When I attended the F8 Motorsports Photography Workshop this past March, the workshop participants were given the opportunity to win hotel accommodations for the Sommet des Légendes event in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, for the weekend of July 11-14, 2013. I was pleasantly surprised to find out in June, that the images I submitted had won me the Mont-Tremblant accommodations!
Once again, I was given the chance to cover a motorsport event as a credentialed photographer for the Historic Motor Sport Association (HMSA) event that was held at the beautiful, 2.65 mile, Circuit Mont-Tremblant road course.
Le Sommet des Légendes weekend, celebrated the thunderous cars and great drivers from the late 60’s to early 70’s Can-Am Championship. The event also featured a wonderfully group of historic Bugatti automobiles, including several Grand Prix race cars as well as Classic Monoposto, IMSA GT, Trans Am, Sports Prototypes and F1, among others.
Among the eye-catching variety of racing beauties were the ex-John Surtees 1967 Lola T70, owned and driven by Robert Blains (this car won the first Can-Am race here back in 1966 with Surtees at the wheel); a 1956 Maserati 250S; 1978 BMW M1 Procar; 1976 Lotus Type 77; 1925 Bugatti Type 35; 1967 Porsche 910; 1968 McLaren M6B; 2005 Audi R8 LMP1; 2006 Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 and one of my personal favorites of the weekend, Peter Gidding’s 1953 Maserati 250F.
I had a great time roaming the North Loop section of the race track, looking for the best angles and lines of sight that I could get during the changing light of the day. Here again, I used my experience going through the F8 workshop and the last event I attended in June at Laguna Seca, to focus and prepare on where I wanted to capture images on the track and the best time of day to take them from those locations. I continued to give myself a set of camera parameters to use and stay consistent with the shutter speeds, F/stops and ISO range I wanted to use throughout the day.
I was fortunate to run into race car driver and owner, Rick Knoop on several occasion throughout the weekend. So much so, that I started calling him my shadow! Rick was a real sport and he readily shared several stories of his father, himself and his passion for racing and race cars. He brought and drove the light-blue, 1972 McLaren M8F, taking 3rd place over the weekend in his class. He explained that this particular McLaren had raced in the 1973 Can-Am season by the Commander Motor Homes team and was driven by Danny Hopkins. It’s history included a best, 5th place finish at Mid-Ohio before the car was wrecked at Edmonton. His father, Fred Knoop, bought the M8F and raced it in vintage events. The car has been rebuilt by Rick and his partner and he races it in the same tradition as his father did.
I also had the great pleasure and honor to be invited by my friends at F8 (Llew, Dennis & Jeff), to have dinner with them and racing legend, George Follmer. The 1972 Can-Am series champion was the Grand Marshall of this year’s Le Sommet des Légendes. He regaled us with his great stories and anecdotes throughout the evening, sharing with us his runs at Le Mans, Sebring and the Indy 500, as well as the various race cars he has driven – including the 1974 Shadow DN4 that was present at this weekend’s event.. A truly wonderful highlight to cap a great time in Mont-Temblant!
Overall, a fantastic weekend, although a bit warm and muggy, a stunning race track that is Circuit Mont-Tremblant, awesome race cars and the great new friends I met and enjoyed spending time with.
You can view more of the images I captured during the the HMSA – Le Sommet des Légendes weekend at Mont-Tremblant here: Flickr Gallery.
If you would like information on how to attend one of the motor sport workshops, click the following link: F8 Motorsports Photography Workshop
(images © 2013 Victor Varela)