The final visit to the British GT for the season and my second trip up to Donington Park this year. I was unsure if I should go to this event, as there were plenty of alternative offerings over the weekend, and I’d already spent most of Friday at the Goodwood Revival, or on the M25.
But having enjoyed the British GT at Silverstone and Snetterton, I though a visit to the finale would be a wise choice…plus I’m partial to the odd GT car.
After the delights of Goodwood, I also thought this would be an excellent opportunity to see how I faired at shooting two very different events over the same weekend.
Would I find one easier than the other? Would I have equal enthusiasm for both or would the opportunities at Goodwood carry on through to Donington and give me some extra special shots?
Making the decision to drive up to to Leicestershire on Sunday morning should really have been made with a little more urgency…I cruised on up, setting my sights on arriving shortly before the pit walk, with an eye on some close up photographical opportunities.
Pit walk was cancelled.
That kind of scuppered my plan for the day – I actually had a plan for this one – so a quick change of tact and I was at the end of the pit straight, nestled smartly amongst the stones with a perfect position for the race start.
If shooting through two fences can be considered a perfect position, ever.
It’s at this point of my tale, I’m going to have a wee gripe;
I’m only an amature at this malarky, but the contempt I was subjected to by fellow lensman whilst sat in the gravel waiting for my opportunity was, to be perfectly honest, that of a prime ass.
Not only did the accredited place himself right in my shot, but he also had the nerve to sheepishly peer over as he approached, not once, not twice but thrice, just to make sure he was getting in the way.
No need for that whatsoever…it’s just down right inconsiderate. I can appriciate he’s got a job to do, but the triple check may as well have have been a Rik Mayall style two fingers.
What did I do? I improvise as best I could, which then became a bit of a theme for the afternoon.
I had 2 hours to find a few angles on this unfamiliar circuit; with the sun blazing it wasn’t the day to go sprinting round. I decided on a loop round the Melbourne hairpin, to the Esses, under the track then back round to the inside of turn one to shoot over the fence and the podium.
Donington, like Brands Hatch is great in certain respects, due to the low fences, but I’m still figuring out the best attributes of this rapid circuit for sure.
It’s a tricky one, despite it’s undulations and fine curves which you would think would provide a heap of opportunity.
There’s a danger of everything looking very samey as there’s a lot of green and a lot of gravel. Those two elements don’t make for inspiring images too often.
So I involved myself in a world of depth-of-field, making use of the 600mm and, when in position at the lower fences, attempting to get those shutter speeds as low as possible.
The big skys at Donington always make for some wonderful backdrops, especially with cotton wool clouds hovering overhead. They always command some eposure, and the hilly nature of the circuit does offer up some great horizons if you place yourself well, as I found out. I was pleased with those efforts.
But there is no denying that the benefits of arriving earlier, shooting a few images of the support races to get your eye in for the feature race were very apparent, regardless of shooting Goodwood just a day before.
I’m sure I’ve written about this before, so I should really practice what I preach.
I hope you enjoy the gallery.