Behind The Scenes>> The Race Against Fatigue

As I look back on the Spa 24, it really amazes me how much is involved when you are campaigning a single car at a 24 hour endurance race. Over half the field was out of commission by the end of the race. It takes dedication and extreme concentration from the entire team to keep the cars running for the race's entirety. The Team Need for Speed crew consisted of at least 25 people –and that's including us Speedhunters. But that is still quite a bit of man power. I tried my best to show you guys what it is like to be a part of the action.

I knew I was going to do battle in the rain so just like in Gatebil, so I taped all the seams on my lenses and cameras.

I had a piece of mind while shooting in pouring rain.

It was only around 3 o'clock in the afternoon and it was already dark.

I have to hand it to the open wheel cars for going all out in the nasty weather.

They mean it when they say no naked!

We were lucky we had a place to escape from all the chaos. We had a suite right above the Need for Speed pit area. Here is Jonathan enjoying his pasta.

This was the closest corner to our pit area and it is within walking distance.

What a nightmare. I'm sure the guys don't mind sharing a little bit of ear wax.

Shooting at night had it's challenges.

It was neat because the cars rotors glowed very brightly. But it was hard because the rest of the car was not illuminated.

It was absolutely pitch dark on the back side of the track.

However, the pits offered very good lighting around the clock.

I can only imagine what the drivers go through driving through during the night. One lapse in concentration and you are off course.

It was also easy to tell which cars were bottoming out. Most of the Mercedes would shoot sparks going up the infamous Eau Rouge.

Turn 4 was one of my favorite corners to shoot because it was a great over-taking area since it is the end of a long straight.

It must take so much mental preparation when starting a endurance race like this. There were not many women on the grid but Claudia held her own against the entire pack.

Photographers flocked to the outside of the straight like vultures on a fresh carcass for the start of the race.

Unfortunately, The first casualty of the weekend was a McLaren MP4-12C. I think that made everyone drive a little calmer.

There was a great view no matter where you sat in the stands.

Shooting pit stops from pit lane was new to me.

I have always shot from behind the pit wall. But at this race they let you run around freely on pit lane with cars whizzing by.

Of course there were safety precautions that we had to follow.

We had to wear fire suits. We had one that was a perfect fit!

This allowed us to get shots I only previously dreamed of. That is steam rising off the back of Edwards back after a long stint.

The Rod Father took complete advantage of the access and made some magical images with his bazooka.

This guy had the job of scooping up all the debris left by the car after it had an off road excursion.

I have no idea how but Andrew kept the Twitter and Facebook up to date all night.

The guy on the left is supervising his battery while it charges and the guy on the right was getting a very close look at his dirty camera sensor.

Some people did not even try to pretend.

Some continued to do their work through the night.

I copied this guy and fell asleep on the floor around hour 20.

Even our fearless leader collapsed in exhaustion.

I was glad to see the track marshals had a sense of humor. What else are you going to do for 24 hours?

Jonathan shot and edited photos like a mad man throughout the entire event.

Jeroen was mad at me during breakfast because I could not stay up for the duration of the race. He was the only one out of the Speedhunters crew that did not sleep.

Walking around the track in the daylight revealed race cars just littered around the track.

This Lamborghini was just left overnight. It probably worked as a great reminder of how hard a particular corner is.

If you like watching motorsports live, this kind of event is for you. It's a great reason to stay up all night and hang out with friends. Plus, on a track like this the view is spectacular from anywhere even if you do not have full access. Team Need for Speed finished a strong 2nd place this time, but I would love to see them on the top at their next endurance race.




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Absolutely stunning Behind the scenes. Love every detail, and the story is perfectly fitted. Congrats


great coverage.


you have a Nakai esque poofy hair going on. :D


"If you like watching motorsports live, this kind of event is for you."

Kind of stating the obvious there, don't you think?


Mr. Chen, your pics are breathtaking.


Absolutely love it...

Being a photographer and a car nut myself, it was impossible to choose this vs. the 'actual report'!!

More like this please! :)


Everything was very well shot, fun to read and interesting, Speedhunters is AWESOME.


Great! Nothing else to say...


Great post, I love picture #12 :)


Batterycharge supervising is very important ! ;-)


excellent snaps Larry!! love the shot of the guys hand in front of the headlight in the pit lane!!


Thanks for all the great work from everyone. Outstanding coverage. thing missing throughout the whole thing, and its dearly missed:


His stories and insights and photos rounded you all out.


Great shots Larry! I am the guy who's sleeping whit the yellow t-shirt! LOL