23 Events, 42 days, about 12,000 miles of driving, 60,000 photos. Yep 2015 has been a great year. Heres my favourite pictures from the year, be warned theres 300ish of them, ranging from Goodwood Festival of Speed to Le Mans, to the Nurburgring and club rallying. Enjoy:
The Wyedean Rally in Wales kicked things off for me back in February.
I am sure there are better ways to spend valentines but I’m dammed if I can think of any.
Ex Group-B Metro sideways and muddy.
Mid March and off to Goodwood for the first time, for the 73rd Members Meeting.
Mclaren brought some toys out to play.
as did a select few owners.
There was another photographer there who was saying he had made the trip over from Canada just for the Mclaren F1 demos. Cant say I blame him.
The cars may be 50 years old, but thats no reason not to drive them flat out.
Group C cars had their own special paddock area.
The 905 looks quick standing still. You can see the F1 crossover in this car in a big way. The rear end especially just looks like an F1 car with covered wheels.
At about 10.30 15 or so Group C cars were unleashed. That much fun doesn’t seem like it would be allowed that early in the day.
Mercedes brought this SL, their new AMG GT and an F1 car for a demo on the Saturday.
High Airbox F1s anyone?
So many owners wanted to bring their cars they had to be split into 2 groups and run 2 sessions for the demo runs.
Stoffel Vandoorne driving a quick powerful F1 car. Not something he will get to do for a while...
Nick Swift in the tiny Mini was doing his best to fight the bigger boys in their Camaros and SD1s. One of my favourite memories of this year.
And to top it all off, we got a sunset like this.
I don’t know what deal Lord March has done with God to sort out weather for his 3 events, but its clearly worked. Either that or God is as much of a Petrolhead as Lord March.
From the Members Meeting to the BTCC opener at Brands Hatch.
Freddie ‘son of James’ Hunt, seemed to have a fairly good year, jumping from different cars and different series throughout 2015.
One of the rising stars of the BTCC, Adam Morgan in the Ciceley motorsport A-Class.
Up against the full manufacturer teams, like Yuasa Honda, with the newfor 2015 Type R.
The WEC season opener at Silverstone was my next stop, with the ELMS in support on Saturday, before the 6 hours on Sunday.
Well it wouldn’t be England if it didn’t rain for the WEC.
This picture was taken about 2 hours after the previous one... I love the weather here.
Proof Gulf colours look great on anything.
Marc VDS in their epic Z4 GTE, the only one outside of the USA.
The Mighty 38 Jota car had another strong year, after starting well here at Silverstone.
Its not a proper sportscar race if there isn’t an AF Corse Ferrari in it.
Porsche had the pace at the start of the year, but not the reliability. I cannot wait to see what the 2016 LMP1s look like at Silverstone.
Another new car for Europe, the C7R Corvette in the hands of Larbe. That noise!
Strakka parked their Dome S103 after half the season, making Silverstone this cars 1 and only UK appearance.
And now for something completely different: The British Drift Championship:
This was only 3 weeks after the Members Meeting. About as far apart as you can get in terms of spectators age, style, and yet everyone there because they love cars.
I had no idea what to expect going into this event, but I am so glad I went.
The car control these guys have is incredible. They make it look so effortless and easy, when in reality its clearly anything but.
Admittedly when a 16 year old is driving this 1000bhp monster, you do have to wonder about the sanity of the organisers.
If memory serves me correctly there is an LS engine under the hood of this AE86.
Still in April...
The Britcar 24hr made a return to the calendar.
Sadly lacking in entries, the race was nonetheless good although as attrition took its toll it ended with 12 cars running, and an overall victory for a TCR spec Seat Leon, which had run faultlessly for the full 24hrs.
Radical had their new RXC road legal car there. Thats right, if you feel so inclined you can stick some numberplates on this thing and drive it to the shops.
MARC Cars Australia brought a couple of their Focus over to see how the UK market took to them. Look good, sound good, heres hoping someone buys 1 or 2.
Ginetta were also using it as a proving ground for their new LMP3 car.
And then the heavens opened. Poor marshals had to stand out in this.
Martini Porsche at the Blancpain GT Series in May.
GT3 cars on the full Brands Hatch GP loop is always rather special if you ask me.
I dont like the Z4 road car, but the GT3 is one of my favourite cars of the current lot.
With a great backdrop, and fast flowing corners the cars really fly through here.
Oh and there was a Diablo in the carpark. Standard.
