Super D is a new but very rapidly growing series that hosts grassroots competition events. They have hosted an event at Grange Motor Circuit and Meihan Sportsland this year and this past weekend they came out to host an event at my “local” track- USAIR (aka The Rollercoaster of Love) in Shawano Wisconsin. Its very cool to see so many drivers I usually see just driving for the fun of it face each other head to head in a tandem competition. Being on the grassroots level means you get to see everything from a stock engine BRZ to a 500hp tt G35 sedan lined up to compete. A quick walk through the pits had me very excited for the track to go hot, the pits were stacked with so many proper cars.The layout selected for competition started with a long straight into turn 1 which allowed for plenty of huge entries all weekend long.There were multiple teams that traveled fairly far to attend- one of which was Top Garage and a few of their cars included a KA-T S15 and an LS R32. Adam LZ made the trip out from Florida only to have his brand new turbo fail 3 laps in, but luckily he was able to rent a friends KA-T S13 out for the weekend.Its very obvious that the crowd that this event draws brings out their A-game when it comes to driving and style, which is always nice to see so much of at one event.As Saturday came to an end, it brought some fantastic lighting out and I was able to snap some rad shots as the sun went down.Just a couple rad rotary powered Mazda’s. …annnnd an LS powered Mazda.Seeing how hard all the drivers were driving was a truly incredible experience, everyone gave it their all to put on a great show for the spectators and have a good time.At the end of the weekend, Adam LZ managed to get 1st place, and it was well deserved with his very consistent runs and aggressive driving. Super D did an incredible job bringing so many fantastic drivers together to partake in one of the best drift events stateside this year. I cant thank the hosts enough for making this happen, I cant wait for next year. To view the full album of my photos from this album click here. If you enjoyed my coverage, check out my storefront and grab some merch here!
Let me just start by saying Gridlife South 2018 was one of the best automotive events I have ever attended. For those who don’t know, Gridlife is an event that brings Time Attack, Drifting, Car Shows and Music Festivals all together to one place. It brings car enthusiasts from all over to be around what they love the most, no matter what kind of automotive activities they are into, there is something there for everyone. I have been to a few Gridlife Midwest events and they are also fantastic events, but something about Road Atlanta just made this event so much more memorable.
Since I’m from the midwest, Road Atlanta is quite a drive… roughly 15 hours. Because of that, I haven’t had the chance to make a trip out to this track till now, I’ve only ever seen pictures and driven on it in Forza. Let me tell you, seeing that track in person is absolutely mind blowing. Even with a golf cart I didn’t manage to get to explore the whole track, but that may have been because I was so distracted with the beautiful scenery along the way between different areas of the track. I got the chance to go out on track with my buddy Blake and being out on track not only shows the non-stop drastic elevation changes throughout the track but also how fast of a track it really is.
Unfortunately there are very few good spots to shoot from in the spectator area of the track once the crowds flooded the spectator areas and I didn’t get media credentials, but I still made do with what I had and did my best to capture the overall vibe of the track and cars out on track. Its always refreshing to see such a wide variety of cars out on the track, everything from full blown race prepped 458 Italia’s to Honda Odyssey’s.
On the topic of variety, one of my favorite things to see at Gridlife is professional drivers and cars driving side by side with grassroots drivers and cars. There were plenty of professional drivers who attended, some brought out their FD cars and some brought out their practice cars, but they were all out side by side with whichever drivers lined up with them.
Every drift session was filled with train after train, the drivers were on each others door every lap putting on an outstanding show for the crowd. The drifting was certainly a crowd favorite, every time the announcer would mention a drift session starting soon there would be floods of people rushing towards the track to see the festivities.
With all of the trains running through the horseshoe section of the track, it got very smokey and made for some very difficult but rewarding photo opportunities.
RADwood hosted a 80’s and 90’s themed show that brought out some very well kept and well built iconic cars from that era.
There was no shortage of unique swaps, such as an sr20 Cressida, 2jz Ford Fairmont Wagon, 2jz R34 Skyline, 2jz Saturn Sky… there was a common theme of 2jz everything.
I just couldn’t get enough of shooting so many rad cars on such a scenic track.
