I was discussing panning motorsport shots with a colleague, which reminded me of this photo which I took at Snetterton a few years ago, before they changed the layout. The Esses is one of the few corners on UK tracks where you are allowed to be positioned quite close to the apex, close enough to be using a wide angle lens anyway. I’d previously shown an image taken slightly tighter, on the blog post for the Ma5da Racing meeting at Snetterton, but I’ve always liked this one more. It breaks a few rules for instance the car has got more space behind than in front, but rules are merely guidelines and I think it works.
The qualifying sessions for the second round of the Ma5da Racing 2010 season (and first round of the 2010 MX5 Cup), which had been delayed from the previous day were held under grey, but dry, Norfolk skies, on what had been touted as the warmest day of the year so far. The two sessions for the Ma5da Racing Championship went first and passed without any major incident, at least from where I was standing at The Esses. This corner gave me the chance to get out my wide angle lens, which I rarely get to use for motorsports, but usually gives some great images.
I stayed at The Esses for the MX5 Cup practice session which was my first chance to see multiple mk3 MX5 race cars on the track at the same time, again the session went without too much trouble, until Kevin Dengate had a moment on the second of the esses and left a lot of dirt on the track. Paul Sheard eneded the session fastest, so took the MX5 pole for both races.
On my way back from The Esses, the heavens opened, luckily I was able to duck into the Rob Boston Racing awning to avoid the worst of te downpour, but for the drivers in the first Ma5da Race of the day the damage had been done, the track was very wet and with all of the drivers having qualified in the dry the first corner was somewhat chaotic. Rob Boston managed to get a good start and left all the chaos behind him allowing him to pull out a big lead (4s) which he kept until the chequered flag.
Next up was the MX5 Cup race, the first race for the mk3 MX-5 race cars, the track had dried off a bit for this race, although the skies were still grey. The mk3 part of the race was won by Paul Sheard, again by about 4s. As there were only 5 mk3 cars the numbers were made up with a few mk1s, and it was good to see Nick Gilfillan winning the mk1 part of the race.
I stayed Russell Chicane for the next of the Ma5da Racing Championship races, which was a close battle between Tom Roche and newcomer Phil House (although he was in one of the Rob Boston Racing cars), Phil did lead most of the race, but Tom managed to overtake near the end of the race. Seeing as I’ve posted images of Tom Roche leading races, here’s my favourite shot from the race, with Phil leading.
By the time the second MX-5 Cup race came round the sun had come out (Yay!!!), I headed back to The Esses for the race as that was where all the action had been for the previous race. The race went much the same as the first, with Paul Sheard leading, although Kevin Middleton was a lot closer this time around.
Paul won the race, however Nick Gilfillan wasn’t quite so lucky, after having pulled out a fairly decent lead, he had a big moment right in front of me at The Esses and gifted the lead to Mark Pierpoint.
As per the first meeting at Brands Hatch the race of the day, featuring both Tom Roche and Rob Boston had been saved for the last race of the day and the race did not disappoint. Not only were Rob and Tom swapping places ate the front, the battle for 3rd was also very closely contested between Jonathan Greensmith, Phil House and Chris Dawkins (finishing in that order) and there was close racing all the way down the field.