It was Saturday. We were headed back to Sears Point for the CSRG races and perhaps a feature shoot if we found the right car. First things first: coffee. We followed John Gray up 680 to Peets in Pleasant Hill, and met up with Mr Bob Tilton.
Suitably re-caffeined, we fuelled up around the corner (my first time sticking fuel in the SC) and headed north. Our three-car convoy to the track was good fun. There we said hello to Cary Noel, a fellow Grupper who owns a super Silver and Blue Carrera RS rep. The weather was glorious but that is one unmercifully hot sun, so sunscreen was the order of the day. I use factor 50+: translucent-skinned Irish people are always better off playing it very safe! 40 degree heat certainly takes it out of a body.
We had our wristband press photo passes so could go wherever. We did some paddock shots just in case we decided to sell an events piece to Classic Cars magazine (decided not to bother in the end) and I ended up at the pit lane exit, about 6 feet away from Can Am cars doing 150mph+ on the entry to turn 1. Never been so dumbstruck by fear and excitement in my life; I couldn’t quite believe they had let me take pics from there. But then the camera couldn’t cope and I was only slightly better! Here’s a pic (imagine insane amounts of noise and speed):
Back in the paddock, things were really hotting up, with temps soaring way past 40 degrees. We took a load off at John Thornton’s racebox, chatted with John, Fuchs-meister Harvey Weidman and Gray for a while before he and Tilton could stand it no more and shot off for lunch at an air-conditioned pizza shack.
Sears Point Porsche
We stayed for the wicked BBQ, before deciding to try and nail some pics of John T’s very groovy Emory-built 912 racer. We gave it our best, but had left some gear in the Martimobile from the day before, and John had to go get ready to race, so we left it for another day. It’s a great car though, and was worth the effort to get the few shots Jamie did.
Lesson learnt number three: Empty all gear into the works van once back at base camp.
While Jamie went to get some tracking shots up at the top of the circuit, I headed for the grandstand to watched some racing. I came down after the Jags had finished – just before I started to melt. Sadly, one of J’s lenses had not been so lucky.
Expanded by the unmerciful heat, it had taken a minor bump while mounted to the camera body and pulled the screws out of the mount, breaking its electrical contact ring. Hard to believe, but there we were: down one lens and fading fast. We decide to say our goodbyes, head for the ranch and try a few things to re-equip ourselves for our Mopar shoot the following day. Varmint had been sitting in the sun all day so was nicely warmed up…