Sunday, July 27, 2014

Formula 1 Excitement- F1 Videos

Starting Grid  -  Niki Lauda with chief Ferrari  mechanic Ermanno Coughi
Christmas in July, middle of the year, school's out and it is hot outside here in sunny Florida. I thought I would use this blog to tell you about the photo book project I'm working on that features pictures from the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in 1976.  These two photos are part of my collection that will appear in the book.  This sneak peak is my Christmas in July to you. 

The atmosphere at the 1976 race at Watkins Glen was especially tense as the world championship for the season was very much at stake with only two races to go. Fighting to keep the lead with his 8 point advantage, Niki Lauda, who was nearly killed at  Nurburgring barely two months before was still in pain and would have to battle 'King' James Hunt, the phenom party boy from Great Britton. I remember the attention these two drivers got from the photographers and it is a miracle I was able to get a glimpse of  them long enough to  snap the shots I did that you will see in the book.

To put the reader in a frame of mind to appreciate the intensity of this business I've attached a series of excellent of videos below. They touch upon the excitement of watching a Formula 1 race,  examining the level of skill and toughness it takes to drive one of these machines, and the danger drivers face every time they perform.  Watching a F1 race is a rare experience because you are seeing the most advanced technology on the planet in the hands of the best drivers in the world who are getting their cars to do things no ordinary person could ever imagine.

The photographs I have waiting for assembly in the book are more than pictures of cars at a race, they are snapshots of emotions caught on film in the split second. I wanted to capture the excitement of the crowd, along with  the drama, worry and even fear in the driver's minds as they performed for the fans. 

Watkins Glen Grand Prix, October 10, 1976, as portrayed by my photographs was equivalent to spending a day at the Coliseum in Rome in biblical times.  Intense emotions, electricity in the air, the crowd in mood to see a good fight.  Only this day there was the added smell of hi octane petrol,  the roar of engines and King James Hunt ready to beat the unstoppable Niki Lauda.   The fight  before me was only yards away and it was going to start in a matter of minutes.  I had my camera poised and ready-  checking the settings, the focus, looking for the best angle to capture the best drivers in the world.  Would I be able to do it?   It was like a religious experience seeing these brilliantly dressed gladiators in their finest gear to protect them, gloves pulled tight, helmets in place and visors ready to lower before the drop of the green flag only moments away. I was ready!

I remember today, 38 years later how difficult it was to take the shots you will see in the book with limited access to the best viewing angles (no press pass for me) using a basic 35mm SLR film camera with a hand held 400mm lens.  Although not perfect, I am very happy with the images because I believe I have the essence of what I was after- a record in pictures of what the feelings and emotions were at that moment.

But first, in order to appreciate what this book is portraying, I hope you will look at these videos to get you warmed up for the photo book that will be available soon.   Thanks for following me  along to another world.....

Ronnie Peterson in prayer before the US Grand Prix- sadly dies in a crash at Monza a few years later

Racing is in my blood- Ayrton Senna

How fit are you to drive a F1 car?

Martin Brundle test drives a Ferrari

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Visit Florida VS I Love NY

After returning from  the 6 Hours of the Glen race I was looking through my pictures and spotted a curious play on marketing campaigns from two big states captured in one image.  The winning Prototype ''  Corvette and the decades old slogan ' I love NY'.  I thought - now that's a great shot and I have shared that with some of my Pinellas Park, FL  Chamber of Commerce fellow board members as a fun play on the dueling states.  I tell the true story- I loved NY but after visiting Florida, I moved here'!    I'm not going back any time soon.  Something to do with taxes and weather.

   So when I opened the Tampa Bay Times newspaper yesterday and saw the attached I laughed - Florida's CFO and New York's Governor going at it over what state has the most friendly business climate.  Who wins?     I vote for Florida, but now that I live here I have a million dollar idea-  I propose New York sponsors a Prototype Corvette and enter the IMSA/ Tudor United Sports Car series and race the Spirit of Daytona race team's very quick Visit car for real bragging rights!  We can have some fun with this political argument.   What state would you vote for?

