Considering all the poor weather we have had so far this year, it seemed very fortunate to have such a fine sunny day in late February for the Snetterton Rally Stages event. This was also my very first visit to Snetterton, which is somewhat surprising, considering that it was not much more than two hours away by car.
This was also my first Rally Stages event so I was a little uncertain what to expect prior to the event, although as it happens, it turned out to be exactly what I thought it would be. The event consisted of 8 timed stages both on and around the circuit including some in the reverse direction to normal racing.
As far as equipment goes, I had the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, a lens that I bought at The Photography Show in 2017 specifically to photograph motorsports (and occasionally wildlife). I had this lens mounted on the Fujifilm X-T2 (with free battery grip) that I bought at the same show.
I had found this combination of camera and lens quite pleasing on the few occasions I used it last year, the lens being especially impressive given the long zoom range, although I never found the X-T2 body very comfortable when used with longer lenses. Specifically, the position of the shutter button and the angular body tended to leave me feeling quite sore by the end of the day, both in my shutter finger and in the palm of my hand. Mindful of this, I used my Manfrotto monopod for the whole of the day to take the weight of the lens and camera, while I concentrated on trying to capture some of the action.
It turned out to be a really enjoyable event to photograph, and a surprisingly good day out, considering how early in the year it fell. Once I got my bearings, I found it easy to move between the different public viewing areas, and I enjoyed the fact that the circuit is not totally surrounded with 12ft high fencing as some circuits seem to be.
It certainly will not be my last visit to this circuit, I was impressed with the viewing areas, the facilities on offer, and also by the freindly staff and (mostly local) spectators that I spoke to whilst there.
I hope you enjoy these photos. I tried to capture some of the speed, action and atmosphere of the event, but as always, it’s not always possible to be in the right place at the right time.
I certainly hope to re-visit Snetterton later this year if I can, and I shall try to get to some more Rally Stages events too, all being well.