This would be my year, I was sure of it. MPACT 2018 felt like one big wet t-shirt contest; to say the weather did not cooperate would be an understatement, and I felt Mother Nature owed me one.
Well, for this year’s MPACT Motorsports Festival, held again at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, she delivered in a big way.
Each year, thousands of BMWs descend upon Pocono for MPACT, an event that includes a car show, drag racing, burnout contests, and vendor displays. Show festivities are traditionally held on a Saturday, but I was invited by MPACT’s organizers to hold a special shoot for one lucky BMW owner the evening prior.
A closed racetrack during sunset sounded like photoshoot heaven, but I’d need a car that was just as epic as the scenery.
Enter Sue (aka M2HAWT) and her BMW M2. A genuine car girl with a history of sport compacts, she’s become a long-time BMW fan, and the M2 is her first experience with the M sub-brand.
Decked out in Xpel Stealth paint protection film, custom BBS FI-R wheels, Carbon Fiber Co. custom exhaust, and various carbon fiber bits and pieces, the car looks like it belongs at the finish line and reflects the hours of sweat needed to bring such a beast to life.
One other important note: Sue only drives manual-equipped cars.
I was pretty nervous as I pulled up to the iconic cave entrance at the track, and the butterflies only increased as I drove past some race garages with parked-up NASCAR cars inside. I knew I’d only have about a half hour of usable sunset light, and there were no second chances.
Plus, Mother Nature had delivered; I could already tell the sunset would be a memorable one. No excuses now.
After some shots in an empty garage and pit lane (a true rarity at Pocono), I went ahead and had Sue pull onto the track over the finish line. Walking up to that line, I could see each white block full of signatures from the long history of racers that had been there.
With the ambiance of sunset on the empty track, it was enough to give me chills.
The best shoots always happen when you can clearly see the results right in your lens, and this was no exception. I started snapping away as the summer sun set, and I couldn’t help but smile. The view was breathtaking.
The good weather continued on through Saturday’s festivities, and MPACT 2019 was a huge success. I’m not quite sure yet how I’ll top it with MPACT 2020, but planning is already underway.
How To join the IATS program: We have always welcomed readers to contact us with examples of their work and believe that the best Speedhunter is always the person closest to the culture itself, right there on the street or local parking lot. If you think you have what it takes and would like to share your work with us then you should apply to become part of the IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER program. Read how to get involved here.