Category Archives: Motorsport

International Classic Cars China Grand Tour 2015

During my recent trip to China, I participated in the International Classic Cars China Grand Tour 2015.  This event saw a collection of representatives from FIVA (Federation International de Vehicules Anciens) national groups from all corners of the world gather in Wenzhou in China.  The challenge was to drive a fleet of classic cars 750km from Wenzhou, via Ningbo and Hangzhou, to Shanghai over 4 days.

Did you know that in China, once a car reaches 10 years old, it gets crushed?

The purpose of the event was to showcase classic cars in China and to put forward a case to the Chinese Government to lift a ban on importing classic cars into the country. Additionally it aimed to persuade the Government to introduce exceptions to the 10 year rule, so that selected cars could be kept beyond their 10th birthday to preserve their heritage.

Niels & Hanne's Lancia Aurelia imported from Denmark
Niels & Hanne’s Lancia Aurelia imported from Denmark

A total of around 25 cars took part in the event. Some of the cars belonged to the participants and were imported specially for this event. The other cars belong to the Classic Vehicle Union of China, who donated them to be driven on the event.

Participants came from 13 different countries (UK, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Germany, Cyprus, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and China).

IMG_1964_a
Water provided by the Liten Group, one of the sponsors

The event was sponsored locally by a number of different companies, including the Liten Group, Sunshine Insurance Group, OneHome Hotels and many others.

In Wenzhou, the event was kicked off with a Press Conference following a formal Welcome Dinner in the Porsche showroom with evening entertainment. Lunch before the event was provided in Landrover and Jaguar showrooms before the rally proper started.

To see photos from the event, please visit the dedicated page in my Photo Gallery (under 2015) or click the link here.

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Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren MP4-27

Lewis Hamilton pilots his McLaren MP4-27 at Suzuka in the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton pilots his McLaren MP4-27 at Suzuka in the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix

I was lucky enough to be at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka in 2012 and took this shot of Lewis Hamilton driving his McLaren to the grid prior to the start of the race. I’ve been a McLaren fan ever since my uncle started working for the Woking-based team when I was a kid.

Thanks to Andy Coates who helped me set the camera up to get these shots where the car is in focus and the background is blurred (it took a few attempts!). A shutter speed of 1/200th was the key. The pic is best viewed at full size 🙂

Colour or Black & white?

Since I’ve had some time on my hands recently, I’ve started learning a little of what can be done by way of image manipulation and how you can turn your photos into art.

Today’s exercise was on layer masks and creating splash colour images (thanks Adam for your sofa tutorial on the subject last week!).

Here’s my original full colour photo of James Martin’s #72 Mini Cooper in a tight battle with a Wolsley Hornet at the 72nd Goodwood Members Meeting last year:

Mini Hornet IMG_6812

And here’s my black & white version, created using a white (transparent) layer mask and painting back the colour of the vehicles in The Gimp:

Mini Hornet Splash BW IMG_6812

Whaddya think? Do you have a preference between the two?

Personally, as an overall image I like the contrast of the red cars against the green grass, but I think the black & white one draws the eye to the cars and how close they are to each other.  So I guess I like both 🙂