Sunday was the last day of competition at Paul Ricard. Having spent two days shooting trackside, I thought it was time to confine myself to the pit and paddock area for the day. The aim was to capture more of the human element of motorsport. It's something I often preach to others when shooting as it adds an extra depth to the story. The human element removes the viewing barriers to non-motorsport fans and allows them to enjoy the images and stories. This post is for the people behind the scenes.
From pretty much when we arrived at 8am, there was a lot of activity around the paddock as the GT1 teams prepared for morning warmup whilst the GT3 teams prepared for their championship race.
With the thermometers reading close to forty celcius in the morning, the heat demanded an extra level of strength and stamina from the teams.
Here, our own Patrick and Edward talk with team manager Stefan about their tactics and strategy for the second race.
Meanwhile, Rod takes pictures of an event in Italy from the Paul Ricard startline.
On the grid, the three minute warning sounds and the drivers take to the cars.
Once the one minute warning sounds, the last of the crew leave the pitlane and the drivers are left to themselves and to prepare for battle.
The team watch the opening stint from the pitlane.
After an amazing first stint, Edward couldn't help but show his joy on getting the #76 car into third place.
Even more amazing was Claudia Huertgen's performance. She took the car from last on the grid to as high as ninth before the driver change. The #77 car finished fourth after an incredible race.
Edward watched on helplessly as the #76 Team NFS car suffered a race ending blow out.
Although by no means to blame, Patrick's disappointment was evident. It was a tough break after such brave driving by both drivers. But this is motorsport and anything can happen.
For the championship GT1 race, I stayed close with the Sumo Power team. They had already scored a win at Silverstone and were putting in solid performances all weekend.
Warren Hughes prepares to move the #22 GT-R to the grid.
Whilst Michael Krumm does the same.
The cars are pushed carefully by the team out of the garage and carefully lined up in front. The cars are then fired to life and bring themselves to the gird under their own power.
The grid wouldn't be the grid without the grid girls. These classily dressed ladies brought a pleasant distraction to the hustle and bustle of a packed grid.
Just waiting for the car to arrive in position.
Peter Cox, driver of the Reiter Lamborghini Murcielago R-SV would start from third place on the grid.
Clivio Piccione of the Hexis Aston Martin Racing team dons his fireproof balaclava.
Whilst some chose to wait outside of the car, others prepared by being strapped in and ready to race.
Olivier Panis lets his crew manager know he is ready to roll.
Back in the pits and tensions are high as the cars set out on their formation lap.
Basing myself out of the Sumo Power pit, it was an insight to watch the crews prepare for the pits. As per the rules, only two team members may work on a car in the pitlane.
All eyes were on the TV screens.
When photographing people so closely, you sometimes have to be invisible to them to try and capture their true being. However, sometimes being visible and present can also work.
On track the #23 GT-R had put in a spectacular challenge and would finish second place, just behind the #1 Maserati MC12.
The elation could be felt in the garage.
Having worked so close with the Sumo Power GT Team, it almost felt I had became a part of the team with them. I could feel their joy when things were going right and when things went wrong I shared their anger and dismay.
This was my first GT event. I hope it won't be my last.