I photographed Sebring this year for TeamSpeed.com
View my write-up and 69 of the photos below after the jump in high resolution (full size).
Sebring – this single word alone has the potential to evoke feelings of automotive euphoria. Millions of car enthusiasts across the world, myself included, can’t help but associate Sebring with thoughts of lightning quick race cars buzzing around the torturous race track better known as Sebring International Raceway.
I just happen to be one of the die-hard racing enthusiasts that is lucky enough to photograph these race cars up close and personal. At times, almost too personal, as I barely escaped making friends with the tires and under body of the Corvette C6R in the pits this weekend.
I consider myself highly fortunate to share with others, through my eyes and photography, these magnificently sexy pieces of machinery, technology, brute power, and love as they seem to effortlessly hover around Sebring’s jagged 3.7 mile long, 17 turn track.
Going back two months in time, I sent in my media credential application to ALMS, more specifically Sebring, requesting a media credential for myself to photograph the 12 Hours Race. Having photographed it last year, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to hopefully photograph it again in 2009.
I rented an RV with some of my best friends and arrived at Sebring early Friday afternoon. The race wasn’t until Saturday morning but I didn’t want to miss a thing!
I went to will call immediately upon my arrival at the track and sheepishly asked if there was a media credential behind the counter for “Chris Grosser” – the kind lady working there replied with, “Here you go, Chris Grosser from TeamSpeed … enjoy the race.”
This was the single greatest sentence I had heard in months. Sebring doesn’t inform you prior to the race if your application was accepted or denied. Apparently, I did something right because within a minute I was signing my life and insurance information for potential injuries away! Say no more, I was on my way, two camera bodies in hand, 30 pounds of camera gear and lenses in my backpack, and ready to go hiking around Sebring track side.
Early the next morning, I went to the mandatory media and photographer meeting at 6:45am, which was a bit rough to say the least. I proceeded to check in, picked up my photo vest and ended up photographing for about 8 hours in total throughout the day. It’s not too hard to do when my first picture taken that day was at 6:00am in the pits.
There is definitely a reason why they make you sign your life away prior to the track giving you your photography credentials. I think it may have something to do with being encouraged and given access to photograph within 5 feet of race cars passing you in excess of 150+mph. It almost…. just almost, makes me question my sanity but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Fifteen hundred photos later, yes, you read that right, 1,500 photos!