Some Sebring 360's from BCPix.com

Sebring tower and grid 360, March 2016 #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA


Pre-Race Grid, March 2016

Once again, the 12 Hours of Sebring has inspired my to return to my keyboard and peck out another photo blog entry. I don't know why Sebring tends to bring out the blogger in me but I do have couple of theories. First, it is such a unique and grueling event it my require a certain amount of reflection to digest what you've just been through.



Shooting the 2016 Sebring full field group shot #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA


Early week, pre-race full field photo shoot (click on image for interactive 360 view)

More so than the 24 Hours of Daytona, but maybe not quite as much as Le Mans, the 12 Hour race at Sebring demands that a photographer servicing clients or providing editorial coverage of the event will be conscious and active for about 24 hours non-stop. Even the most ambitious photographer at the 24 Hours of Daytona can grab an hour or two of sleep and still get everything down. Le Mans, with its short period of total darkness really does not provide such an opportunity.

Setting up the 2016 Sebring group shot #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA


Setting up the full field shot (click on image for interactive 360 view)

Also, for many photographers, the week or two after Sebring provides the first downtime for a full-time motorsports photographer since New Years, so it may be a good time to sit at a computer and reflect on the beginning of the year before embarking on the mid-year grind that runs pretty much through August and beyond.

In any event, this year's event provided a platform to work with my newest gadget, a 360 degree Ricoh Theta S camera.



In my 35 year career I've found that, at least for me, occasionally I need something to come along to pique my interest and keep the juices flowing. It might be a new camera, new film (back in the day) , the advent of digital photography, a new lens, a new technique or a new bit of software. Lately, the last 3 years or so, I dabbled in 360 degree panoramic photography. Until recently for me, this meant an expensive pan-head for a sturdy tripod, and taking 36 separate exposures then assembling the 360 scene on the computer.

Recently I discovered the Ricoh Theta S 360 degree camera, which has opened up a new whole new world of 360 degree subjects for me. So my 2016 Sebring blog entry features a few 360 degree scenes from this great race in Florida.



I find these images to be very revealing in that you can scroll through the entire scene, zooming in or out to check details within the scene or create artsy alternative views that you are otherwise unable to access.

IMSA autograph session, Sebring Raceway, March 2016 #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA


IMSA WeatherTech series autograph session (click on image for interactive 360 view)

While these types of photos can be overdone and get old quickly when thrust upon disinterested viewers, they can be very addictive viewing material to someone who's in the proper mood.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy them and, as always, any feedback is welcome.

Famous #SebringCows in the paddock at Sebring 2016 #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA


