When you’re not a full-time motorsport photographer, you face a number of difficulties: you don’t know, will you actually get an accreditation or not, you need to find a publication and, usually, you spend own money on travel. Around 10 days before the event I got an email that I’m approved for DTM at Hockenheimring.
In this case it’s best not to turn down the opportunity, which I didn’t – so I packed my bags and went to shoot German Touring Masters for the second time in my life. I like Hockenheimring and how it is situated. Comfortable flight to Frankfurt and one hour ride on a train and you’re there. Easy!
Like I said, if you have an opportunity – go for it “or go home” as it’s written on Mattias Ekström’s helmet. I ended up with a feature on Speedhunters and on Motorsport.com. After all the fuss died off, I decided to make a big post about the weekend, since I got quite a lot of great material. Pictures are in chronological order: we start with DTM 2015 trophy that one
lucky hardworking driver will get by the end of the season.
2. I arrived early and went searching for Edward Sandström. My mission for Speedhunters was to follow him through the weekend. While searching, I stumbled upon Tanner Foust, preparing for his maiden race in newly established Audi Sport TT Cup.
3. Edward was in the next pit, preparing Anton Marklund’s car for the race. Mainly Edward would help with analysing driving data.
4. Didn’t notice such a cool wheel on your Audi TT? Well, c’est la vie…
5. After each race drivers had access to the data and could optimise everything for the second race.
6. On Sunday Anton started the race 20th and finished 8th. He was juggling his racing in the TT and World Rally Cross race in the same weekend.
7. Paddock is always full of classic racing cars, some of them, as this BMW 6 series, would even have the honour to do some laps of the track as Taxis.
8. Morning DTM practice just finished. Drivers left their cars and went on discussing the data they produced with their racing engineers.
9. Hey Puma, do you want a glamorous photoshoot? Call me…
10. I like the hand of Bruno Spengler in this shot. You can clearly see that just a little while ago he was doing a lot of exercising behind the wheel.
11. Mattias concentrated solely on DTM this weekend, his place in the Audi S1 RX was taken by Edward.
12. While DTM veterans were analysing all the papers they were given, young guns were bashing the race Audi TTs for the first time.
13. All of the Audis are front-wheel drive with approximately 310hp and a weight of 1125kg.
14. European Championship of FIA Formula 3 was underway. At this point at the furthest corner of the track – the Spitzkehre.
15. Just few moments later a nice german man told me that it’s prohibited to photograph from the famous slow corner, so I moved to S-turns down the road.
16. Famous Mercedes streamlined design from the 50s.
17. In the first qualifying of 2015 everybody were pushing hard.
18. Marco Wittmann – DTM champion of 2014.
20. Mike Rockenfeller has hopes for securing another title this year.
21. Every racing series had their own grid-girls.
22. Three stars from America took part in RX: worldwide acclaimed driver and presenter Tanner Foust, Danny Way and Dave Mirra – skate and BMX stars respectively.
23. It was time for few taxi rides: Edward was filling the duty for ABT Sportsline.
24. Interestingly, for many racers, their first experience of a different sort of motorsport comes from such taxi events: Sandstöm was at the wheel of a DTM car for the first time, Nasser Al-Attiyah also got his first DTM experience here, while Martin Tomczyk was making himself familiar with Dakar Rally MINI Countryman.
25. Taxis are usually made from last year’s racing cars. They have slightly less downforce, but still weight 1100kg and pump out 480hp.
26. Gullwing is really ergonomic in these situations, but still the showing-off effect is enormous.
27. You know the feeling, when most of the drivers just want to turn away when they see somebody photographing them? Yes you do. So it’s really good to meet the person first, then after you have more chance to get a smile or thumbs up in return.
28. Taxi rides are basically the only time you’re allowed in the “active” pits.
29. A messy shot, but the look into the camera saves it.
30. Jamie Green won the qualifying, so he’s really interested in making the most out of his pole position.
31. Just before the race you’re able to hang around the grid.
32. Ten minutes before the start everybody are asked to leave.
33. Famous “mail carriers” of Deutsche Post
34. Teams are monitoring everything all the time
35. Hans-Jürgen Abt and Dieter Gass discuss last minute things and wishes luck to the team.
36. Long-awaited season was up and running. The wait is over!
37. Gary Paffett couldn’t make it into points on the first race, but a big surprise still awaits him.
38. 75 000 people attended the weekend.
39. Mattias also didn’t had luck in the first race, puncture costed him the points.
40. I should do more research, maybe this is one of the best jobs in the world?
41. DTM had major updates for this year and now the series is running two races per each event. Second race was held the next day, on Sunday, but we will speak about it a bit later.
42. Jamie Green did his job perfectly. He was leading the race from start to finish. On the picture he’s doing the celebration lap after Race 1.
43. It was time for Rally Cross, Hockenheim crowd is about to see something completely different. Liam Doran was one of the front runners on Friday’s Heat 1 & 2.
