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Japfest 2015

Japfest 2015

Japfest is always one of my favourite meets of the year. It’s been going for over 10 years now, always has a fantastic turn out and it helps that its at my local circuit. Here are a few photos of the on track action and some of the gems hidden away on the club stands. _MG_5698 _MG_5689 _MG_5663 _MG_5555 _MG_5545 _MG_5531 _MG_5466 _MG_5301 _MG_5288 _MG_5274 _MG_5252 _MG_5221 _MG_5146 _MG_5068 _MG_5057 _MG_4999 _MG_4982 _MG_4951 _78A8807 _78A8691 _78A8522 _78A8502 _78A8462 _78A8371 _78A8340 _78A8304
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Gymkhana Grid 2013 @ Silverstone

Gymkhana Grid 2013 @ Silverstone

Today’s post is Photo of the Week mixed with some of my favourite images from last weekends Gymkhana Grid at Silverstone.

I’ll start off with this shot of Baggsy putting on a smoke show for the crowds on Sunday. I was able to get this angle because I was sat in Brett Castle’s Team Japspeed Lexus drift car but it’s about the only shot I was able to get whilst being thrown around the arena! After seeing and hearing the amount of gravel and chunks of rubber being thrown off Baggsy’s rear wheels, it’s no wonder you see so many drift cars with cracked windscreens.
 
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It’s not all tyre smoke and noise at Monster Energy events. The Monster Energy Girls are always on hand for a touch of glamour. This image was shot into the sun, with a boat load of positive exposure compensation to stop the girls being silhouetted against the bright sky. A lot of photos were taken of these four and I wanted something that wasn’t just another shot lit with on-camera fill flash.
 
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This is my friend Jake on one of his practice runs. Normally when shooting motorsport I’ll be in Shutter Priority mode to capture some motion, but I’d noticed the smoke cascading off the front wheels of the Fast Japs AWD Subaru van and quickly switched to Aperture Priority to freeze the motion.
 
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Luke Fink came over from Australia to drive for Low Brain Drifters and win the event by a mile. It’s just a pity a photograph can’t capture the earth-shaking noise this NASCAR-engined beast made! I was back in Shutter Priority for this one.
 
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Luke was quite pleased with his Baggsy-shaped trophy too! Lots of exposure compensation dialed in again for this one as I was shooting into the sun. I really like the moment here, great expressions, the trophy in clear view and Buttsy Butler lurking mischievously in the background ready to shake up a can of Monster!
 
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This is the ever shy and retiring Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni show boating while his ex-Japspeed teammate Paul “Smokey” Smith donuts around him. Shutter Priority again at a fairly slow shutter speed, braced against the arena concrete barrier to catch the movement of Paul’s car but still keep everything else sharp.
 
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I think the expression on the face of Buttsy’s passenger makes this one. Slightly worried that his driver is half out of the car, driving around the arena waving at the crowd!
 
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It’s as if the trophies for Gymkhana Grid were designed to be impossible to photograph. They are so highly polished that whatever is behind you is reflected, be it crowd barriers or a swathe of photographers in hi-vis vests. I’d had this idea in mind for most of the day and when I noticed the 1st place trophy at just the right angle on Luke’s wining car I made my move. After a bit (ok, quite a lot!) of explaining, the Monster Energy Girls were happy to line up and smile at my reflection in a shiny piece of metal!
 
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And finally, a photo that had very little to do with me. This is Baggsy again, shot by my GoPro attached to the back of Buttsy Buttler‘s car. I put my Hero3 into time lapse mode and set it to take a shot every half second. Dotted between the 4000 images of smoke, wall and the crowd were a few gems.
 
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Gymkhana Grid Finals 2012

Gymkhana Grid Finals 2012

A couple of weekends ago, Ken Block’s Gymkhana Grid finals landed at Santa Pod. Winners form the four previous rounds in France, Germany, Holland and the UK came together to go head to head in a battle to face off against Vaughn Gittin Jr or Ken “This is my sport” Block.

I was lucky enough to be there trackside – Here’s a flavour of the hooniganery!

Luke Woodham finished runner up in the RWD class (And had some spare tyres he didn’t want to carry home it seems!)

Remmo Niezen was the man who beat him to first place and got his chance to go head to head with Gittin.

Vaughn Gittin’s RTR Mustang makes a noise the like of which I have never heard.

Rally Crosser Liam Doran was also on hand to slay some more tyres.

There was even a drifting truck.

While not quite on the same epic scale as the official Gymkhana Grid video, I put together some on and off car footage on one of the finalists, Jake Archer.

When the engines had cooled and the smoke had cleared I got a chance to get spend a little quality time with the cars. To go with Ken’s Fiesta at the top of this post, here’s Luke’s S14, Remmo’s M3, Liam’s DS3 and Vaughn’s Mustang.