My 'Photos of the Year' post is a short one this time, as I didn't get the chance to venture out in 2011; mainly due to my 'day job' at Need for Speed. My year started on a big high at the Dubai Autodrome for the 24 hour endurance race. A relatively new event, it came of age in 2011 with Schubert, Black Falcon, AF Corse and Lotus all sending entries.
Dubai Autodrome Pitlane, Dubai 24Hrs, Dubai,UAE (above)
Team Need for Speed and Schubert Motorsport debuted a new livery at Dubai; a reflective wire-frame mesh. Reflective vinyls are nothing new, but once I was in Dubai I became a bit worried about how effective the mesh would be at night. As long as I live, I will remember standing on the pit lane bridge looking down on the car and seeing the wire-frame mesh light up in front of me as people took photos. Phew…
Dubai Autodrome, Dubai 24Hrs, Dubai, UAE
I'm very much the amateur in terms of photography on the Speedhunters team, but I came away from Dubai happy with a number of my images. This photo was just before the #76 car - previously delayed by some tyre issues - overtook the sister car and worked its way to the front. This was about five hours into the event.
Podium, Dubai Autodrome, Dubai 24Hrs, Dubai, UAE
As regular Speedhunters will know, our team won. It was great to be a very small part in the effort and to witness everyone at Schubert Motorsport enjoying the win. Schubert also used a couple of my images for their press releases which topped off a fantastic week.
Mustang RTR-X, Willow Springs, California, USA
The next escape from the office was another high; in fact it was one of the highlights of my career. The Ford Mustang RTR-X, which I designed alongside Vaughn Gittin Jr, was broken in at Willow Springs and I popped down to see it in action.
I’m really pleased with how the car turned out. I’m quite a perfectionist and often pick holes in my own work, but I don’t think I’d change anything significant on the car. All the guys who worked on it did a fantastic job. I am indebted to Vaughn and Need for Speed for giving me the chance to help design this beast.
Pitlane during 1st Qualifying, Nürburgring 24HR,Nüburgring Nordschleife, Germany
I pumped in the overtime in June so I could escape to the Nürburgring 24Hours at the end of the month. And wow, this event was amazing. Where else would you see a Peugeot 206 in the same pit lane as a P4/Competizione or Mercedes SLS GT3?
Karussell, Nürburgring 24HR,Nüburgring Nordschleife, Germany
I couldn’t believe how busy the pit lane was, how enthusiastic the fans were and how epic the whole event is. I stayed rooted to the Karussell; I just couldn't leave! I found the Nordschleife a hard place to shoot; you had to allow hours to get to your desired spot, shoot and then get back to the press centre.
Like Dubai, it was an amazing experience. Remember our Things to Do Before You Die series? This is my Top 5! I also met ‘Sir’ Paddy for the first time, who I might say is a star, very helpful and even lent me his camera when I broke my lens.
SEMA Show, Las Vegas Convention Centre, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
It was back to Need for Speed before escaping one last time to SEMA. Indoor shows are always hard to photograph with so many people getting in the way. How dare they? (!)
SEMA is important to me as it helps keep you in touch with what's going on in the aftermarket industry and car culture in general.
At home, Nr Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
I’ll sign off with a photo of my little girl. As any parent knows, when a toddler goes quiet it's best to stop what you are doing and try to rescue your house; but not this time. This little Speedhunter was busy reading car magazines, shouting ‘Daddy's car, Daddy's car'…
If only it was.