Tag Archives: Laguna Seca

Ferrari Challenge Laguna Seca 2014

Ricardo Perez races down the front straight in the #2 Ferrari 458 EVO

Ricardo Perez races down the front straight in the #2 Ferrari 458 EVO. © 2014 Victor Varela

The hills around the legendary 11-turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course, echoed with the sounds of the mighty steeds of Maranello, as the Ferrari Challenge made their return to Monterey, California on May 16-18, 2014.

Clouds and fog are the recipe that make up the weather in May around the Monterey Peninsula and this weekend was no exception.  But fortunately for race fans and competitors, the afternoon cleared to beautiful skies and a crisp, cool breeze, which provided some interesting lighting throughout the day from which to capture the Ferrari 458s.

This year marks the 22nd year for the series, which currently runs on some of the most iconic and challenging circuits in North American, European and Asia-Pacific.  The drivers race behind the wheel of competition 458 Italia Challenge race cars, specifically built at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy.

 

Harry Cheung leads the field for the start of the 1st race.

Harry Cheung leads the field for the start of the 1st race. © 2014 Victor Varela

If you are not familiar with the Ferrari Challenge, the series runs two categories, the Trofeo Pirelli and the Coppa Shell. The series is popular with the fans of the marquee, in part because it brings together both track novices who run in the Coppa Shell category and experienced competition drivers, who run the Trofeo Pirelli. Each category has their separate classifications and season ending title.  The Ferrari Challenge North America Series is organized by Ferrari North America, Inc., and is sanctioned by IMSA.

Two races were held over the past weekend – the first race on Saturday afternoon, the second on Sunday. The 1st race was won by Harry Cheung (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) who started from pole and led from start to finish claiming the win in the Trofeo Pirelli category. Chris Ruud (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) won the Coppa Shell category.

The 2nd race on Sunday saw Ricardo Perez (Ferrari of Houston) take the win from pole position to claim his second victory of the season. Chris Ruud would go on to win for the second time this weekend in the Coppa Shell, making this his 4th victory for the season.

Ryan Ockey negotiates the Andretti Hairpin in his #89 Ferrari 458 EVO

Ryan Ockey negotiates the Andretti Hairpin in his #89 Ferrari 458 EVO. © 2014 Victor Varela

A series of my images and a report were published at Sports Car Digest, the leading international online journal for sports, racing and vintage car enthusiasts.

You can find it here:  Ferrari Challenge – Laguna Seca 2014

 

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Following this race at Laguna Seca, the calendar for the North American series will continue to Montreal, Canada, (during the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve), June 6-8; Mont Tremblant, Canada, June 27- 29; Road America, July 11-13; Watkins Glen, Sept. 19-21; Austin, Oct. 31-Nov. 2; and will end in December with the traditional Finali Mondiali – December 3-6. 2014 marks the first time the Finali Mondiali is being held outside Europe, at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The Yas Marina Circuit is also home to the Ferrari World theme park. This is where the top invited drivers from North America will go up against the other leaders from Asia-Pacific and Europe for the overall 2014 title.

Complete Ferrari Challenge information is available at: Ferrari Challenge

Purchase Prints…
If you would like a print for your wall at home, office or race shop, I offer quality prints of the images you see here and others that were captured during this event. You can purchase them here: Photo Store

Visit my website gallery – Victor Varela Photographer.

[source: Ferrari Challenge]

The unauthorized use and/or duplication of any editorial or photographic content from victorvarela.com:blog without express and written permission from Victor Varela, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to victorvarela.com:blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

HMSA – 2014 Spring Club Event, Laguna Seca, CA

1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider

1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider. © 2014 Victor Varela

The sights and sounds of vintage motor racing returned to the legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on March 22-23, as the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) held its 2014 Spring Club Event at this iconic race track.  The close of winter couldn’t come sooner as I anticipated the journey up north and the coverage of this event. Approximately 175 historic race cars that attended this year and made for some exciting practice, qualifying and racing at the 11 turn, 2.2 mile road course, located in the central coast area of Monterey, California.

