JANUARY: Jaguar XK-R, Dubai Autodrome
1/30th, F/3.5, 24mm, ISO3200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
Sportscars are my personal passion, and 2011 proved to be another great year Speedhunting exotics on the road and tracks around Europe and the Middle East. From the warm sun and balmy desert nights of the Dubai 24 Hours in January to the windy classic coastal track of Zandvoort in Holland in October, putting together these Photos Of The Year stories is an enjoyable reminder of the great events I've been able to attend over the last 12 months.
APRIL: Nomaco Racing Volvo C30, Lydden Hill, England
1/500th, F/5.6, 70mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
Even better, 2011 was a year where I was able to revisit some forms of racing that I hadn't seen for a number of years. Rallycross has been revitalised in the last couple of years after a sparse period at the turn of the century, and the loop of Lydden Hill was the perfect reintroduction for me. Stupidly fast cars barely in contact with the rough surface below them, throwing up gravel and shooting out flames in five minute knock-out bouts of elbows-out, adrenline-fuelled racing. Perfect entertainment.
JUNE: GT1 All-Inkl Lamborghini Murcielago and GT3 Reiter Gallardo, Silverstone, England
1/1600th, F/2.8, 90mm, ISO400 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
In the world of GT racing, this year we concentrated more on the FIA European GT3 Championship, but that didn't mean I couldn't still enjoy watching the big GT1 racers on the rounds where both series shared the bill. The menacing presence and flaming exhausts of the Murcielago will be missed: it's unlikely we'll see them back on track next year with new rules coming into play. Maybe we'll see a GT-spec Aventador at some stage? We can but hope. I'm interested to see what happens with World GT next year – the regulations are being constantly revised in search of competitor buy-in, but much as I love the GT3 cars I do hope that they're tweaked (ie, noisier…) in World GT guise.
JUNE: Peugeot 908 and Audi R18 TDI, Le Mans, France
1/250th, F/5.6, 600mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 300mm F/2.8L-IS + 2x Extender
I'd been too busy for the last couple of years to make it to Le Mans, so I was super excited at the prospect of attending this year's running of the French round-the-clock marathon and the titanic battle that was in store for the overall victory between Audi and Peugeot. It didn't disappoint. I didn't even mind the camping. Diesel prototypes may be quiet, but you wouldn't believe how fast they are…
JANUARY: Schubert Motorsport pit crew, Dubai Autodrome
1/32nd, F/4, 70mm, ISO400 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
The Dubai 24 Hours would be the first race of the season for Schubert Motorsport, the partners of Team Need For Speed again across various GT championships during 2011. And what a job they would do: over the year Schubert would help power Team Need For Speed to multiple victories – including a win in Dubai. It was a pleasure to work with them.
JANUARY: Heico Motorsport Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, Dubai Autodrome
1/500th, F/9, 600mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D/Canon 300mm F/2.8L-IS + 2x Extender
Every year the Dubai 24 has been attracting more professional interest: first of all pro drivers began to pick up rides in what was originally a very gentleman-driver style event, enjoying a bit of winter sun before the main season proper kicked off; then professional teams joined in greater numbers, upping the stakes if you wanted to be in with a shout of winning. Now even the major manufacturers are using the race as a testing ground for new GT weapons. Mercedes AMG chose the race to test its new SLS GT3 racer – watching the trio of Mercs rumble round was a particular highlight of the race. Dubai also provides some unique backgrounds: the skeletal, half-finished grandstands and buildings around the track and the motorway signs from the highway just the other side of the perimeter barriers.
JANUARY: Leo Mansell, Lotus Evora, Dubai Autodrome
1/32nd, F/4, 70mm, ISO400 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
Classic helmet, classic eyebrows. Looking across racing series you can now see a plethora of second-generation drivers taking up the mantles of their fathers: Senna, Prost, Piquet and, of course, Mansell: the offspring and relatives of '80s Formula 1 legends are working their own way up the ladder, and GT racing is always a great place to see them in their formative stages.
JANUARY: Lamborghini Gallardo LP560, Dubai Autodrome
1/200th, F/20, 600mm, ISO400 Canon EOS 5D/Canon 300mm F/2.8L-IS + 2x Extender
I worked at three 24 Hour races this year, Dubai, Le Mans and Spa, and although they couldn't be more different challenges both for the drivers and for us covering it, the glorious thing about round-the-clock enduros is the amount of different photographic opportunities you get. Often races are around lunchtime or early afternoon: usually the worst time for snapping away with the sun high overhead. However… sunset? Perfection. Sunrise as well, but waking up is always the problem: hence my warped preference for trying to stay awake all night!
