Day 2- Friday

The rally starts proper where the cars are now racing the clock. Up early and at the start of stage 1, well before most, some volunteers are here already as I walk onto the stage.

Still an hour to go before the cars are due  and I notice the WRC television crew are setting up the camera and the advertising signs for the background, sometimes it is a good start if the spot you have chosen to photograph from is the same as the WRC television team. This turned out to be a benefit as the WRC cameraman made a call to the helicopter pilot and directed him on the flight path he wanted to helicopter to follow.

Ott Tanak – MSport

Minutes to go before the stage is due to begin, the noise goes up a level as the helicopters rise and position themselves, off in the distance you can hear the first car coming and you check your camera is ready.

After the first car passes me, unless it is a very good location, I will start to walk into the stage to the next corner and next photo opportunity.

Hyundai I20- Hayden Paddon
Eli Evans – Mini Cooper AP4

Ended up walking in 1.7 kilometers into the stage to get to the water crossing, which was a dirty mud puddle, I didn’t realize what a good dirty mud puddle it was until I went back on the Sunday and captured what to my mind were some stunning images.  You know it is time to turn around and start the walk back to your car for the afternoon stage, when the cars start to cautiously tip toe through the water crossing, as not to stall the engine.

The afternoon stage is worth mentioning as there were 2 highlights for me;

The first was the location, a sweeping right hand downhill with a clear background and a low shooting position.

Hyundai I20- Theirry Neuville

The second highlight was just before the cars were due to come around that corner I looked through the camera  and spied an offending branch/twig that need to be removed as it would have ruined the shot, so as I am running up I looked down and there is a brown snake between my legs going the same direction, normally I would have  died of a heart attack on seeing the snake but rally fever had me and it was more important to remove the branch to get the shot, I think it was worth it.

Craig Breen -Citroen C3
Hyundai I20 – Hayden Paddon

Alright day 2 is almost over but there is still the Super Special Stage in Coffs Harbour to do before I can get back and check on my work for the day.

Craig Breen – Citroen C3

Kris Meeke – Citroen C3
Sebastien Ogier shows the crowd why he is #1
Redbull gives Sebastien Ogier wings

Day 2 over, time to go home, wash me and the cameras, find something to eat, go to bed so I can get up early and do it all again, sometimes life is really good !

Words and Images By Terry Hill