To see full story click on:

Florida or New York For Best Business Climate - I Mean Fastest Prototype Car


Sunday, July 20, 2014

du Pont Registry Cars & Coffee July 19th

Car Show or Art Show?  Most people go to a car show to see the cars but if you look a little closer, you will certainly find art. I've always said some cars are like a piece of art-  and I'm sure you have said something similar if you have any interest in cars at all.   Below are some examples of finding art at a car show.  Use your imagination and see what I mean see when you look at these beautiful machines from a different perspective.  I even included the race boat, the Instigator to illustrate the point.   What breathtaking craftsmanship and engineering.   Enjoy!

Ford GT  - Engineering Masterpiece

Even the Tubing is Perfect

A Beautiful Figure

Simple Elegance

That Should Be in The China Cabinet

Swooping Lines

Everybody's Favorite Fins

Definition of a Classic

My Favorite Jelly Bean

Built for Speed



Simple, Straight Lines and Beautiful

Every Ferrari is a Piece of Art

Elegant Luggage Compartment
The Instigator

Graceful Lines Designed to Go Fast


Monday, July 14, 2014

VanBortel Chevy Car Show Part of New York Trip

Here's a few pictures from the Saturday, July 5th car show at Van Bortel Chevrolet car show featuring the Rochester, NY Corvette Car Club.  I was fortunate enough to be in NY to attend the 6 Hours of the Glen the weekend before.  The following weekend I  ran into an old high school friend, Richard Dierks with his '64 Dodge Polara convertible, along with some excellent examples of Corvettes, etc.       I also got to say hello to my friends Kitty and George Van Bortel and mom Pat, whom I have not seen in years.  Sorry I missed Howard Jr. who was not there.   Great show.

Van Bortel Chevrolet Car Show, Macedon, NY

1964 Dodge Polara

Sum Ride

Extremely Rare 1924 Ford Racer

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sahlen's 6 Hours of the Glen Photo Gallery

It was a picture perfect day:  Enjoy the pictures from Watkins Glen, NY race June 29,2014.  But first two videos to warm up with.  Click the links below

Introduction To The Glen Video

Core Autosport - Prototype Challenge Leader

                                      Pre race Activity included skydivers from the US Army

Getting A Good View of The Track

Enjoy the gallery:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Watkins Glen Picture Preview

After a week of being on the road, I've made it back to Florida.  Here's one sample of the images I took at Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen. Sunday, June 29th. It was a picture perfect day!  Many more pictures will be posted this weekend.  If you get a chance, check out this world class event and put it on your vacation schedule for 2015!  As a bonus photo opportunity, I got attend the VanBortel Chevrolet car show held in Macedon, NY on July 5th featuring the Rochester, NY Corvette Club.  Some of those photos will find their way into this blog soon.  It was a real homecoming as I lived 100 yards away from what was then McLouth Chevrolet  when I was growing up.  You will see from the pictures what it is like to live out in the country on two levels- from the track at Watkins Glen to a hometown Chevy dealership! 

First- A little fun with  Then:
October 10,1976 US Grand Prix Heading into Turn 11


                       And Now:
 The Six Hours of the Glen June 29,2014 Heading into Turn 11

After 38 years the racing line is the same! Math and Physics are a constant my physics teacher used to say. How true.

There are several pictures of your favorite cars and drivers coming in the next week to

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Watkins Glen 10

Sahlen's Six Hours Of The Glen was a 'ten' all around fan experience. The track is an iconic representation of American sports car racing going back to it's earliest days and the spirits of racing's legends can still be felt as you walk the track. What Le Mans is to Europe, the circuit at Watkins Glen, NY is to the Americas.
This is a special place, a world class venue that is a must see, or more accurately put,  must experience if you have any interest in racing.  And for those that don't care so much for the racing it is an absolutely beautiful, pastoral setting to stay for the weekend in your RV or even a tent.  If you go you will want to come back again as this track has got it all. The upgrades made over the years have transformed Watkins Glen International into one of the best road courses in the world.  To me it was hard to believe how much has been done make this place a Ten all the way around from fan experience to driver experience.

I will have the pictures to go with this written description when I return from traveling. I know you will enjoy them!    For now a quick summary of the winners.  

Spirit of Daytona #90

Core Autosport #54

Corvette Racing#3

BMW Turner Motorsports #94

Look for the pictures next post.