Pace Images’ Ben Roehlen has once again nominated his Top Ten photos for the year, plus the backstory to each.
Starting with number ten:
#10 is a bit of a cheeky one! It’s always great getting shots of drivers with the #1 finger up across the line, but I think Mitch might have got his fingers confused here.
#9 on my Top Ten Favourite Pic list for 2018 is from Eastern Lions Kart Club’s Junior Sprint event. Cooper’s mum making sure all the angles are covered before qualifying. I’ve tried this shot a couple of times and it hasn’t worked. But glad that Cooper’s mum nailed her photo so I could swoop in and pinch it
#8 is one that I think paints a picture of when a race doesn’t go to plan. Young Charlie had a great battle for the front few positions during the final of the Warrnambool Kart Club round of the Victorian Country Series when things got a little too close. It’s great to capture the successes in karting, but I think it’s just as important to show the other side at times. It’s moments like these that make the victories taste sweeter.
#7 is from the final round of the 2018 Australian Kart Championship at Todd Road. Nothing beats standing next to a full field of KZ2 shifter karts gridded up and ready to be unleashed. The sound and the vibrations through the ground add to the tension as the start lights slowly cycle through. The KZ starts always keep me on my toes, trying to capture everyone’s launch while also keeping an eye out for any stalled karts. From this moment on it’s a frantic 10 minutes trying to capture the race!
#6 in my Top Ten of the year also comes from the final round of the 2018 Australian Kart Championship at Todd Road. An unfortunate coming together in one of the X30 heats caused Zak Lobko to end up upside down on the straight between Dunny Corner and the Sweeper. Sportsmanship is a value I really enjoy witnessing on the sporting field, and it’s something I see very often at a kart track. I think this photo, and the #5 photo, show great examples of the sportsmanship between drivers in this sport. With Zak stranded under his kart, officials and fellow drivers sprung to action immediately and had him back on his feet within seconds. Glad to say that Zak was back out on track for the next heat.
#5 of 2018 is another awesome display of sportsmanship, this time from the youngest field in the sport, the Cadet 9s. These four future stars battled for the entire length of the final race of the 2018 Victorian Kart Championship, with the entire race kept nice and clean. The best part of the race was the cool down lap when the four boys all gave thumbs-up to each other to acknowledge the great battle as they headed back to the pits. It’s always a great sight to see, especially when it comes from the youngest in the sport. This isn’t a rare sight at the kart track; a true testament to the families of these young superstars.
#4 and it’s another shot from the Go Kart Club of Victoria… photos #3 through to #7 were all from Todd Road events, which is only by chance. This shot is of Aaron Cameron celebrating his KZ2 Championship win with some donuts in his JC Kart after the final cool down lap. I would’ve liked this shot more if there was more tyre smoke floating around, but it’s still one of my favourite shots captured this year. The KZ races always draw a crowd, and the crowd loved the post race celebration! Was awesome to have a front row seat for it.
My 3rd favourite photo of 2018 is from a photoshoot I did for Fletcher Harris Motorsport at Todd Road. Fletcher had asked if we could get some shots with his new helmet and with the Go Kart Club of Victoria having one of the best backdrops of any kart track, I figured the top of the hill was the place to go. I wish I could take all the credit for this one… but after taking a few front on shots, Fletch suggested shooting one with him facing away looking over the Melbourne CBD. This shot looked great on the back of the camera as soon as it was taken, so I knew it was going to be one of my favourite shots of the year almost right away. “Country kid comes to the big city to race amongst the best.”
This pic was a very close 2nd… it was a hard decision between this and the winning photo! This snapshot captures the drama of the moment that Troy Loeskow ended up backwards in the air at huge speed following an on-track scuffle into turn one at the Newcastle Kart Racing Club. This was heat one in the KZ2 class and as soon as Troy appeared rotating on his way into the turn 1-2 complex I knew it was going to be a big moment. Launching over the kerb, somehow he landed on all four wheels before sliding back onto the track in front of the full field. Similar to last year’s winning shot, this was one that I was lucky to capture as I had almost changed angles the lap before!
My #1 kart photo for 2018 is: The elation between Jesse and Kris Lacey following Jesse’s 2nd AKC podium of the year at the Emerald Karting Club was an awesome moment to witness. Normally fences can really get in the way of a good photo but I love the element that it adds to this shot. I think that the emotion on both of their faces as well as the congratulatory hand of a competitor’s dad on Kris’ shoulder really make this shot. It was awesome to be able to peer into this father-son/mechanic-driver bond, a quiet moment following a big celebration.