27th January 2011 – Algarve International Autodrome to Tavira

27 01 2011

Damn this weather.

It was raining early morning and with that I decided that I would wait a while before going into the circuit to watch the testing. After it let up for a short while Lorna and I took Jack for a short walk and I purchased my ticket to get in. Paul, our friend was with us and there was some misunderstanding about the ticket prices, the poster said €3 for a stand ticket and €5 for a paddock pass so we were both expecting to pay just €5 but it seems that you had to buy a stand pass as well as a paddock pass to get into the paddock area making the cost of entry €8. Paul protested heavily but the pretty girl behind the counter stuck to her guns and quoted the ‘company policy’ thing. I wanted to get in whatever so I paid the extra and was issued with my pass, Paul decided not to go in, the same as Lorna.

Once inside I had a wander around the paddocks looking for the best place to take photographs and the choice wasn’t that great. I spied some photographers in an excellent place but when I tried to get there I discovered that I didn’t have the right pass. I was most put out. It wasn’t busy at all and there were so few people about I really thought that I might have been able to get where I wanted, but no. So, I was stuck with trying to get photographs from inside the paddock area, through wire fences which isn’t ideal really as I then had to keep the aperture wider to produce the depth of field to blur out the wires. This is fine but it not only reduces the depth of field on the subject it also means that shutter speeds are higher which can mean that the blur on the wheels spinning is lost giving a very static feeling to the shot. It’s a complicated set of equations.

Portimao Circuit

Portimao Circuit

I managed to find a decent spot to take some photos from in the end, inside the track, looking down toward the first corner from a higher vantage point than I would have liked. Ideally I would have been set up looking across the apex of a corner where I would have been able to get the kind of shots that I wanted, but as with yesterday, you make the best of what you have. In the end I think that I got better shots than yesterday so all in all i’m fairly happy despite them all being a bit similar.

Portimao Circuit

Portimao Circuit

The program said that the Supersport testing was finishing at 12.30 and then the Superbikes would be coming out. Typically, as soon as 12.25 came the heavens opened and the rain started. I waited for a while, getting wet but then realised that the teams were probably changing tyres etc. and would maybe wait for the rain to stop so I decided that I really would be better just going back to the motorhome and drying off. We decided that lunch would be a good idea so we went along to one of the cafes at the circuit and had chicken and chips with Paul before heading off to the campsite in Tavira where we will be having a clear out, washing and generally getting ready for our visitor on Sunday.

The campsite is great but it has its flaws, mainly that when they are busy there is very limited space to park. When we arrived, the place that we had last time had been taken so we drove around for a while to find an alternative, one close to an electricity point is all we needed, level was a bonus. We finally decided to park near the entrance and once we managed to get the motorhome fairly level I started to run the cable to the electricity box, it wouldn’t reach so we had to find an alternative. We both decided on another place but as we were outide discussing it sone French folk came along and suggested another place, then spent ages with us getting us level, connecting us up and generally being really helpful. All set up and sorted we had a quiet night taking advantage of the free wi-fi and electricty.

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