5 time World Champion – Sebastien Ogier.

Where to start? Just finished photographing my 6th WRC Rally event at Coffs Harbour, NSW.

Now I could tell you how Hyundai was victorious or how the Current World Champion had dramas or maybe how  Toyota had 2nd place tied up, until an error with only a few kilometers left and a collision with a tree put paid to that, what about the local hero who has battled the odds and is finally victorious and crowned ARC Australian champion. All very interesting, but better writers than I will be able to describe the events that unfolded.

After careful thought and advice from a friend I have decided another approach might do the event justice.

I thought I might try to describe my personal journey throughout the rally over three days of high energy, so let’s get started with Day 1.

Note; day 2,3 and 4 will come later.

DAY 1 – Shakedown.

I have waited all year for this day to get here and now shakedown is about to happen, for those who don’t know, shakedown is where the car and drivers tackle short section of forest that is selected and they can drive it as many times as they want, until they get a feel for the gravel surface and the Australian conditions.

Now as a photographer covering the event there is an obligatory photo that you must get on this stage and this is the downhill jump.

You have to remember that the world’s Press come to Australia, so there are a lot of languages spoken and a lot of cameras at the ready, we all look at the clock and count down until the cars can be heard approaching. But something I have never quite understood is that if you have 10 photographer’s standing together aren’t they all going to get the exact same shot? I have to admit two things first;

  • I stood there with them for a couple of shots- they may have known something that I didn’t.
  • This one hurts a little to admit, but after taking 4 cars jumping, I looked down and saw that my camera’s focus system was set to ONE SHOT instead of AI SERVO, for those who don’t know, that means the car would have been in focus went it started the jump, but AI SERVO focus would have followed the car and kept it in focus. Glass half full side says – that at least I found it after only 4 cars and as they kept driving past me, so not all lost.

Now for the results, I am not sure if all photographers are the same but for me I do not get to see the results of my work until the pics are downloaded, and I’m hitting the next button on the computer hoping to be stunned or pleased at least.

The pictures below of the stage, meant, I could have left there and then and been happy with my work, maybe it’s only me but they jumped out at me and said ‘” Good work Terry “. I hope you may like them also?

Looking forward now to looking back at Day 2 next, and try and to convey something that happened in my PHOTOGRAPHERS JOURNEY.

Craig Breen – Citreon racing

Toyota – Jari Mari Latvala

M Sport – Ott Tanak

Hyundai – Andreas Mikkelsen


M Sport Elfyn Evans

Words and Images By Terry Hill