It's 7am. The photographers, are all gathered around the photo trailer at Sebring for the morning photographer's safety briefing before the race. Behind us, the sun is rising giving the paddock a warm orange glow. We adjourn from the meeting and head to our spots trackside for morning warmup. The fans have cracked the first beers of a very long day. The brats and sausages are on the grill for breakfast, and you can smell it at every corner at Sebring. The campfire smoke hangs low as cars start rolling out for the session. There is so much energy in the air you can feel it. THIS. This is the atmosphere of a race track that I LOVE.
In our alternate universe we currently live in, Sebring was a very different place this past weekend. There were a few fans, but far from the normal masses that gather in this small central Florida farming town for an IMSA race weekend. Instead, there were a handful here and a handful there. Still no access to the paddock for anyone except the race teams, and the photographers like myself were given a one hour limited session in pitlane. Like I said last week, it's better than nothing. So I'm grateful.
Sebring felt empty. Hollow. It was missing that electricity that normally gives it such an incredible atmosphere. Even without the fans, I still enjoyed shooting the 2 hour 40 minute IMSA sprint race this past weekend. It was mostly grey, until about 35 minutes to go, the sky absolutely lit up with one of the better sunsets I've shot recently. Shooting backlit against the sun, with my buddy Camden next to me. Race cars on track and my camera in hand, the sun setting in front of us....All was right in the world for those brief moments.
Off to Wisconsin (TWICE) over the next few weeks!
THANK YOU to Nate, Jennifer, John, David, Chris, Craig, Lamborghini, Kelly, Wright Motorsport, Magnus Racing, DragonSpeed, Henrik, everyone at IMSA and Sebring Intl Raceway for allowing us to be back working and doing what we love, and need to support our families.