This week we will travel to Bowmanville in Ontario, Canada. Bowmanville is your final destination on the 401 before venturing off into Canada's farm country. From there it's about a 25 minute run to one of the classic and premier North American sports car venues, Mosport International Raceway.
Mosport is pretty awesome. While it doesn't provide some of the amenities of Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio or Road America, it's a fantastic track. And with its "rough around the edges" backdrops, it provides some of the fastest racing on the schedule.
The shooting there is always good. The track provides a lot of good locations... some a bit predictable and others that are telling of the location. However, you always get the sense that it might be worth venturing off and finding something new. In your mind, you know there is uncharted territory out there.
For all you photo enthusiasts reading this, you should definitely put Mosport of your list of tracks to visit. Spectator shooting opportunities are still in great abundance here. The track has become a little more fence-centric over the past few seasons... but there is lots of viewing from the camping areas and woods were the catch fence is only a little more than hip high.
For the working shooters, Mosport offers up some beleaguering challenges. The media facilities leave a lot to be desired. Let's be clear... I'm not talking about being pampered here... in fact, I should point out that the people are very nice and try to be accommodating. But, it's kind of hard transmitting digital images from an internet that's hampered by cloud cover. Fifty photographers plugging their laptops into 8 electrical outlets is .... well, it isn't, is it? It's rather disappointing ... ESPECIALLY since this is a Panoz owned track.
This year, it is my understanding, photographers will be in a different building... somewhere in the garages I'm told. You can imagine my difficulty maintaining a positive outlook. LOL
Oh well, it won't affect the photos. I promise.
Speaking of the photos, the Series is restricting over-the-wall access these days, limiting it to a few "major" news agencies. This has been the topic of many heated discussions over the past few weeks and suffice it to say, a lot of people aren't happy. It seems the majority of photographers are not in opposition of the rationale behind the decision, but rather the implementation and criteria that determines the select few that are allowed access. I find the whole thing rather troubling even though I understand (and support) the intent. But, where I'm lost is trying to understand where the difficult decision(s) lie. A quick survey reveals that 7 photographers make up the total of hard card holders that shoot for teams and manufacturers. So,if you add another 5 to that in order to accommodate the Series photographer, track photographer, AP, Getty and LAT (major news agencies), that brings you to a grand total of 12. Yet, for some reason, there are 40 photographers walking around in permanent Series vest that (up till now) allow them over the wall. 40? How did it ever get to 40. So, from where I stand, the real point of contention is at the credential/vest level. Why do people who don't need access have that access? I don't get it.
That said, we've been told we'll be able to shoot from the pit lane island at Mosport. That should produce some interesting shots provided we manage to keep Brian Till's ass out of frame. I'm working on a few other surprises too... so stay tuned. We've got some experiments up our sleeve.
The Canadian fans are terrific... (outside the few that have hi-jacked the ALMS Forum). The fans there love their racing... and Ron Fellows. They show up in full force every year to cheer on the ALMS ... and Ron Fellows. The autograph sessions are slammed from start to finish... especially around the Corvette paddock... and Ron Fellows.
This year, Dan Aykroyd was announced as the Grand Marshall for the event. I hope he's hanging out and not just going to limo in, wave the flag and limo out. In fact... maybe.. just maybe... Dan will be hijacked and Elwood Blues will make the trip up from Joliette prison. Hell, let him pace the race!
Check back in... it's another milk route run from Ft. Myers to Detroit - Detroit to Buffalo grab a box of Tim-Bits and make the short road trip over the border to Bowmanville. I'll be updating through out the weekend... so stick around.