The Monterey Peninsula in March is typically foggy and cold in the early morning hours, which usually clears to beautiful skies and a crisp, cool breeze, providing interesting lighting throughout the day. These conditions made it ideal to photograph the wide variety of historic production cars and purpose built Formula and Sports Racing cars.

1960 Porsche Abarth © 2014 Victor Varela

1960 Porsche Abarth © 2014 Victor Varela

If you are not familiar with the HMSA, they are one of the most respected historic racing organizations in the United States, producing world class spectator events across the country in addition to managing one of the largest high net worth member-based associations. Since 1977, they have served as the sanctioning body for premiere historic racing events in North America. It is the only organization in the U.S. that requires the cars to be historically correct based on the period of time that the car originally raced. Their purpose is to encourage the restoration, preservation and use of historic, sports and racing cars and their events and races are for fun with nothing to be won. HMSA members own, restore, preserve and race the most historic and valuable sports and racing cars in the world and was clearly evident by the cars that took to the track this weekend.

1962 Shelby Cobra © 2014 Victor Varela

1962 Shelby Cobra © 2014 Victor Varela

Among the entry list of the impressive cars that participated were the 1954 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider Scaglietti of Scott Drnek; the Red Lobster liveried, 1983 March 83G driven by David Andrews; 1973 BMW CSL 3.0 driven by Jeff Gerkin; the ex-Bob Sharp Racing 1972 Datsun 610 driven by TV and radio personality, Adam Carolla; 1991 Toyota IMSA GTP Eagle Mk III driven by Tom Malloy; a pair of 1972 Datsun 240Zs; the popular trio of Shelby Cobras owned and driven by Steve, Tim and Lynn Park, to name but just of a few.

1983 Red Lobster March 83G© 2014 Victor Varela

1983 Red Lobster March 83G© 2014 Victor Varela

1970 Datsun 240Z © 2014 Victor Varela

1970 Datsun 240Z © 2014 Victor Varela

Purchase Prints…
If you would like a print for your wall at home, office or race shop, I offer quality prints of the images you see here and others that were captured during this event. You can purchase them here: Photo Store

Visit my website gallery – Victor Varela Photographer.

[Source: HMSA]

The unauthorized use and/or duplication of any editorial or photographic content from victorvarela.com:blog without express and written permission from Victor Varela, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to victorvarela.com:blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My Time Behind the Fence.

1968 McLaren M6B passing the scoring tower at turn 10. LoM – Laguna Seca 2013. © 2013 Victor Varela

Back in June of 2013, I received an e-mail from Dennis Gray – Senior Photographer for Sports Car Digest and f8 Motorsports Workshops instructor.  He asked me to call him about the upcoming HMSA event at Mont-Tremblant and the idea of me writing a story about my experience with the workshop and the events I had attended.

I followed up with Dennis and discussed his idea for a story and related images that would be published sometime in October/November 2013 for Sports Car Digest.  What a great opportunity for me to to write about my experiences, as well as having my images published on the leading international online journal for sports, racing and vintage car enthusiasts. Of course I was on board with this!

I took notes and compiled several sets of images.  I worked on the initial draft of the article from October through December, submitting rough drafts to Dennis for his input. Finally, we had a time-frame for submission to SCD – Early January 2014.

I finished up my final draft and completed the selection of 60 of my favorite images from the events I covered. After Dennis reviewed and approved the article, I submitted it with the images to Jamie Doyle, editor at SCD.

I awoke Friday morning at 5:30 am (after having a nightmare – but that’s another story) and checked my iPhone.  It was neat to see that my story had been published as the featured article on SCD.

Thanks Dennis and Jamie for the opportunity to share my images and story with the SCD readers.

You can read my article here: Behind the Fence – Capturing the World of Motorsports

Vic

Article and images by Victor Varela

MotoGP 2013 @ Laguna Seca

 

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Valentino Rossi leans his #46 Yahama factory bike into turn 5 during warm up for the 2013 MotoGP. (image © 2013 Victor Varela)

Although I had just been home for a little less than 3 days from covering the Sommet des Légendes event in Mont-Tremblant, Canada, my brother-in-law, Alex, invite Maria and I up to Monterey for the weekend. This trip included a day in San Francisco and race day at the MotoGP at Laguna Seca. Needless to say, we accepted his invitation.

