Behind The Scenes>> Silverstone Supercar Showdown Pt2

I've heard a statistic which states that a third of all car accidents happen within a mile of people's homes.This makes sense to me – as we become accustomed to the supposed mundanity of our day to day lives, we simply stop paying attention and revert to auto pilot.

What was once exciting and fresh, becomes seemlingly stale and uninteresting and we vacate the premises.

I've seen the same attitude with some members of the automotive media who've been in the industry for a long time.

They may be surrounded by the most exciting cars on the planet, but someone have lost a sense of excitement and inspiration.

Shooting cars has become, just a day at the office. No different than sitting at a desk all day long.

I was thinking about this as I went to Silverstone and made a vow to myself that I would absolutely not fall into this trap.

I would fully appreciate every breathing second I got to point my cameras at some of the most beautiful cars on the planet.

I wanted to bring myself back to a place of "beginner mind", as if I had never seen any of these cars before…

And shoot the event with fresh eyes and a new perspecive.

So to tell this story from Silverstone 2011, let's start at the beginning…


… and bring you with us as we travelled to the circuit from our hotel in Northampton, around 20 miles from the circuit.

Our morning drives would start out on these local roads which gradually turned into larger dual carriageways as we neared Silverstone.

Along the way there was always at least one interesting car to check out…

One certainly gets the sense you are entering the home of the British Grand Prix as you drive into Silverstone.

There were many security checks on the way in too… I can only imagine what this place is like come a Formula One weekend!

Eventually we ended up being directed into the media car park…. rather inconveniently located next to the old pits, on the other side of the circuit from the new F1 pits.

You will notice that Paddy has already arrived on location in this shot and is hanging out with some illustrious company!

I love the stickers on his back window! I wonder if any other media folks took notice.

Also parked up in the media parking lot was this V Spec R33, proudly wearing a GTROC sticker on its back window.

Getting back and forth to the media car park, required the use of shuttle buses. It was a little annoying as we constantly needed our cars to shoot track side, but the system was well organized and ran like clockwork.

On this occasion, we ended up sharing the shuttle with a girl from the Nissan Marketing team. How many of you would kill for this backpack?

Leaving the bus, the various team members strolled into the paddock, heading off to their respective set ups. In the center of the shot is Ebisawa-san. He's overseeing the Nissan program from within Nismo – a very important man in the GT1 paddock!

Normally, the first thing I do after arriving on site is to check in at the Schubert Motorsport garage. I found Edward there, busy texting away on his iPhone.

I was curious to see the new Alpinestars driver suits we've arranged for the team… I've been working closely with Andy Blackmore and the good folks at Alpinestars to get these items sorted.

This included a fresh supply of driving shoes and gloves… The bottom trainer is my own… Perhaps not as glamorous haha.

This was the maiden race weekend for the new press center. Apparently it was still a construction site a few days before we showed up!

Macs, Macs and more Macs! Notice Paddy's film camera.

You like the mini-Speedhunters sticker? It's actually made for RC Cars by Touge Automotive but looks good on Macs too!

Jonathan has the rest of us Speedhunters drooling with his special lens-cup… It's perfect for a morning cappuccino to get the photographic juices flowing.


It really seems to me that Nissan are providing a lot of drive for the GT1 World Championship right now. I don't think I've ever seen so many GT-Rs in one spot! Here's a 2011 display model.

Next over, Nissan had the Leaf Nismo RC electricrace car on display.

Is this the future of racing? Silent whirring machines?

Whatever the case, the Leaf is an interesting design exercise. Let's take a moment to observe the lines of the car together :)

Beside it, was a GT Edition 370Z. Notice the bespoke Rays rims.

Next to Nissan, Sumo Power had a sizeable display of cars showcasing all sides of our scene. Street, Drift, Drag, Race and Rally – I liked how they were making a show of modified and Japanese cars for the traditional motorsports crowd. These are two worlds that Speedhunters aims to bridge, so it was cool to see another group sharing the same vision.

Some of you will recognized Sumo Power team principle Andy Barnes' Fujjin R33 drag car, currently sans an engine. Development of the car is still ongoing BTW. 

Here's one of JRM's Group N Evo X rally cars. 

The engine on James Rumsey's JRM tube chassis drag Evo was causing a bit of a stir. It's a bit of a work of art!

Go Sumo!

Of course I had to spend a bit of time hanging out with the Sumo Power GT-Rs. These cars never get old for me!

