Recap: Global Tuner Grand Prix

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Back-Issue, Events
Tags: , , , , ,

In 2010 I had the chance to attend something quite rare: race day at Laguna Seca without spectators or an abundance of press. What press people were there though included myself, and for us few, it was a great opportunity to squeeze off shots of the cars coming through the corners without the interruption of other railgun-sized lenses getting in the way or knees bumping you in the back.

I started out at the closest spot for photography: the Andretti Hairpin. This is a good place to catch the cars early on as they thunder on out of their grids and warm their tires up in the first corner.

Later on as more and more drivers began to step up their game, I meandered on to the Rahal Straight that leads into that ever infamous corner known as The Corkscrew. The straight is an uphill climb providing nearly zero perspective of the brass-balls-breaker of a curve downward that is on the other side of the pavement horizon. Even the daring GT3s were standing hard on their brakes at the top of the straight, preparing for the dive that awaited them.

This being my first trip out to Laguna Seca, I was excited to see The Corkscrew in person. It’s far more vertical and dynamic than watching it on TV or virtual renderings would lead you to believe. In person, you can feel the G forces the cars are carrying into the turn even without riding along.

I had to be on my toes shooting the cars as they barreled down this steep series of corners, as a few had slid just off the track and into the gravel. Luckily none plummeted off at the bottom of the turn, where I was snapping away. Several cars did however become slightly airborne.

After coming out of The Corkscrew, the drivers accelerate hard throught the Rainey Curve, before the near 90-degree Turn 10.

Later on as the weather began to move in, I wandered across to Turn 11, the final corner before the main stretch and finish line. By now, it was a single make battle, with all Porches and a lone Volvo sticking it out into the wind and rain. Witnessing a torrent of GT3s powering through that final corner is  a terrific sight, and an even better sound.

I’ll be back later to take you through the pits of the Global Tuner Grand Prix.

article & photography: colbydc5

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