What an amazing series to be a part of, the CREVENTIC 24H Endurance Series – 24H Dubai Round 1 which ran from 12-14 January 2017!
Here is a highlight from last years’ event, be sure to check out http://www.24hseries.com/2017/24h-dubai-2017/video for all their videos of the days’ racing.
Highlights for the Hankook 24H DUBAI 2017 below:
As an avid fan of motorsport, having shot numerous races from 2001 onwards in South-Africa, that being the WesBank Samcar V8 series, SA Production Cars and the Engen VW Cup, Formula Ford, the Vodacom Sports Car series and the hugely competitive SA Superbike championship; I mostly shot these events on film in the day. More recently, I shot a few rounds of the 2016 Wingfield Motors Power Series regional racing held in Cape Town, South-Africa, and is one of the best events to attend and watch as a spectator.
As a gamer in my early days, I thoroughly enjoyed playing WTTC and GTR 2 – FIA GT Racing Game which is a sports car racing simulator developed under license by Blimey for SimBin Studios.
I finally got to experience and photograph GTR racing for real, and it was thunderous, exhilarating, action packed and filled with high-octane adrenaline!
This year, I have been afforded the opportunity to shoot my first international motorsport event, that being in Dubai, at the Dubai Autodrome. The Hankook 24H Dubai endurance race has become a mainstay on the international motorsport calendar and is the second largest 24H race grid in the world, with entries from all over the world. The line-up consists of up to 100 Touring and GT cars, including big name marques such as Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW, Seat, Renault, Nissan, Mercedes and Audi to name a few.
This series runs both 12H and 24H events at the following circuits and countries:
24H SERIES powered by Hankook
Round 1 24H DUBAI 12-13-14 January – UAE
Round 2 12H MUGELLO 17-18 March – Italy
Round 3 12H RED BULL RING 7-8 April – Austria
Round 4 24H PAUL RICARD 5-6-7 May – France
Round 5 12H IMOLA 30 June – 1 July – Italy
Round 6 24H PORTIMAO 25-26-27 August – Portugal
Round 7 24H COTA USA 9-10-11 November – USA
24H TCE SERIES powered by Hankook
Round 1 24H SILVERSTONE 31 March – 1-2 April – UK
Round 2 12H MAGNY-COURS 21-22 April – France
Round 3 24H MISANO 7-8-9 July – Italy
Round 4 24H BARCELONA 1-2-3 September – Spain
Round 5 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS 6-7 October – Belgium
24H PROTO SERIES powered by Hankook
Round 1 12H MAGNY-COURS 21-22 April – France
Round 2 12H MISANO 6-7-8 July – Italy
Round 3 12H PAUL RICARD 18-19 August - France
Round 4 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS 6-7-8 October - Belgium
This year in Dubai saw 92 cars on the start grid and 416 drivers with more than 40 different nationalities the first round of the 24H SERIES 2017, the Hankook 24H DUBAI, which was a huge success for everyone involved. With the premiere of the first CREVENTIC 24H Proto Series event, the 3x3H DUBAI, this was also a great success.
A total of 17 prototypes made their introduction.
The international atmosphere, the challenging Dubai Autodrome track, the wonderful weather, excellent facilities and all the effort made by the teams, mechanics and drivers made the Hankook 24H DUBAI a truly memorable experience for both my wife and I.
The length of the circuit according to the FIA Track License is 5,39km, which runs in clockwise direction. It is also one of the most modern circuits in the world; and one of the most challenging, as it has a combination of technical and high-speed corners with 19 turns in total, 2 main straights of 800m each! The track is friendly with very safe and wide run off areas. No gravel which is ideal for a 24-hour race. Thank goodness, the race is held in winter, we had our fair share of water to drink, as it is a long way around the track to shoot from prime locations! We definitely lost a few kilograms sweating and carrying gear around! A huge thank-you to Dirk for the trolley, there are ways to work smarter not harder with your gear, that’s if you don’t hire a quad bike to get around!
