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London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018

I was really looking forward to attending The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel. It was an event & venue I hadn’t visited before so chance to experience it all with fresh eyes…. It didn’t disappoint either!!

The London Classic Car Show had some absolutely stunning classic cars on display & available to buy, if your pockets were deep enough!! Some had sleek beautiful stylish lines…this Mercedes 300SL Gullwing was such a pretty car.

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Simply stunning Mercedes 300SL Gullwing

Others had beauty in its muscles!!

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Mustang Muscles at The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International Show at ExCel

On the Preview Thursday, Squadron Leader Adam Collins (Red 10) of the RAF Acrobatic Display Team, The Red Arrows was at the show. He was there with the awesome looking limited edition Red Arrows Aston Martin Vanquish S. 10 cars had been specially built by Aston Martin, each unique to each of the Red Arrows, one the Red 10 car had been put into a raffle. The attention to detail was stunning, I was particularly impressed by the car’s headlining which was a painted view of what Red 10 sees from the cockpit!!

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Squadron Leader Adam Collins (Red10) of the RAF Red Arrows at The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International Show at ExCel

The hall was shared with the Historic Motorsport International (HMI) bringing together some lovely racing & rally cars from past. For the motorsport fan its a great place to get up close to the cars & have a good look around. As with some of the Classic Cars, some of these Historic Racing Cars were available to buy. This beast of a Porsche 911 GT3 is now eligible to compete in the new FIA Masters Endurance Legends Championship ….I think I’m going to need a bigger £2 saving jar!!!

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

A beast of a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, now eligible for the FIA Masters Historic Endurance Legends Championship

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

1988 Group C Porsche 962

Special to this show was the ‘Grand Avenue’ down the middle of the hall. Where throughout the weekend a selection of cars put on a demonstration drives. The gleaming paintwork & chrome of the classic cars glistened under the lights.

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

1953 Chysler ‘Thomas Special’ Coupe by Ghia of Turin

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

1966 Jaguar E-Type Eagle Speedster gleaming under the lights on The Grand Avenue

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

I feel the need….the need for SPEED!! 1958 Aston Martin DBR4 F1

A gentle prelude before eardrums were rattled by the sound of 1980s F1 cars coming down the runway!!

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International Show at ExCel

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Laying down rubber… 1989 Lotus Judd Type 101 F1 car

The very popular & rapidly growing world of Historic Rallying was well represented too. Some lovely examples of early rally cars & the awesome power of Group B were on display down the Grand Avenue.

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International Show at ExCel

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

1986 Group B Rally Car the MG Metro 6R4

On Sunday the 1992 Formula One World Champion, Nigel Mansell was in attendance. It was great to see him in an F1 car again on his demonstration drives down Grand Avenue.

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Remind me gain…its been a while!! Nigel Mansell gets a quick briefing on the Benetton 193B F1

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Nigel Mansell at The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International Show at ExCel

He gave a great insight into his career in Formula One during interviews with Henry Hope-Frost. Some funny anecdotes from behind the scenes kept the fans in the Supaguard Theatre entertained. Many race fans had brought items & photographs for him to sign at several autograph sessions with him through the day.

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Nigel Mansell in conversation with Henry Hope-Frost

The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Autograph session at The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International Show at ExCel

I for one really enjoyed The London Classic Car Show & Historic Motorsport International 2018 at London ExCel. It will definitely be added to my photography calender from now on, thank you for a great few days & see you in 2019.

For a larger collection of images from the Show shoot please visit Photo Galleries or Click Here

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The Autosport International Racing Car Show 2018

The Autosport International Racing Car Show 2018

Apart from Dry January the first weeks after Christmas mean only one thing…. The Autosport International Racing Car Show at Birmingham NEC. Some of the world’s best racing & rally cars along with some of the best drivers in the world all together under one roof.

For the motorsport fan its a great place to get up close to your favourite drivers. The event is often used to launch new cars & race liveries for the season ahead. Non more so than Ginetta Cars chose The Autosport International Racing Car Show 2018 to launch it’s G60-LT-P1 LMP1. This was a memorable point in Le Mans 24 Hours & WEC Endurance Racing history. I was really pleased to be contacted by Mike at New channel Media  to cover the event for them.

Ginetta LMP1 launch at Autosport Show 2018 commercial motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Ginetta LMP1 launch day at Autosport International Racing Car Show at NEC

Once into the vast halls of the NEC, I had a quick walk round to find all the locations I needed for the day. I then made my way to the Ginetta stand where the G60 was sitting under it’s cover awaiting it’s big moment. On the dot of 11 o’clock Ginetta Cars CEO, Lawrence Tomlinson & Technical Director, Ewan Baldry slowly pulled back the cover to reveal their LMP1 car.