Sebring Cows in the paddock, Sebring Raceway 2016

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2016 12 Hours of Sebring Race Results
Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 P S.Sharp, E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, L.Derani Tequila Patron ESM Ligier/HPD 12h00m59.881s
2 P D.Cameron, E.Curran, S.Pruett Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 2.926s
3 P C.Fittipaldi, J.Barbosa, F.Albuquerque, S.Pruett Action Express Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 3.940s
4 P H.Hedman, N.Lapierre, N.Minassian DragonSpeed ORECA/Nissan 4.339s
5 P R.Dalziel, M.Goossens, R.H.-Reay Visit Florida Racing Corvette/Chevrolet 18.078s
6 P J.Bomarito, T.Nunez, S.Pigot Mazda Motorsports Lola/Mazda 29.735s
7 P J.Pew, O.Negri, O.Pla Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ligier/HPD Not running
8 P J.Miller, T.Long, B.Devlin, K.Ihara Mazda Motorsports Lola/Mazda 1 Lap
9 PC J.Bennett, C.Braun, M.Wilkins CORE Autosport ORECA/Chevrolet 2 Laps
10 PC T.K.-Smith, J.Gutierrez, R.Alon PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 2 Laps
11 GTLM O.Gavin, T.Milner, M.Fassler Corvette Racing Chevrolet 3 Laps
12 GTLM B.Auberlen, D.Werner, B.Spengler BMW Team RLL BMW 3 Laps
13 GTLM E.Bamber, F.Makowiecki, M.Christensen Porsche North America Porsche 3 Laps
14 GTLM G.Fisichella, T.Vilander, D.Rigon Risi Competizione Ferrari 3 Laps
15 GTLM R.Briscoe, R.Westbrook, S.Dixon Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 3 Laps
16 GTLM L.Luhr, J.M.Edwards, K.Wittmer BMW Team RLL BMW 3 Laps
17 PC A.Popow, R.van der Zande, D.Hansson Starworks Motorsport ORECA/Chevrolet 5 Laps
18 GTLM A.P.Guidi, D.Serra, A.Bertolini Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 5 Laps
19 PC C.Miller, M.Goikhberg, S.Simpson, K.Koch JDC-Miller Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 6 Laps
20 PC J.French, K.Marcelli, J.Norman Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 7 Laps
21 P K.Legge, S.Rayhall, A.Meyrick Panoz DeltaWing Racing DeltaWing/Elan Not running
22 GTD C.Nielsen, A.Balzan, J.Segal Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 9 Laps
23 GTD B.Curtis, J.Klingmann, A.Freiberg Turner Motorsport BMW 9 Laps
24 GTD J.Potter, A.Lally, M.Seefried Magnus Racing Audi 9 Laps
25 GTD M.Farnbacher, A.Riberas, I.James Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 9 Laps
26 GTLM J.Hand, D.Muller, S.Bourdais Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford 9 Laps
27 GTD C.MacNeil, L.Keen, G.Jeannette Alex Job Racing Porsche 9 Laps
28 GTD B.Miller, B.Sellers, M.Snow Paul Miller Racing Audi 9 Laps
29 GTD M.Marsal, M.Palttala, J.Krohn Turner Motorsport BMW 9 Laps
30 GTD R.Liddell, A.Davis, C.De Phillippi Stevenson Motorsports Audi 9 Laps
31 GTD M.Cressoni, R.Giammaria, P.Mann Spirit of Race Ferrari 9 Laps
32 GTD P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda, R.Stanaway Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 9 Laps
33 PC J.Mowlem, R.Lewis, M.Drumwright, D.Yount BAR1 Motorsports ORECA/Chevrolet 10 Laps
34 GTD S.Pumpelly, C.Lewis, A.Carter Change Racing Lamborghini 11 Laps
35 GTD B.Keating, J.Bleekemolen, M.Miller Riley Motorsports Dodge 11 Laps
36 GTD T.Pappas, N.Catsburg, P.Long, A.Pilgrim Black Swan Racing Porsche 12 Laps
37 GTD T.Borcheller, F.Konrad, C.Bruck, J.Webster Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini 12 Laps
38 GTD T.Krohn, N.Jonsson, P.Kaffer Flying Lizard Motorsports Lamborghini 18 Laps
39 P J.Pace, B.Defoor, D.Hinton, D.Schroeder Highway to Help Riley/BMW Not running
40 PC S.Johnston, M.Engel, M.Lyons Starworks Motorsport ORECA/Chevrolet Not running
41 GTLM A.Garcia, J.Magnussen, M.Rockenfeller Corvette Racing Chevrolet 36 Laps
42 P C.de Quesada, D.Morad, C.Lawrence, D.Farnbacher Alegra Motorsports Riley/BMW 43 Laps
43 P R.Taylor, J.Taylor, M.Angelelli, R.Barrichello Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette/Chevrolet Not running
44 GTD L.Aschenbach, M.Bell, D.von Moltke Stevenson Motorsports Audi Not running
45 GTD P.Lindsey, J.Bergmeister, M.McMurry, J.Heylen Park Place Motorsports Porsche Not running
46 GTLM P.Pilet, N.Tandy, K.Estre Porsche North America Porsche Not running
47 GTD T.Bell, B.Sweedler, R.Antinucci Change Racing Lamborghini Not running
48 GTD P.Ruberti, C.Sbirrazzuoli, F.Babini, L.Persiani Dream Racing Lamborghini Not running
49 GTD P.Ehret, C.Zochling, J.Krebs Konrad Motorsport Lamborghini Not started

12 Hours of Sebring, one more time

March in Florida means only one thing to die-hard sports car racers: 12 Hours of Sebring! For photographers the annual half-day run under he Florida sun means chance to burn digital memory shooting in the beautiful light that only the cow pastures of mid-Florida in springtime can produce. Here's look back at a few favorites from last months shoot.



Sunset at the Hairpin, Thursday night practice



Glowing Rotors





Happy Max



Race Morning



Joao Barbosa, Eyes of a Winner





Sunset ‘Vette



Bikini Contest


Driver Change




Pit Stop Practice



Winners

View my entire 2015
Sebring Gallery on bcpix.com


2015 Sebring 12 Hours - Images by Brian Cleary


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Full race results for the 2015 Sebring 12 Hours, round two of the 2015 United SportsCar Championship at the Sebring International Speedway

