We learned of the Ft. Lauderdale Red Bull Global Rallycross event a while back and put in for media, hoping for the best. When we saw the acceptance email, Minus and I were beyond ecstatic! Then came the question, “Should we rent some gear?” Considering this was a major event right in our backyard, we figured, “Why not?” The search was a short one. I wanted a 400mm f2.8. You couldn’t have talked me out of it if you tried. BorrowLenses made the magic happen. I would be in Atlanta that week for work, so I had to get things sorted before I left. I had the 400 shipped to the office, so Minus could receive it and familiarize himself with the kit. When it came in, he would send me pics of the unboxing and test shots. This was going to be quite the excursion.
I had an early flight in on Friday and asked Minus to pick me up from the airport with the 400 in tow. The plan was to head straight to the Bahia Mar Hotel and check out the area where the GRC would take place. Both of us were wondering, “How the heck are they going to do this at the Bahia Mar?” We found our answer. We took 17th street to A1A, and that’s where it began. Right at the Bahia Mar crosswalk where A1A South and North reunite, they closed off A1A South, and all southbound traffic was routed to one of the northbound lanes. After circling around twice, we found a spot, grabbed our gear and went to work.
A1A southbound served as the straightaway after the massive jump, ending with a hairpin to another straightaway. We entered at the hairpin and walked down since it was still open, hence the multitude of fences in that shot. We made it to the hotel. Media credentials weren’t being given out until Saturday at 8am, so we figured we’d check it out to have an idea of where to go the following day. We found the spot upstairs and decided to explore the rest of the possible vantage points. As we walked towards the back of the hotel, we found the main entrance to the paddock. We asked security if we could take a look and in we went.
We love the behind-the-scenes experience. It’s nice to see what it takes to put together an event of this magnitude. We walked around the entryway and were greeted by some lovely Ford Fiestas, piloted by Austin Cindric and Oliver Eriksson.
There was still quite a bit of work to do. The bumper tires hadn’t even been placed yet. As we were told later on, the tires one sees here are all brand new tires that came out of the factory with some kind of defect. So, it’s great to see them given new purpose as barricade bumpers.
As we rounded the turn, we came across the illustrious Ken Block pit area. Quite a setup indeed. One of the more private pit areas and very colorful!
We were heading back to the car to call it a day when we saw this behemoth of a vehicle: a highly modified International MXT sporting Red Bull attire. We took a few shots and went on our way. We had two long days ahead of us.