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Intro to an American F1 Photojournalist - Jamey Price

When is a photograph more than a photograph? When it falls in the category of photojournalism.

Photojournalism is different from photography in that it “complies with a rigid ethical framework which demands that the work is both honest and impartial whilst telling the story in strictly journalistic terms.” If a single photograph can be equated to a single paint color, then photojournalism is the art of turning singular photographs into a Monet or a Van Gogh. Photojournalists create pictures that contribute to the news media. It is possible then, that the short definition of photojournalism is simple: A picture is worth a thousand words.

On that note, we’ll spare you our words and spend the next few days transporting you to Barcelona, Spain for Formula 1’s second round of testing. The expedition will be lead by one of America’s most promising professional sports photojournalists, Jamey Price.

Jamey Price, PhotojournalistJamey was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina – which is obviously no stranger to auto racing, as it is nestled deep in the heart of NASCAR country. A self taught photographer and experienced athlete, Jamey attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he competed as a varsity swimmer all four years. Upon graduation, he moved to the United Kingdom to broaden his horizons and expand his professional experience on the international scene. Back in Charlotte, Jamey now competes “in the occasional triathlon” (just a walk in the park, eh?) and can frequently be found on the back of a race horse as a steeplechase horse racing jockey.

What about the other type of horsepower, the kind with four wheels? Jamey’s deep passion for covering racing has taken him from photographing lawn mower racing and grass roots dirt tracks all the way up to NASCAR, Indycar, American Le Mans and Formula One. Jamey’s award winning work has been featured around the globe in print and online publications such as Sports Illustrated, F1 Racing Magazine, Southern Living, The Racing Post, Autosport and the Charlotte Observer, to name a few.

With over 40 races and 11 wins to Jamey’s riding career, he adds:

I am no stranger to the highs and lows of life as an athlete and the pressures to produce results.

We hope you enjoy the highs and lows of testing from Jamey as he sends us his stories from Barcelona this week.

Mid-August Target for COTA

Circuit officials are meeting with Bernie Ecclestone this week in London to discuss progress at the facility.  According to Jonathan Noble of Autosport, several members of the executive team including President Steve Sexton, Executive VP Bruce Knox, Director of Racing Operations Chuck Aksland, and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Geoff Moore.

Geoff Moore was quoted by Noble:

"The race is on. Construction is happening six days a week. The paddock buildings are being topped off, work on the main grandstand has started and we are looking at mid-August for completion."

Details about other discussions with Ecclestone have not been released, though the most promising news in this story is the mid-August target completion date.

The mid-August date gives a three month buffer before the scheduled Nov 18 USGP and an opportunity to hold other events at the circuit.  In presentations from COTA, they have spoken about programming at the circuit to include bike or foot races, smaller racing series, large scale conferences and live entertainment.  Details about such events have been relatively vague since the April 2011 press conference but are more likely to emerge over the coming months with this new target date. Without a doubt, there will be the need to hold an event of some kind before the first Formula 1 race.  I don't think anyone would expect the F1 race to be the first thing held at COTA so we'll have to wait to see what this event will be.

Mid-August is roughly 7 months from today, and though that might seem unattainable, with a 6-day crew going two or three shifts, it is possible.  Over the past month, the paddock building has completely transformed from a foundation into a three story building and the main grandstand foundation is going in as we speak.  Let's hope, for construction's sake, for another dry spring and summer.

No Longer a Dream, Race is on Track!

Breaking news reported from multiple sources last night:

-The land for the track HAS been purchased!

-The track HAS been designed, by Veteran circuit designer Hermann Tilke!

-Initial permission for permits HAVE been granted!

-The 700+ acre location is "within miles" from Austin Bergstrom International Airport!

Motor-racing veteran journalist Adam Cooper posted this late last night:  

Tilke designing Austin Track, site already purchased


 ESPN Racing also published last night:

Promoter reveals designer, few details


And this morning, stated:

Tilke to design new Austin circuit

So, Mr. Tavo Hellmund and Full Throttle Productions, LP have been doing their homework.  We are not surprised!  You can't go to the rodeo without your cowboy hat, spurs and rope.  We will continue to update you as this story develops. Congrats to the Tilke Team and we look forward to learning more.

This Isn't Our First Rodeo

Some questions are floating around about just how Austin is going to handle this huge event.   (see this article at Speed TV and Autoweek).

Keep in mind, Austin is used to absorbing well over 100,000 people every other weekend during the fall months for UT Football.  The Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium has a capacity of 100,119 (and routinely sells out) and is home to the nation's largest high-definition video display.  Throughout the year, hundreds of thousands more flock to the state capitol: to experience the world's largest music, film and interactive festival, SXSW, which stretches over 10 days in March; to indulge in the biker lifestyle with over 40,000 bikers and over 200,000 motorcycle enthusiasts at the Republic of Texas Biker Rally in June; to see history being made while listening to the best musicians in the idyllic Zilker Park during the three-day outdoor Austin City Limits Music Festival in the fall, we can handle the increased visitors.

The new track is a different story, but that's not really as big of a deal as you think.  Sure, it may cost $300MM but we've got major corporations in Texas, including Dell just up the road in Round Rock, probably excited about the international exposure and advertising potential this magnificent race has to offer. 

In addition, our city council has lots of experience dealing with mega-million dollar projects like the new Samsung and AMD Headquarters, as well as many other big name operations.  These kinds of projects require major investment but also tax incentives to attract other businesses with the intention to bring in residents and tourism to grow the economy.  The city council has handled these projects with careful discretion to maintain local support while attracting the investment in the area.

Keep you pants on, this isn't our first Rodeo!