Archive for the ‘Leeds’ Category

High speed ‘Ham…

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

The weekend started off big for me in the metro. I slept too lat,e then headed out to Barber Motorsports Park for Legends of Motorsports, a Bobby Rahal Signature Event. It was my first time out to the park, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have planned on going had I not been given free tickets. Now, I can confidently say I plan to go back- but perhaps not on such a blazing hot day.

I arrived at parking lot C, and went across the street to a hillside on one of the turns. I went as far down the hill as I could, and got some shots through the fence. These are obviously NOT the same race.

Race 1

Race 2

It quickly got too intense for me out in the lack of shade (I tend to burst into flames in direct sunlight), so I climbed the hill best I could (I am NOT in shape), and took the tram over to the other side of the track. There, I found a nice shady spot on a hillside with large rocks on which to sit, and watched a few more of the short races. The new spot allowed for some tighter shots- a bit too tight in the first one!

too tight!

McLaren in the lead.

After a while, I decided to hop the tram again and head over to the paddock area and race control. Along the way, I spotted a sculpture that seems to pay tribute to the thing that inspired Barber in the first place, the motorcycle.

Hail the cycle!

My destination turned out to be the place where I should have started- and is where I spent the rest of the day. On the way down to the track, I could walk among the teams as they prepped their cars for the races (or did maintenance after the races, as in the first pic, which features a car you recently saw trailing the McLaren). I could also see some historic racers. The second pic is the March/Cosworth in which Bobby Rahal won the 1986 Indianapolis 500.

off the track...

Rahal's ride...

Next, I took a trip down to the staging area where the cars are lined up for the races. There’s a bevy of young ladies there who have one purpose: to hold umbrellas over the drivers before the races to keep the sun off them. One of them didn’t even manage that task too well, and seemed to be keeping the sun off herself more effectively.

Sunny side of the ...oh, nevermind....

It was pretty impressive hanging out down there, among the racers. I enjoyed seeing the lineups of some awesome cars before they hit the track. That’s the first shot. The second is a line up of the drivers waiting for the following race.

Lineup 1

Lineup 2

If you’ve never been close to these cars when they start their engines, you can’t get a feeling for how loud they are. One of the umbrella bearers, however, did!


This side of the track seemed to be a good spot for watching the races, as there’s a second floor observation platform in the shade. It’s the perfect place to be for the fall of the checkered flag.


In one of the final races of the day, there was a lovely old fellow who was last in the lineup- but first in being cool. He and his wife had toured around Europe in his little blue racer before he turned it into a racer- and they actually got five bags in that thing with them! Unfortunately, he had some sort of trouble, and had to exit the track before the race finished.

Cool cat...

Finally, one more shot of one of the ladies. This one didn’t get an umbrella. That’s because she has one big talent- she can show the racers which way leads to the track. :)

THAT way.....

It was a fun day out at Barber- and if you have even a passing interest in racing, I encourage you to go!