timetoattack 2012 – lean engines and mean machines.
22 May 2012 § 2 Comments
‘Twas a bright sunny Sunday as the boyfriend and I headed down to Sepang International Circuit early in the morning to watch cars burn up the tarmac for the first round of TIMETOATTACK 2012. Having applied for a ‘media’ pass prior to the event, I brought along my trusty Canon to brush up my rusty photography skills – it’s been awhile since I’ve spent a day toting my dSLR around, and what better occasion than a full day photographing deliciously pimped up, sizzling hawt cars!
TTA2012 – scorching up the tracks at Sepang!
The atmosphere was already buzzing with excitement when we arrived and a walk through the pits saw participants busy gearing up (pun unintended!) their cars for the open track session as well as the time attack event that would be commencing later. The crowd of spectators were also building up – there were photographers carrying some serious equipment (I’m talking two cameras complete with Canon L-series zoom lenses- be still my heart! – and tripods) lying on the floor while trying to get the best angle for a photo and plenty of car enthusiasts taking the chance to oogle at the gathering of super cars. It almost felt like a carnival – there were also families with babies and kids in tow, complete with strollers!
The event kicked off with an open track session which saw both stock and modded cars zooming around the circuit. I spent most of this time photographing the cars that were parked at the pits (an excuse to stay in the shade for as long as possible) before venturing out under the blazing sun.
Every second counts
The open track session was promptly followed by the parade lap at 12 noon – you could hear the engines purring as the drivers lined up their cars in preparation for the time attack segment, all focused on obtaining the best lap times and getting their names featured in the Hall of Fame at ZerotoHundred.com. Touted as the “time focused challenge that sets apart the boys and the men on the race circuit”, these winners stand to gain some serious bragging rights in addition to their trophies, yo!
Making a statement
By the time the first round of TIMETOATTACK began at 1pm, the sun was already blistering hot, but this didn’t deter the spectators and speed aficionados from crowding the barricades to support their friends who were taking part. Eager to join in the excitement, I found a nice spot along the barricade. Talk about being in the thick of the action – I could literally smell scorched rubber in the air as I snapped photos of the cars speeding past! These may not be F1 cars, but the roar of the engines as the cars flew down the straights and the faint echo of squealing tires as they took the corners while valiantly trying to shave milliseconds off their lap times undoubtedly heightened the level of excitement for the day!
Sports Hybrid Class Category
Safety car – what a beauty!
Burn, baby, burn!
Start your engines, gentlemen!
The time attack segment was followed by the MCKEE GTR-ONLY drag battle where the main stretch right in front of the pits was turned into a makeshift drag strip. After snapping a few shots at the starting line, I took a long walk down the strip and finally found a lovely (shaded, yay!) vantage point at the finishing line and spent a good hour watching and photographing cars battling it out head-to-head. How exhilarating it must be for the drivers to floor the accelerator and zoom down the track while watching the needle on their speedometer go from zero to hundred in a matter of seconds – talk about a need for speed!
With the weather showing no respite, we made numerous treks to the F&B area, buying bottle after bottle of cold water to cool ourselves down. There were stalls selling food as well, from fruits to popcorn and even packed boxes of sushi, but I’m pretty sure the stall with mineral water bottles and 100-plus cans floating in ice-packed containers had the best business! At any one point in time, I would’ve gladly welcomed an ice-cold bottle of water poured over my head – I was feeling so sticky and grimy from sweating it out under the sun!
Gorgeous cars lined up as far as the eye can see!
My favourite of the lot – an eye-catching blue Audi R8
The crowd rushing over to watch the drag race
Keep your eyes on the prize, boys!
Time to put your money where your mouth is…or rather, pedal to the metal!
The sky began to darken ominously about 4pm and sure enough, a slight drizzle started soon after. The drivers were undaunted by the wet tracks and the second segment of time attack continued right on schedule. When the rain finally let up, I quickly headed over to another area of the tracks to take more photos – a kind photographer had mentioned to me earlier that the curved segment of the track provides a nice vantage point as the cars had to slow down when taking the curves – and he was right! I trekked through the wet grass and spent some time trying to capture shots of the cars navigating the curves before the rain started up again and had me running for cover.
The event ended with a prize-giving ceremony and other than a slight delay in getting the results in, everything went as planned and the event wrapped up about 7.30pm. Kudos to the event organizers as they managed to keep pretty much within their published schedule – a refreshing change from most Malaysian events that start and end predictably late!
Money can’t buy these trophies!
We headed home soon after, sticky and exhausted from the day out. As I scrolled through my shots later that night, I realized that I had such a low hit rate of clear photos when it came to the panning shots (my first time trying out panning techniques – it definitely sounds easier in theory!) that it was literally frustrating to have spent so much time sweltering under the hot sun just for one or two decent shots. For the first time in my life, I actually acquired faint tan lines, heh! Nevertheless, it was a great experience – if you’re a car photography enthusiast, do look out for the next round of TIMETOATTACK on Sunday, July 22nd…you have my word that you won’t be short of subjects to photograph!
Yours truly, grilling under the sun with my modest camera and (lack of) equipment, heh!