Tucked away in the rolling hills and corn and soybean farmland of Ohio sits the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. A rolling, sweeping. twisting, turning 2.4 mile track that was the center of attention this past weekend for the American Le Mans series and the Indycar circus.
It was my first adventure into the world of ALMS and Indycar as well as my first time to Mid Ohio. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by all three and what they gave me. The racing was great, I enjoyed the different noises coming from the back of the different cars and made some images I am genuinely proud of.
The weather was stunning all weekend, until Saturday prior to the start of the ALMS race when a threat of rain had me scampering to find a trash bag and make a ghetto looking lens cover with the bag and my belt (I admit, I was not prepared for the weather).
The Mid Ohio Sports Car Challenge kicked off at 330p under sunny skies and hot, humid temperatures with the Lola B09 Mazda powered P1 category car leading the field from a well earned pole position. Half way through the race, hoping the weather had passed us by and I had dodged a bullet, I took the make shift trash bag off my camera and continued about my business. Then the clouds rolled in. Then shortly after, the heavens opened a bit and rain put a nice sheen on the track to make conditions treacherous for drivers but interesting for the photographers. I wasn’t too bothered yet because I had put the trash bag back on the lens and went along happily shooting the action. Not 10 minutes later, while I was shooting cars cresting the hill at turn 5, the rain came down harder with each passing second until the cars were literally unable to stay on the circuit even with wet weather tires. There was not a dry fan, photographer or marshal to be found on the property. It was miserable but made for interesting photos.
Despite the race not being able to run to the end, it was a fabulous weekend which I enjoyed thoroughly and I look forward to covering many more ALMS races.
Special thanks to Chris Clark and the other photographers I pestered asking advice about how to shoot this track all weekend. Also many thanks to ALMS, IMSA, Mid Ohio, Indycar for putting on a spectacular show and of course Sam Tickell.