Here Jamie Campbell-Walter gets ready for the first practice session of the weekend.

Paddy McGrath spent the event stalking David Brabham with his camera.

This guy is a bit of a legend in my eyes, so I'm excited he's going to be writing a blog for us.

I was pleasantly to bump into my pal Carter Jung from Road & Track at Silverstone. Some of you may know him as the former editor of Import Tuner magazine. Good to see you m8!

Sometimes you can't help but turn the camera 90 degrees. 

It was a so-so weekend for the Schubert Motorsport crew to be honest. 

Edward seemly spent a large portion of the Race One stuck behind the Reiter Gallardo. This spoiled any chance of a race win.

This left the brand new AF Corse Ferrari open to cruise to a dominant victory.

Yet another GT-R… I'm sure Nissan could spare one of these for a Speedhunter?

Heading back into the Schubert pit area, I found Edward and Aziz pouring over data with one of the BMW engineers.

The Z4s themselves had been partially disassembled.

It seemed like a long evening was ahead for the mechanics.

Check the trick wrap coating on the mufflers. 

Next door to us were the JRM crew. Words cannot descibe the noise these cars produce when they are started up indoors BTW! 

I decided to situate myself on the outside of Abbey for the start of the second FIA GT3 European Championship race… As I was waiting for the proceedings to get started, I couldn't help but notice the UK GTR Owners Club flag flying over the Stowe hospitality building, directly opposite the track from me. Hmmm… Interesting…

One thing that was cool about shooting at Silverstone, was that it was possible to follow along race events via the excellent PA system. It seems like there was a big accident at the race start, I missed it though!


It didn't take long for the all Dutch Faster Racing BMW Z4 GT3 to take the lead.

I seem to have a habit of shooting the number 12 Mercedes SLS. Even though it's one of the slowest cars on the grid, it's one of the prettiest… The SLS is such a new race car, I still get a real kick, every time I see it. 

I have to admit I'm a little guilty of neglecting the older race cars on the grid.

It wasn't that long ago that we were announcing the Audi R8 LMS with pure glee in our eyes. Yet two years later, I barely notice them… How odd, I must be getting jaded! Reset needed!

They are beautiful cars it has to be said, but don't seem to factor much in the FIA GT3 races. As all the cars are supposed to be "performance balanced" I can only assume this is due to the relative speed of the drivers.

Here's another car that could use some more attention: the GT3 spec Ford GT.

Notice the body roll as it powers though the high speed Stowe corner. This is a chassis on the limit of adhesion right here.

As the race progressed I made my way from Abbey Corner over to the last sequence of corners: Vale and Club.

Vale was the scene of some intense and aggressive overtaking manoeuvres. In this shot we can just make out Edward Sandstrom lining up his last set of victims. At the race start, his co-driver Aziz was tapped into a spin and ended the first lap in last position. So the charge back to to seventh place has to be commended!

As the flag came down it was Faster Racing that scored a dominant 1-2 finish with their pair of BMW Z4 GT3s. The cold Sunday weather seemed to suit their Michelin tires quite nicely.

BTW I have to give props to the event promoter, as this was the best GT1-GT3 race weekend I've had the pleasure to attend. There was a good vibe in the paddock and around the circuit.

As the GT3 podium ceremonies got under way, Jonathan and I decided to sneak over to the Stowe Apron building to check out if the GTROC were up to anything.

This is what we found.


It must have been my Speedhunters jacket that gave us away, as we were immediately greeted by some of the GTROC members, including the owner of this very special R34, Matthew Bourne.

This is a rarest of rare, Nismo built GT-R. I think it deserves a full Speedhunters feature, so we'll be looking to get Matt hooked up with Paddy McGrath for a proper photo shoot.

This R32 was just begging to be shot! At this stage Jonathan and I were grinning from ear to ear.

One of only a handful of yellow 34s in the UK.

This R35 was pointed out as having the full catalogue of Nismo goodies bolted on.

It's this type of find that makes our lives as Speedhunters so special. We'll be looking to do more collaborations with the GTROC in the future, as we'd love to cover more of their events with proper detail.

I felt like I was paying full attention at Silverstone this weekend, and
the discovery of the GTROC meet was the reward for my unfettered
mindset. Had I been on auto-pilot, I might not have noticed their
flag and found this impressive array of mouth watering GT-Rs :)

Ok that's all from me for now.

Paddy should be along soon with his own story from the event – I'm particularly looking forward to his coverage of the Supercar Meet. The selection of exotics that came out to Silverstone was pretty staggering!

