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Motorsports Photography Blog

Cadwell Park International Classic 25 July 2015

For this event I decided to take my Canon 40D DSLR with Tamron 18-200 mm F/3.5-6.3 XR Di-II LD lens ideal for both on track action and paddock shots. I bought this lens with my Canon 20D many years ago on recommendation and was instantly disappointed - I thought it was the worst purchase I had ever made. Images often had a “muddy” look, weren’t as sharp as they should be and the auto focus was unreliable. Consequently I rarely used it. However I’ve recently been using it on the 40D and to my surprise it’s a completely different lens on this body! Obviously it’s not as sharp as my favourite Canon 70-200mm L but its perfectly acceptable and overall, gives good results.
Anyway, the meeting was one of the best planned and most enjoyable events I've been to for a long time. Besides the track action there was a display area in the paddock with variety of club displays, collections and a stage. So much was going on it was difficult to get around without being distracted. A programme was a must and even this impressed - nice design, a good read and well worth a fiver.

gold_star_owners_club

First stop was the Gold Star Owners Club immaculately restored bikes and lots of chrome, a nightmare to photograph close up on a sunny day!


Honda RC45

Further on there was a nice line up of RC45s, Honda's iconic 1990s superbike.

Honda RC30

I stopped quite a while for a chat at Road & Race Classics who specialise in the sales, repair and restoration of classic road and race motorcycles. The two bikes that caught my eye were a Honda RVF 750 RC45 and a Honda VFR750R RC30 (a French Bol D'Or import). Both great bikes but I love the classic paintwork of the RC30, if I had a spare £17000 I'd have it! You can find more bikes and details at Road & Race Classics.

Peter Williams

On to the stage where Steve Plater interviewed Peter Williams - a brief but interesting history of his time as a rider and engineer with some amusing anecdotes.

Read and Agostini

James Hayden had his work cut out but did a good job interviewing Phil Read and Giacomo Agostini. Plenty of banter and a some good laughs - Ago came across as very funny and charismatic.

MV4 Phil Read

Wandering around the display area a little later I came across Phil Read firing up the MV Agusta 4 cylinder on his way to one of the parades.

John player norton

Here he is earlier in the paddock after returning the John Player Norton. Peter Williams in the background.

Agostini MV3

This is a photo I never thought I would take - the legendary Giacomo Agostini on the MV Agusta 3 cylinder going through Hall Bends……..

Honda six

and this was a bike I never thought I'd see or hear in action, the fantastic sounding Honda 6 ridden by John Cronshaw.

All in all a great success, rare and exotic bikes with past and present stars seemingly around every corner. Johnathon Palmer should be rightly proud of the event that he and the staff have organised. My only regret is that I didn't attend both days.









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Mallory Bike Bonanza 11 July 2015

Another two day event, I went on Saturday and unfortunately most of the big names were there on Sunday. Still there was more than enough to see on the track and in the paddock, with the added advantage that was undoubtedly easier to get about. A good cross section of restorations, specials and classic racers were scattered around the circuit and paddock - some of my favourites follow!

Suzette special

A Velocette in a Suzuki frame - can't imagine what it would be like the other way round!

Lynton 500 motorcycle

This is a 1968 Lynton 500 DOHC 4 valve, a one off, made by Colin Lyster. The bottom half is a Hillman Imp engine with Lysters own cylinder head. A lack of funds apparently led to the project being abandoned.


Triumph

I don't think I've ever seen so many holes drilled in one motorcycle.

Vincent

Beautiful Vincent Comet.

kawasaki

Good looking Kawasaki Z440 cafe racer.


mv agusta f4 rc

I love MVs, this 2015 MV Agusta F4 RC (1 of just 250) must be the best looking bike out there.

mv f4

Just to rub it in this was around the corner.

mv f4

And then another.

burdin derny

At the other end of the scale was this gorgeous little French 75cc Burdin which is actually a "derny" used as a pacing machine for cycling events.

gillette 3 cylinder special

A Gillette Special195cc. Take 3 Mobylette moped cylinder heads and cylinders with home built crankcases in a Gilera frame and you have a Gillette.

classic triumph

I liked this - the duo of bike and rider had a good period look although I couldn't identify the Triumph model.

phillips panda

Going for it! Vanessa McGlone getting the last mph out of her 1962 49cc Phillips Panda.

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HSCC Wolds Trophy Cadwell Park, 28 June 2015

I could only attend the second day of the Historics Sports Car Club meeting at Cadwell Park but the event apparently attracted good crowds on both days. Sunday started off overcast and damp ending in bright sunshine but the early conditions did nothing to spoil the racing.
The following photographs include cars which for one reason or another grabbed my attention, although my favourite was the fire breathing Mustang of Warren Briggs.


