British GT qualifying is winding down on Saturday evening and the sun is sinking low in the western sky which is directly behind me. I’m standing at the bottom of the Melbourne hairpin at Donington Park near Nottingham where I am photographing the GT cars as they come cresting over the hill several hundred yards in front of me. This particular photo location is best known for the images photographers make of the car cresting the hill with a large airplane taking off from East Midlands Airport which lies not far down the road. The runway and flight path directly line up with the race track making for a spectacular photo. But tonight, the object sitting low in the sky is the moon.
It is stunning. The weather is clear, not a cloud in the sky and the temperatures are warm (compared to what they had been earlier in the day). These are the kind of moments that make you fall in love with car racing. The autumn British sunset gave us beautiful golden colors to play with, and now we have this incredible moon rise. After shooting for several minutes, to the point that the moon was too high in the sky and no longer low enough to make a dramatic image with the cars in frame, I wandered farther up the track and noticed the British GT cars were lighting up their front brakes as they came flying over the top of the hill and barreling down toward the hairpin to my left. The cars are on the limit as qualifying comes to a close, but I could sit there forever, listening to the cars, watching the brake discs glow bright orange at unfathomable temperatures and the Ginettas are blowing fire out of the rear exhaust under braking. This is my slice of heaven.
The 2 hour race goes off the next day. With the championship on the line, the race is incredibly close in points. But in the end, the #11 Porsche takes the overall title after late race drama much in the same way that the FIA GT title was decided, in the steward’s room. But such is racing! No time to enjoy the celebrations though….the British F3 race is about to go off, and it too has a championship on the line.