Updated: Jul 15, 2020
We are finally back racing! It's been a very long 5 (ish) months without car racing. It's been a wonderful time to be at home, but I desperately missed racing. Not just because it's my livelihood and a major part of my annual income, but because I genuinely love it.
IMSA allowed a handful of photographers who have worked for the major series' manufacturers to attend the July 4 IMSA Weathertech 240 race at Daytona. Thankfully I was able to attend on Lamborghini's behalf.
So what was it like working a race during a pandemic? It was different. That's for sure. At the beginning of 2020, I would NEVER have guessed I would be visiting Daytona four times. No matter which way you shake it, working outside, in Florida, in July, is never going to be a walk in the park.
On a normal race weekend, I bust my ass running from garage to garage, all over the paddock, from one end of pit-lane to the other, and to all the spots that I can humanly reach trackside to give my clients the widest and best coverage I can possibly make for them. With strict protocols in place, that normal hustle wasn't an option. We had one hour of paddock access, (but only to shoot through the plexi-glass walls on the back of the garages), one hour of pit-lane access, and we were asked to stay on the "hot" side of pit-lane, but never cross to the team/mechanics side of the wall. We couldn't shoot from the main grandstands but the entire infield section was ours to play with.
Overall, the restrictions were ok, and it made for a slightly less intense weekend of work than normal. We all made the most of our opportunity to be there. Even the Dodge Caravan GT minivan media center wasn't terrible. Comfortable enough, bottled water, air conditioning and music. More than I can say for some media centers. It isn't how I want to work for the rest of my career, but I'll live with it for now.
When it was all said and done, I walked away from the weekend truly grateful to be back at it, even though I had lost many many pounds from working in the oppressive Florida heat and sun. It was truly amazing to see and hear race cars turning wheels in anger again.
Here are a few of my favorite images from the IMSA Weathertech 240! Endless thanks to Chris Ward, Lamborghini Squadra Corse, Nate, David, John, Jennifer and the ENTIRE IMSA team for getting us back to work! ON TO SEBRING!!!!
*CLICK AN IMAGE TO SEE IT LARGER*