Ginetta LMP1 launch at Autosport Show 2018 commercial motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Ginetta Cars G60 LMP1 racing car launch at Autosport International Racing Car Show at NEC

Once the Ginetta shoot was safely in the bag, I had chance to head over to the WRC area. I arrived just in time to see Sebastian Ogier & M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson heading to their press call.

Malcolm Wilson M-Sport at Autosport Show 2018 commercial motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photography

M-Sport Boss Malcom Wilson at The Autosport International Racing Car Show at NEC

There is more to the job than just driving the WRC rally cars. Here Kris Meeke does a piece to camera while team mate Craig Breen waits his turn.

Kris Meeks at the Autosport International Racing Car Show 2018 - commercial Motorsport Photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Kris Meeke doing piece to camera at Autosport International Racing Car Show at NEC

My last mission (…see what I did there) was to a space on the rope for the next car launch. Mission Motorsport were launching the strikingly liveried Invictus Games Racing Jaguar F-Type. It’s going to be great to follow the teams progress through the British GT Championship this year!!

Mission Motorsport at he Autosport International Racing Car Show 2018 - Commercial Motorsport Photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Mission Motorsport Team Launch at Autosport International Racing Car Show at NEC

Invictus Games Racing Team at The Autosport International Racing Car Show 2018 - Commercial Motorsport Photography by Ian Skelton Photography

Mission Motorsport launch the Invictus Games Racing Team at Autosport International Racing Car Show at NEC

 

I can’t wait to see the Ginetta’s challenge in WEC 2018…. Who know I might even get to Le Mans twice, as it’s Historic Le Mans this year too!!

For a larger collection of images from the Autosport Show shoot please visit Photo Galleries or Click Here

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2017 Goodwood Revival weekend

Why is Goodwood Revival Weekend so special?

The 2017 Goodwood Revival weekend is one not to be missed on the motorsport calendar. This fantastic event shares a lot with the Silverstone Classic. Flat out wheel-to-wheel racing on the track with hundreds of rare and priceless cars, from historic yesteryear of motorsport. It is the fantastic 1940s – 60s period dress worn by the vast majority of the spectating crowds that make this event quite unique. Ladies in their furs and frocks, gentlemen in their tweeds and caps… It is quite simply a photographer’s dream both on & off the track.

Friday…

This year I had managed to get there for the Friday Practice/Qualifying Day. The forecast was for sunshine & showers, not such a bad thing as it all makes for interesting photos. The rain however was a little heavier than anticipated & there were soon puddles of standing water at the edges of the track. Difficult conditions for the drivers, great images for us photographers though!

Puddle splash Historic Motor racing at 2017 Goodwood Revival weekend photo by Motorsport Photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Trackside puddles at Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

It didn’t last too long & before long the sun arrived again & the track was drying out. Guy Martin took advantage of this slightly drier track & flew round on a spacial ‘3 laps only’ qualifying session.

Guy Martin riding the 1962 Matchless G50 motorbike during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Guy Martin qualifying for Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

Being unable to attend the Friday last year, I missed Race 1 of the meeting, the iconic Kinrara Trophy. This race starts in the late afternoon & runs into the evening as the light lowers around the circuit. I was really looking forward to getting one of the most iconic shots from Goodwood Revival. A brief but heavy shower wet the track again & produced lovely ‘backlit’ spray off the wheels. A handful no doubt for the drivers but us photographers liked it a lot…

Jaguar E-Type in the Kinrara Trophy during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Kinrara Trophy during Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

Saturday…

I had been very fortunate to have been offered a spare ticket. So I had driven home rather than stay locally as planned so I could pick up a very thrilled Mrs S. We were awake & on the road before dawn making our way to Goodwood Circuit, for her very first taste of motor racing. The weather was forecast much drier & sunnier than yesterday, until the promised rain clouds would rolled in again later in the afternoon. For now the umbrellas were down, sun was out & the pretty grid girls were happy again!!

Grid marker girls line up before heading on track during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Grid marker girls at Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

One of my (& now Mrs S’s) personal favourites of Goodwood Revival Weekend is the young drivers in the Setterington Cup. These beautiful old Austin J40 model cars may be powered 2 feet power…. but the determination to win is no less evident than in the high powered cars later in the day!!

Young driver in Austin J40 model car in the Setterington Cup during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Setterington Cup during Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

Almost to the WeatherApp minute those promised rain clouds arrived & started to deliver their load. some frantic action in the Assembly Area as some pit crews changed their cars into a Wet Set-Up. A bit of rain didn’t stop the action on the track though.

Racing Driver Nick Padmore during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Nick Padmore gives a thumbs up before heading out to track during Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

GT40 driven by Nick Padmore during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Nick Padmore in GT40 exits chicane during Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

But still it rained….& harder too. Even with weather proofing the cameras were taking a beating & a lens was starting to fog up. Time to retreat to the media tent for one last coffee & dry the gear yet again before calling it a day. Stepping out of the tent to make our way back to the carpark we were greeted by this glorious sunset. Perfect to highlight that Goodwood Revival isn’t just about action on track. There are some historic aircraft & stunning flying displays going on over the weekend.