JANUARY: CarCollection.de Porsche 997 Cup, Dubai Autodrome
1/20th, F/4, 70mm, ISO1600 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
I love shooting at night time: with the darkness punctuated by dancing headlights and glowing brakes it's a disorientating but exciting environment to operate in. It's particularly nice when you can work in otherwise run-of-them-mill backgrounds to make for more interesting images, like here at the pit-lane entrance.
JANUARY: SEAT Leon Super Copas, Dubai Autodrome
1/64th, F/4, 200mm, ISO6400 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS + EX580II
Night racing has a far more frantic feel to it: you know that the drivers have to rely of trust far more at night than during the day. The Dubai 24 has seemingly dozens of different classes of car competing at the same time: little 1-series diesel BMWs against touring cars against thoroughbred GTs. It must be hellish at night, having to guess when the guy in front is going to brake. Even when the car in front is the same, as with these up-specced Leons, it's still an act of faith when you commit to an overtake.
JANUARY: Turns five and six, Dubai Autodrome
25s, F/9, 35mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 16-35mm F/2.8L
4am. It's still a very agreeable temperature, I'm in a light jacket and standing on top of a TV tower overlooking the track setting up some long-exposures. What I loved about this shot was the headlight beams refracting in the dust that constantly shrouds the circuit. What I didn't love was the Lotus 2-Eleven going on fire right in front of me: they'd been running well in their class for 12 hours until then… (And my camera was mid-long exposure, but that sounds more selfish).
JANUARY: Dubai 24 Hours competitors at turn 4, Dubai Autodrome
1/400th, F/3.5, 300mm, ISO400 Canon EOS 5D/Canon 300mm F/2.8L-IS
Much as day-break is definitely not my favourite time of day, it is undoubtedly a magical time in a 24-hour race. At this year's Dubai 24 Hours, it was pretty obvious that it wasn't just the cars that were taking a battering: the Dunlop tyre compounds seemed to be literally falling apart, covering the sides of the track in rubber debris and making it lethally slippery off the racing line. I'd love to get an aerial shot of the track at the end of the race: I imagine there would be a very clearly visible line in between all the black tyre debris. Surprisingly the Speedhunters 'chopper hasn't been signed off quite yet…
FEBRUARY: Pagani Huayra key, Pagani factory, Bologna, Italy
1/80th, F/4.5, 70mm, ISO400 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L + EX580II
Pagani are one of the small band of boutique hyper-car manufacturers; artisans of their craft. For an enormous amount of money they'll hand-craft a car for you out of carbon fibre and titanium. Visiting their understated factory, in a nondescript industrial unit in the back-streets of a Bologna suburb with a bike leaning up against the wall, was a surreal experience. But then how about having this as the key to your car? The understatement of Pagani ends as soon as the cars start.
FEBRUARY: Pagani Huayra, Pirelli headquarters, Milan, Italy
1/80th, F/2.8, 125mm, ISO400 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
I followed up the fettling of the launch Huayra in Bologna with an afternoon at the Lamborghini factory down the road, taking in their amazing museum of past road-going models and prototypes, and even an accidental glance at a work-in-progress Aventador being wheeled past the Gallardo production line… On the following day, Milan was the destination for the launch of the Huayra; I felt rather out of place amongst the beautiful people and bulging wallets of the prospective Huayra purchasers, but the Pirelli headquarters made for a stunning backdrop to the launch of an inarguably stunning car.
FEBRUARY: Pagani Huayra, Pirelli headquarters, Milan, Italy
1/250th, F/4, 46mm, ISO3200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
Back to understatement. In no way shape or form! The Huayra's dashboard is a combination of science fiction and a kid's imagination gone mad. But all the better for it. Love it or hate it, you have to admire the concept and dedication displayed by the Huayra. And the 5D MkII's high ISO performance.
MARCH: Sumo Power Nissan GT-R GT1, Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi
1/100th, F/8, 170mm, ISO50 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
The opening round of the 2011 FIA World GT1 Championship was again at the stunning Yas Marina circuit: Sumo Power had doubled up their pair of GT-Rs with the addition of the sister JRM team and Nissan would be looking for nothing but victory as the only manufacturer in the series.
MARCH: Young Driver Aston Martin DBR9 GT1, Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi
1/100th, F/5.6, 400mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS + 2x Extender
Right from the start the closest competition came from the four Astons of Hexis and Young Driver. Dust storms often descend on the island, and the track took on an almost Martian hue as a particularly heavy storm hit during the opening race. It's normally easier to get manmade structures in the background, so the use of the short-track at least brought this welcome new angle as the cars tackled the downhill cut-out.
