Damp and Dreary Excitement – The 2017 Rolex 24

Who Needs Forward Visibility When Driving 200MPH at the Rolex 24?

We had the pleasure of returning to the Rolex 24 again this year for the fine folks at Top Gear.  Despite some less than ideal (read downright unpleasant) weather for much of the race, spirits were high and the Rolex 24 was as action-packed as ever – and with record crowds to boot!  With the introduction of a new prototype series, including entrants from the likes of Cadillac, Mazda, and Nissan, anticipation was high as the crowd anxiously awaited the green flag.  Now endurance races are always a gruelling exercise for the teams, but add a hearty helping of cold, damp rain, and it is nothing short of a harrowing experience.  We’ve watched some in-car footage from about hour 10 of the Rolex 24, when the rain was coming down in buckets, and tell you what – those drivers are brave!  Coming down the front stretch at break-neck speeds, the driver couldn’t see the car in front of him at all, despite it only being an handful of feet away.  Even the onboard warning system was having trouble detecting the cars hidden behind their rooster tails.

However, earlier in the day, a few hours before the start of the Rolex 24, conditions couldn’t have been more different.  Part of the weekend festivities included what’s been called the 24 Minutes of Daytona – a showcase of historic endurance racers, put on by HSR.  The group brought along some amazing classic racers, including the Brumos Porsche Carrera RSR that won the 1973 24 Hours of Daytona, as well as the beautiful Shelby Daytona Coupe you see above.  All in all, the Rolex 24 was a feast for the senses and a joy to capture – even if I did get more than a little wet…

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Damp and Dreary Excitement – The 2017 Rolex 24

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Modern History: The 2016 Rolex 24 Mega Gallery

All Our Favorite Eye Candy From The 2016 Rolex 24

Deremer Studios Motorsports Photography

For the third year in a row, we returned to the Rolex 24 to cover this storied race for Top Gear.  With brand new entrants from the likes of Ford and BMW, the addition of Lamborghini to the fray, and familiar forms from the likes of Corvette, Nissan and Aston Martin, there was plenty to keep this photographer more than entertained during the 24 hours of this grueling endurance race.  The proverbial man of the hour for this year’s running of the Rolex 24 was none other than the Ford GT (above), making its racing debut on the high banks of Daytona.  As you might expect with a brand new racing machine, the Ford GT suffered from mechanical gremlins that took both cars out of the race by early morning, despite a strong showing early in the race.  Another sad story this year for the folks with the Nissan DeltaWing – which was taken out in the early evening after colliding headlong into a stalled car- but at least this year it wasn’t engine failure.

Deremer Studios Motorsports Photography

And then there was the finish!  After 24 hours and well over 2,000 miles, you expect cars to be spaced out by several laps when the checkers finally drop on the Rolex 24, but not this year.  The two GTLM Corvettes managed near identical runs, finishing side by side, a mere 0.03 seconds apart!  Talk about a photo finish!  Indeed, the 54th running of the Rolex 24 was an epic race – its no wonder the fan base keeps growing from year to year!

Deremer Studios Motorsports Photography

I would be remiss to not speak of our first Rolex 24 infield camping experience.  It seems Friday night (or should I say Saturday morning) is party night in the turn 3 campgrounds.  Our tent-neighbors were especially adept in this endeavor, and it would seem they brought the speaker system out of a movie theater just to make sure their music was delivered at a guaranteed ear-bleed level.  This continued until about 4 in the morning with little reprise.  But, on the plus side, the bass from the evening’s “entertainment” enlivened my mattress, giving me a better massage than a premium lazy boy could deliver…  The second night was much better – though the volume of the cars, just 150 feet away, was just as intense, it seems I am hardwired to be lulled to sleep by the roar of 20,000 Horsepower circling around me.