This home built Porsche Turbo is based on a 996 chassis, with a custom body on top,
The Nurburgring 24h in May marked my first time shooting inside the fences as an accredited photographer, and what a way to start.
Heavy rain on the thursday night made for an interesting first practise session for the cars.
It also marked the first time the new R8 went out racing most of its competition with factory teams from lots of other manufacturers also vying for overall glory.
Up against these factories was the SCG003. Sadly after this session the yellow car was withdrawn following a heavy hit with the barrier. Still, the guys gave it 100% the whole weekend up against the might of Audi, BMW, Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche, Nissan and Mercedes Benz.
Yep, thats a race team sponsored by Haribo.
Bentley had this awesome tribute livery as a reference to their Le Mans win in 2003.
WTCC were also on the support bill. I have to say I dont think this really worked, as 3 laps with about 20 cars did not make a great spectacle. Still, the cars looked cool when they did come past.
The Historic 3 hour race was impossible to follow with regards to the actual race, but to be honest when the cars look this good who cares.
M1 procar in BMW motorsport colours. Yes please.
The pre grid rollout for the N24 is always a bit special.
The SCG was rather popular.
JALOPNIK is EVERYWHERE!!!
Fairly busy at the start.
Billie was making good progress through the field before darkness fell, and it because the unfortunate victim of an oil spill on the Nordschleife.
With 160 odd cars entered, the pitlane was always busy.
Well thats 1 way to save tyre wear.
Up at the Iconic Karussel, this is a shot I have always wanted to get.
As is this, with the car cocking a wheel as it leaves the concrete banking.
The Germans are crazy! climbing the fence with traffic flares just before midnight, as you do.
Obligatory long exposure shot of the night.
Dirty race cars = the best race cars.
The Schulze run GT-R had a quiet run, which is what you want for a 24 hour race. Sadly is was also a fairly slow run, which is less good.
Amazingly Billie got back out after its night time excursion. From what I heard it ended up on top of the barrier, so mighty impressive stuff from the AMR boys.
And back to Brands Hatch for the FIA Historic Masters.
Some very nice old F1 cars being driven HARD by some mighty fast drivers. Pretty cool hobby.
Its not all F1 cars, with some sportscars also on the bill.
And a demo run from some newer F1 machinery.
A Marlboro sponsored cheese wedge.
And the son of the creator of JCB. Thats a family of proper petrolheads.
Super Touring Cars were also on the bill, although their race was cut short by a big crash halfway round lap 1, which required a Spinal board to get the driver out. Thankfully turned out he had just broken a couple of ribs, but its never good when someone requires medical attention.
E30 M3s make up a good portion of the lower grid of this series, and look great doing it too.
This Ferrari 246 TR made an appearance at the Members Meeting, this event, the Silverstone Classic and the Revival. Not a bad year.
Who let this F1 car onto the grid!
My first year at Le Mans, I can really see why people go every year. Definitely back in 2016.
More special liveries please Porsche.
Another new car for me, the Viper. What a beast.
Midsummer Sunset was pretty great too.
The Low Drag Audi may not be pretty but it was devastatingly quick.
The Aston Art car was a nice treat, and certainly stood out.
Plenty of people out for the start of the race.
I make 3500 bhp in this photo at least.
Murphys Men in their Oreca 03.R
The Nissans looked good, in my opinion. Shame the program was a bit of a flop. I really hope they come back fighting in 2016. I know they have a list of excuses longer than this post of why 2015 was tough, but they really have to have them ironed out in 2016, and at least be on the back of the LMP1H field, rather than just barely faster than an LMP2.
(spoiler altert!!) The eventual winners leaving the forest esses.
The morning after. Don’t go offline in the Ford Chicane.
Down at Mulsanne, with an assortment of drunk French fans.
The two Toyotas had a faultless run. Just slow. Another team that needs a good 2016.
I think they are quite pleased.
2 weeks later and back to Goodwood for the Festival of Speed. HOLY CRAP THIS IS AWESOME!
If you want to just look at the cars and arent that fussed about seeing them go up the hill, go on Thursday as they are almost all there, and its much quieter.
On the three other days its hard to get a clear shot of the cars.
Anyone a Ferrari fan?
Or a rotary fan?
The Honda Screamer was not a car I expected to see. Cool little thing, made slightly cooler for me by the fact I built a model of this exact car over the winter.
Its a car I hadn’t heard of before Gran Turismo, but this has to be one of the prettiest cars ever made, the Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2.
