McLaren MP4-12C, Spa 24Hs, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Ok chaps, here's the third part to my review of 2011. It's been quite the year for me, with big a relocation from my native Vancouver, Canada to new digs in Stockholm, Sweden. I've now more or less stopped trans-Atlantic travel, with my life more firmly rooted in Europe and all the automotive goodness it has to offer.
For this blog post, I'm not going to get as wordy, and will just let the photos do the talking.
Alan Sinnott Dirt Drop, Prodrift Japfest Ireland, Mondello Park, Ireland
I dialed up the shutter speed at the photo location to try and get a good dirt drop. Alan Sinnott obliged!
Porsche 911 GT1 and friend, Porsche Museum, Stuttgart, Germany
For any fan of European car culture, the Porsche Museum is a must visit location. I'm still thinking about it, a month and a half later…
BMW Z4 GT3, Dubai 24H, Dubai Autodrome, UAE
I'm a little bit sad that I won't be going out to Dubai next month for the 24Hs. I absolutely love the place, but travel budgets need to be conserved for next year's race season.
Mini Cooper Rally Car, Essen Motor Show, Essen, Germany
Nissan R35 GT-R GT1, FIA GT1 World Championship, Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portugal
Those of you who have never seen the V8 powered GT1 Spec R35s have now missed the boat as the cars will not see any racing action next year. It's too bad as they are spectacular machines.
Jamie Campbell-Walter, FIA GT1 World Championship, Silverstone Circuit, UK
I got to know JCW a little bit during the production of SHIFT2 Unleashed. He's a lot of fun! I thought it best to leave him alone for this shot though, as he was busy getting his head in gear to do a qualifying run.
David Brabham, FIA GT1 World Championship, Silverstone Circuit, UK
Moments later I grabbed a quick snap of his team-mate, David Brabham. It almost looked like he was posing for the camera!
Touge Automotive x Team NFS Hoodie, Nurburgring 24Hs, Nurburgring, Germany
The Nurburgring 24H hoodies that Touge Automotive made for us seemed to get a big response, as we've had a lot of requests for these. And while you can't buy these examples, we are looking into options to offer a limited range of new Speedhunters clothing next year. Any interest?
Miki Taka, Nurburgring 24Hs, Nurburgring, Germany
We made sure that Miki Taka got a hoodie too. Here she's checking out some of the pitlane action at the Nurburgring.
Pitlane Scene, Ring Classic, Nurburgring, Germany
This was the view. Functional Cute.
The Bird, Nelson, New Zealand
I spent a few weeks on vacation on the South Island in New Zealand this past March. While there, I thought to do a bit of Speedhunting here and there, you know… just for fun. My attempts to document the local automotive scene got off to bit of a rocky start though. I actually thought this image was quite funny and printed it in the monthly photo column that I write for NZ Performance Car Magazine.
Big Entry, ProDrift Japfest Ireland, Mondello Park, Ireland
Fredric Aasbo goes for the big entry! The Team NFS UK-Ireland Drift tour was a big highlight of the year for me. I can't wait to go back!
V8 Starlet, Gatebil Festival, Rudskogen Motorsenter, Norway
I never saw this V8 powered Starlet on track this year at Gatebil. As far as I know, it had some serious motor issues that prevented it from leaving the pits.
Porsche Hospitality, Nurburgring 24Hs, Nurburgring, Germany
I managed to sneak into the Porsche Hospitality area at the Nurburgring 24Hs. It appears that their guests get to experience the lap of luxury and the 24Hs in one go. I'll need to make sure I do a better job getting passes to these VIP areas next year.
AE86 and friends, Japfest Ireland, Mondello Park, Ireland
The Irish JDM scene is, simply put, amazing.
Engine Change, Nurburgring 24Hs, Nurburgring, Germany
The Team NFS Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 needed a heart transplant before the 24Hs started. Here's what its growling lump looks like.
Bottoms Out, FIA GT3 European Championship, Circuit Park Zandvoort, Netherlands
When car and tarmac meet, much joy is created.
