I had the great opportunity to be the event photographer for Audi Club Northwest’s Quattrofest, held on November 4th and 5th at Portland International Raceway (PIR), again this year. I covered the event for the full first day, including the banquet, and the first half of the second day.
As with the past years that I have covered Quattrofest, I tend to lug around a lot of photography equipment. I had brought along my own D500 and D800E camera bodies, a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens, and all of the required batteries, filters, rain coats (both for my equipment and myself), and a monopod. To supplement my own equipment, I rented another D500 body and a trio of lenses: 24-70mm f/2.8 VR, 300mm f/4 and a 50-100mm f/1.8. The idea was to provide enough cover from 24mm all the way to the equivalent of 450mm (300mm lens on the crop sensor) and I would have two bodies and two lenses on me at all times.
While, I originally asked for a loaner vehicle from a local Audi dealer to be a photography support vehicle for the weekend; but, I decided to forgo that and make use of my own vehicle: the #araroad. The Ara Blue allroad had more than enough cargo space, just enough room in the back seat and the passenger seat to be used as a charging station, mobile workspace and it had a mobile LTE hotspot in case my own phone’s battery was drained. Plus, it stood out and got quite a bit of attention from those that saw it in the paddock.
Although “quattro” is in the name of “Quattrofest”, all vehicle brands and drivetrain configurations are allowed to partake in the event; well, so long as they go through tech inspection and meet all of the requirements, that is.
Once the cars go through tech inspection and all of the required driver meetings have been held, everyone splits up into their groups.
For a good portion of the morning, I camped out at the flag station near Turn 4, catching cars coming out of the chicane, coming down a short straightaway and readying for the turn.
The rest of the time I was there, I was stationed along the edge of the grid and taking photos of cars going through Turn 12 and getting ready to hit the main straightaway.
The theme of the banquet was the history of racing at PIR, the home of Quattrofest. The banquet included photos from the various racing events and some dazzling details of the evolution of the speedways in Portland and the raceway itself. There was also talk about what the future brings to PIR, including the return of IndyCar racing and the hosting of the Pirelli World Challenge, both in 2018. For more information about PIR, visit PortlandRaceway.com and to help insure the future of PIR, be sure to join the Friends of PIR at FriendsOfPIR.com.
Also, the banquet featured both a silent and a standard auction of various Audi and Audi Club-related items, plus a few special social gathering opportunities.
Due to a conflict on my schedule, I had to leave after the lunch break and meeting. That also meant that I didn’t have the opportunity to go into the inner track and cover the Driver Skills or the auto-cross portions of the event. With a limited schedule, I spent most of my time at the edge of the grid and shooting Turn 12 again.
On both days, I did roam around the paddock between run groups to take a quite break to download photos and to relax a little bit.
I want to thank Audi Club Northwest for letting me be their event photographer again this year. As always, it was a pleasure to be out and about to see everyone that participated and get to see and hear some really great cars ripping around the track. Additional photos can be found under the “Quattrofest 2017” album on Flickr.