87th Dutch TT in Assen

If you live in Assen you’re going to have to try really hard to miss the Dutch TT. After a week of TT Funfair and nearly a week of the annual TT Festival today finally the 87th Dutch TT was on with the Moto3, Moto2 and the main event: the MotoGP!

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Superbike Race 2 on Sunday

A bit more prepared I came earlier to the circuit on Sunday. A better cycling route so a bit less tired as cycling was all against the wind to the track. And well in time for the three main events. And it was sunny, what could possibly go wrong?

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Superbike Race 1 on Saturday

I don’t know what brilliant idea is behind the new schedule of the Superbike races, but apparently there’s a race 1 on Saturday and a race 2 on Sunday now. Not my ideal setup, but what can you do? So without too much rest I was at the track today to shoot the first race of the weekend (and for me this year).

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MXGP day 1 at TT Circuit of Assen

As a bit of an unexpected bonus and quite a surprise the TT Circuit banked a two year contract for the MXGP races. That is dirt bike races on the Circuit of Assen. That has to be something spectacular.

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Spettacolo Sportivo Alfa Romeo

When you’re a bit of an Alfa Romeo lover -an Alfista as it were- and you live near the TT Circuit of Assen, you have to visit the Alfa days held on the circuit. And I happen to be one so I prowled the circuit on Saturday when the “Spettacolo Sportivo Alfa Romeo” organized by SCARB was held.

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Viva Italia 2015

Last Sunday the TT Circuit in Assen was home again to Viva Italia; the celebration of Italian cars. They did this in combination with a Supercar Sunday event. However I don’t much care for ‘Supercars’ (fast engines under a windtunnel-shaped carbon fiber shell and bucket seats) so I marvelled at the historical cars that were far more ‘super’ to me.

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Viva Italia @ TT Circuit in Assen

On September 4 the anual Viva italia day was held at the TT Circuit of Assen, hosting a great variety of Italian cars. Everything from the lovely Fiat 500’s to the outworldish Lamborghini’s. As long as the weather’s good, it’s a great chance to see some beautiful and some ridiculous cars as only the Italian can design.

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Open Dutch Championship 2011

Last weekend the Open Dutch Championship 2011 was held on the TT Circuit. On a very sunny Saturday they practised and qualified, determining the starting grids on Sunday. Sunday started a lot gloomier though, in the morning -while warming up- it was simply poring. So far I hadn’t attended any of it; my plan was to go and see the races on Sunday afternoon, but with weather like that I was having second thoughts.

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Rizla Racing Day @ TT Circuit in Assen 2/2

Once the ATS Formel 3 Cup was finished, I started a long walk around the lower end of the track, making my way to the area known as “De Bult” to shoot the next race, the Dutch Supercar Challenge, a combined race with two classes: the SS2 and the SP. “De Bult” is a slow turn where cars can be photographed nicely from above or racing towards you, when you’re standing high on the earth banks (non seats-area).

Upon arriving at that part of the circuit, the heavens opened up and it started raining… a lot. The track got well wet and so did everyone on the tribunes that didn’t bring a raincover (that would be me). It also meant that the track was slippery, so cars were a bit more careful going round the corners, but that didn’t stop them from making some pirouettes every once in a while.

Took some photos on the bank and after a while I walked to the “De Bult Tribune” -a seated area- where on the edge of the tribune you can get some nice shots with a 400mm lens of cars leaving the turn in “De Stekkenwal”. Once I had my shots there, I walked to the “Ramshoek”; the end of the long straight end to get the final shots there

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After the Supercar Challenge it was time for another Formula-series, the NEC Formula Renault 2.0. I had walked to the area known as “De Strubben” and would shoot the photos of this last race around this set of corners. The track was still wet, so with the field of cars still close together, the chances one of them ending up besides the track in this area was pretty big and indeed it did.