TVR Tuscan

Peter Shaw in the 1969 TVR Tuscan leads off the start line followed by the fast starting Charles Barter (Datsun 240Z), Jim Dean (Lotus Europa) and Julian Barter (TVR 3000M) in the HSCC 70's Road Sports Race.


HSCC 70's Road Sports Race

The sprint for second continued into Coppice three abreast which can end in tears but on this occasion all got safely round.

Dean Forward, Techno TF3

Dean Forward, Techno TF3

David Innes, Lotus 27

David Innes, Lotus 27 at Hall Bends

Warren Briggs Ford Mustang

Warren Briggs chasing the Ford Lotus Cortinas in his spectacular 4700 cc Ford Mustang

1975 TOJ Modus

Mark Hulme in the beautiful 1975 TOJ Modus

Ian Jones Lotus 59

Ian Jones (Lotus 59) chased very hard into the Mountain by Ben Simms (Elfin 600)

Stuart Dix Cooper Chinook

Stuart Dix in the striking Cooper Chinook


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MotoGP Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 12-14 June 2015

My wife and I had never had been to an overseas race event but this trip couldn't have been easier, for anyone considering the trip I've included some detail. I was initially concerned about finding a hotel with good public transport links to Barcelona city centre, the airport and the circuit. However I found a hotel very quickly on the Circuit de Barcelona website - NH La Maquinista at Sant Andreu which is about 15 minutes walking distance from the railway and Metro stations. The airport, Barcelona city centre, Sant Andreu and Montmeló are all on the same line and trains are frequent so the hotel was ideal. Arriving at Barcelona El Prat we found that the train terminal is only a very short walk from terminal T2. We purchased a T10 (Zone 2) ticket at the airport station from a ticket vending machine (English language available) but these can also be bought at the entrance to any metro or train station. This ticket entitles you to 10 journeys on the metro and RENFE trains. A zone 1 ticket is all you need for travel from the airport to central Barcelona. However to include travel to Montmeló a Zone 2 ticket is necessary. At a cost of €19.60 (June 2015) its good value and saves time. A word of warning, its important to buy the integrated T10 and not the Rodalies-RENFE only T10. If unsure there is an English speaking inspector at the airport on hand to help.

Arriving at NH La Maquinista we found a comfortable modern hotel the rooms having free wifi, airconditioning and satellite TV with English, French, Italian and Spanish channels. We didn't opt for breakfast as this is only available from 8.00am at the weekends and we preferred to have an early start. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the hotel was next to La Maquinista open air shopping mall, This was an impressive development with a huge variety of cafes and restaurants on the top floor. I can recommend the Catalan sausages and patatas bravas with local beer we enjoyed in the evenings at The Butipà cafe. Live music added to the atmosphere.

dancers

band

Different music each day at La Maquinista

The trains to Montmeló were every 30 minutes and the journey was about 15 minutes. The trains were clean, in good condition, very smooth and came when they were meant to - unlike in the UK. From the station we didn't have to look for circuit directions we just followed everyone else. Many of the local shops on the route were selling bottles of water and freshly prepared sandwiches at the roadside, a far cheaper option than buying at the circuit. However canned drinks were not allowed through the gates so don't get caught out like I and many others did.


Walking to the track

Just join the flow

The walk took around 30 minutes, a shuttle bus was available about halfway into the walk but it just didn't seem worthwhile and there was plenty to take in. Tickets scanned at the circuit gate we then had to queue for a bag search as canned drinks were not allowed. I had the choice of drinking my can of Coke or forfeiting it - I let it go as I'd been drinking water along the way. I saw a number of people taking cans back to their cars. The pain of having a can taken from me like a naughty kid eased when we got to the Monster area as drinks were free.


Monster energy tower

Monster Energy tower contained replica bikes and game stations.

Monster energy girls

A major feature seemed to be the girls……..

DSCF1377

which of course kept the lads happy!!

Monster energy drink tent

On a hot day like this the free drinks tent was busy all day.


circuit de barcelona

The circuit itself is fantastic plenty of grandstands, well positioned monitors and good spectator banks.

rossi fan

You have to admire the lengths some fans go to….

Maverick ViƱales fans

but these Maverick Viñales fans were the most original.

Lorenzo

As for the races Lorenzo won a slightly dull race with Rossi closing him down for second, with Dani Pedrosa a distant third. The best race of the day was the Moto3 event in which the lead was continually changing. Danny Kent always looked to be in control and sure enough crossed the finish line in front of Enea Bastianini. Moto2 was won by Zarco from Rins and Rabat with Sam Lowes just missing out on a podium spot.

I'd definitely go again, travelling is easy, the circuits great and the weather hot but I've never been to Italy…….

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