Being allowed to get this close to the proper F1 machinery is far to fun to be allowed.
This 90s F1 cars are just so clean and simple. Can we go back to this please?!
Kimi on the Friday in the F2012.
Queueing before going up the hill.
Rothmans 956. Seriously, this event needs to be on any petrolheads bucket list.
Dindo Capello waving to Lotterer (out of shot) driving a 908/03
The Kamaz Dakar truck did some tree trimming on its way up the hill.
The Rally stage is really cool side show to the main hill.
And when Kris Meeke is on it in his WRC spec DS3 physics stop applying.
Lancia 037 although sadly not in Martini colours. I mean that is like complaining that you’ve just been given a lifetime supply of beer, but its only your second favourite kind of beer.
SWB Quattro tearing through the forest.
An uncleaned TS040 from this 2 weeks earlier.
And my first Singer 911. These are even better in person, if thats possible. Being driven by none other than Chris Harris.
Ferrari brought an FXXK, along with every other car in their lineup. Because Goodwood.
And a Pagani huaayayryrayaya (SP?)
The before shot.
M8F, also owned by the JCB family.
Slightly different, the noise of this thing was unlike anything else, even the 787bs.
And the Hoonicorn.
Double Group B epicness.
And the Kings car. So many other drivers were taking pictures of this thing on their phones.
Mad Mike living up to his name.
All the marshals came forward to wave as Sir Stirling Moss came up this hill in 722.
BJ Baldwin took this thing round the rally stage too. It really struggled to fit through the narrower parts of the course.
The Manthay Porsche came over from Germany to have a go in the top 40 run offs.
Only at Goodwood would you find a Nissan R90CK left around the back of some trucks.
Lotterer and Pirro just chilling before going up the hill.
And a Batmobile.
And back to Brands Hatch in July for some more HSCC racing.
Junior Formula cars make really good club racers, and there are dozens of series for different kinds in the UK.
More rain, this time at the Silverstone Classic in July.
More Group C cars though so can’t really complain.
These are some seriously brave guys to come out in cars this powerful with that little grip. And it was only a practise session.
This was one of the final sessions run without a safety car, and with that much water you can see why a safety car wasn’t a bad idea.
The E-type has exploded in popularity in the UK for racing, with more and more being restored and modified to race specs.
Offline the standing water was pretty significant.
The open topped cars in this weather cant be fun.
The 90s Gt Legends paddock was pretty tasty too.
550LM is another bucket list car for me.
Saturday was much nicer than Friday at Silverstone, and the Funfair was in full swing.
Finding the Breadvan in the paddock became a priority when I saw a tweet on Friday showing it was there.
I might be alone in this view, but I stand by it, this is 1 stunning car in person.
More F1 cars from the 80s.
What a great hobby to have for these guys, getting to do 6 or 7 rounds around Europe racing some wonderful old cars.
The Supertouring cars have really enjoying their comeback since the idea of setting up a series for them was suggested a couple of years ago.
The Lola T70 would put a lot of modern machinery to shame with its speed, this thing is ridiculously fast considering it must be 40 years old.
And we got a great sunset to make up for the previous days abysmal weather.
Group C cars at dusk was a great way to close down the Saturday.
And what a sunset we were treated too.
The rain came back Sunday, however I cant complain as it allowed me to capture this, my favourite shot of 2015.
And this picture later became my first printed work, featured in Classic Porsche magazine in their wrap up of the event.
Sadly the meeting was curtailed early because of the rain, meaning the Super Tourers and the Group Cs didn’t get to come out again.
Back to Brands Hatch, this time for the British GT Championship.
GT3 and GT4 cars make up the grid making for an interesting mixed class event.
Brands Hatch in the sun takes some beating if you ask me.
Snetterton for the BTCC was up next.
Snetterton is an old airfield so its very flat and open. It does make getting an interesting backdrop for pictures fairly tough, but gives some good views for spectating.
Team BMR upped their game massively this year, becoming a serious threat for the title. If 2016 picks up where 2015 left off in the BTCC it’ll be a bumper year.
Porsches have been a staple of the BTCC support bill for years, but this year with 27 of them was the first year that the racing has lived up to the expectation. Another series which I have high hopes for in 2016.
Andy Jordan had a special livery for the weekend to celebrate 25 years of Pirtek. It was pretty hard to miss.
Umm, not sure thats the right way to do that corner?
And back to Brands Hatch again, this time for the Lotus Festival.