1. Barbosa/Fittipaldi/Bourdais USA Action Express Chevrolet DP 340 laps P
2. Taylor/Taylor/Angelelli USA Wayne Taylor Corvette DP 339 laps P
3. Westbrook/Valiante/Rockenfeller USA VisitFlorida Racing Riley Ford DP 339 laps P
4. Dixon/Hand/Pruett USA Chip Ganassi Riley Ford DP 339 laps P
5. Curran/Cameron/Papis USA Action Express Racing DP 338 laps P
6. Guasch/Kimber-S/Palmer USA PR1 Mathiasen Oreca 334 laps PC
7. Bennett/Braun/Wilkins/Gue USA CORE Autosport Oreca 334 laps PC
8. Krohn/Pla/Jonsson USA Krohn Ligier Judd 334 laps P
9. French/Mee/Daly USA Performance Tech Oreca 333 laps PC
10. Magnussen/Garcia/Briscoe USA Corvette Racing C7.R 330 laps GTLM
11. Kaffer/Fisichella/Bertolini ITA Risi Ferrari 458 Italia 330 laps GTLM
12. Henzler/Sellers/Long GER Falken Tire Porsche 991 RSR 329 laps GTLM
13. Edwards/Luhr/Klingmann GER BMW Team RLL 329 laps GTLM
14. Tandy/Pilet/Lietz GER Porsche NA 911 RSR 328 laps GTLM
15. James/Farnbacher/Riberas USA Alex Job Porsche 911 GT 318 laps GTD
16. Neilsen/Davison/Davis GBR TRG Aston Martin V12 Vantage 318 laps GTD
17. Turner/Lamy/Lauda/Dalla Lana GBR Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 318 laps GTLM
18. Sweedler/Bell/Lazzarol ITA Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia 318 laps GTD
19. Carter/Keating/Goossens/Lawrence USA Riley Dodge Viper SRT 317 laps GTD
20. Haase/Miller/v Moltke USA Paul Miller Audi R8 317 laps GTD
21. Bergmeister/Bamber/Makowiecki GER Porsche NA 911 RSR 317laps GTLM
22. Auberlen/Werner/Farfus/Spengler GER BMW Team RLL 317 laps GTLM
23. Snow/Heylen/Valverde USA Wright Porsche 911 GT 316 laps GTD
24. MacNeil/Keen/Davis USA Alex Job Porsche 911 GT 316 laps GTD
25. Priaulx/Paltalla/Marsal/Said USA Turner BMW Z4 315 laps GTD
26. Keating/Bleekemolen/Bleekemolen USA Riley Dodge Viper SRT 314 laps GTD
27. Pace/DeFoor/Hinton/Schroeder USA Highway to Help Riley BMW DP 309 laps P
28. Perazzini/Cioci/Aguas/Potolicchio ITA AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia 308 laps GTD
29. Miller/Golkhberg/Kraut/Mitchell USA JDC Miller Oreca 290 laps PC
30. Schultis/vd Zande/Hedlund USA Starworks Oreca 280 laps PC
31. Cumming/Junqueira/Menezes USA RSR Oreca 267 laps PC
32. Gavin/Milner/Pagenaud USA Corvette Racing C7.R 264 laps GTLM
33. Brown/Van Overbeek/Fogarty USA ESM HPD ARX-04b 211 laps P
34. Drunmwright/Drissi/Cheng/Plowman USA BAR1 Motorsport Oreca 194 laps PC
35. Potter/Lally/Seefried USA Magnus Porsche 911 GT 179 laps GTD
36. Sharp/Dalziel/Heinemeier-Hansson USA ESM HPD ARX-04b 162 laps P
37. Lindsey/Pumpelly/Norman USA Park Place Porsche 911 GT 155 laps GTD
38. Bomarito/Nunez/Tremblay/Hinchcliffe USA SpeedSource Mazda 111 laps P
39. Miller/Long/Devlin/Tremblay USA SpeedSource Mazda 104 laps P
40. Faulkner/Giermaziak/Skeen/Butcher USA GB Autosport Porsche 911 GT 97 laps GTD
41. Rojas/Meyrick/Legge USA DeltaWing Racing 60 laps P
42. Pew/Negri/Wilson USA Michael Shank Ligier Honda 46 laps P
43. Holzer/Thome/Thompson USA Flying Lizard Audi R8 23 laps GTD
44. Hartley/Mayer USA Starworks Riley DP 0 laps P
45. De Phillippi/Trebing USA Muehlner Porsche 911 GT 0 laps GTD

Flying Cars: The Future is Now






For many, many years now scientists and sci-fi writers have been promising us flying cars. But so far, these vehicles have not made an appearance on our roadways or skyways. As a veteran motor sports photographer, however, I can tell you that flying cars do exist, and I have per sally made many sightings at racetracks around the country over the past 30 years. The most recent example was just this past weekend at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama, when the green Ford Mustang pictured above made a brief flight after touching wheels with an Aston Martin shortly after the start of the race.



