So Watkins Glen put's on this event every year in September, The SVRA Vintage Gran Prix. I never heard anything about it till last year, and it immediately sparked my intrest. Vintage Race cars? Racing? Sign me up for that.
Just a forewarning though, this is littered with misspellings and horrible grammar.
Also, I've put these up in a decent size for your wallpaper enjoyment, but please, just use them as wallpapers. If you'd like them as prints, let me know.
First, a little background on me though? Just a little, I swear. I'm 20, a photographer, and a life long gearhead. My job is bassically doing shots of people's vehicles and really, it's awesome for a first job, and a self owned job at that. But I never got to see the rarites. Mostly it consisted of muscle cars, hot rods, and 18 Wheelers, and while I love all that, I wanted to see more. And going to this, I never wanted to do something more.
Unforuntaly, the weather was horrid, as it is most of the time in Upstate NY's fall. But it cleared up some Sunday, so I headed up. 2 Hours later, and a few wrong turns, I arrived.
As you can imangine, being in Upstate NY, you don't exactly see many jaw dropping cars, sure there's a lot of restored classics in the summer, but around me, not a lot of European classics, or moderns. (Being in a small town doesn't help matters either) But pulling into the track, I've never seen so many Porsches in my life. Countless 911's and so many others, my jaw was already dropped. And this was just the parking lot. A part of the parking lot.
A few steps later, it all began to sink in. There are cars here that I didn't think existed outside of Museums and gigantic cities and special events. And as any gearhead would, I got all excited and giddy like a school girl. To be honest, a lot of that day was a blur, seeing so many cars that I only saw online and in magazines, right in the flesh and infront of me, Car ADD kicked in hard and my attention was never on one car for long before I saw something else that made me scream.
This was in part of the pit area I think, immediately I see a Mitsubishi Minicab and a Porsche 914 Race car. To be honest, I wasn't sure which I was happier to see. (Just an FYI, my racing/car knowledge isn't as great as most, but I'm learning and trying) Continuing on, only a few feet was a Players LTD Indy Car, Cobras, Cobras and more Cobras, more Porsche race cars, 914's 911 and 993 GT2's... It was ridiculous. And this was still in the first area.
But then, I spotted colors, and started running, it was a Gulf GT40.
Wether it's a kitcar or not, I quite frankly didn't care. I was just in awe and drooling. As I said, it was my first time seeing cars like this in the flesh, and it was truly unbelivable.
Finally, I decided to start walking again. Finding a few more cars, a few Lotus Caterhams, some classic GP cars, and even more Cobras, we reached the garage. And I was pretty lucky. It was full of Classic F1, and Le Mans cars. At this point, I thought my jaw broke, and I was 1 car away from having a heart attack.
Nikki Lauda's Ferrari? check. Jagermeister 741? Check. Rothmans Porsche 962? Check. 3.0 CSL? Check. Martini Porsche 917? Check.
Seeing these cars all together was something out of a movie. Just surreal and awesome. Did I mention awesome?
While I do love a lot of these shots, this one, "Cthulhu Sleeps", I'm particulary fond of.
Yes, named after a Deadmau5 song, i felt it fit. The fast paced, distorted growls just seemed to fit the mood and the car. Yes, the shot's kind of wierd, with the garage still visible, and the trailers in the background, blah blah I know. But it looks so... evil. The gigantic storm clouds, the highlighted lines of the 917, it's just one hell of a mean shot.?
After dragging myself away, I was able to catch some of the previous field coming back in, which consisted of BRE Datsuns, Alfa's, and more old school racing machines, I snapped a few, but none of them felt good enough to publish, but I will if anyone wants.
Anyways, moving on. It was a bit of waiting game then on, There wasn't anything going on, so I bought some stuff and snapped a few shots.
Then, I found out that the F1 cars were going to line up to race, so naturally, I ran with a bag full of lenses and cameras bouncing against my back to get shots. They had all pulled into the pit lane for a show off session essentially which got a ton of crowd attention.
There are a lot more shots, but they just haven't been edited yet, if anyone wants more, I'll gladly post more. A few minutes later, there was the distinct sound of an ear shattering 70's F1 engine. Everyone was told to move back, so naturally everyone moved back just enough to see past the person infront of them. And then, yet again, my jaw dropped.
Mario Andretti's John Player Special came rolling down the lane, and it was a sight to behold.
Eventually, everyone had to go so they could prep the cars or something for the race. So after more walking around and gawking at more cars, the race was going to start. I won't carry on about the race, because I was basically spending the whole thing trying to learn how to pan on F1 cars going at a good speed, which, as you can guess was hard. But here's the best shots.
A few hundred shots later, it was over. It felt so short, but It was amazing. So after more walking around and even more gawking (I've never seen so many E Types in my life) I came across something wierd. The front clip to an Audi R8 LMP. After searching for the car to no avail, i went up into the stands and took some pictures of the race in progress. Somehow, they were racing, and so was the Audi, so yet again, I screamed like a 2 year old.
They were racing all sorts, so I had no idea what class it was, so I just kept shooting. Then, after the race was over, I looked down at the end of the straight and noticed the cars parking in the winners circle. So yet again, I ran.
Even though I probably wasn't supposed to be there, no one said anything, so it was fair game.
It was worth it.
So, after that, I really can't remember much. I took more pictures, gawked and fangirl'd more and that was really it. So here's the rest of the shots for you guys to enjoy. Hopefully next year I'll keep better track and have a lot more pictures.
Want more pictures of cars n stuff? Well you're in luck. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtuned/