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!
A glorious sunny start to the first day of the weekend greeted everyone as teams went about setting their cars up for qualifying later in the day. However, the weather decided that it would change this. According to the met office there was a 10% chance of rain, but, local knowledge and knowing which way the weather was moving in I begged to differ.
I was probably out at one the furthest point away from the pits when I could see the clouds moving in so decided to head back to the shelter of the garages. Talking to a couple of the teams who were quoting the met office I explained that I disagreed with the forecast and pointed out the clouds and mentioned the local knowledge. One of the Team Hard drivers (who is also local to the circuit) agreed that the rain clouds we all could see was not a 10% chance of rain!
I also explained this also to Century Motorsport (they had the next set of garages and equally looking skywards) who were also saying similar things about the met office. And so it duly rained! I had to help Team HARD rescue some of the Ginetta bodywork into the garage so they could close the shutters. In the garage you could hear how loud it was hitting the roof and looking outside the back of the garage the lightning was impressive! A full storm had descended onto the circuit.
The storm didn't last long, but long enough to halt track proceedings and cause the drains behind the garages to cry enough and refused to drain the water away. Luckily the teams always have a set of wets on standby so some resourceful teams were using these as 'stepping stones' to get from the garage to the back of the trucks!
What I have found from just working these three rounds are that the teams are so welcoming and friendly. Team HARD have been fantastic offering me drinks. Likewise Century Motorsport. The weekend was so warm that despite applying the sunblock I was still cooking in the Norfolk sunshine.
To give an example of how warm it was I was chatting to a driver who was competing in the VAG Trophy (one of the support races on the Saturday) and he was saying that his on-board camera stopped working because it over-heated! Later I found out that it was 28C outside so goodness knows how hot the cars were!
Even though I wasn't inside a race car or dressed in full fireproof clothing, I was still finding it warm. Being exposed to the sunshine all day started to take its toll on my arms, neck and face. I had to make sure that I kept drinking plenty to avoid dehydration.
Being a photographer at the race tracks you run the risk of being caught out by the elements. You either get soaked as you photograph in the rain or cooked as the sun beats down. Still wouldn't change it as I always come away from the weekend with big smile and a huge buzz along with hundreds of photographs to go through.
More images from Snetterton can be found here