Luckily we live pretty close to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, expect to see us out there for the occasional track day. On this particular event, the weather was taunting the local petrol heads. The morning was pouring with a chance of clear skies in the afternoon followed by more rain in the evening. We haven’t been out to track days or motorsports event on a rainy day to take photos and thought it would be a great opportunity to get some beautiful action shots, assuming anyone had the guts to go out on the track. Also, to introduce our car noob buddy, Brandon, to the automotive world.
To our relief, heavy rain early in the morning cleared up just in time for the first group to go out on to a mildly damp track. The clouds made for beautiful lighting and scenic shots.
3 of the 90’s JDM Icons were out on the track that day; that’s already a win for any spectators.
Unfortunately, this NSX busted its rear end and wasn’t able to get back on track. Luckily the damage wasn’t too bad, and hopefully it will be fixed quickly. Check out the owners Instagram, full of automotive content.
It was a tad difficult to explain my excitement to Brandon over these 3 beauties, the only one that was missing that day was Godzilla (Nissan GTR).
This S2K picture came right out of the camera, the only thing I edited was the cropping. (That lighting, though)
There were many Toyoburu TWINS!! it was awesome, being an FR-S owner myself. The 86 Cup was taking place on this day. Cusco sponsors the Grey FRS; this car did exactly what it was supposed to do. I was goggling at all the sweet after-market parts, making a mental note of all the parts I wanted on my FRS; those decals are bad ass too, I wouldn’t mind putting those on my car whether I’m sponsored or not.
After introducing ourselves to a few of the people out in the paddock (we met a lot of awesome people by the way) it was time to get to work. We started looking for some nice spots to set up and get some shots.
Our first spot was the usual location in Laguna Seca, where you can see the cars quickly approach the top of the corkscrew and then roll coaster down towards turn 9.
(Playing with composition, zoom lengths, and perspective)
One thing I was beating myself up for was forgetting my ND Filter. Even on a cloudy day and ISO on 100, my shutter speed had to be a min of 300 in order to get a decently exposed picture; I was able to get some blur effect but not to the degree that I was after.
After hanging out here for one session we decided to head up the hill a bit and get a different perspective on the oncoming cars.
It was here where I felt I got some of the best shots of the day.
This 2017 Subaru BRZ was in a rush to get on the track! I hope he properly broke in that FA20 engine.
When we were done at the top of the corkscrew, we stopped at the track exit right before turn 10 where, who knew, was also a great spot for some sharp zoom photos.
The last spot of the day was particularly special because it’s one of the spots you can only get to if : 1.) Have cash to pay for the spot on race days, or 2.) Go on a club sponsored track day when no one is around to tell you that you’re not allowed there without some fancy wristband. That spot is the “Premier Pit Row Suites”. Where IMO was also a superb spot for some photos of cars going through turn 10.
It was not a packed day, despite the fact that the event was sold out – the weather forecast detoured a lot of folks.
I also want to thank everyone who emailed me back about their photos, providing them with memories of their track day makes my hobby worthwhile.
Next, we headed back down to the paddock to see if we could get Brandon a ride on the track. It was his first time; I wanted to make sure that the driver was someone experienced that could get his heart pounding, adrenaline pumping, and also bring him back safely.
Throughout the day after meeting a few peeps we particularly clicked well with Samson (left) and his buddies. (Brandon on the right).
Samson has done the 24 hours of lemons, and fully built his own race car, as he is a mechanic, a pretty damn good one at that, judging by his craftsmanship on his purpose built “Track Queen” BMW M3.
All strapped in….no turning back now.
The experience described in Brandons’ words:
“Totally forgot to post this pic from last weekend. I went to open track day with @thealexasterfy and bummed a ride from customized driver riding in a customized BMW M3. Taking the corkscrew hard and braking at turns was insane. I could feel the inside of my stomach flying around like ping pong balls as I struggled to follow the gear shifts with my feet. To add to the experience, the drying track was burning steam off under the sun and fogging up the windows. We were passing everyone else like it was nothing, but sitting in those bucket seats, the smell of gasoline and wind gushing through. Man, it was an amazing experience.”
I too hitched a ride with Samson, after knowing of his experience and seeing his purpose built M3. I went on the last session of the day with him since the rain was starting to pick up again.
While we were on track there were approx colorful caors out with us, again, the rain was picking up, and people were not taking the risk of riding on a wet track. Not Samson though, he bravely took it on. Adding more experience to his already colourful track history.
Each time we lapped the track Samson would make adjustments, continuously improving lap after lap. I won’t lie; there were a few butt-clenching moments on the wet track as there was some oversteer but he quickly got that under control. After 3 laps or so we were the only ones on the track.
As soon as we got off the track, the rain was coming down fairly hard, and everyone began to pack up and head home.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Comment Below! Hit us up for your auto or moto events!