Motorsports Photography Blog

Trackside - Documentary Motorsports Marshalling Film. Update.

Only 7 days left and the project is still short of its £5000 target. At this moment, 39 backers have pledged a total of £1390.
I'm surprised by the response as this film will look at motorsport from a different angle and there are benefits to backers depending on the amount pledged. Although pledges can be as little as £5, £15 gets you a high definition download of the film - its just like buying the film! Theres also one each of shirt, cap and model car courtesy of Toyota Hybrid WEC team signed by Wurtz and Davidson - each one is available for £80.
All this is academic though as the project will only be funded if the target is met by the 2nd March 2014 9.00pm. Further details at Kickstarter.

Updated 2 March - A close run effort, £5037 raised by 47 backers just in the nick of time!

Trackside - Documentary Motorsports Marshalling Film

After reading about Trackside on Graham Keillohs excellent site Talking About F1 I've pledged a few pounds on Kickstarter for the project to produce a documentary film following motorsport marshals. In their own words

"Trackside is an independent feature length documentary film produced by Soft-Focus Productions. It will follow several track marshals in Motorsport. We will follow several Motorsport marshals in the UK. Without marshals Motorsport literally could not happen. These men and women volunteer week in and week out, putting themselves at the centre of the action and risking their lives to keep this sport alive."

Marshals are a hardy bunch with some larger than life characters who regularly face potentially dangerous situations often whilst braving the worst of UK weather. Its a rich subject matter and I hope they get the necessary backing. If you want to pledge, which can be as little as £5 you can do it here.

ginetta fire

The picture is one of a series I shot when a Ginetta pulled in with a serious fire and is an example of what can happen with little or no warning.


Formula 1 Drivers Numbers - Update

As the new Formula 1 season approaches I’m becoming increasingly interested in the driver number requests and looking for some imaginative choices.
Fernando Alonso has requested 14 as his number (coincidently my lucky number) as he won the world championship in kart 14, aged 14 on July 14, whilst new team mate Kimi Raikkonen wants the universal lucky number - 7. Fair enough but nothing creative there.
Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa seem to be setting the standard with 77 ( BO77AS ) and 19 which I guess with some clever graphics will be FEL19E. I can’t help feeling Jenson’s missed out.

Formula 1 Rule Changes - Drivers Numbers

One of the more apparently trivial rule changes for next year’s Formula 1 is that drivers are to be allocated numbers for the duration of their career. This is purely for commercial reasons and with good marketing strategy the positive effect on a drivers pocket is unlikely to be trivial.
Over the years some numbers have become inextricably linked to drivers / riders and the following are indelibly imprinted in my brain – Red 5 Mansell, 7 Sheene, and 46 Rossi. By coincidence I recently read an interesting article by Jake over on about motorcycle riders numbers. Examining the choice of numbers by riders in six major motorcycle championships he found that some numbers and ranges are very popular whilst others are untouched. 0 to 9 is the most popular number range and 7 is the only number used in all 6 championships. It’s an interesting read and you can find the article here.

sheene suzuki

Barry Sheenes restored Suzuki with the iconic number 7.

The busiest merchandise stall at every MotoGP event I’ve attended has always been Rossi’s even in his dark days at Ducati. His popularity over the years has been unparalleled, undoubtedly due in some part to that indefinable quality – charisma. But there’s also a clever design strategy at play – helmet / leather / boot / gloves colour schemes and “The Doctor” and “46” logos, all immediately identifiable and inter related.

Apart from licensed clothing, helmets and the like I’ve seen the 46 logo on car windscreens, bumpers, mobility scooters, wheelchairs, windows and cool boxes representing all age groups and backgrounds. I’ve often wondered whether number 46 (chosen because it was the number his father raced under) has some sub conscious appeal or property. Would the brand be so effective if he’d chosen number 83 for example?

Rossi branded Ducati

Rossi branded Ducati Monster

As far as I can ascertain 46 has no great mathematical relevance. Apparently it’s not a Fibonacci number, a Bell number, a Catalan number or a regular number (Hamming number). It is a not factorial of any number. It doesn’t appear to be a popular favourite number either. The number range 45 to 49 had a response of 0% to the survey question “Is there a number from 1-100 inclusive which you think brings you good luck, or has particular significance in your life, or that you just like the look of? I’m really struggling now! In chemistry, 46 is the atomic number of Palladium and in human biology, there are 46 human chromosomes.
My gut feeling is that it’s not the property of the number in any mathematical, cultural or psychological sense that’s important but purely its visual appearance. By that I mean its colour, font and background, which make it instantly recognisable and unique. In Rossi’s case it’s not an existing font but a custom number design by Aldo Drudi who also designs his helmets.
Both Mansell’s number 5 and Sheene’s number 7 were visually distinctive for their day and stood out from the rest of the field. Mansell’s number was red as opposed to the usual white and Sheene’s number 7 was the continental variant 7.
So I guess my example of 83 could have been just as iconic and that the design and marketing are the most important factors. I’m already dying to see the drivers number choices for the coming F1 season and the design elements used, but whether there will be any truly iconic designs only time will tell.