Earplugs Required

30th July 2012
I've had my petrol head on over the last month or so as well as a trip to Skomer and a few more visits to the Little Owls. To say the conditions have been challenging would be an understatement, every trip has been plagued with the horrendous weather we are having.

My first petrol head trip was to the Moto GP at Silverstone, Casey Stoner had announced his retirement from racing at the end of the 2012 season so I thought I'd better go and get some images of his last race in the UK. Fridays practice session was extremely wet and coupled with that a strong breeze,not really ideal conditions when you shooting through fencing and trying to pan with slow shutter speeds. I started of in the main complex area for the morning session..

Casey Stoner




The light was shocking and rain relentless with the latter keeping a few of the riders in their garages for most of the session..

Valentino Rossi...




I moved round to another section of the circuit for the afternoon session, which in hindsight was the wrong decision. The sun was trying to come out and it was in the wrong direction for this corner but Silverstone is a big circuit and if I was to move now I would have missed most of the session. Well, I should have moved, the wind picked up from a breeze to a gale and it was bloody hard work holding the 600 with the gusts of wind coming every time I was just about to press the shutter button resulting in hardly any images being kept..

Valentino Rossi, one of the few images I kept from this spot..


Saturday session was just as bad,crap light and a howling wind that only old airfields get, I couldn't believe this was suppose to be summer! I started at Club corner for the morning session..

Casey Stoner


Valentino Rossi


before moving to Beckitts and Maggots for the afternoon session..

Jorge Lorenzo..


Danni Perdrosa


Valentino Rossi


Casey Stoner


After 2 days of wind and rain I decided not to bother on race day, that was another mistake! race day turned out to be the best day weather wise.. Sods law..

Next up was the Waddington airshow, on arrival the heavens opened and I got soaked which wasn't the best of starts to the day. One good thing about all the rain and dampness that was around is that the aircraft would be really fluffing up with vapour when they pulled tight turns.

First to get airborne was the brightly coloured Dutch F16 Fighting Falcon display jet, the Dutch display team always put on a great tight turning displays which is good for lots of vapour..

Dutch F16 Fighting Falcon..




We then had an awesome display by the RAF Tornado GR4 role demo team, fast passes with pyrotechnics to simulate bombing runs, the noise was incredible..

Tornado GR4 role demo team..








We also had a great display by the Swiss F18 Super Hornet..


and it's always good to see this beautiful lady in the air..

Avro Lancaster..




The stars of the show for me had to be the Korean Black Eagle display team, I think it was the first time they had come to the UK and I for one hope they return. Their aircraft are like mini F16s and their display flying is excellent, I'd go as far to say they are as good as the Red Arrows..

Black Eagles..




I'm not sure but I think the aircraft are K50s... it's a fantastic bit of kit..


After Waddington it was back to Silverstone for the Formula 1.. I'm not a great lover of car racing but I have never seen the F1 cars before so I was keen to experience it. Well,the weather was horrendous yet again and the traffic jams getting into the circuit were a complete joke. Thankfully I only had a ticket for the Friday practice session,three days of traffic jams and rain would have sent me mad. Anyway,after finally getting into the circuit I made my way round to the infield complex, I didn't know where to go to be honest having never photographed cars before so I was hoping it would be ok. By now the rain was coming down in bucket full's and it was so bad at times that when two cars came past you could hardly see them through the spray.

This is Jenson Button Mclaren Mercedes in a wall of spray..


Lewis Hamilton Mclaren Mercedes




The standing water was causing all sorts of problems for the drivers so much so many didn't leave the garages... :-(

Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Patronas F1 Team fighting to keep control..


Michael Schumacher Mercedes AMG Patronas F1 Team...



RedBull racing pair, Sebastian Vettel


and Mark Webber..



Ferrari pair of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso..






I decided to leave after the first practice session, I couldn't see the rain stopping and hardly any of the cars were coming out. It turned out I'd made the right decision for once as the second practice session was cancelled..

That's it for now, next update will be a wildlife one... :-)

Thanks for looking..