We also have driver blogs from David Brabham and Edward Sandstrom coming up too.



More Silverstone GT1-GT3 coverage on Speedhunters



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Dont want to be a stickler but, the main reason most car accidents happen within a mile of home is because that the tires and brakes on the car are still cold. But still this is a cool article. Good work!


why yes, yes i would kill for that backpack.

good to see you're not taking your awesome job for granted :)


Hi Rod/Johnathan,

thanks again for doing the little shoot on the GTROC,I came out with Matt and gave the mini tour around the car park,will keep you guys posted on what the club get up to,got a dyno day organised for July,will send you an e-mail with the details :)

Thanks again,



Elliot: That is 101% wrong. Rod is absolutely right. Except if everybodys daily driver would be a track beast with semislick tires and carbonceramic brakes... and even then you would get in an accident because of not paying attention (again, because of the mundanity), and not because of the temperature. The difference is so minimal, you can hardly feel it when driving at a normal speed.


Dont want to be a stickler but, the main reason most car accidents happen within a mile of home is because that the tires and brakes on the car are still cold. But still this is a cool article. Good work!


or you get into accidents or get speeding tickets because you are pushing your car harder, you are more comfortable near home. Sometimes when the mundanity beast is on your back you just apply some more gas and slip for some extra fun.



Thanks a million for taking a picture of my R32 GTR with the GTROC always been a goal of mine to be shot by Speedhunters. We'd definately like to have you along for future events so drop me a mail.



Last picture as a desktop please :D


Your pal Carter Jung works for Road & Track? That's a news. How can we take this guy seriously?


Great article, great pictures, and great cars! Think we could get a desktop-version of the last shot, that macro snap of the track?


Can anyone please tell me what are the rims on the first picture on the white nissan?

help very much appriciated.


great shots.

and is that positive camber on the rear wheels of the sumo power drag car? never seen camber on a drag car before...


Great feature, thanks to Vinay flying the flag with his R32 GTR and Paddy's VW for entertainment



Great article Rod, I love this shot


why all photographer of speedhunters have a canon and never a nikon?


Great coverage Rod. Always enjoy the photos and reading it. Nice to see a different type of motorsports coverage other than drifting.


That R32, with the GARAGE D intercooler, re-ignited a fire in me that i thought was long extinguished. Thanks for that.


Amazing article, Rod! it's good to see you're still active and traveling! Seeing the Sumo Power R33 reminded me of those slow-mo teaser videos you put together for the launch of the site!


Wow i never new David Brabham raced for Sumo Power in the GTR's! He always races in the Australian V8 Supercar series!


Awesome coverage, never get tired of that from Speedhunters. Is it weird that I like the last shot the most out of all. Lol That my detail-oriented mind, I guess.


I hope to have my R32 GTR looking like that one in the shot one day. It's the same colour, and I've wanted those wheels for ages (Work Meister S1s, am I right?). Just a few thousand dollars of engine work and a respray, and I'm there!


oh man i love the coverage of these events that people in the states can only dream about attending good work speedhunters!


That show of the Sumo Power lineup has me drooling. Also a big fan of the world-bridging approach!


I quite like these Behind the Scene posts, but its often the same, Jap cars in Car Parks, Driver/Engineer/Speedhunter looking at their laptop, oh, look a car with stickers on it/ hellaflush delete as applicable.. ...or is this Drifthunters now

Don't forget why you are there, Please report on the races more! Where is the GT1 report. Hope this isn't the GT3 report.

You guys seem to have given up on it this year and your reports were more interesting than so many other race reports. Jonathan, John Brooks and Andy know their onions.

Hope normal service resumes. I loved the balance of the site before.


SO... MANY... GT-R'S! I love em'!


Any chance of a desktop of the black AF Corse Ferrari 458 shot?


It’s been a couple of days since the chequered flag dropped on what was a truly incredible weekend


The wheels on my R32 are actually Rota Grids in Matte Bronze - 18x10 ET 15 :)

You should see the engine bay its polished and purple.


Unless your name is Dino Dalle Carbonare and you're faced with a fully packed Japanese event schedule, the majority of the Speedhunters crew are slowing the pace down slightly and are getting ready to present our photographic year in review. So without


Unless your name is Dino Dalle Carbonare and you're faced with a fully packed Japanese event schedule, the majority of the Speedhunters crew are slowing the pace down slightly and are getting ready to present our photographic year in review. So without


Love the bag pack