Despite being mostly about the cars, the festivities don’t end when the sun goes down, they just get more rowdy. They always bring out plenty of artists to put on a great show for everyone.
Everyone involved in making gridlife happen did a superb job of making it a truly unforgettable event, I will without a doubt be making the trip across the country again next year and hopefully I will have media credentials next year to get you all even better coverage. If you’d like to see my full photo dump from this event, you can check it out here. Feel free to follow me on instagram here to see what events I will be attending to shoot as well as see photos from past and future events.
Let me start off by saying that I am by no means a writer, I’m a photographer. But I want to give you all something more than just a bunch of photos dumped into an album. My goal is to bring you all a bit closer to the adventures I go through to shoot these events rather than just give you the usual bland overview and final standings of an event. So without further ado, here is my first attempt at bringing you all behind the scenes with me.
Its been somewhere between 5-6 years since I’ve made a trip out to Road America, I’ve spent most of my free time at various drift events shooting photos and driving some last year and the year before. I heard about the IMSA series coming to Road America in a few weeks and figured that would be an excellent event for my first time back in so long. 4am came around and I headed out to pick up a buddy to head up there. We were greeted with a huge variety of sports cars, muscle cars and just about anything under the sea in the spectator parking lots as we made our way towards the pits. As we were walking up to the tunnel to enter the pits, we were blessed with the angelic exhaust note of the Lamborghini Trofeo series cars blasting past the start line above us. Now let me tell you, I’m use to noisy straight piped ka s13’s and such… but full blown race cars like these put out an exhaust note that sends vibrations through your insides.
You never really realize how massive road courses are until you want to shoot at multiple locations during one race, driving between locations gets quite hectic fighting through the crowds of people who don’t understand that there are walking paths for a reason. We started off the day shooting at the carousel, which was outstanding for panning shots- its a nice wide sweeper that you can access the inside of the corner quite easily, so some 1/30th pans were in store. I haven’t shot any road racing in at least 5 years and man was I rusty, but as the day went on I was starting to figure things out a bit.
I may be biased, but some of my favorite cars to see ripping up the track would be the Acura NSX’s and Ford GT’s, something about seeing cars with such an iconic racing history being back on track with new designs and a whole lot more technology was satisfying.
While out exploring the track, we managed to find a spot to shoot through some breaks in the trees that were just big enough to see the cars through… and the results were definitely worth crawling through weeds and trees to get the shots.
Working on relearning panning with road racing on cars that were blasting by at speeds well over 100mph certainly brought some light to the fact that I have a lot to learn, but I couldn’t be more excited to apply some things I’ve learned since this event at the next road racing event I make it out to.
As the IMSA race came down to the last 5 minutes, chaos broke out lap after lap as all the drivers put forth everything they could to secure the position they were chasing, It was such a mind-blowing site to see drivers drafting other drivers so close that you couldn’t even see light between the bumpers of the two cars.
I had an outstanding time shooting this event, and I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to make it out. I hope to travel to some other tracks for more road racing this season, I will be at Gridlife South though so that’s a start! If you would like to see the final standings from the IMSA Race, check them out here. I have my full set from this event uploaded here, if you are interested in purchasing any of the photos, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for sticking around to the end, let me know if you like the idea of these posts and would like to see more for future events.
I apologize for the late upload, but here is my coverage from Saturday night and Sunday at Gridlife Midwest Track Battle Round 3. Full high resolution album can be found here. Images can be saved from flickr on a desktop or through the flickr mobile app.
Club FR hosted Drift Day 71 at USAIR on 5/26-27/18, I was able to make it out for Sunday’s festivities and despite the mid 90 degree temps the event was a success as usual! I tried out some new things I learned and I was able to meet a lot of my improvement goals, still a lot to learn though. I hope you enjoy my coverage as much as I do! The full album from the event can be found here. If you would like to share any of the photos you can download them from the flickr mobile app or from a pc via the flickr website. If you share them anywhere, be sure to tag my social media accounts, @tracermedia on IG and Tracer Media on FB. Thank you!
Club FR hosted Drift Day 70 at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL. I only made it out for the last two hours, but here are some shots regardless! Enjoy.
My media coverage preview from Club FR’s Drift Day 69 at USA International Raceway in Shawano, WI on April 28-29th.