Top 10 Images at Velocity Invitational 2021
Erickson Shirley, Group 1, 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B (P3) . Photo © Rex McAfee

Top 10 Images from Velocity Invitational

Plus more amazing vehicles!

While digital cameras certainly offer a wide gamut of advantages over their largely forgotten “film brethren”, one thing they didn’t do is help the photographer narrow down their stronger shots, especially within a limited amount of time. Instead of having a few hundred images to sift through (after the film was developed), a working professional now has thousands of images to sort after a full weekend of shooting.

We asked some of our photographers who we sent to the Velocity Invitational what their favorite images were now that the dust has settled. It’s interesting to see what they picked, and read the comments behind the shot. Don’t forget to enjoy the gallery below this article, and please note the contact information we have included in case you’re interested in ordering a print.

In no particular order:

1955 Mercedes Benz 300SLR
©2021 Dennis Gray. [email protected]

My favorite car of the event. Late Thursday afternoon in celebration of the life and career of Sir Sterling Moss, Derik Hill takes a 1955 Mercedes Benz 300SLR through Laguna’s turn five. z7II Nikon, f/2.8 70/200mm plus a 1.4TX racked out to 280mm at 1/320 second f/16.

1973 Mirage M6
© 2021 Bill Wagenblatt [email protected]

At the Velocity Invitational we were treated to 4 days of sun and a most amazing “golden hour”. This shot of Chris McAllister in the 1973 Mirage M6 with that late afternoon California sun is a favorite. One of the things I enjoy about historic racing is the chance to see cars that I’d watch race back-in-the-day. I was present at the magnificent Spa-Francorchamps circuit in May, 1973 when this Mirage M6 won the Spa 1000km race.

1969 Porsche 917K
One of two 1969 Porsche 917K coupes graced the afterrnoon light during demonstration laps. © Rex McAfee [email protected]

Part of the excitement at the “VI” was the Porsche 917 display which included two 917Ks, three 917/10s and a 917/30. Here we see one of the early 917Ks during a demonstration session. It was a satisfying moment to capture this image as I had the time the car coming out of the shadows. I don’t use a mono-pod so keeping my camera focused on the driver’s face (versus the front of the car) was also a challenge.

1968 Sunoco Z28
©2021 Dennis Gray. [email protected]

As the sun sets the Trans-Am cars come out to run Friday afternoon. This number 6 Camaro is the 1968 Sunoco Z28 driven by Tom McIntyre. I found a corner I liked, good background, the cars came through in groups and the late afternoon light played off the cars. I spent the afternoon watching the light get better and better.  z7II Nikon, 70-200mm f/2.8 racked out to 200mm at f/11, 1/160 second. A polarizing filter is fitted.

Mercedes-Benz 300SLR
© 2021 Bill Wagenblatt [email protected]

One of the highlights of the Velocity Invitational is the very special cars that enthusiast rarely see on the track. Talk around the paddock was the last time this Mercedes-Benz 300SLR was over 10 years ago. A real treat to see and hear this amazing straight-8 powered car doing laps.

1932 Bugatti T-59
Mark Hamilton Peters, Group 1, 1932 Bugatti T-59, grabs a bit of brake before entering the Corkscrew. Photo © Rex McAfee [email protected]

Unlike current “push button” cockpits, vintage racing, especially “Pre War” cars, demands the driver is fully “engaged” in piloting his vehicle. I like to refer to this image as “Man vs. Machine” because driver Mark Peters is both grabbing (literally) some brake while maintaining laser focus on the Corkscrew corner ahead. Downshifting these old cars requires precise “double clutching” which is an art unto itself. A slow shutter speed conveys speed, and directs our attention to the concentration on the driver’s face.

1972 Porsche 911ST
©2021 Dennis Gray. [email protected]

David Alvarado’s number 46 a 1972 Porsche 911ST exits Laguna’s turn eleven Saturday night. z7II Nikon, 70/200mm f2.8 plus a 1.4TX. Racked out to 280mm 1/400 second at f11.

Porsche 934
© 2021 Bill Wagenblatt [email protected]

The last session on Saturday was for the Group 5 cars. After a couple of laps the light was all but gone and the headlights were on. I like this shot of Ernie Spada in his Porsche 934 turning into Turn 11 with the underside of the car lit up by the headlights of the following car.

1976 Ferrari 312 T2
Chris MacAllister, Group 6, 1976 Ferrari 312 T2 . Photo © Rex McAfee [email protected]

I wished viewers of this image could “hear” it as well as see it. When a 12-cylinder Formula 1 Ferrari goes by15’ from your ears, believe me when I say it leaves a lasting impression. The fast and beautiful 1976 Ferrari 312 T2 driven by Chris MacAllister was a sight to behold at the VI weekend, and capturing him approaching turn 9 in the late afternoon made for a memorable moment.

1965 Alfa Romeo GTZ
©2021 Dennis Gray. [email protected]

This late run group runs allowed us to capture images with warm late afternoon early evening yellow gold light.  Number 96 is David Perkins’ 1965 Alfa Romeo GTZ accelerating out of Laguna’s turn two late Friday afternoon. z7II Nikon, 70-200mm f/2.8 racked out to 200mm at f/11, 1/200 second. A polarizing filter is fitted.

More Photos from Velocity Invitational 2021