Helicopter & Historic aircraft 2017 Goodwood Revival, commercial motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Helicopter takes off during Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

Sunday…

My dawn drive back to the circuit was a delight. Such incredible scenery just catches your breathe…. I had to stop & take a couple of photos

Dawn in the village of Midhurst on way to 2017 Goodwood Revival, landscape by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

I couldn’t resist stopping for dawn in the village of Midhurst on drive Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

Misty Sussex Downs during 2017 Goodwood Revival, Landscapes by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Sussex Downs. Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

Goodwood Revival isn’t just about cars, it’s also about the dress & fashions of the period too. The outfits are amazing with so much attention to detail. It isn’t just pretty dresses & tweed though, some wear absolutely anything as long as its from the right period :))

Spectators during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Spectators enjoy the period fancy dress at Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

Spectators during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Great costumes as ever at Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

More fantastic racing filled our day, on 2 wheels & 4.

Historic Motorcycle racing during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Riders change over in Pit Lane Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

Joaquin Folch-Rusinol Corachan during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Pit Board during Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

Just as I thought I might just get away without getting wet….the skies really opened.

Heavy rain during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

…& then the skies opened at Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

Even in these incredibly tricky conditions, close fought battles went on track with more wheel – to wheel racing. Not an inch was given with a few minor scratches to polish out when the cars were back in their garages next week!!

Jaguar E-Type during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Jaguar E-Type driven by Nick Padmore during Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

It may have rained a little during 2017 Goodwood Revival, photo by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

The heavy down pour kept the tractors busy at Glorious Mudwood

 

Did I mention it had rained at Goodwood Revival 2017 at Goodwood Motor CircuitMy Goodwood Revival weekend ended tired & achey, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The organisation to put on an event of this size with these crowds over 3 full days take some real doing. The rain made it doubly so, but the whole team at the circuit did an amazing job in quite terrible conditions sometimes! It was my 2nd time to Goodwood Revival & I will state now it has become my favourite event in my diary! Even Mrs S has said she wants to go again she enjoyed it so much!

Please enjoy a larger collection of photos from the event in Galleries, just

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2017 Silverstone Classic

The calendar has clicked around to end of July, it must be time for the Silverstone Classic. This meeting is turning into one of my favourite events of the year & The 2017 Silverstone Classic weekend didn’t dissapoint.

This year I was fully imbedded into the Forza Historic Racing Team, who were running the cars of Masters Historic Formula 1 drivers, Nick Padmore, Max Smith-Hilliard & Phil Hall

Friday, Day 1… Qualifying

I was on the road to Silverstone Circuit for gates open at 7:30am. In the garages the mechanics from Forza Historic Racing preparing Nick’s Williams FW07C, Max’s Fittipaldi F5A & Phil’s Theodore TR1 Formula 1 cars for the Qualifying Session later that afternoon. It was still amazing to watch all the technicians at work & their attention to detail….there really is no I in Team

 

the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival

There’s no I in Team during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Pit Crew prepare the Williams FW07C during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Not only were the team running 3 Historic Formula 1 cars, they also had 2 cars competing in the Master Historic Sports Car race. Nick & Max would share the drive in the Chevron B19, while Phil & Rob Garofall competed in Phil’s Lola T212

Max Smith-Hilliard in the Chevron B19 & Phil Hall in the Lola T212 prepare to leave the garage during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

I was also covering the Le Mans Group C cars for LMP Racer Magazine. The sound of these cars is simply stunning & to see the cornering speeds of these cars is awe inspiring.

Jaguar XJR12 during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Saturday, Day 2… Race Day 1

I was really looking forward to today’s 12 hours of racing. A huge array of cars from Pre 1961 sports cars to Nick in the Historic F1 race. A celebrity race in the little Austin A30 & A35s promised to be great fun. Finishing with the dramatic fire spitting LeMans style Group C cars race in the evening sunset…or so we thought!! Before the racing started I found myself in the paddock area in front of the International Pits. On display were a collection of simply stunning Supercars.

Pangani Zonds S, during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Bugatti Veron during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Porsche 918 Sypder during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Ferrari F40 engine cover during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

With working for the Forza Historic Racing Team I wasn’t able to room as freely this year. It didn’t matter though as I was shooting at ‘The Loop’ for the Masters Historic F1 race. I was treated to Nick making an incredible pass to take the lead before going on to win the race. This is an iconic corner on the Silverstone circuit during the Classic with the funfair in the background. A shot below with probably the most famous ‘backside’ in Historic motor racing!

Ferrari 250GT rounds Aintree in front of the big wheel during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

The crowds flock to this world leading Motorsport event. Plenty of track action to keep them entertained & in the paddock celebrities stopped for photographs with the fans.

