The BTCC revved back into life during the summer break for the Dunlop Tyre Test over two days at Norfolk's Snetterton circuit.
The BTCC tyre test provided fans with some track action while at the same time the tyre supplier can get information on various tyres etc. The test was run over two days with the majority of teams and drivers present. It also gives the opportunity for some other drivers to get a flavour of the BTCC and the ability to test the current machines and for teams to assess these potential future drivers.
So, back to the British GT again and this time off to Silverstone and a 3 hour endurance race run over the GP circuit.
Driving into the middle of the circuit, where all media have to park, it dawns on you how big and vast it all is. We all know it was an airfield but you still don't comprehend the vastness once you are there.
As Silverstone is so wide, the British GT Championship organised an old route master bus for the media to experience a chance to go round the circuit at the same time as the GT cars. Full video of the bus is here.
The Bank Holiday weekend saw the return of the British GT to Snetterton to enjoy the Norfolk countryside. The circuit is one I know quite well as I have spent the odd hour or so photographing various racing cars and even the odd truck race! Some people have said to me do I live and camp there!
As the title says, another weekend, another race track and this time it was my local track, Snetterton, and the Britcar in action. It was a very last minute decision to head to Snetterton and as such missed the deadline in which to apply for media. Fortunately at Snetterton the spectator viewing areas are great. I am also very fortunate to be allowed access to the Team Hard garage.
Team Hard were also in action at another race track too this time with four Ginettas G55's racing in the Britcar Endurance Championship. The Britcar Championship is similar to the British GT with some of the machinery the same as the GT4 class of the British GT guise. To explain the Britcar this is from their website "Endurance Championship will be run with 2 different categories: Endurance Champion & Sprint Champion. The Endurance category will now run with a maximum race length of 2 hours with a race meeting consisting of a 2-hour race and a 50-minute race. The Sprint category will comprise of 2 x 50 minute races, the first will be a combined 50-minute race with the Endurance competitors and the second will be integrated in the 2-hour race"
Another weekend of British GT action took place at Rockingham "The Rock" Motor Speedway. Unlike Oulton Park, I had at least been to this venue as a spectator and knew where to stand (ish...). Also at Rockingham with the hot and cold pitlane I was allowed to be in the cold pitlane to get shots throughout the weekend. Normally I would have to have fireproof overalls and helmet etc to be allowed in a pitlane during the GT event.
Once I had signed on and received the media bib I was free to go off work out where to shoot from, I tend to use the Saturday of the event to work this out and also get some 'arty' shots too. After Oulton Park and being the new boy so to speak, I felt less of that and feeling more part of the media hub.
What also helped with feeling less anxious is knowing Team Hard in the GT4 class. The team have been very good and generous to me at the tail end of last year allowing me access to the garage in previous events including the BTCC. Knowing the team and they in return recognising the face, they don't mind me pointing a camera at them as they got on with their work and was then able to get shots of the guys at work during the pitstops.
The picturesque Oulton Park in Cheshire hosted the first rounds of the British GT Championship as they rumbled and roared into action over the Easter weekend.
This was to be my first full weekend with media access I felt like I was the new boy at school, the usual of not knowing people (I knew two people in the end) and how was I going to fit in etc. However as soon as I signed on I got chatting and explained that this was my first time to the venue I was soon told about best places to stand and how to get there and not long felt bit more comfortable. Think I was more apprehensive as I hadn't been to the venue before to see any racing, have only seen racing from there on TV. The rest of circuits that the GT's visit I have been there as spectator or media (for track days and official media days) before.
As this was a bank holiday, the weather was being it usual self for a bank holiday weekend. Rain, sunshine and was constantly changing between the two. With the rain being forecast prior to the event, this added to the apprehension I was feeling. There is no shelter when you are out trackside taking images, so trying to keep the camera and kit dry adds another challenge when trying to shoot.
Luckily I also knew one of the teams, Team Hard Racing, as I had previously been given access to their garages for the British Touring Car Championship and recognised some faces and this eased some of my nerves.