MARCH: JRM GT1 pit-stop, Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi
1/20th, F/13, 70mm, ISO50 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
Pit-stops are vital parts of GT racing: the faster the team can turn the car round the more chance of a result. One fumbled wheel-gun or dropped wheel and in such tightly-fought races that's your race gone. I love watching the crews race round: it's exciting even when they're practising, like here.
MARCH: JRM Nissan GT-R GT1, Yas Hotel complex, Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi
1/160th, F/5, 30mm, ISO1600 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
Of course, the main feature at Yas Marina is the shimmering masterpiece that is the Yas Hotel. But the most frustrating thing is just how difficult it is to get good angles, as high fences surround the whole section of track and photographer's holes are few and scattered around (and some at unfeasibly high levels!), meaning there are few opportunities to do something a bit different. It's a real shame, as otherwise this would be an amazing place to shoot at.
MARCH: Sumo Power GT-R and Marc VDS Ford GT collision, Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi
1/80th, F/7.1, 57mm, ISO800 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L + EX580II
Yas Marina was also where I was witness to one of the worst pieces of driving I've seen for some time, as the Marc VDS Ford GT and Sumo Power GT-R came together in the pit-lane as they completed their stops, banging wheels down half its length, ending both their races and endangering all of the crews working in the pits. Ridiculous.
APRIL: Toyota AE86, Ace Café, London, England
1/800th, F/5, 32mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
The North Circular of London, like most capital's ring roads, is hardly a place you'd normally hang out at for fun. But the Ace Café pre-dates the big road – and will hopefully outlast it. It's a last outpost for London's bikers and car enthusiasts, and was the perfect place for a gathering of Corollas and other '80s Toyota toys.
APRIL: Totota Crown and Celica GT, Ace Café, London, England
1/800th, F/4, 24mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
These two '70s beauties were also welcomed into the fold, showing off the glorious early years of Toyota's European and American invasions. I have serious want for the Celica…
APRIL: Jaguar E-Type, Kew, England
1/400th, F/3.5, 63mm, ISO50 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
2011 saw many celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the iconic Jaguar E-Type. This is perhaps my most enduring image though: not from an event or a race, but of a drop-top V12 E-Type quietly parked in suburban West London, next to a cricket pitch, on a lovely British Spring afternoon. The perfect location for a perfect car.
APRIL: Ford Fiesta Division 1 Supercar, Lydden Hill, England
1/400th, F/13, 600mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 300mm F/2.8L-IS + 2x Extender
Rallycross is possibly the perfect form of competitive racing for today: four, six or even more 500bhp+ cars driven by mild-mannered (but maniac nonetheless) pilots around half-tarmac, half-gravel short tracks. Modern Division 1 cars accelerate as fast as Formula 1 cars, and having not witnessed a proper Rallycross race for half a dozen years I was blown away by my trip down to Lydden (a place I hadn't been to since wearing short trousers!). Stand anywhere near the start and it's like having your head ripped off: they're off the line and into the gravel section in seconds, like unleashed wildcats. For all its apparently simple layout, Lydden has some challenging sections that create great spectating.
APRIL: Tanner Foust, Lydden Hill, England
1/400th, F/4, 170mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
Like with Touring Cars, one of the best aspects of Rallycross is how close you can get to the stars. Tanner Foust looked like he was enjoying his foray into the European Rallycross Championship, and proved to slouch: podiums came easily (two wins and three seconds in the 10-round FIA European championship), and he's been on fire in his 560bhp Fiesta.
APRIL: Skoda Fabia and Fiesta Fiesta ST Division 1a, Lydden Hill, England
1/125th, F/10, 24mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
Talking of being on fire… It's not like it's just the Supercars that provide the thrills: I enjoyed the Super 1600 class as much if not more. Lydden is Rallycross' spiritual home – and I'm rather pleased it's only a couple of hours from home. I must get down there again next year!
MAY: The start of the second FIA GT3 race, Portimao, Portugal
1/1600th, F/5.6, 285mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 100-400mm F4-5.6L-IS
The six-round GT3 season didn't get going until May, but the rollercoaster track at Portimao was a great place to kick things off. There's barely a stretch which is level, and the track has a great combination of fast sweepers and tighter hairpins. It's an excellent place to shoot at as there are so many interesting angles. GT3 had a more than healthy grid again this year and – more importantly – strength in depth throughout the year, especially with the addition of the new Ferrari and Mercedes.
