Two weeks ago, I had the chance to shoot and edit a video for a Porsche team at an American Le Mans Series race (ALMS). I’ll admit, when I got the call, I wasn’t sure exactly what went down at these races. What would the vibe be like? How intense are the media regulations? Who was The Racer’s Group?
When we arrived at Road America – just outside Elk Hart Lake, Wisconsin – on a qualifying day, I saw firsthand the amount of team work, technology, focus and resources that went into a race like this. I had no idea! They had engineers on site, top tier mechanics, 100% accurate pit crews… They had the car examined and tested every chance they could get. Once out of the car, the driver goes over corner-by-corner analysis of the track, vehicle/driver characteristics and stats with a team member. They have amazing food for the drivers to stay at their best, and multiple haulers and trailers for the team to rest and stay prepped in the heat.
Getting out to the track and finally seeing the cars fly by was out of this world. The Porsches I shot for The Racer’s Group were sharing the track with the GTC3 cars and the prototypes! These guys are passing and sliding around the track at an unbelievable speed.
I knew the track would be long… So I rented a Canon 400mm f2.8 and a 2x extender from Borrowlenses.com and had it shipped overnight to the hotel where we stayed. With that, my entire Canon L series line up and 5DMK2/T3i combo, I knew I was ready!
I did my best to use a variety of lenses, with different focal lengths and f-stops. I shot from high and low, from around corners and through fences. I basically walked the track with my friend James Kirkham and shopped for the shots we liked, pushing the bounds of the media limits (and security guards). I got to record radio chatter from the pits, and hang out with the crew behind the scenes. All making for a cool video…
I hope I get to see a few more stops with “The Racers Group” and spend some more time around the team, and in that environment. I’d love to do a funny skit with one of the drivers for MotorMavens! They are all so cool; I know they would be down for some of our shenanigans!
:: Ryan Davis