The Gold Coast 600 is quite unique in its layout and its proximity to the beach. Three days of partying, racing and bikini clad race fans as far as the eye can see. For 362 days of the year tourists flock to the world famous glitter strip for the sun and sand blissfully unaware that for the other 3 days of the year its used to inflict hell on the whole field of V8 supercar drivers and their co drivers and where making the smallest of mistakes can end the weekend or kill any championship hopes.
The whole weekend has a massive party feeling its almost easy to forget this is a very important race in the championship with massive points on offer for both races. This track definitely never disappoints with something happen almost everywhere you look from the airshow put on by the RAAF roulettes, static car show, Showtime FMX and the countless parties on almost every hotel balcony.
This is my own personal home race with it taking place within 10kms of my house. I personally have attended all but one since its inception as the Gold Coast indy in 1991. I remember dad taking me as a kid and its always had a great vibe for me. Its more like a party than a race weekend.
From a photographers point of view this is one of the tracks where the whole time your shooting you are thinking I could be shooting anywhere else on the track from the beach chicane or from above or even in the pits. With most of the tracks we travel to i draw a path of the sun on a map of the track and we plan our way round the track and chase the light. Here its like those rules don’t apply, As the light is shielded by buildings and trees that litter almost the entire circuit.
The pitlane here is quite long with multi story corporate suites on top shooting the pits here is as good as it gets. Its 400m of A list celebrities, drivers, and racing personalities all in one spot. Its easy to get caught up and spend a hour or two shooting here at a time.
To get 100% out of the lap around the 2.9km circuit the drivers need to be millimetre perfect lap after lap. That means being within mm’s of the concrete walls. With a ambient temp of around 30deg and cabin temps much higher than that it doesn’t take much to make a massive mistake here. The outside wall of turn two is the biggest magnet with countless mirrors being claimed over the weekend. The piles of mirror casings littering the marshal area after every session.
For me personally coming from WTAC the week before and having a track like Sydney Motorsport Park to work with, And the wide open country side its easy set up shots as nearly the whole track is accessible to the public let alone the media. It took some time to adjust to how non media friendly these street tracks really are. Massive crowds, fences, and some corners even shielded by signage it was easy to use the media holes provided by i wasnt after the general cookie cutter images these holes provide. Sure sometimes these holes are in some of the best spots but if you are after something unique here you definitely have to work for it.
Shot by Dragphotos.com.au