The rarely used Rally Stage at Brands was being used to take passengers out in a pair of Talbot Lotus rally cars and scare them stupid.
Lotus themselves also brought out a pair of F1 cars to do demonstrations on the track.
The Lotus On Track Europe trophy shows just how popular the make it across Europe, with something like 40 cars out on the entry.
The Brighton Speed Trials made a welcome return to the calendar in 2014, and showed signs of being back to full strength this year.
There can’t be many events where you can race an F40 against an MG Midget, an RX7 rallycross car, and an AC Cobra kit car.
Variety is the spice of life.
A completely standard RS4 Avant was in the same class as the F40. No idea who was faster though,
The Speed Trials are not just for cars, with plenty of bikes out there racing too. The number of full spec drag bikes has dropped but there are still plenty of modified sports bikes to fill the gap.
Plenty of people come out for the event too.
And the same weekend as the Speed trials an event thats about 10 minutes from my house, Shere Hill Climb takes over a local lane to run ‘non competitive’ motorsport. So no timing, no winners, but plenty of hooning.
Being close to Mclaren means its not that surprising to see a Papaya Orange Mclaren entered.
The Surrey hills make a great backdrop for this event.
This Escort was making some big power by the looks and sounds of it.
Martini Lancia is always a good sign too.
Note the haybale being clipped by the Morgan. It may not be competitive but that doesn’t mean people aren’t competitive.
And back to Goodwood for the 3rd and final time, this time Revival fever had taken over.
More vintage cars than you can shake a stick at.
Friday was wet, so dirty race cars were the order of Saturday morning.
In case anyone didnt know, there were a couple of Shelby Daytona Coupes there too.
The speed on the straights of these things was impressive, especially when you consider they have drum brakes, so slowing them down begins around about a mile before the corner.
An original Aston Martin DP212(or 214) was part of the Bruce Mclaren Tribute.
The Tourist Trophy had some special cars in it, and was suggested to be the most valuable/expensive grid ever assembled for a race.
This is my phone wallpaper now, just Ferraris.
The Daytonas came out for a high speed demo, with some going for it, and others at a more leisurely pace.
Ferrari 330 TR was in the members enclosure having been driven on the road to spectate.
I guess his picture will have turned out better than mine, it certainly looked incredible as he was sketching away early Sunday morning.
The nose of a 60s Ferrari does take some beating as a pretty, simple, design.
There was plenty at Goodwood for the Tifosi thats for sure.
And then someone let some nutters out on the track.
Don’t say this isn’t competitive racing. If theres even a sniff of a gap the guys in the TT were going for it.
11 Spitfires and 1 Hurricane showed the other side of Goodwood.
And another wonderful sunset on a wonderful weekend of racing.
From one end of the scale to the other, the Birkett 6 hours at Silverstone in October was an interesting Saturday.
With about 240 cars there, racing in teams of 3-5 there was plenty of variety.
Ferraris to BMWs, TVRs to Spires, Smart cars to Clios, this race had pretty much everything which wasn’t an open wheeler.
And rain, meaning lots of Oppo.
Im sure there was some Escort in this car at some point, but now its pretty much all custom. And properly fast for it.
And that concludes the track based section of 2015. 2 more rallies to finish the season off as I started it.
First up was the last ever running of the Tempest rally, with the organisers saying rising costs, more difficulty getting land owners permission, and an ageing management team have killed one of the most popular club rallys in the UK. Shame.
But doom and gloom aside, the rally was great inspite of the miserable weather, and there was some amazing car control on display as a result of the rain.
All the rain, just all of it.
Still, the rain did make for some good puddles.
Boys and their toys, always trying to get them filthy and muddy.
And there were still plenty of people out in the rain enjoying themselves.
Land Rover Defender 90’s dont look like they would make good rally cars. And they dont really, but they are fun as hell to watch wallowing around trying to get the doorhandles to touch the ground.
And then it was WRC time.
Kubica has had an amazing effect on the popularity of Rallying, with about as much Polish heard in the forest as English.
Hail, just to add something different to the equation.
And the staple of UK rallying, a Mk1 Escort
The Welsh forest does make for a spectacular back drop for the spectators willing to wander further from the designated sites
And then the storm hit, and it rained. That does seem to be the theme of this post, cars and rain.
Kris Meeke went well on his home event, although his future is still uncertain with Citroen putting WRC on hold for 2016.
So that was my 2015. Well done if you made it this far. Theres plenty more shots from all the events on my Flickr: RWSMotorsport
Heres to 2016.