Despite the one day at the track, I was able to capture a decent amount of images from both the outside of turn 5 and from the straight section between turns 1 & 2. With no credentials to get track side, I was still able to capture some rather tasty images of these cool motor racing bikes.

Below is a series of images I captured as Alvaro Bautista drops his #19 Go&Fun Honda as he entered turn 5 during the Sunday morning warm up.

The gallery includes a selection of images I captured on Sunday during the warm up and the race later that day.  Enjoy!

Vic

(images © 2013 Victor Varela)

HMSA Legends of Motorsports – Laguna Seca 2013

 

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As part of the F8 Motorsports Photography Workshop I attended last March, I was given the opportunity to cover the The Legends of Motorsports Powered by Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA), as a credentialed photographer.   The historic car races were held June 15-16, 2013 at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, California.

The inaugural 2013 HMSA Legends of Motorsports Laguna Seca, celebrated the 50th anniversary of McLaren and it’s great racing heritage.  Among the beautiful and historic entries that Bruce McLaren put his name on were the 1969 McLaren M10A F5000; 1971 McLaren M8E Can-Am; 1971 McLaren M8E/F Can-Am; 1972 McLaren M8F Can-Am; 1972 McLaren M8FP Can-Am; 1968 McLaren M6B Can-Am; 1965 McLaren M1A and 1966 McLaren M1B.

 

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Also making the field on this beautiful race at Laguna Seca included Nicholas Colyvas’ 1974 Tyrrell 007 F1; Chuck Parson’s 1976 Lola T332C; Jonathan Feiber’s 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage; Al Arciero’s 1958 Lotus Eleven and 1959 Lister Chevrolet Knobbly; Bob Roth’s 1963 Genie Sports; a great selection of Alfa Romeo Coupes and Sedans; Formula 5000 and IMSA GTO machines; among those who attended this event.  Can-Am, Formula Atlantic, Formula 5000 and IMSA GTO race cars had special classes to compete in.

 

Ford Hart power plant.

 

I had a wonderful time roaming the entire race track, looking for the best angles and perspectives that I could get during the changing light of the day.  Having the experience of going through the F8 workshop, I was well prepared to use the lessons, techniques and advice that instructors Llew Kinst, Dennis Gray and Jeffrey Dahl provided me with.  I had the focus and preparation to know where I wanted to capture images on the track and the best time of day to take them from those locations.  I gave myself a set of camera parameters from which to shoot at so I could try and stay consistent with the shutter speeds, F/stops and ISO range I wanted to use throughout the day.

Having the credentials and the access to the areas around the track which are normally granted only to the motor sport media, gives you an appreciation of the responsibility one must take when photographing race cars as they speed past you at only a few feet away!  Overall, a fantastic weekend of beautiful weather, an always wonderful race track, awesome race cars and the great new friends I have with Llew, Dennis, Jeff and the photographers who attend the F8 workshops.

 

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You can view the images I captured during the 2013 HMSA Legends of Motorsports weekend at Laguna Seca here:  Flickr Gallery.

Enjoy!

Vic

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)

Carolla’s Datsun

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Adam Carolla negotiates Turn 4 in his 1970 Bobby Allison BRE Datsun 510, during the HMSA Spring club event at Laguna Seca on March 24, 2013.
(image © 2013 Victor Varela)

Camera: Canon 40D
Lens: Canon 70 – 200mm 2.8 L
ISO: 100
Sec: 1/320
F/stop: 7.1
Lightroom: Exposure, saturation, highlights, shadows and other Lightroom 4 magic.

Tazio’s Tipo C

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Peter Giddings points the 1935 Scuderia Ferrari – Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C-35 into the apex at Turn 11, during the HMSA Spring club event at Laguna Seca on March 24, 2013.
(image © 2013 Victor Varela)

Camera: Canon 5D MKII
Lens: Canon 24 – 105mm 4.0 L
ISO: 200
Sec: 1/50
F/stop: 22
Lightroom: Exposure, saturation, highlights, shadows and other Lightroom 4 magic.

Read more on Peter’s last remaining Tipo C 8C-35 here.