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Modern History: The 2016 Rolex 24 Mega Gallery

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Racing Through History – The 2015 Classic 24 Hour at Daytona

Deremer Studios Motorsports Photography

This past weekend, we had the wonderful pleasure of shooting the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona for Top Gear and Petrolicious.  We’re a big fan of endurance races here at Deremer Studios, and we love classic cars – so the combination of the two was near irresistible.  The field represented a wide range of storied classics from the Sixties, up to the present, with notable entries including a Ford GT40, A handful of Shelby Gt-350 Mustangs, Six – count them six – BMW CSLs, and a gaggle of Lola prototypes from the last 50 years.

Deremer Studios Motorsports Photography

As one would expect with cars worth more than a city block, the racing wasn’t especially heated, yet the drivers weren’t afraid to push their cars to the stops and give us some healthy competition along the way – they even manged to go three wide more than a few times…  From flame-belching braking and those glowy discs everyone so loves, to the roar of engines pushed up against the red line as the competitors ran through the gears, it was certainly a feast for the senses.

Deremer Studios Motorsports Photography

And then there was the night racing – wit the cars under minimum lighting – flying around the course at breakneck speeds.  One particular car, the #202 BMW CSL captivated my attention in the Horseshoe (above), with it’s proclivity to send out foot-long flames as it stepped down the gears on the approach.  All in all it was quite the event, and one I would heartily recommend to any enthusiast.

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Racing Through History – The 2015 Classic 24 Hour at Daytona

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The 2015 Rolex 24 – The Speed, The Sounds, The Frostbite…

Deremer Studios Automotve Photography

This weekend we had the pleasure of photographing the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Raceway again for our friends at Top Gear (View and download images from our 2014 Rolex 24 coverage).  What was looking like less than ideal conditions in the days leading up to the race, turned out to be one of the nicest weekends we’ve had – at least during the daytime hours.  The field this year consisted of 53 cars from the likes of Ferrari, Ford, Dodge, BMW and a rather stunning Gulf-liveried Aston Martin (below).  Also in heritage colors this year was Brumo’s 911 RSR, sporting the iconic red and blue #58.

Deremer Studios Automotve Photography

This year also marked our introduction to camping at Daytona, complete with an impromptu vehicle scavenger hunt!  It seems a meddling camper believed he had a special right to our spot and thought the best way of claiming said spot would be to have our van towed…  But all’s well that ends well, and thanks to a helpful police officer, we found our van, unceremoniously dropped out to pasture not too far from the campsite.  The camping bit itself was enjoyable – filled with the smells of wood fires, burnt rubber and every meat known to man.  The nighttime low, on the other hand, offered up all that Florida humidity compressed and cooled to a bone-penetrating 39 degrees.   But with the morning, came the warmth of the sun and the ability to once again feel my extremities.   With another six hours of racing to go, it was still anyone’s race, but the Ganassi EcoBoost Ford would not be defeated, finishing the 24 hour race with 740 laps and 2,634 miles in the record books – and making Jamie McMurray one of only three drivers to have won both the Rolex 24 and the Daytona 500, joining fabled greats A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti.

Deremer Studios Automotve Photography
What a way to spend 24 hours!  As always, please feel free to download as many photos as you like – we have sized the photos to 1080P HD wallpaper, perfect for your desktop, laptop, tablet or TV. If you enjoy our photos, please follow us – and for extra bonus points, share this blog with your friends to help us get the word out!

Looking to have a car or collection photographed? Feel free to peruse the automotive section of our website: pro.deremerstudios.com/automotive_aviation.html
The 2015 Rolex 24 – The Speed, The Sounds, The Frostbite

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2014 Coke Zero 400: The Rain in Daytona Falls Mainly on the Track…

2014 07 Automotive - 2014 Coke Zero 400 01 - Rain Delay Daytona

It’s been a rough year for racing at Daytona – from the horrific crash that nearly killed two drivers at the Rolex 24, to the severe weather that overtook the track and it’s 200,000 fans at the Daytona 500, to this weekend’s never ending deluge that threatened to completely cancel the Coke Zero 400.  Thankfully, the race was able to get underway a day late, but even still, those pesky showers managed to end the race early.  But, despite the bad weather, the 2014 NASCAR racing at Daytona has been full of action – three and four wide racing – and as such, some rather spectacular pile-ups.   Yesterday was no exception – with two big wrecks, the second of which involved over 75% of the field.

