I am giddy as a school girl since this is the first time I am covering a 24 hour race. Everything I have heard about this event is true. The amazing scenery and the even more amazing cars just blow me away everywhere I look. This is the beginning of a long and exciting weekend.
We start off our journey together at the airport.
Luckily we all fit into our rental car. We were lucky to get a Peugeot station wagon that speaks English with a British accent.
Here is Jonathan Moore. He is the master of JDM angle.
At this point I have been traveling for 20 hours. I flew from Los Angeles to New York first then from New York I had a non-stop flight to Brussels. We hit the ground running just the way I like it.
This is fellow Speedhunter Jeroen Willemsen. He will be covering the pits and all the action in the paddock for the duration of the race.
We gathered our stuff and took a packed shuttle to the media center. This little guy shoots with a Holga.
It was nice to finally meet the drivers of the Need for Speed Schubert racing BMW Z4. This is Dirk Werner and his very young co-driver.
Jeroen was wondering where they hide the hundreds of hamsters.
The Schubert team was getting the car ready for qualifying. The inside of the Z4 is quite cramped.
Every nook and cranny was inspected. Leave nothing to chance.
Everyone on the team pitched in. I gave the team Chinese acupuncture in between taking photos.
I peered next door to find two McLaren MP4-12C.
As I got ready to go out the clouds started to dump water.
It was soaking wet on the track.
Many of the cars mowed the grass and quite a few spun out.
The nose light on the Orange machine was incredibly bright.
And there it was… our hero car. I waited an hour for the chance to photograph the famous BMW and boy was it worth it.
There are two Mustangs out of the field of 62 cars. From the looks of it they loved playing in the water.
I was surprised to see how much the track caters to the Media.
Every few minutes a media shuttle comes by and whisks me away to different corners.
Hearing the Z4 in person makes me like the car even more. It has a very mechanical sound from the transmission so its very easy for me to tell it apart from all the other cars.
We are not the only team with a Z4. There are three other teams campaigning the BMW Sports car.
As the rain stopped practice ended and it was time to get ready for qualifying.
Here is the war room. This is were I will be eating, sleeping and sometimes updating Speedhunters.
After I dumped my images from practice it was time to get ready to shoot qualifying. This is right outside the media center.
Why did Rod Chong cross the hot pit lane? To shoot "La Source." It is the slowest corner at Spa Francorchamps.
Drivers were battling traffic to get a good qualifying time.
There it was. Our hero marching onto the battle field…
…and close behind was the Orange McLaren.
There is a series of tunnels all around the track that let us cross under the track. Next time we will have Speedhunters jet packs.
As it got darker the drivers had to rely on their headlights more and more.
This is the famous Eau Rouge corner.
The cars bottom out from the massive G-force going up the hill. When the Hella-Flush cars bottom out they shoot sparks 30 feet long.
Team Need for Speed driver, Edward Sandstrom, got the car as high as 6th place during his session.
Around 10:30 pm it was pitch black. I could not see the cars but I could see their headlights all the way on the other side of the track.
The drivers still drove at ten tenths to get a better position on the starting grid.
The Schubert team ran into all sorts of problems. Traffic on course was the main problem because it was still wet. The drivers could not get any heat into the tires.
I have never seen rotors glowing so brightly. This is after the long strait-away after the famous Eau Rouge corner.
Unfortunatly the Z4 ended up getting 49th place after a technicality. Qualifying was over and I finally got to rest after a very long 2 days.
The next morning we headed to Germany. Once we hit the autobahn we hit top speed. A whooping 115 mph!
This is Patrick. He is basicly the honarary major of SPA 24 hours. He deals with quite a few rare and intersting cars so I was very excited to tag along for the day.
This is Patrick's Aston Martin V12 Zagato. It is a convertible but it has no roof. He was driving it one day and it started to rain. He had to wait under a bridge for the rain to stop before he could go home. My kind of daily driver. Expect a spotlight from Jeroen in the near future.
We could not resist having a meal of Belgian fries for lunch.
I never thought I would be able to sit in a Formula One car. Luckily Patrick the "Mayor" owns this car.
This is a 1991 Porsche F1 car. It only ran 6 races.
I made sure to play with all the buttons and switches as well as the gas, clutch, brake and shifter.
Rod demanded we make engine noises while we push him around the parking lot.
Jeroen would not leave as he got suck in the cockpit.
After a few hours and a few sticks of butter we finally got to our next destination. This is Uwe, he lives and breaths classic Porsche's.
He owns one of the nicest race and restore shops I have ever seen.
This is what I imaged Germany would be like. Classic Porche's just laying around getting restored. Keep an eye out for an in depth article from the Rod Father.
I did not expect to see so many awesome things before the start of the race. I will do my best to stay up the entire race so stay tuned for very frequent updates throughout the entire 24 hours.