Images by John 'K'

Life as seen through my lens…

March Madness – RallyCross style

For many here in America “March Madness” refers to a college basketball tournament, but for me March Madness was photographing two NorCal RallyCross events and working through the resultant almost 16,000 (!!!) photos I took in order to post a good selection of images for each driver in each event!!

RallyCross 1945-Pano

The first event took place over 2 days at Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area. Saturday March 9 had two non-competition run groups which gave drivers a chance to warm up before the competition day on Sunday. Drivers that took part on Saturday were faced with a course layout that required a lot of skill but that rewarded them with a challenging and fun experience without the pressure of competition points.

Pictures from Saturday March 9 are here…

Prairie City March 9 Run Group 1
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/sets/72157679764292738

RallyCross 079RallyCross 180RallyCross 596RallyCross 680

Prairie City March 9 Run Group 2
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/sets/72157679764874478

RallyCross 2536RallyCross 2573RallyCross 2750RallyCross 2351

Sunday March 10 was competition day. Results from Sunday counted towards the SCCA and NCRX seasons and so drew a LOT of drivers. In total there were 75 drivers split across 4 run groups. Competition was tough. The course was reversed from the layout used the day before, which served to level the field a bit so those that drove the day before didn’t have an advantage from having prior track experience.

RallyCross 001

RallyCross 004-Pano

Pictures from Sunday March 10 are here…

Prairie City March 10 Run Group 1
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/sets/72157708040088644

RallyCross 018

RallyCross 661RallyCross 993RallyCross 719RallyCross 315

Prairie City March 10 Run Group 2
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/sets/72157704464030492

RallyCross 1121-Pano

RallyCross 2726RallyCross 2768RallyCross 2034RallyCross 2852

Prairie City March 10 Run Group 3
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/sets/72157704462855182

RallyCross 2958

RallyCross 3279RallyCross 4041RallyCross 3050RallyCross 3995

Prairie City March 10 Run Group 4
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/sets/72157707785145935

RallyCross 4588-Pano

RallyCross 4885RallyCross 4987RallyCross 5528RallyCross 5890

Across these two days I shot around 8,800 photos. From that pool I selected around 15 photos of each car/driver for each run-group. The selection process alone took me about a week of after-hours work.

3 weeks later NorCal RallyCross held an event at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. March 29 and 30 were devoted to a Rally School hosted by Primitive Racing that introduced RallyCross to a new batch of drivers. The school was followed by a competition day that counted towards NCRX but not SCCA. This was another well attended day, and again the course designer presented the drivers with a challenging course with many tight turns and challenges, and the soft ground added an extra level of difficulty. The soft mud resulted in a number of vehicular casualties – suspension issues, dropped exhausts, and various bits of bodywork getting torn from cars.

RallyCross 002RallyCross 007RallyCross 011RallyCross 019

The 65 or so drivers were split across 3 run groups that took most of the day to complete. My personal favorite was the 2nd run group because of the variety of vehicles, including an old Volvo PV544 (was as old as me!) and a Porsche 544 that was co-driven by J Krzeminski, which gave me an opportunity to do a little April Fool’s joke for my Facebook friends with a very minor piece of PhotoShop work!

RallyCross 016RallyCross 016_JK

The 3rd run group was all Subaru apart from one car, a bright red Audi A4. While I had  a couple of friends in that run group, a big part of me was hoping the Audi would end up in the top 3 (sadly it wasn’t to be though). In all I shot almost 7,000 photos on this one day

Pictures from the competition day at Santa Rosa on March 31 are here…

Santa Rosa March 31 Run Group 1
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/sets/72157707786327665

RallyCross 1843RallyCross 1236RallyCross 1632RallyCross 1653

Santa Rosa March 31 Run Group 2
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/sets/72157704465128342

RallyCross 3317RallyCross 2410RallyCross 1998RallyCross 2633

Santa Rosa March 31 Run Group 3
https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkay/sets/72157679768683578

RallyCross 5760RallyCross 3853RallyCross 4998RallyCross 4041

I started photographing RallyCross because a family friend competes and asked me along to watch and shoot him in action, but I quickly found that the RallyCross community is a friendly and welcoming one, and even though I don’t compete myself I have through my photography become a member of that community, and now have many members that I consider friends. I look forward to the next event later this month even though I know that there will be a lot of photos to work through as a result.

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