2014 07 Automotive - 2014 Coke Zero 400 12 - Earnhardt Rain Delay Big One Crash Daytona

When the dust had settled and the rain moved in, the winner of this year’s running of the Coke Zero 400 was Aric Almirola, racing the #43 emblazoned Ford of Richard Petty Motorsports.  What makes this victory all the sweeter you ask?  30 years ago, on this very same weekend and on the very same track, Richard Petty won his 200th NASCAR race.

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2014 Rolex 24 in Technicolor & a Brief Lesson on Race Photography

2014 01 Automotive - Roles 24 Daytona 20 - Light Trails at dawn

After a lot of work and a little sleep, I’ve managed to cobble together some of my favorite shots from our coverage of the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona for Top Gear.  This was our first Rolex 24 and a bit of a last minute trip – compounded by a shoot back in Jacksonville smack dab in the middle of the race – but with a little creativity and even less sleep, I was able to be at the race during the day, at night, through dawn and into the morning.  Above is one of my favorite photos from the race – a six second time exposure from high in the stands about 20 minutes before sunrise.  With cars gunning through the front stretch at over 175mph, the moderate exposure time allowed for some great light trails.

2014 01 Automotive - Roles 24 Daytona 13 - BMW Z4 56

Of course, what kind of endurance race photographer would I be if I didn’t manage to get the ever important ‘red-glowy brake rotor’ photo (above).   The trick with these sort of photos is to keep the ISO as low as you can while maintaining a half-way manageable shutter speed (the above shot was an 80th of a second) – that and taking a near-infinite amount of photos because most will be somewhere on the spectrum between ‘slightly fuzzy’ and ”a blurry mess’.   Below is another one of those ‘shoot it until you get something you like’ sort of shots.  Crossing the start-finish line at nearly 200MPH, the car goes from completely outside the frame, to inside the frame, to out the other side in under a 10th of a second – meaning timing is everything.  The trick here is a smaller aperture and pre-focusing on the rough location the cars are passing through.  All joking aside, practice does help a whole lot with timing and smoothness on both of these type of shots – so go out there and practice and you’ll find before long that the ratio of ‘keepers’ to ‘if you squint can I call this artsy?’ will greatly improve.

2014 01 Automotive - Roles 24 Daytona 36 - Finish Line Corvette

The photos are all 1920 x 1080P HD wallpaper, designed to work perfectly with your widescreen computer, TV or other displays.  As always, please feel free to download – and if you enjoy our photos, please share this blog with your friends and help us get the word out!

Copyright 2014 Deremer Studios – Jacksonville, FL
Check us out at: Pro.DeremerStudios.com (Commercial Photography) or DeremerStudios.com (Wedding & Portrait Photography) |  904-744-1103  |  nate@deremerstudios.com

Sneak Peek – 2014 Rolex 24 gets Underway

2014 01 Automotive - Roles 24 01 - Astin Martin 97

As I type, the Rolex 24 is entering it’s 9th hour of competition.  Earlier this afternoon, I had the privileged of shooting the start of the race for our friends at Top Gear before having to head back to Jacksonville for a corporate shoot. The plan is to leave the house tomorrow at 4:00 to get back down to Daytona for the remainder of the race – including some night and dawn photography opportunities.  Being as I am looking at 4 hours of sleep, I thought I would limit this blog post to one photo for the night.  Hope it wets your whistle until I can get a proper post up!

This photo are all 1920 x 1080P HD wallpaper, designed to work perfectly with your widescreen computer, TV or other displays.  As always, please feel free to download – and if you enjoy our photos, please share this blog with your friends and help us get the word out!

Copyright 2014 Deremer Studios – Jacksonville, FL
Check us out at: Pro.DeremerStudios.com (Commercial Photography) or DeremerStudios.com (Wedding & Portrait Photography) |  904-744-1103  |  nate@deremerstudios.com