadly, due to an incident in Round 17 Wrathall's radiator was damaged and caused him to retire for the remainder of the day.

Weather during the week didn't look promising, with intermittent showers up until the weekend. Early race day and the sun was out in force as Jason Plato stormed to victory in Round 16 (picture above).

Never having photographed at Snetterton before, we were pleasantly surprised with the amount of vantage points you could obtain as a spectator. Snetterton is certainly one of the more friendlier circuits to shoot at as its lack of chain fences and access to plenty of corners means great opportunities. The above shot is a wide angle panning shot of a Porsche 911 Carrera Cup GB Car passing through newly named Brundle left hander (originally 'The Esses').

With an exciting Round 17 and Shedden leading from Lap 2 we headed to the pits to capture the podium presentation. Needless to say we'll be sending Shedden a bill for the camera clean! ;-)

Lastly, Round 18 saw a reverse grid and Mat Jackson lead from the front to another victory for the Airwaves Ford Focus. Here he is below pushing hard through Nelson and clipping the kerb sending that Focus soaring:

The photographs in this post are a brief selection of the day, if you'd like to view the full gallery including all of the support races (Renault Clio Cup, Formula Renault, Ginetta G50/G55, Porsche Carrera Cup GB) please feel free to click this link.

Events - BTCC Brands Hatch Season Opener

This weekend Brands Hatch marked the start of the 2011 British Touring Car Championship, and with spring finally here is there a better way to start the season off?! This years record breaking line up took on the indy circuit in it's first three rounds, and gave a thrilling day's racing.

The British Touring Car Championship event is always a great day out, as not only do you get all the hype which comes with the BTCC, but the support races provide nail-bitingly close action all day long. Today we had the pleasure of watching the ever manic and crazy Renault Clio Cup, the stunning Ginetta G50's, the fast-paced Formula Renault and not to mention the Porsche 911 Carrera Cup which look and sound phenomenal!

Taking interesting photographs of the fast-paced action from a spectators position is never easy, and is why this year my partner and I wanted to do a slightly different take on the day's racing. Trying to find interesting viewpoints (albeit hard with thousands of visitors, chain link fences and various scaffolding for the TV cameras obscuring your view) all in order to frame the photographs differently, yet still capture the motion proved a challenge.

For a full gallery, please click here, and if you are interested in any of the photographs featured in the gallery (or have requests for specific cars) please do not hesitate to contact me. I am very interested in working with race teams for editorial or commerical work, so if anyone is interested, get in touch! Edit: Hannah's blog is now live and updated with photographs from Brands Hatch so be sure to check it out.

For part of 2011, I want to blog more about behind the scenes and how I work. The photograph below is taken of me at Brands Hatch by my wonderful other half, Hannah Couzens. Being a spectator on the day, it meant alot of walking around the circuit trying to find different vantage points/angles to capture something different from the norm. The Domke Little Bit Bigger bag is my on-location bag of choice for this type of work, allowing me to literally throw lenses in and out of the bag, quickly changing to ensure nothing is missed. It's rugged exterior means I can drop it at an instant, and not worry about my gear.

One thing which is often overlooked is the Domke range of accessories, and although I first turned my nose up at the thought of it, their Shoulder Pad which can be attached to any manufacture shoulder bag (contoured shape to sit comfortably on the shoulder) means it is incredibly comfortable even to lug the heavy bag around all day. Highly recommended!