World Champion boxer Carl Froch during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Take That’s Howard Donald stops for a selfie with a fan during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA Masters Historic Formula 1 racing finished, I made my way to To Brooklands & Luffield for the fantastic Group C cars….. & then the skies opened!! No stunning sunsets this year, but we did have incredible headlights backlighting the spray off the tarmac. For a photographer light & any kind of light for that matter is what produces stunning images & makes photography exciting.

Mercedes C11 in the Group C race during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Plumes of spray make driving hard during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Spray in headlights during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Sunday, Day 3… Race Day 2

Today I planned to try to get a few more people around the garages with the team. I may have said this before, but with wildlife photography if you chase the deer around the park for your images…you’ll get fit but not much else. Better to find a nice spot, sit quietly, drift into the shadows let the animals get used to you & relax, you will get wonderful photos. I apply this thinking to a lot of my photography, to just quietly watch & let the moments of magic unfold in front of me.

 

Pit Crew preparing Historic F1 car during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Ant Anstead with Philip Glenister during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

A young fan living the dream in Nick Padmore’s Williams FW07C during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Friday 28 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

One of the great things about Silverstone Classic is the demonstration drives that they arrange. These range from Car Owners Clubs like the World Record number of McLaren supercars ever held on a track at one time. To my absolute highlight of this year, the iconic Nigel Mansell’s RED5 Williams FW14B….& what a sound it made as it treated us to 3 laps of the circuit again.

Williams FW14B Formula 1 car during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Williams FW14B Formula 1 car during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Williams FW14B Formula 1 car during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Nigel Mansell’s Williams FW14B the iconic Red 5 comes back into the Pit Lane during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Saturday 29 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

The Formula 1 race went well for the Forza Historic Racing Team with their drivers making the podium. Sadly in the Sports Car race it wasn’t so good. During Nick’s opening stint he was forced off the track by another car resulting in heavy damage to the Chevron. The car was too badly damaged to continue & so Max missed out on his drive. This left Phil & Rob to uphold the honours which they did resulting in another podium finish.

Rob Garofall brings the Lola T212 in to swap drivers with Phill Hall during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Phil Hall head out after driver change during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

All that remained for me to cover was the Group C race. Right on time the rain arrived with even more velocity than last night. The cars had left on slicks but after several offs, one particularly heavily into the Pit Wall. The cars headed in to the Pit Lane to take on Wets.

Wheel Gun man races to tighten wheel nuts during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

The Pit Crews get soaked changing to Wets during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Wing vents help clear water spray during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

Its hard driving a Group C car anyway. To do it through 2 lots of spray must be terrifying racing during the 2017 Silverstone Classic Historic Festival at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday 30 July 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

I hope you enjoyed a little taste of the 2017 Silverstone Classic. Please find a larger collection of photos from the event in Galleries or

 

 

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24 Hours of Le Mans 2017

24 Hours of Le Mans 2017

Original plans to cover the event had fallen through when Media/Photo accreditation was oversubscribed. I had settled my mind that I would try again in 2018, when a late night text on the Sunday before changed all that. I was offered a fantastic set of entry tickets by Mike at New channel Media  The next few hours were spent on ‘tinternet’ booking a slot on the train & trying to find accommodation…. I was going to take photos at the 24 hours of Le Mans 2017!!

Thursday – Qualifying 2 & 3…

Up at 4am, load the car & I’m on the road by 5am… I had an appointment with the 07:39 EuroTunnel train to Calais. Ahead of me is 6 hours of driving to put a tick in a ‘bucket list’ box! I have never been to Le Mans before & it really is a full on event. Starting way back here at EuroTunnel car park with cars everywhere decorated in 24HR stickers. I was driving down in convoy with some friends that I had found out were regular Le Mans visitors. We were soon flying down the motorway, only interrupted by the odd coffee stop & me having to run round the car at the ‘Payage’ machines!!

It felt in no time at all that I was peeling off the motorway to my B & B while they carried on to their campsite at the track. Being a last minute decision to go meant that the close by hotels were either full or extremely expensive. So I had been forced to book one some 40 mins drive away from the track. As the SatNav directed me down a gravel track I really wondered if I had made the right move or would I be sleeping in the car for 4 days? ……I needn’t have worried 🙂

My Chateaux Hotel for the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Friday 16 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

I checked-in, got me keys, lugged all the gear up to the top floor (that’s my room under the centre arch). Dropped everything there before grabbing all the camera kit & heading back down to the car. Another quick drive back to the circuit to get into CarPark Rouge in time to catch Qualfying 2 & 3 for the main event cars. It very quickly dawned on me the sheer size of the circuit & the walking involved.

I had researched the corners I wanted to shoot at, Tertre Rouge to The Porsche Curves & as much in-between. These 2 corners are close to 3 miles apart!!! Quali started at 20:00 & ran through to Midnight, it’s amazing what adrenalin can do when when you’ve been awake 20hrs!

