Sun, trees, tarmac, rocks, undulating terrain – add in the whiff of high octane fumes and the shrill sounds of a highly blown in-line 6 engine and you might be able to get close to picturing Gatebil.
Previously I had shown you what the human element of Gatebil was like, this time I want to show you the real reason people make this pilgrimage from all over the Globe to just south of Oslo Rygge. It’s for the cars, they are the stars of the show, exploiting every inch of real estate on track, pulverising tyres into carcinogenic smoke which washes lawlessly across the elevation changes in the Rudskogen Motorsenter.
To the uninitiated the internet hype and videos from Gatebil fill you with you both excitement and frustration, yet again you missed another event but you have just begun planning your trip across Europe for the next event. Well for the last few years I was in that camp, I was the uninitiated. That was until July this year when I made the trip with fellow photographer Bill. Both Gatebil virgins, both had had enough of watching videos and hearing stories, it was our time to go and see what the fuss was about. Writing these posts makes me feel reflective, I felt like I didn’t get what I wanted out of Gatebil, I felt like I failed in my duties as a photographer to effectively convey they emotions and atmosphere of the event, But a few months down the line, looking back through what I captured, I did ok, I did captured enough to spark memories and emotion looking through these photos, to me as a pretolhead, this is what I get excited about. The test will be, whether you like them. Here are my favourites from the track action. Enjoy.
Now if you cast your mind back, you may remember that I have previously encountered Time Attack whilst I was at TRAX. Well from that point onwards I wanted to see a little bit more about it. You see I didn’t know much about the sport itself, in fact I had barely heard of it. All I know is it involved bat shit crazy cars. And I then found out I could see them again at Brands Hatch in November. Only this time, it would be in the run during the night. Cool huh!? I have shot cars many times before but never at night! A new challenge presents itself!
I was doubly excited about attending this event. Brands Hatch used to be one of the tracks that I attended when I was a child with my Dad, so there was the nostalgic side to it as well as the excitement of shooting a night race.
The cars had been running throughout the day to finish off the Time Attack Championship but once that was wrapped up and the sun started setting it was time to go see the beasts stirring in the pits. This was great, these were proper race cars. Not your average drift car here, some of the engine bays were lined with gold!
Some how, during the night, the cars sounded even louder! I am not sure if this was due to the cooler air allowing the engines to breather more efficiently or whether having your eyesight hindered made your ears more sensitive.
Standing on the inside of druids was pretty awesome too! The cars were hard on the brakes on entry and groping for the apex, hard on the power out! It was pitch black and hard to focus on, well anything at all to be honest. A lot of other photographers were struggling too resorting to using their flashes (silly them)…
…although a bit of flash panning was good fun. Notice how the background is blurry and the car is static? That is due to the flash lasting for just 1/3200th of a second which will illuminate and therefore freeze the car whilst the slow shutter speed is sucking all the ambient light where the flash can’t reach. Strange isn’t it.
Anyway I hope you enjoyed something new from. There is a much longer blog post up on Fueltopia who is the media team I shoot for.