Over the years, there have been numerous reports of flying cars at an uphill section of the Lime Rock road course in Lakeville, CN. I myself documented several instances of flying cars at tis location, such as the Porsche, pictured above at a Grand-Am race in 2007. A more recent track modification has grounded all the cars for the time being at Lime Rock.






No less than the famous NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace himself has piloted a flying car on more than one occasion. I , among others, recorded his well documented flight of a Pontiac Le Mans at Daytona in 1993. Wallace, however, has yet to "stick" a landing!



One of my earliest photographs of a flying car took place at Daytona in a 1987 Daytona 500 qualifier. Phil Barkdoll slid sideways on the front stretch before, to everyone's surprise, his Oldsmobile headed skyward, the direct result of the recent downsizing of NASCAR stock cars in the 1980's Apparently the smaller, light cars did just fine when running a high speed in a nose-forward attitude. When the cars presented their sides or rears to the wind, however, the drivers quickly became pilots !

SO, while we still await the arrival of flying cars on the public roadways of the world, they are already a fairly common sight on our racetracks, although the flights do not tend to be of very long duration, and landings remain a problem.



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When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go

A motorcycle racer takes a break to relieve himself at Daytona. Photo by Brian Cleary www.bcpix.com
I was covering a pro-am motorcycle event at Daytona International Speedway many years ago. Stationed out at the chicane, which is a pretty remote location on Daytona's road course, out of sight of the spectators and kind of a pain to get to for photographer, I was the only person in the area, other than a few corner workers out at their station.



These events were a day-long succession of short sprint races filled with club racers who were not well known and whose skills were not on a level with the great racers who compete annually in the Daytona 200, so the racing wasn't always stellar.

These circumstances can combine to lull a photographer into a trance-like hypnotic state. It was in just such a stupor that I sat as I waited for the start of the next race. At these races, the riders circle the track once in there "sighting" or warm-up lap before returning to pit road the line up and start the race.




I watch as the group of riders approached my position on their warmup lap. Suddenly one bike slowed to a stop at the entrance to the chicane. The rider got off and leaned his motorcycle against the wall. Thinking that he must have some sort of mechanical problem, I was hoping that this would not delay the start of the race by too much. Then, I watched in interest as the rider turned to the wall and appeared to be unzipping his leathers. With his back to me, I watched as a stream of liquid appeared on the wall and ran down onto the racetrack (see photo above). Relieved, the rider re-zipped his suit, climbed back onto his bike and sped off to join the other riders on the grid for the start of the race.

I looked around the remote location and realized that I was the only witness to the unusual pit stop. I laughed to myself.



My amusement turned to amazement as the same recently relieved motorcycle rider smoked the field and won the race going away! Some people jokingly say that you should always bet on the dog in a dog race who relieves himself on the way to the starting gate, as that dog will be just a little bit lighter, and I guess the same theory must apply to motorcycle racing.

View Motorcycyle Racing photography on BCPix.com

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Bowling in Florida

Eddie George carries the ball in the Florida Citrus Bowl.  Phot by Brian Cleary www.bcpix.com
For the working freelance sports photographer in Florida, New Year's Day can mean only one thing: Bowl Time!

This year there are 5 major bowl games in the state including the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, the Outback Bowl in Tampa, the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, the Capital One Bowl in Orlando and the Orange Bowl in Miami.



For the ambitious freelancer with connections, these games provide opportunities on several fronts. First, its a chance to start the year off on the right foot, with a decent payday on the very first day of the year, there is also the opportunity to get good play in the media if you can capture good shots from these high profile, high energy events, you also get the chance to fill your files with photos of potential future NFL superstars (the above photo shows Ohio State running back Eddie George in action at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando in January 1995), and finally you get to see some good, fun college football firsthand, from the sidelines rather than planted on your couch in front of the TV.




One of my favorite College bowl days stories comes from a photographer I know who lives nears Tampa. One year, as he tells it, he arose early New Year's Day and drove to the old Tampa Stadium to shoot the first quarter of the Hall of Fame Bowl. In a driving rain storm, the photographer jumped into his car and took off up I-4 to shoot a portion of the final quarter of Orlando's Citrus Bowl from an opening under the grandstands. Then it was back in the car, over to I-95 and north to Jacksonville where he worked that evening's Gator Bowl!

For the Florida freelancer, New Year's Eve is often a night of moderate celebration and early bedtime followed by the first working day of the New Year.

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