Miroslav Konopka (BTS) / Konstantin Calkos (LAT) / Rik Breakers (NDL) driving the #49 ARC LMP2 Bratislava Oreca 07-Gibson during qualifying for the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Thursday 15 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Brake discs glowing on Patrice Lafargue (FRA) / Paul Lafargue (FRA) / David Zollinger (FRA) driving the #17 LMP2 IDEC Sport Racing Ligier JS P217-Gibson chase Richard Lietz (AUT) / Frederic Makowiecki (FRA) / Patrick Pilet (FRA) driving the #91 LMGTE Pro Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR during qualifying for the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Thursday 15 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

As soon as Qualifying was finished, it was another hike back to Car Park Rouge before I could head back to the Chateaux & download/back-up the memory cards. Then it was time for some much needed sleep.

Friday – Pit Walk…

3 hours later the alarm was going off! Order of the day was to get to the track for 09:00 when they opened the Pit Lane. Friday is traditional a day with no action on track as such. The Pit Lane is opened to spectators to buy tickets & come along to watch the mechanics preparing the cars for the next day’s big race. Everything is really relaxed & a great atmosphere even though the Pit lane is packed with spectators…many in fancy dress!!

Hundreds of race fans enjoying a Pit Lane walk of the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Friday 16 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

The attention to detail of the mechanics is fantastic to watch. The LMP1 & LMP2 type cars look incredible up close, dripping in Carbon Fibre everywhere

Nelson Panciatici (FRA) / Pierre Ragues (FRA) / Andre Negrao (BRA) driving the #35 LMP2 Signatech Alpine A470-Gibson during Rest Day & Pit Lane walk of the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Friday 16 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Later in the day there is the ceremonial Drivers Parade in Le Mans town centre. I decided to give it a miss as I wanted get back & get a start on some of the editing. Plus relax a little & get some sleep ahead of what would be a very long day tomorrow. From what I heard the atmosphere in town was great & so if I cover the event again I will be sure to add the Drivers parade to my shooting list. For now I had an appointment with some brie & a bottle of wine, which I even had to ask the man in the deli to open for me as he didn’t sell corkscrews…. that was fun trying to get him to understand as my French isn’t good :))

Evening dinner in my Chateaux Hotel for the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Friday 16 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Saturday into Sunday – Race Day…

Race Day dawned to another blazing hot 30+ degrees. All batteries & memory cards checked & double checked, I headed back to the Circuit de la Sarthe. There were to be 2 races ahead of the main race starting at 3pm. A large entry for the Porsche Carrera Cup included a lot of cars competing in the UK series. So I made my way down to Porsche Curves & their paddock assembly area.

Staying cool in the shade, Dino Zamparelli (GBR) driving the #908 JTR Porsche Carrera GT3 during the Porsche Carrera Cup race. Part of the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race weekend at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Helmet design for Florian LaTorre (FRA) driving the #10 Martinet By Almeras Porsche Carrera GT3 during the Porsche Carrera Cup race. Part of the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race weekend at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Heading out to track, Dino Zamparelli (GBR) driving the #908 JTR Porsche Carrera GT3 during the Porsche Carrera Cup race. Part of the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race weekend at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

3pm was very soon going to be upon us. You could feel the electric atmosphere building in the 350, 000 fans around the circuit. Part of my ticket package was a pass to the Grid Walk with all the cars ahead of the race. There were some real racing heroes out amongst the fans, Mark Webber was with the Porsche teams as was Jacky Ickx

Mark Webber & Timo Bernhard in the Pit Lane during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Jacky Ickx on the grid during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

But non more so than the young racing driver Billy Monger ‘Billy Whizz’, injured recently at Donnington Park…. what an absolute hero & a delight to meet & shake the hand of that young man!!

Billy Monger – ‘Billy Whizz’ on the grid during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

The time had come & the Safety Car lead the cars around the 8.7 mile circuit before they crossed the line to a deafening roar from the engines drowned out the almost equally deafening roar of the crowd. The 24 Hours of Le Mans 2017 was under way.

Safety Car leads the cars round to the start of the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Jacques Nicolet (FRA) / Pierre Nicolet (FRA) / Erik Maris (FRA) driving the #33 LMP2 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217-Gibson during the race of the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Nelson Piquet Jnr (BRA) Mathias Beche (CHE) / David Heinemeier Hansson (DNK) driving the #13 LMP2 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca 07-Gibson during the race of the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Throughout the race day I had been given a commission to capture the story & fun around the Fan Villages & many Campsites that make up so much of the Le Mans adventure for thousands of race fans. Here are a few photos from that collection & will feature in a Le Mans Review ebook available to download from iTunes.

