The Rolex 24 at Daytona 2019.

The Rolex 24 at Daytona (formerly known as the 24 Hours of Daytona) is a historic race that has been going on annually since 1962. It is a truly incredible race to get to experience up close and personal. You get to witness the teams put their cars and drivers through a full 24 hours of extremely competitive bumper to bumper racing with some of the best drivers in the sport. My dad took me to the race years ago when I had my first dslr and just an 18-55mm kit lense and it was an experience I would never forget. I knew I had to make it back for another event, and this year was the year to do so, so I packed my bags and left the 0 degree temps in Chicago and took off across the country for Florida.416a3785As I made my way towards the pits in the morning, I started to hear the commotion from the teams running all over trying to get the cars prepared for the race and ready for weigh in. Hearing all of the crew members shouting to other crew members over the sound of power tools and roar of the engines starting up really made it set in that I was actually about to get to witness the Rolex 24 race again.416a3770416a3740Once they were all in line for weigh in, it got progressively quieter as they began to prepare themselves mentally to endure the next 24 hours of grueling racing416a4187The checkered flag dropped and the goosebumps rose up on my arms as the cars screamed past me into the first race of the 2019 IMSA season.416a4042416a4210416A3919.jpg416a5091416a6375Daytime quickly turned into night and that is when the real excitement began. This was the part of the race I had been waiting for, this was when the track began to look like a scene straight out of a video game.416a9011416a6754416a8857416a6204416a7861Glowing brakes, bright lights and the roar of the engines brought the track to life as the drivers continued on through the night.416a9020416a8139416a8494416a6821416a7246416a7523416a7851416a8544As the race went on, mother nature was not on their side. About 12 hours in it began to pour rain and throughout the remainder of the race, the track was under a complete downpour. So bad that the race was red flagged twice. By time I woke up to head back out to shoot, the race was under the first red flag so I grabbed breakfast only to come back as soon as the second red flag began. Unfortunately throughout the last few hours the red flag was not lifted and the race ended under a red flag. I was disappointed to lose hours of shooting time but I still had a phenomenal experience and it was without a doubt an excellent way to start the year for my media trips that I have planned to bring you all the best content I can this season. I hope you all enjoyed my photos! If you are interested in viewing my full album from the event, you can find that here. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for frequent updates!

 

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IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship at Road America.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 anagy@tracer-media.com. 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.