Mist and Night, Spa 24Hs, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Spa Francorchamps, for me, is one of the best tracks in the world to shoot at, especially the area in and around Eau Rouge. Seriously, the Spa 24Hs from my books, is one of the best events in the world. It's in a beautiful location, the cars are amazing, the hotels are acceptable, and it's just the perfect mix of intense and chill. I highly recommend this event.
S&N Automobilzentrum, Aachen, Germany.
A wall of 911 chassis. I never thought I would need to write those words before.
Turbo E30, Gatebil Festival, Rudskogen Motorsenter, Norway
I'm sure Gatebil will be a strong contender for the Speedhunters' Event of the Year.
Drift-Jam, Gatebil Festival, Rudskogen Motorsenter, Norway
For 2012, I think we are going to need to step things up again and bring even more photographers. There are just soooo many cars to feature, we will need more of our team to come out. Dino are you reading this?
In the Marbles, Spa 24Hs, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Look closely at this shot and you'll see the 911 has slid into the marbles, sending up a big spray of rubber into the air.
Depth Perception, BDC @ Trax Show, Silverstone Circuit, UK
Fredric wows the crowds at the Trax show, with his big entries and walls of smoke.
Parting the Sea, Drift Demo, Nurburgring 24Hs, Nurburgring Nordeschleife, Germany
I like to tell people that Irwindale is one of the most amazing places to see professional drifting, but seeing the Drift Demo at the Nurburgring 24Hs made me reconsider that statement. The assembled crowd of 25,000 screaming, intoxicated fans has burned this moment into my mind's eye forever. It was both surprising and edgy, to the point of being a little intimidating.
We'll be better prepared to cover this Nurburgring 24H side show next year.
Edward Endurance, Spa 24Hs, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
I've spent a lot of time with Edward Sandström this year as we sometimes share an office at DICE in Stockholm. This shot was a tough moment for him, as he struggled to come to grips with being a team of two at the Spa 24Hs. I think he drove for a total of ten hours that day.
Edward Reflection, Trax Show, Silverstone Circuit, UK
Edward is serious and properly aggressive behind the wheel of a race car, but away from the race track, is a pretty chilled out guy. I shot this image of him at the Trax show in the UK, where he joined me to check out some drifting. Most race drivers I know, get annoyed and irritated if at an event without a race seat, but Edward was pretty cool about the whole thing. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that it was a drift event and not a GT race!
Celica Rally, Drift-Jam, Gatebil Festival, Rudskogen Motorsenter, Norway
That's a little piece of perfection right there.
Look but Never Stare, FIA GT3 European Championship, Silverstone Circuit, UK
The new entry way to the Silverstone pitlane is a little bit of a freaky place to shoot as the cars get very close to your shooting position… but photographs like this make the slight feeling of danger well worth it.
BMW in the Karussell, Nurburgring 24Hs, Nurburgring Nordschleife, Germany
Ahhh the Karussell. I must go back there again in 2012! There's no other corner in the world quite like it.
Attack Ship on Fire, Prodrift Japfest Ireland, Mondello Park, Ireland
Here's one of my dramas of the year. I spent a long time preparing the Team NFS European program, with the UK-Ireland Drift tour being one of the highlights. And this exact moment was perhaps one of the most poignant, where the D-Mac '86 caught fire during the Prodrift Mondello Park final.
No Protection, Prodrift Japfest Ireland, Mondello Park, Ireland
Earlier that day, I caught one of the Prodrift marshals seemingly uninterested in personal safety. You couldn't pay me to stand in that spot!
Another day to go, Spa 24Hs, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Here's a similar shot, taken in the early morning of the Spa 24Hs. The race had already raged through the night by this point, but we had yet another day to make it through.
Press Room, FIA GT3 European Championship, Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, Portugal
Ok that's it from me. I'd like to personally thank the Speedhunters and Team NFS crews for all their hard work this year!
On to 2012 we go!