Long Beach Grand Prix

I have lived in California for 4 years, and I live a stone throw away from down town Long Beach and not once did I ever try to shoot the Long Beach Grand Prix. However, I got this feeling, a yearning almost, for a fix. I have been longing to shoot a circuit event. My last event was Dover over 3 years ago… yes for those who know me they know that that was killing me. So, I decided to pick my camera up, dust it off and shoot this event not knowing anything about the event like the driver or even what cars raced there.

 

Long Beach Grand Prix

I ended up doing the last day of the even, the Sunday. Here I am at 6 am at a hotel in downtown Long Beach, collecting my credentials for the Grand Prix to then head over to the Long Beach Convention Center for a mandatory media meeting. Surrounded by people I consider Professional photographers based on the equipment they have as well as the people they know I was nervous out of my mind. Thinking to myself that they will probably laugh the equipment I had.

Long Beach Grand Prix

Meeting ended, I got my vest and media number and headed out to see the cars warm up. By this time, I got the jist the cars were Grand prix cars and that they were a part of the Verizon Indy Car Series. I walked the entire track about three times, bear in mind the track is only around 2 miles long, trying to find a spot where the photographers did not vulture around.

Long Beach Grand Prix

After the indy cars were done practicing it was time for the Pirelli World Challenge. “WTH is a Pirelli world challenge?” I asked myself. I quickly grabbed my phone and did some research when I nearly lost my mind. The Pirelli Challenge consists of GT3 cars, yes GT3 cars; Ferraris, Lambos, Aston Martins, NSXs and more. They came out for their warm up laps and made me even more nervous and intimidated.

Long Beach Grand Prix

The Grand Prix had begun and I started taking some pics, thought to myself ok not so bad. That’s when I saw one of the photographer’s panning shot and I was like, I am out of my league here. Being the person I am, I started panning too. GARBAGE the first few shots as I was so rusty. But then I saw one picture I had captured and all nervousness left me and I was filled with the confidence I used to have.

Long Beach Grand Prix

Now I cant tell you who won any of the races and I cant even tell you who the drivers were, but I can say the event made me remember why I love doing this; is it the smell of the race gas, the sounds of the engines? No it is the satisfaction of knowing that the people I shoot for,YOU, will enjoy seeing the images and get a feel of what I experienced.

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