Fantastic camping setups at Porsche Curves in the Fan Village during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Fans having a great time in the Fan Village during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Fans having a great time in the Fan Village during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Fantastic camping setups at Porsche Curves in the Fan Village during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Saturday 17 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Back on track the action was heading into the night. The adrenaline had kicked in again & I was covering the miles back & forth to Tertre Rouge & Porsche Curves. Every so often I would dive into the paddock behind the Pit Lane, in the hope of spotting some great shot of the Pit Crews in action.

Light trails through the Esses into Tertre Rouge during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday 18 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Jacques Nicolet (FRA) / Pierre Nicolet (FRA) / Erik Maris (FRA) driving the #33 LMP2 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217-Gibson Lollipop Man Pit Crew during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday 18 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Light trails at Ford Kink & Fairground viewed from grandstand Tribune 20 during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday 18 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

3am came & went, I had made it to halfway point but I was fading fast. I was determined to make it to see the dawn rise over the Pit Lane & it was worth the wait to see the colour change in the sky.

Dawn breaks over the Pit Lane during the race of the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday 18 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

After this I took the tripod back to the car & had to sleep, I was broken….. but I wasn’t the only one!

Tired race fan at Tertre Rouge during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday 18 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Jacques Nicolet (FRA) / Pierre Nicolet (FRA) / Erik Maris (FRA) driving the #33 LMP2 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217-Gibson Pit Crew catching a nap during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday 18 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Very tired Pit Crew taking a well earned break during the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday 18 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

A few more hours ticked by & soon the checkered flag was out & ready for the winning Porsche to cross the line.

Brendon Hartl (NZL) / Timo Bernhard (DEU) / Earl Bamber (NZL) / driving the #2 LMP1 Porsche LMP Team Porsche 919 Hybrid crossing the line & winning the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans race at Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday 18 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Trophy presentations & Champagne spraying on the podium for the Winners of the 2017 24 Hours Le Mans at Circuit de la Sarthe on Sunday 18 June 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

I can’t wait to go back in 2018….maybe even twice, as its Historic Le Mans too next year!!

For a larger collection of images from my 4 day shoot please visit Photo Galleries or

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Brands Hatch Historic Festival 2017

Brands Hatch Historic Festival 2017

I hadn’t been to Brands Hatch in years, so I was really looking forward to shooting at a new location for my Motorsport Photography. The Brands Hatch Historic Festival 2017 looked like it was going to be an exciting event to attend….& it didn’t disappoint!

The day dawned wet & when I say wet I mean WET!!!

The weather was forecast to improve…but when exactly? This left the Drivers & Pit Crews with a few tricky decisions to make. Go safe on Wets or gamble the track will dry out for Slicks!

Thankfully the rain clouds blew over, the sun broke through & in no time we were racing on a fabulously quick dry track.

This was a round of The Masters Historic F1 Championship & some awesome machinery from yesteryear was out in force.

There was some great racing from these drivers before they gave way to other equally impressive cars.

A larger collection of photos from the day can be seen in

 

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Goodwood Members Meeting 2017 – 75MM

Goodwood Members Meeting 2017 – 75MM

The Goodwood Members Meeting 2017 – 75MM is another fantastic event in the Historic Motorsport calendar. This fantastic 3 day event shares a lot with Goodwood Revival & the Silverstone Classic. Absolutely flat out wheel-to-wheel racing on the track with hundreds of rare and priceless cars, from historic yesteryear of motorsport.

Goodwood Members Meeting 2017, motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photograph

Nick Perkins in the Maserati 6CM passing John Guyatt in his Talbot-Lago T150C

What sets it apart from Revival is that it is for Members of Goodwood Road Racing Club. A limited number of tickets sales are made available to the spectating public. Making it much less crowded that Revival. It still manages to create a fantastic atmosphere though. Full access to the paddock is given, where you can walk amongst these quite lovely machines. Chat to their proud owners & equally proud mechanics, as they finish last preparations before they go off on track.

BMW 635 CSi at Goodwood Members Meeting 2017, motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photograph

…just in case you forget where any of the bits go!!

My favourites were these incurable cars in the S.F. Edge Trophy from around 100 years ago, the oldest being from 1903!! I found myself drawn to the styling of the bodywork & the exposed mechanics of the engines. I was amazed by the engineering of these Edwardian racing cars, married with very basic wicker patio seats & no belts at 100mph… No Thank you!!!

Fiat S76 & Austin Hall-Scott at Goodwood Members Meeting 2017, motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photograph

The mighty 28ltr Fiat S76 just edges ahead of the Austin Hall-Scott, both built in 1911

Goodwood Members Meeting 2017, motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photograph

Darling…have you seen the wicker patio chairs?!!