This was such an amazing experience, to be able to rub shoulders with international photographers, press and TV crews. The track facilities from racing to medical, are of FIA standards; along with a brilliant Media Centre, which is fully equipped for the local and international press.
The racing was truly spectacular, the highlight being the 24H Endurance series – GT-Cars, Touring Cars and the 24H Touring Car Endurance Series were particularly thrilling for me. The new Prototype 24H Endurance Series cars offered a Le Mans type feel to the racing, reminiscent of the early Porsche 956 / 962C type cars.
I found the friendliness of the teams very accommodating, rather different to the local racing in South-Africa. Even if they didn’t speak good English, they were still available to answer any questions that I had, to their best of their ability. Many unhindered photographic opportunities were to be had as the teams went about their business.
I was well impressed by Creventic’s organisation of the event as a whole, they done a spectacular job from start to finish. The logistics of such an event is just enormous! Their efficiency was spectacular!
I was also very surprised to find a South-African team – Bucket List Racing run by Max, a British manager and Kris, a South-African, where the mechanics and 4/5 drivers were also South-African! They competed in a BMW F30 340i race car which was built and developed in South-Africa. There were 2 additional drivers, driving for different teams, Noami Schiff for Reiter Engineering in a KTM XBow, and another South-African driver Jordan Grogor, driving for GP Extreme in a Renault RS01. More about Bucket List Racing can be found here. Usually these races are mostly European drivers, as they generally follow the European circuits, DUBAI 24H was a wonderful mix of nationalities from American, Asian and Arab countries.
I certainly would like to return to cover another 24H Series; this was done at my company’s own expense, as well as with some assistance from Media 24 South-Africa for the media accreditation which was very helpful, this led to me being published in our local newspaper – Worcester Standard. I certainly gained the experience needed to shoot on an international event and race track, where I also learned a lot very quickly. I know what extras are required to make my next shoot even more of a success. It is very tiring and demanding landing after almost an 11-hour flight at 05h00 in another time zone on the day of the event, having a 30-minute break for a shower and breakfast, heading straight to the track to cover a full 12 hours racing, and to do it all over again the next day! I am a passionate photographer and would do it all over again, you have to take the rough with the smooth to get the results you after; I believe in what I do and my images are proof of this.
Without the support of my wife Dominique, it would have been almost impossible to have captured the images we both did. Working as a team we were able to focus on different things as they were rolling out at the same time. Ideally, one needs a complete media team to manage gear, memory cards, editing and disseminating of media, more so during the live 24 hour race, as one really needs to eat and sleep during shifts.
We had not planned to share our hotel with the various teams that were competing, this was discovered at breakfast the following morning, which was a pleasant surprise for us!
Team Black Falcon in their Mercedes AMG GT3 car used 18 sets of tyres in the race, and 24 sets for the whole event. 1700l of fuel was used during the race with a total of 2300l for the whole event. Their top speed was 260 km/h with an average speed of 124 km/h. Their average pit stop times to change both drivers and tyres was 18 seconds and average refuel times were 2 minutes! They completed 575 laps for the 24H event.
I made good use of my Nikon D5, D800e, D600 along with F6 film body with older Nikon D-lenses. Lenses ranged from Nikon 16mm Fisheye, 24-70mm f/2.8; 70-200mm f/2.8, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 as well as my Sigma 12-24 f/4 and 120-300mm f/2.8 with a 1.4 and 2.0 times convertors on the digital bodies. The Sigma is a great lens and an awesome weight saver when having to fly with large prime lenses!
A big shout out to Natasha of Creventic for affording me this opportunity to be a part of the event and to have been able to capture the images I did.
It would be great to be picked up by a media company or professional racing team, and to be able to cover more international events like these in the future, who knows, perhaps I might even cover Formula 1 one day!
Information, video and map image sourced from http://www.24hseries.com/
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