Road Atlanta is a marvelous spectator track. The natural terrain road course has elevation changes and many great sight lights that are not blocked by fences. For the fan (as well as the photographer), the question arises from where to watch the start?
The run from the green flag down to Turn 1 is the natural choice as all the cars are clustered together, the flagstand is within sight and Turn 1 can produce drama. The run down to Turn 10 is another great option as much of the field is visible on the straight leading to the corner and the passing opportunities are often difficult to resist.
My choice for this year was Turn 5 at the top of the esses. The view all the way up to Turn 3, the quick twisty run down the hill, and the furious launch over the crest at Turn 5 made for a great way to get the festivities underway.
This shot intended gives the Audi R8 pace car the spotlight for the first of its two pace laps as the prototype entries tagged close behind. The texture of this section of track is also on display with the gravel trap in the foreground, the green and white curbs through the turns and the rubber marks on the pavement.
Camera Settings – 1/1000 shutter speed, f/5.6, ISO 100, 420mm.