60 degrees cool; 180 degree turns; 360 degree perspective

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Aug 17-20 2017 - Attending racetracks for big automotive racing events is the closest thing to heaven for many kinds of people. At many tracks however, the patrons never really get close to the action sitting in the stands high as heaven. Taking pictures from the stands is rather futile - cars are too fast and far away to save much of a lasting moment on .jpeg. 

Flickr Slideshow (click <231>) or Flickr Album

At the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, race fans have the unique opportunity to get into the track corners and wander through the pits and race preparation areas (within safe zones of course). The close proximity to cars and crews provides budding photographers a perfect opportunity to capture passing speedsters and detailed images of great cars while standing still. It happens there are hundreds of great cars to chose from. 

 at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2017

The veteran automotive photographers disperse early from the media center to their favorite of 11 turns in the course nestled in the hills of Salinas California. Out there they can follow fast cars through long lenses and short depth of field. The perfect shot requires effort, persistence and patience. Perfect shots pay, or these pros wouldn't be here. 

at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2017

For a different perspective, Special Car Store captured a closer view with new 360 camera capture technology. A curved lens round 360Fly camera saves a round image file that can then be reformatted to 360 degree Point of View photos and video. The small form factor of the camera allows it to be placed in the smallest of places for angles and perspectives you cannot achieve with a traditional camera. Mounted inside the cockpit of a track car, recorded 360 clips allows viewers to see all around during the race action (while wearing VR devices such as Samsung Gear) – as if they were in the car racing. 

 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2017 - Chance Taken

Tom McIntyre has been racing at Monterey for a long time. For many recent years he has driven his familiar Penske blue #6 1968 Z28 Camaro. This year he brought two different cars - his original 1966 Shelby Cobra and heavily modified 1957 Ford Thunderbird. Asked why he changed cars this year and in particular why would he put his very valuable Cobra at risk on the track here, he offered simply that "you only get so many chances to race here." 

We can only hope we can progress from taking snaps at the track to chance making laps at the track.

1957 Ford Thunderbird race car no 99 at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2017

1957 Ford Thunderbird race car no 99

1964 Merlyn Mk6A #04 at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2017

1964 Merlyn Mk6A #04

at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 2017

 1999 BMW V12 LMR Championship Race Car #42

by Randy Berg 

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