All in all nothing much else happened in this part of the track during the race, but I did see a car racing along with a flit tire (and it was only just the first part of the track, he had still such a long way to go) and one of the drivers racing around with a broken nose (of the car, not the driver). He’d decided that changing noses would loose him more time than racing along with the broken nose. By the end of the race I’d taken a bunch of photos all around the corners in the northern part of the track and was near the exit again

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Rizla Racing Day @ TT Circuit in Assen 1/2

On August 8 the eleventh edition of the Rizla Racing Day was held, a day with demos and races and all that free of charge. I missed the morning program (motorraces) but arrived at the moment that Jasper Iwema was racing a few laps on his motorcycle. No race, just a few laps waving to the audience (a lot of people attended, from what I gathered about 50.000). Anyhow… no real interesting shots of Jasper then. Once Jasper had left the track, Robert Doornbos drove a Mercedes SLK on the circuit and drove some lucky prize-winners round the track, pushing the Mercedes to it’s limits and drifting though the corners. After that Yelmer Buurman drove his AC Milan Superleague Formula car on the track and entertained the crowd with a roaring engine, seriously fast laps and a few burnouts and donuts on the start.finish grid. the photos of this set are of tho separate demonstration-runs that were held between races

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After the demonstrations it was time to get racing and the cars of the ATS Formel 3 Cup came onto the track, but not before the Rizla ladies were paraded up and down the starting-grid holding the starting positions of the various drivers. Once the cars were on the track and found their place, for a while it was extremely busy on the starting grid. Once the mechanics had left the race could finally begin. The whole race lasted thirty minutes and one extra lap. During the race I relocated from the GT-corner to a corner a little further down the track to get a few different shots

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80th TT in Assen

With all the music events last week you’d almost forget that the TT Festival was originally set up to entertain the locals and the thousands of visitors that came to Assen to see the motor races. It was no different last week with people from all over the world visiting our provincial capitol.

The Assen races are different from all other races in that these races are held on Saturday instead of Sunday. That also means that training session start on Thursday and there is more training and the qualifying sessions on Friday. I had already decided not to go to the actual races as it’s pretty darn hard to get a good location for photos and you’re likely to get shouted at at used as target practice for junk-throwing if you do stand up to get decent pics.

Friday the 25th was the best opportunity for me and so I wandered about all day, eventually making my way all around the track getting shots from all locations. A few places that I already knew would deliver me some decent shots and a few new locations that gave me great views to the various corners in the track.

Most of the day was fabulous. The sound of the engines is great, the weather was superb and I enjoy being round the track. However from the very first shot I took, my 3 month old 100-400mm Canon lens decided that it didn’t feel like taking pictures, so I had to battle my lens all day long (tried the 70-200, but that just didn’t take me close enough). Eventually I found a way to at least get the lens to work most of the time so I got some great images anyway.

I’ve divided the images by racing class, the training sessions and qualifying sessions are mixed. First of all there were the 125cc bikes. I really love this class, it’s the rookies class, a well filled field with riders that will fight for every place in the grid. This makes for very aggressive and entertaining racing

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Next up was the Moto2 class, a class that has replaced the 250cc and this new class mostly consists of Honda 600cc bikes. The field is very well filled with a lot of riders so this class also makes for interesting races

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And then finally the MotoGP bikes were let loose on the track. The sound of these bikes is incredible and they’re so very fast. However with Valentino Rossi out due to an injury, the class lacked a bit of fun, also for the Valentino tribune. Another problem with this class is the small amount of riders in it. As awesome as these bikes look and sound, they need a fuller field to make the races a bit more exciting. Still…. what a sound when these com roaring past

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Superleague Formula qualifying and knockout finals on TT Circuit Assen

In preparation of the races on the TT Circuit of Assen on Sunday May 16, the Superleague Formula held Qualifying sessions and knockout finals on Saturday May 15. A day earlier there were already some practice sessions and a demonstration in the town center of Assen that was well attended.

Photographing these cars (or any for that matter) is a lot different then photographing motorcycles. Motorcycles are a lot more dynamic in corners as to cars. Also the cars a bigger and getting them interestingly on a photo is not that easy. It might work better if you shoot them from the front, but there were lots of gates preventing decent shots from that point. Luckily we were able to get on the top op the hospitality house so I could shoot some cars a little more from above and vary the shots a bit more. I’d like to try again sometime, but I’d like some different angles to shoot from.

But it was great to see these racemonsters racing over the circuit near my hometown. The noise these car make is insane.

[flickr]tag:KJGuch+slf15052010@Klaas / KJGuch.com[/flickr]