Photo Rally: Best photos of Rally Mexico

Sebastien Ogier “ogiered” this year’s Rally Mexico, collecting maximum points for winning the event and being fastest on the final power stage. It does look like 2014 may end up with Ogier as the title winner, but for now it’s way too early to tell. Especially given the fine performances from Jari-Matti Latvala. In Mexico there was drama on every corner and nobody was safe or immune to problems. Except maybe Sebastien Ogier. Bent or broken suspension parts, punctured tyres, smashed windscreens, perforated radiators, to name but a few issues crews encountered while conquering the dusty stages of Rally Mexico. After icy and snowy Monte and Sweden a trip to Mexico sounded like a vacation in the sun, until the sun and dusty roads started biting back. As one can imagine, such setting was just perfect for motor sport photographers. Allow me to share some of them with you.

Once again the task of selecting the best photo from each team’s archive was both nice and difficult. Nice because you get to see MANY pictures, most of them great, some of them stunning. Difficult because you must select just one from each archive. Some archives are big, some are compact and some are literally huge. It makes little difference if some archive contains 100 or 800 images, sometimes you have hard time picking the best one out of 10 because 8 of them are fantastic (I’m looking at you Hyundai) and sometimes you must dig deep to find something truly exciting in 500 photos. Mexican mountains provided spectacular scenery for our photographers and they used it to full extent. It was interesting to see how some spots and vistas were universally popular among photographers, but they all made sure that the final product is different and unique.

One thing did bother me a bit, but not sure if photographers are to blame. Most photos lacked spectators, except on the obviously popular spots such as jumps or superspecials. Now I’m not sure if that’s normal and I guess if the stages are set in some remote areas it would be, but people sometimes provide that final touch of excitement to photographs. Especially if you can still hear the screams and cheers from 1st special stage in Guanajuato. Perhaps there were other reasons for not including people in photos or perhaps they (spectators) just cannot be everywhere (remember, some stages in Mexico were freaking huge). All in all, no biggie.

The Winner
Andre Lavadinho Agence Austral and/or Marcin Rybak or Citroën Racing (no actual signature in photo data) is responsible for this fine piece of motor sport photography. All teams have at least few water crossing photos in their archives, but this one just worked best for me. Everything is in sync, from framing and exposure to well timed moment of capture. Thick dust clouds mingle with water and you can also see the kind of rough and sharp rocks cars had to tackle with on the ground. Colours and tones are just perfect, green combining with earthy shades and I totally love the fact that car is basically in the shade yet it’s perfectly exposed. Well done Andre (or whoever it was) for not throwing bucketload of filters and effects at this picture. Nitpickers would complain about the burned overexposed areas, but for me that just adds to the character of this image. It’s a classic rally photo in many ways, showing typical scene with all the elements aligned to make it exciting. Too bad Kris Meeke did not bring that car home safely, but at least photos were great.

Authorship info: I received this email concerning the photographer behind this particular photo. I thought it was Andre, but again I wasn’t sure because this was taken with Nikon, hence the note in above paragraph. Regardless, this landed in my mailbox, so now we know who the photographer is. Or do we?

the best picture of Mexico is taken by me! no some Lavadinho! it is published by Citroen because I helped them whilst F.Baudin(official photographer) was robed on the stage.
you have to change this information now and put my name on it!
next time check it and don’t think, you have the right to ublish picture!

marcin rybak

Colin McMaster of McKlein agency was kind enough to shed some light on who does what for Citroën Racing this year. So now I know.

CREW: Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle

EXIF: body: Nikon D800, lens: not sure, but I reckon 70-200mm, apperture: f/4.0, shutter: 1/1250s, focal length: 105mm

WALLPAPER – 1920×1280 pixels – CLICK ON THE PIC

HONORABLE MENTIONS Click on thumbs to open large format (1920×1200 pixels)