MAY: AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, Portimao, Portugal
1/320th, F/10, 300mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 300mm F/2.8L-IS
At Portimao, if the cars aren't going up towards the sky they're plunging downhill. It's a fabulous circuit: one I'd love to have a track-day on. Maybe next year!
MAY: Ford Escort, Portimao, Portugal
1/160th, F/13, 190mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 100-400mm F4-5.6L-IS
There was also a nice surprise at Portimao in the shape (or many shapes actually!) of the supporting historic tourers run by a local Portuguese series. These old saloons were out in force: Fords, Alfas, Porsches, Jags, Toyotas, Datsuns… A fantastic array of perfectly presented classics, three-wheeling round corners and sliding around the track in entertaining style. Proper racing cars, where grip is far outweighed by power.
MAY: Team Need For Speed BMW Z4 GT3, Portimao, Portugal
1/640th, F/5, 28mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
Things couldn't have started better for Team Need For Speed either: Edward Sandstrom and Abdulaziz Al Faisal took victory in the opening GT3 race in Portugal, showing that the BMW would be right up there in the championship race. Handily the pit building had nice, open balconies where you could look down on the forming-up area: perfect for some top-down views of the newly widened GT3 Z4 being run out for the first time.
MAY: Koenigsegg CC8S and Jaguar XK120
1/3200th, F/2.8, 54mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L + EX580II
The FIA GT rounds typically organise a corral of supercars; Portugal's opening contribution was small but perfectly formed. Two cutting-edge supercars separated by 60 years.
JUNE: AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia, Silverstone, England
1/1600th, F/2.8, 24mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L + EX580II
Ferrari were running the 458 Italia for the first time this year through factory-backed satellite teams. Like the 360 and 430 before it, it hasn't taken long for the Italia to find winning ways – surprisingly it's been Porsche who have taken up the Italian marques '90s racing stereotype of struggling to make new cars work. The 458 is also a beautiful car: less garish and showy than previous models in my eyes, though full of typical Ferrari finesse and flowing lines. A return to form.
JUNE: Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo, Silverstone, England
1/64th, F/8, 200mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
The Super Trofeo is Lamborghini's own one-make series for hot-tuned versions of its Gallardo – not exactly a slow car when it rolls off the production line. The car had been improved with improved aero and an enormous rear splitter that's almost the inverse mirror of the wing above… Fast and furious.
JUNE: Edward Sandstrom, Team Need For Speed FIA GT3 driver, Silverstone, England
1/64th, F/3.5, 70mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
Without any bias, watching Edward's stints have made FIA GT3 for me this year. In a series that's already not under-served by good drivers and cars, every time Edward was in the car you knew sparks would fly. He's a driver with one mode: give everything, leave nothing. Next year he'll only be better.
JUNE: Heico Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, Silverstone, England
1/5000th, F/2.8, 300mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 300mm F/2.8L-IS
Usually it was the FIA GT1 boys that I'd be 'told-you-so'-ing at after a first corner crash: they've made a speciality of reducing the grid to constituent parts in the opening laps, whereas normally GT3 was relatively well behaved. Not so at Silverstone: the Heico SLS was pincered as it came down the new start straight at Silverstone, ricocheted off the pit-wall and into the pack: as it pin-balled through the oncoming cars it took out three cars before grinding to a messy halt. Expensive.
JUNE: Aston Martin AMR-One, Le Mans, France
1/125th, F/2.8, 115mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
It's amazing how small and fragile sports Le Mans Prototypes are underneath the skin. When you see them with the bodywork off you can see how they are effectively single-seaters stretched out to comply with the spirit of the two-seater regulations. My own hopes for Aston Martin to take on the diesel might were already low following poor showings in Le Mans Series races: the 24 Hours proved an embarrassing disaster for the Aston. Let's hope for a return to form as they embark on a new GT-focussed programme next year. This tub? It's being used as the basis for the new Delta Wing prototype project.
JUNE: Mazda 787B, Le Mans, France
1/1000th, F/4, 24mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L + EX580II
Face to face with a screaming legend. Group C cars are guaranteed to turn me into a giddy wreck (as with Rod, to be fair), so I was having to force myself not to try and marry this car on the spot. It's just so much more… vibrant than I expected! When it turned some demo laps on the Saturday morning before the race, I think I could have stayed home in London and still heard it.
JUNE: Drivers' parade, Le Mans, France
1/2000th, F/4, 24mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
A magical moment: the simply over-whelming drivers' parade on the Friday evening before the race. For some reason I'd never made it into the centre of Le Mans to take in this cross between rock concert and religious experience. I won't make the mistake again. You can see why the drivers love it, and being part of the cortege from the inside was a privilege.