1907 More Le Sanglier at Members Meeting 2017, motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photograph

The impressive ‘Saracens Helmet’ looking front grille of the 1907 More Le Sanglier

Away from the race track…

Take a short break from the motorsport & there is still plenty to see. September’s Revival Hydrangeas had been replaced by walls of majestic golden Daffodils. In the Member’s Market, live music provided the backing track to the smokey air in the barn from all kinds of delicious hot food stalls. I for one can vouch for the steak sandwiches…. & I might have tried a bit from the Hog Roast later too!! Dotted around the beer stands were fire pits burning away creating some much welcome warmth from the wind.

Members Market at Goodwood Members Meeting 2017, motorsport photography by Ian Skelton Photograph

Fantastic live music & cooked food in the Members Market

This is my 2nd visit to Goodwood & I can honestly say I can’t wait to go back. It creates a totally unique atmosphere around motorsport I’ve never experienced anywhere else.

I hope you enjoy looking through this collection of some of my favourite photos from this very special event.

Please enjoy a large collection of photos from the event in Galleries

 

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Silverstone Classic Media Day

Silverstone Classic Media Day, 2017

A lot of the drivers bring their cars along to Silverstone Classic Media Day as a Test Session. A chance to practice & fine tune their set ups for the big event in July. Some celebrity drivers take the opportunity to come along to talk to the Media & for photo calls to promote the races. Sometimes it can be the only time they get to drive the car before the event proper later this year.

Even though there is a very much relaxed atmosphere throughout the garages. Don’t be thinking these cars are here for an afternoon drive around this world famous track. Some were trying very hard…maybe a little too hard at times!!

 

A whole range of Historic & Classic cars with decades of motorsport history behind them take to the track through the day.

Beautiful old classic cars I had seen the week before at Goodwood Members Meeting. The incredibly fast open wheel racers of the 1960s Brabhams. Right up to the fairly modern cars of BTCC & the awesome Group C Le Mans Prototypes all took their turn to exit the Pit Lane.

The noise & smell of these fantastic machines just get you looking at the calendar to count the weeks until we can enjoy 3 whole days of action!!!

Please enjoy a larger collection of photos from the event in

 

 

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2016 Goodwood Revival weekend

Why is Goodwood Revival Weekend so special?

The 2016 Goodwood Revival weekend is a one off when it comes to motorsport. This fantastic event shares a lot with the Silverstone Classic. Flat out wheel-to-wheel racing on the track with hundreds of rare and priceless cars, from historic yesteryear of motorsport. In addition there are also vintage aircraft on display both on the ground & exciting flying displays.

What really sets it apart though, is the period dress worn by the vast majority of the spectating crowds. Ladies in their furs and frocks, gentlemen in their tweeds and trilbies all help to create the uniquely stylish atmosphere that sets the Revival apart from all other motor racing events. It is quite simply a photographer’s dream both on & off the track….

Saturday…

I was awake & on the road before dawn making my way to Goodwood Circuit, the sky looked like a great sunrise was on offer. Sadly as I drove on hoping to find a pretty scene to use, the promised rain clouds rolled in & blocked any hope of a photo…..Ah well can’t capture every photo I see! Car parked, I grabbed my gear & headed off to media accreditation. Even though I was deputising for Diego as he couldn’t make it, Gema & her team had everything ready for me. A ‘modern’ PRESS wristband was clipped on & my period brown card ‘tie-on luggage tag’ PRESS PASS tied to my upper arm, I was ready for action!

My Kit…

On jobs like this where I need to move around a lot, I use a belt kit systems round my waist. This has pouches for extra lenses, spare batteries & memory cards etc. On each shoulder will be a Nikon Pro body camera, one with wide lens, the other with a zoom. I also sling a big long reaching lens over my left shoulder…all in all, over 15kg (35lbs in old money) of kit. My weather app forecast was 95% certain of rain, so I had wedged an umbrella through my kit belt. Now I had been given my media pack of programme, race timetable & other goodies to add to my load. I headed out onto trackside looking like something out of Rambo!! I took 1 photo & promptly nearly dropped a camera off a shoulder. Nothing else for it, I had to go back to the car to unload some of this kit before it became a very expensive trip.

I was back trackside for barely a few minutes before those rain clouds started to deliver their load. A bit of rain didn’t stop the action on the track though. It didn’t stop us photographers much either…. even if my umbrella was one of the things returned to the car!!

Goodwood Revival 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

Goodwood Revival 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

Wonder what the collective noun is for a group of soaked motorsport photographers??

Goodwood Revival 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

It rained & it rained. By the time The St Mary’s Trophy race for celebrity drivers in identical Austin A30 & A35 saloons arrived. The umbrellas were out in force in the paddock.

Goodwood Revival 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography, David Coulthard

But still it rained….& harder too. The cameras were taking a beating even with their excellent Nikon weather sealing they were starting to fog up. Time to retreat to the media tent for one last coffee & dry the gear yet again before calling it a day.

Sunday…

My dawn broke over a Spitfire…doesn’t that happen to everybody?

