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 Road America, Elkhart Lake photo guide / Last updated 05/29/2012
Road America photo Guide
Here are some sample pictures taken from various times and places around Road America for photographers to get ideas where to shoot from. Click the symbol on the map to see pictures from that location.

Road America (RA) is a good track to take pictures at. With the elevation changes you can get some good angles and you are able to drive to most places so you don’t need to hike much if you don’t want to. If you are inclined, they also offer weekend golf cart rentals (for a steep price) that you can use to get around the track with. This is good as RA is over 4 miles long and pretty spread out. Depending on the event you may not be able to drive in the paddock area but if you park on the east side of the track by the start/finish line press area you can walk through the pedestrian tunnel and in the paddock area. RA broadcasts its public address commentary on the radio which is useful when sitting in the car. Tune your dial to 88.3 FM.

This is intended to show some of my favorite places and I’ve included sample photos so you can get an idea what the view would look like. Click the symbol for a sample photo. My favorite places to take pictures are on the back part of the track by turns 6-10. These are all shot from behind the fence without press credentials. With credentials a lot of other areas would be available to you. I’ve heard that Road America sells a photo pass that will get you on the other side of the fence, but I haven’t done this. If I find a link I’ll include it here but if you are interested in this contact Road America and see if it is available. I haven’t included all the corners as some are hard to get to or are blocked by high fences. If you are just going to watch racing you can sit in the grandstands and see good overtaking maneuvers at turns 5, 8 and 12 which are all hard braking area. My favorite place to sit and watch is in the grandstands outside of turn 7 or the area on top of the hill inside turn 7. Both these places allow views of the track from 6 to turn 8. Because Road America is spread out, wooded and hilly you can only see parts of the racing at a time. They started using Jumbotron screens at the ALMS event which allows seeing more of the action from other parts of the track which is nice.

Turn 5 – You can get some pictures from the inside of turn 5 mid to late in the day but you can’t get as close as I’d like (Press credentials would help here). It is a good place to watch cars hard in the brakes entering 5 and the bikes often wheelie up the hill.

Turn 6 inside (AM) – Here you can get close to the track and shoot from the inside of the corner. You are pretty much level with the track. This can be a little hard to shoot as they are coming out of turn 5 and up the hill and the bridge will block your view. The downside to this spot is you are on the inside of the corner and the background is the gravel on the outside of the track.

Turn 6 outside (PM) – In the afternoon you can go to the outside of turn 6 and get some nice shots. A good telephoto lens is useful here especially if shooting bikes. It is a short walk between turns 6 and 7 and you get dramatically different shots so this is a good location in the afternoon.

Turn 7 inside (PM) – You can get close to the action on the inside of turn 7 and if you walk up the hills get some different angles. Keep walking down the road to the exit of 7 and you can get some decent pictures exiting 7 with the trees in the background.

Turn 7 outside entrance (AM) – If you go down the hill near the corner workers on the outside of turn 7 you can get some nice shots entering and in the corner. There are concrete dividers that can get in the way and a ladder is sometimes helpful if you want to shoot from the back exiting the corner. Moving around a few feet here can change elevations and make for very different shots.

Turn 7 outside exit (AM/PM) – Here you are higher than the track and have a good view to what is coming as you can see cars entering turn 6. This is a good place to see the action and for superbikes you can watch them wheelie out of seven. This area is on the outside so you have a grass background and bikes are leaning away from you. Continue to walk down the fence towards the tree to get a lower angle.

Turn 8 (AM/PM) – Here is similar to turn 6 but they are on the brakes a lot harder as they are coming downhill from turn 7 which is a fast corner. Again gravel on the outside of the corner and grandstands are in the background. The outside of 8 can be nice in the afternoon but this will require a good telephoto lens.

Turn 9 (AM/PM) – This is a favorite location of mine. You can see what is coming in advance and have plenty of time to pan through the carousel shooting either front or rear views. You can walk the path into the woods on the outside of the carousel where you are a little higher than the track and can shoot down which give you a good background of grass. This is also nice as you can sit in the shade, but the mosquitoes can be intense here. I found these insect repellent patches (http://www.aerostich.com/insect-repellent-patch.html) work great and don’t require spraying yourself down with bug repellent which could also harm your equipment. Later in the day you can move to the inside and get a lower inside angle.

Turn 10 (PM) – Here you are on the inside of the corner up above the track watching cars come out of the carousel. Here is a good place to shoot down into open cars. Late in the day you can cross the foot bridge and get a good angle on the outside of the corner exiting the carousel. When the bikes are here the bend (chicane) is used which allows you to get really close to the action and allows inside and outside angles in one spot. There is no cover here so you will bake in the sun.

Turn 12 (AM) – Canada corner is good but lighting isn’t the greatest. You can see the cars hard on the brakes coming into the corner and watch them accelerate through 13 and under the bridge. Early morning works best for this location. (Update, the bridge is no longer there.)

Turn 13 (AM/PM) - In 2007 they removed the bridge which now opens up a whole new area for shooting. This is a good spot all day long but works best in morning as it lights the front of the cars.

Turn 14 (PM) – Late in the day you can get some nice picture on the inside of 14. You are shooting up at the track and if you time it right you can get the trees as a background.

I hope you found this useful, if you have any question about Road America contact me and I'll try my best to answer them. For a printable version of this file click here to download a pdf version.

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