We headed into the Welsh forests to capture one of the most intriguing motorsports on the planet…the FIA World Rally Championship.
At DWD Photography we love the outdoors, the sense of exploration that being in the great outdoors can give is what makes it a perfect place to explore and relax in (it’s also why we do our lifestyle photography outdoors!). In early October I headed to Wales for a few days of exploring, this was a bit different to normal however…
The usual peaceful Welsh forests were awoken to the sound of fire breathing, exhaust crackling, turbo-charged rally monsters. I was there to cover Wales Rally GB, part of the FIA World Rally Championship.
This is a championship made for road car orientated off road vehicles that compete in a time based competition over sections of gravel, tarmac, ice and snow. It’s long been a favourite sport of mine and one that I used to cover all across Europe.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being on Wales Rally GB. It’s a assault on the senses; the crisp autumnal air hitting your face in the early morning light, the sound of these ruthless rally cars echoing through the forest, the smell of mud baked onto a hot exhaust pipe…these all help to make Wales Rally GB what it is. An event like no other.
Often in our sporting articles we talk about how the athletes show grit and determination and how this always impresses us. The FIA World Rally Championship is no different. In the world of motorsport many would argue that the WRC is home to the best drivers in the world – these drivers have to constantly adjust to changing grip levels, changing surface conditions, tight technical narrow roads that open up fast flowing sections that demand the upmost attention. These drivers (and their co-drivers) are absoloutely fearless.
For most people you can’t begin to comprehend how a car can travel through a forest track that is typically a wide footpath at over 120kmh. It just seems inconceivable. Let alone that over 10 of the worlds best drivers can do it and all end up being within seconds of each other at the end of the stage. The commitment that the WRC drivers show is unparalleled.
This ‘flat out’ approach is what draws spectators from far and wide in to come and see these drivers compete. You see, this sport brings all manners of people to Wales to witness these masters at work. Take a stroll through the large spectator areas at Wales Rally GB and you’ll hear Welsh (obviously!), Irish, Scottish, American, Canadian, Italian, French, Spanish, Finnish, Swedish…you get the picture. This is an international sport with a truly international following.
The World Rally Championship is a true spectacle to behold and one that as a photographer is a dream scenario. The sport is full of action packed imagery of cars sliding around corners, tearing through huge water splashes and flying through the air at break neck speed. I’ve been privileged enough to have now photographed the WRC since 2013 and it’s still the same rush that it was back then.
We’d highly recommend getting out there and experiencing these world class drivers in a sport truly like no other.