44. Edward was in his proper seat, preparing to do competitive motorsport.
45. Practice and preparation for Heat 3 & 4 were underway.
46. Petter Solberg was unlucky on Friday, but on Saturday he won both races and took the pole for the first semi-final.
47. Anton Marklund was now also battling his way on gravel, trying to adjust after the TT Cup.
48. Organisers did put all the photographers very far from the track, because the surface was full of stones that did fly everywhere.
49. This is also a rare shot, it wasn’t allowed to photograph from here, only from behind, where other photographers are standing – I was changing my position and took this shot on the run.
50. Distinctive feature of Rally Cross is the obligatory “Joker Lap” when every driver must take a shortcut/long route once during every heat.
51. It takes 2 seconds for WRX car to reach 100km/h from a standing start.
52. Monster Girls are cheering the crowds, their two drivers are on the start line.
53. Tanner Foust was the only American to qualify himself for the semi-final.
54. World Rally Cross got a piece of the “motodrom” part of the circuit together with a purpose-built twisty gravel part that would surprise few drivers.
55. Dave and Danny didn’t come with empty hands, they brought two JRM MINI Countryman RX Supercars from US. Unfortunately in this moment Danny Way’s race was over.
56. Heat 4 was full of carnage.
57. Fellow Latvian Reinis Nitišs is one of those few top RX drivers without an Energy Drink sponsor.
58. Sunday. Final race day. Second DTM qualifying was held early in the morning. Track was wet after the morning rain. So the drivers that were last on the track got the best times. For many it seemed that Ekstrom was the last one to cross the line and should take the pole, but it was actually Edoardo Mortara, who was making the flying lap already after the time ended and he snatched the top spot from Mattias.
59. I had plenty of shots already, so I experimented a bit with long panning shots.
60. I do like the black and white picture, but there’s something about this BMW as well.
61. After qualifying, track was rebuilt for Rally Cross finals and it was a good moment for Terry Grant to show some stunts. He moves well for his age.
62. Audi was in good spirit. They won the race on Saturday and got pole on Sunday again.
63. That’s why we couldn’t photograph Rally Cross action up close.
64. Petter Solberg was a bit concerned about the weather, but it didn’t stop him from winning.
65. “British Bomb” Doran is Solberg’s teammate for this year and he has a lot to look up to.
67. Grid-girls from every series look so different.
68. Making a good start in one of the most important things in Rally Cross.
69. Timmy Hansen was the top Peugeot driver finishing third.
70. Last battle in the final’s last corner: Toomas Heikkinen vs Robin Larsson
71. Kenneth Hansen, swedish rally cross legend and one of the patrons of the sport.
72. Yes, I did make their breasts look bigger (dear reader, did you manage to read till here?)
73. Petter, still didn’t fully recover from the cold he had the week before, very happy with the win.
74. Petter is full of energy, Monster Energy that is, his fresh sponsor for 2015.
75. I was happy to see Peter Solberg once again, last time we met was back in 2012 at WRC Finland.
76. Weekend was creeping onto its finale – second DTM race. Weather was still dry.
77. Just before the race drivers sit a bit away from their race cars in promo cabrios.
78. I noticed that most of them just sit and listen to music.
79. Only at this moment I managed to come close to Mattias and present myself. Seems that DTM drivers a re more busy than others. We had a small chat and I left him preparing for the second race.
80. I still have time for a career in motorsport.
81. Adrien Tambay’s Playboy sponsored car was at the back of the grid, so girls had a long way to go.
82. Finally they made it and posed for a few shots next to the car.
83. Marco changed his style for a more gangster one.
84. Really, Mattias looks like an astronaut here. Red Bull gives wings?
85. Teammate Mortara took the lead, but Mattias was right on his tail.
86. Race was underway, Gary Paffett was edging ahead with every lap.
87. Around 20 minutes into the race – rain started and team strategies were changing in a blink of an eye.
88. Most racers went for the pit straight away, but few stayed for few more laps, hoping that rain will go away. Ekström was one of them.
89. I was watching DTM for the past 10 years and one thing I know is that Mattias is an even better driver when it comes to slippery conditions.
90. He got back from the pits and in few laps took the lead from Edoardo Mortara.
91. Timo Glock was one of the drivers who didn’t favour the wet conditions. At the end he managed to secure one point.
92. In my opinion, BMW looks better in Red Bull livery.
93. conditions were very unconventional.
94. It was a full-on shower now
95. All drivers were avoiding the slippery curbs.
96. Here you can see how much advantage Mattias built by the last lap of the race.
97. Another DTM veteran, Gary Paffett, also liked the wet conditions and he was in 3rd position when crossed the finish line (he started 23rd). Seems that english weather taught him something good. Leading BMW was Martin Tomczyk, finishing 4th.
98. Jamie got top points on first race and 0 on second. Mattias did vice versa.
99. In the interview, Glock was saying that he will battle for the championship this year – seems that he needs to add some pace.
100. BMW were overall losers of the weekend. They didn’t secure any podium positions.
101. Audi team couldn’t dream of a better result – they placed first in both races.
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