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Photographer's Note

General Admission to the Utah Grand Prix............................$70
Rental for Nikon 70-200/2.8 VR glass...................................$60
13 gallons of gas to get to the middle of nowhere..................$37
Obligatory T-Shirts/Hats/Souvenirs.......................................$100
Bottled H20 to keep from dying in the 103 degree shade.......$50

Watching my son's eyes bulge out and his mouth hang wide open when the Corvette's, Aston Martins, Lola's, Porsche's, and Audi's fired up and ran down the front straight................................................................................Priceless.

This past weekend was the Utah Grand Prix at the new Miller Motorsports Park on the outskirts of Tooele, Utah [For those who are wondering just where this is...go to Salt Lake City and drive west into the desert, can't miss it]. This is the first major auto event at the raceway which opened this spring.

The car is a Lola EX257 which competes in the P1 class in the American Le Mans Series. I believe that it is being driven by the combination of Bryan Willman and Michael Lewis.

It was taken at the end of the 3500 foot front straight just as the cars start breaking for turn 1. It's amazingly hard to track a car that is accelerating up to 200+ mph towards you and then in ~300 feet or so brakes down to 40-50 mph and turns hard left. There were so many times that I would just be acquiring the car in the viewfinder when it would brake hard and be gone again.

This image was made using shutter priority at 1/100 of a second. Any longer than that and it was impossible to keep the car sharp as I attempted to track it as it speed by. I was using a mono-pod (I don't care if the lens does have VR...it's tiring to hold a 3.5 lb lens all day, trust me). I did come away with an intense lens lust after using it all day (~800 pictures worth). The focus and tracking of this lens is so unreal. There is no way I could have made even 1/20th of the shots I took with a slower lens. And did I mention how nice it is to shoot at 1/[email protected]/2.8? The only bad thing about this lens is that it's $1,800 and that I really could have used a 400mm-600mm lens yesterday...and Nikon makes one or two of those. Did I mention that I really love this lens? Is it really practical? No...but I really, really, really, really, really want one BAD!

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Additional Photos by Robert Matthews (rmatthews) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 194 W: 119 N: 206] (945)
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