JUNE: Audi R18 TDI exits the Dunlop Chicane, Le Mans, France
1/200th, F/16, 265mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L + 2x Extender
Forty minutes into the race and the sci-fi Audi of Allan McNish is battling at the front, struggling to keep up with the faster Peugeots but keeping in touch. These whistling speed demons were unfeasibly quick, glued to corners, eating up all opposition except fellow diesel prototypes like they were standing still. Phenomenal to watch. And then…
JUNE: Audi R18 TDI, Le Mans, France
1/250th, F/5.6, 600mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 300mm F/2.8L IS + 2x Extender
15 minutes later, the R18 is rolled into a ball after a fearsome accident on the run down from the Dunlop chicane. McNish had pulled an opportunistic move on his team-mate to take the lead, and in doing so decided to barrel down the inside of a lapped GTE-class Ferrari. It didn't work. Both the Ferrari and Audi ploughed through the run-off, the Audi skimming the gravel and smashing into the barrier – almost taking out a dozen photographers the other side. Miraculously, McNish walked away. It was a salutary lesson for both drivers and the media.
JUNE: Felbermayr Porsche 997 pit-stop, Le Mans, France
1/20th, F/16, 24mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
I was following regular Team Need For Speed driver Abdulaziz Al Faisal on his Le Mans debut in the #88 GTE-class Porsche. Pit-lane access if massively limited due to both the vast quantity of media who attend and the unfamiliarity of the majority of them to working in a live pit-lane. It's a frantic place: even more so at Le Mans where over 50 cars are scything in and out on their own schedules over a 24 hour period.
JUNE: BMW M3 GT at the Ford Chicane, Le Mans, France
1/200th, F/5.6, 600mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 300mm F/2.8L-IS + 2x Extender
There's only one way to tackle Le Mans: head on. Gone are the days when mere endurance could get you through to the end on top. For the last decade since Audi came to dominate (in fact after BMW's last victory in '99 with the V12 LMR) it's been a full-on sprint from flag to flag. Sunset at the Ford Chicane was the ideal place to watch the efforts of the drivers pushing their cars through the challenging final corners of each lap. LMP1s forcing their way past slower traffic, cars in the background firing into the long, sinuous pit-lane entrance, all as the sun set and the neon of the ferris wheel started to cast its luminous glow over the track.
JUNE: Night-time at the start-line, Le Mans, France
2.5s, F/6.3, 24mm, ISO100 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
With the limit of track access, this year I wasn't able to cover the night-time action, so I was limited to just a few colourful long exposures from the grandstands. A lot of the cars use coloured LEDs on the pit-side flank of the car – on wing mirrors or the roof for instance – to help pit-crews identity their charges in the dark, hence some of the different colours showing up here.
JUNE: Sunrise at the Forest Esses, Le Mans, France
1/2000th, F/2.8, 190mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
Dawn patrol by the first battalion of photographers. There's a huge number of snappers at work (and play sometimes, it would appear) around the track – though mostly clustered in the more accessible north end of the track. To get around the southern extremities you either need a scooter or a lot of stamina…
JUNE: Kronos Racing Lola-Aston Martin LMP1, Le Mans, France
1/250th, F/7.1, 148mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L-IS
You have to experience a V12 to understand why people go on about them so much. This Aston was running in privateer hands at Le Mans, though the factory reverted to the Lola for the final American Le Mans Series rounds after the failure of the AMR-One. I was glad to get another chance to experience this car, as racers are increasingly moving to smaller turbo-charged units. The speed might be there (witness the diesels, for a very graphic example), but the noise… I need the noise, dammit!
JUNE: Audi R18 TDI, Tertre Rouge, Le Mans, France
1/800th, F/6.3, 600mm, ISO200 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 300mm F/2.8L-IS + 2x Extender
But up front after 24 hours, streaked in oil and dirt and throwing a huge heat has behind it was the Audi Sport Team Joest R18 TDI of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer. It was a fascinating end to the race, where Audi had desperately hung on in the face of a trio of faster Peugeots. Less than 14 seconds separated them from the first of the chasing 908s. Another classic edition of the most famous endurance race there is.
JUNE: The press room, Le Mans, France
1/50th, F/4, 38mm, ISO400 Canon EOS 5D MKII/Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L
The year was only halfway over, and I wasn't the only one feeling it. However, a fantastic second-half to the year was waiting: even more great GT3 races, the Spa 24 hours and, of course, the magic of the glorious Goodwood Revival. There's more to come in part two, but in the meantime I'll be enjoying looking through the other Speedhunters' picks as much as you are. What a year!