Goodwood Revival isn’t just about cars & costumes, it’s also about the aviation of the period too. Goodwood was also a squadron base in the Battle of Britain. Then called RAF Westhampnett it was home to Spitfires, Hurricanes & Mustangs. So it was great to see the collection of old aircraft on the ground & the spectacular flying displays.

Goodwood Revival 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

…Fangio..

As promised the rain had gone, replaced by hot sun & fabulous blue sky. With is came a whole new array of costumes around the circuit. Everybody was now in full swing & really enjoying their Goodwood Revival weekend to the full. It was wayyyyyyy too hot for me to be wearing my tweed jacket, I was melting…. but wearing it seemed a good way of drying it out!!

Goodwood Revival 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

The cars were now handling much better on the dry tarmac & were being pushed to the limits. I find it absolutely amazing that the drivers of these old & often incredibly valuable cars, hold nothing back on the track.

Goodwood Revival 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

…least I think it is !!!

Goodwood Revival weekend isn’t just about the on track activities & the period costumes. Or the fantastic aviation on display (this is beginning to sound a bit like “What have the Romans ever done for us?”)….its also about the kiddies! The Settrington Cup is a race for children in their vintage Austin J40 Pedal Cars. Trust me the competition is just as fierce & determined as the full sized race cars have been.

Goodwood Revival 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

First to the cars

Goodwood Revival 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

If all this track action going on wasn’t enough, Goodwood Revival is visited by some true Legends of the sport.

Goodwood Revival 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

My Goodwood Revival weekend ended tired & achey, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it… Well almost every minute, I could have done without some of Saturday. My elbow pads were still damp!! It was my first time to Goodwood Revival & I will state now it is certainly not be my last! Even Mrs S has said she wants to go as it looks so much fun!

Please enjoy a large collection of photos from the event in

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2016 Silverstone Classic weekend

Cast your mind back to My Blog post from April 25th & the impromptu Go Kart photo shoot… The chance meeting with Mark Priddy from Spindrift Media. Wind the clock forwards again to a few weeks ago when an email lands in my inbox from Mark. “Would you be interested in covering a photo assignment for me?” This turned into a fantastic time at The 2016 Silverstone Classic weekend attached to Masters Historic Formula 1 driver, Nick Padmore.

Friday, Day 1… Qualifying

I was on the road to Silverstone Circuit for gates open at 7:30am. In the garages the mechanics from WDK Motorsport prepared Nick’s Williams FW07C Formula 1 car for the Qualifying Session later that afternoon. Coming from a rallying background, I was already very aware of the amount work that goes into motorsport & preparing a car. It was still amazing to watch the technicians at work & their attention to detail.

Silverstone Classic 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

Everything is ready….

We have all watched F1 on TV and the NASA like technology that goes into a modern race car. This ex Carlos Reutemann car from 1980’s doesn’t have all those computer systems & traction controls. It’s not until you are up close to these cars that you realise that this is very much 4 wheels, a very powerful engine with a very talented driver strapped to the front of it…. The rest is down to him!

Silverstone Classic 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

The noise from the other side of the Pit Lane told me Qualifying in the other races had started. I left the mechanics to it & went off to find a good vantage point. Silverstone is a great place to take photos of lovely old cars being driven hard, as they were designed to be. Time flew by & it wasn’t long before it was the turn of the Historic F1 cars to take to the track. If I thought the noise of the first part of the day was loud, these F1 cars make a seriously impressive sound. Nick Padmore was very quickly on the pace & visibly quicker than most of the field. Qualifying over & Nick had done his job, Pole Position for Race Day.

Silverstone Classic 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

Job Done!!

Saturday, Day 2… Race Day 1

I was really looking forward to today’s 12 hours of racing. A huge array of cars from Pre 1961 sports cars to Nick in the Historic F1 race. Finishing with the dramatic fire spitting LeMans style Group C cars race in the evening sunset. At 9am on the dot the first cars screamed off the start line & it was non stop from there on. I worked my way round most of the circuit during the day. ‘The Loop’ for the Masters Historic F1 race.

Silverstone Classic 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

Silverstone Classic 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

To Brooklands & Luffield for the fantastic Group C cars.

Silverstone Classic 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

Sunday, Day 3… Race Day 2

Today I planned to look more at the people rather than the racing so much. With wildlife if you chase the deer around the park for your images…you’ll get fit but not much else. Better to find a nice spot, sit quietly & let the animals get used to you & relax, you will get wonderful photos. I apply this thinking to a lot of my photography, to just quietly watch & let the moments of magic unfold in front of me.

Silverstone Classic 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

Focused…

Silverstone Classic 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

Start them young & they’ll be a fan for life.

Silverstone Classic 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

Can you see it…..?

Silverstone Classic 2016, Ian Skelton Motorsport Photography

Gissa a thumbs up….

I think I found images that tell some of the story of The Silverstone Classic. Please enjoy a larger collection of photos from the event in

 

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