The face of North American sports car racing has changed drastically in the last three years with the unification of the two leading series into what’s now known as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
But what if the merger didn’t happen? What if the impromptu meeting between Scott Atherton and Jim France at an ACCUS meeting in February 2012 didn’t occur?
Would both the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am still be in existence today? And if so, what would each series look like, amid the evolution of class structures and emerging global platforms?
It’s a question that popped into my head just this week. And while there’s no clear-cut answer on where the sport would be right now if the ALMS was not acquired by Grand-Am, it still does pose an intriguing situation.
While I’ve long been a DSLR shooter, having invested tens of thousands of dollars into Canon gear, recent advancements in the mirrorless camera industry has made me take a closer look at some alternatives to help fulfill my day-to-day work requirements as a photographer.
I first purchased a Fujifilm X-T1, along with a small assortment of wide to medium-range lenses in January 2015, after recommendations from fellow motorsports snappers, and X-Photographers, Jeff Carter and Andrew Hall.
Having used the camera for general travel photography purposes for the better part of a year, I was intrigued at its potential in the high-speed motorsports environment, particularly if it’s able to keep up with the established gear that’s currently on the market.
A Facebook “memory” popped up onto my timeline today, reminding me of the story I wrote on July 14, 2014 titled “Ford Exploring Factory GTE Program.”
It reminded me, not only how quickly the factory Ford GT program has come together and succeeded on the track, but perhaps how much of a heavily guarded secret it was just 24 months ago, and how I managed to get a sniff of what was to come.
I’m not the kind of person who likes to brag or say, ‘I told you so’ but this is one of the few examples I’m most proud of in my journalism career, in having uncovered one of the biggest modern-day factory GT programs, well ahead of the official announcement.
It came nearly a year before the program’s unveil and six months prior to Ford even taking the wraps off its new Ford GT production car, which took the majority of the automotive industry by surprise at the time.
In May, following the FIA World Endurance Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps, I headed East to Ukraine to check off one of my “bucket list” items, a trip to Chernobyl.
I took part in a one-day tour of the area, which has been virtually uninhabited since the 1986 nuclear catastrophe that claimed the lives of thousands, and the forced relocation many others in the Soviet period.
From the two checkpoints, to exploring the decaying town of Pripyat, and getting an up-close view of Reactor No. 4 (with the finishing touches being put on the new sarcophagus, adjacent), it was an experience I’ll never forget.