It’s one thing to read about the Lone Star Le Mans race, or to watch the competition on television – and something else entirely to be up close and personal at the actual event. We know that plenty of our readers would love to have gone but couldn’t, so we’re bringing you the next best thing: exclusive photos, published nowhere else but on our blog, brought to you by Mike Raffia of Lowered Lifestyle.
The race was held on the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on September 19-20, 2014. The circuit length is 3.4 miles, with a race duration of 2 hours, 45 minutes. Results of the 2014 race can be found here.
Now, back to the photos. Mike – a 22-year-old photographer from Tampa, Florida – developed a love of motorsports when he was only five years old. He’s worked for years learning how to shoot motorsport photos from the perspective of the audience and now covers top racing events for various enthusiast sites. He currently travels around the country photographing races and hopes to someday shoot races around the world – and show the next generation the thrill of being a true motorsports fan.
Here are some of Mike’s photos, plus the thoughts he shared with Advance Auto Parts.
“The yellow and blue car above,” Mike says, “represents the end of an era of Turner Motorsports in the IMSA / Rolex / Grand-Am world. While they weren’t part of the World Endurance Championship racing later in the day at the Circuit of the Americas, they were in the IMSA race during the day. Then the team announced they’ll be leaving this series.”
“The Krohn Racing Ferrari 458 is incredibly easy to spot and the plain uncluttered livery presents a chance to shoot a racecar that really looks quite close to the road going alternative. This is one of my absolute favorite shots I’ve grabbed of any race all year. I love seeing the Texas hillside in the background reminding me why I liked this track so much in the first place. Since this was grabbed right before the restart of the race following the red flag due to rain, Mother Nature added her own touch with the mist trailing away behind the car, lit by the chasing car just perfectly.”
“Capturing racing at night at the best lit track isn’t an easy task. Seeking out the perfect spot to shoot without flash was the main goal for me here, but well-lit spots were few and far between the rented construction lighting. I wanted to see the brakes glowing and, in the case of this race, I wanted to grab the shine of the rain-soaked tarmac as the drivers worked to avoid spots not yet dried out.”
“Aston, Ferrari and Prototype all in one spot would usually be quite chaotic as the drivers round the corners and fight for position down the straight, but this time they had worked it out and formed a single line to make this shot. I particularly enjoyed shooting the Aston here because of the classic Gulf livery that beckons to the IMSA cars of years ago.”
“As a road racing obsessed enthusiast, I often get caught up in getting the turns and the motion in the shots, but you cannot ignore the power of a flat out straightaway blast that this prototype and GT car are about to embark on. Shooting down this straight is a view that no spectator has been able to enjoy and that alone can often make for a unique photo that really gives the audience a behind the scenes feel.”
“The Audi e-tron cars are really the cars that I flew from Florida to Texas to see on the track. I didn’t take a photo of every car driving by but, every time an Audi came by, I had to. They make an incredibly airy sound. Audi’s philosophy is that noise is wasted energy, and they’ve proven that theory right.”
Did you attend the Lone Star Le Mans this year? If so, what did you think? What photo in this post really grabbed your attention – and why? Post a comment below.