Best Photos of 2019: Getting the Shot

December 3, 2019

Best Photos of 2019: Getting the Shot

December 3, 2019

The 2019 IMSA season is in the rear view mirror. Here are a number of setup shots Michelin conducted over the course of the season. These were either for race weekend coverage or as part of a “bigger picture” storyline.

Michelin North America lead motorsports photographer Rick Dole shot all of these with the exception of one. LAT’s Michael Levitt, IMSA staff photographer, shot the group of Canadian drivers at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

A staged shot of a Michelin(R) Pilot(R) Sport GT Rain tire ahead of this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona proved prescient, as relentless rain fell from 4:30 a.m. onward Sunday morning.
Here is a Michelin(R) Pilot(R) Sport GT S8M commercial slick tire in a tunnel at Watkins Glen International.

Michelin created three “big picture” story lines in motorsports during the 2019 IMSA season.

At Mid-Ohio, a group of Canadian drivers gathered collectively before Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to highlight IMSA’s “Canadian Invasion.”

At Watkins Glen International, to celebrate the success of those drivers under 21 years old (or who had success before 21 and turned 21 within the last year), Michelin created the “Sparkling Cider Society.”

Then at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, to note the significant volume of women in IMSA, more than 40 women gathered early Friday morning (story part one, part two). Michelin highlights “#WomenInDrive” as one of its three stories.


At the preseason ROAR Before the Rolex 24 test and throughout the year, Michelin gathered shots of some of IMSA’s stars.

The all-female Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing No. 57 Caterpillar Acura NSX GT3 Evo. From left to right: Jackie Heinricher, Christina Nielsen, Katherine Legge, Simona de Silvestro, Bia Figueiredo
Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia entered the year in search of a third straight GT Le Mans title.
IMSA drivers that finished on the 24 Hours of Le Mans podium with Michelin came back to Watkins Glen. This shot includes Patrick Lindsey, Cooper MacNeil, Toni Vilander, Earl Bamber, Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy.
Porsche GT Team’s Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber’s “#BAMTHOR” meme grew into a T-shirt by Watkins Glen International.
Vanthoor silhouette at Watkins Glen International.
Through the light at VIR, Jan Magnussen.
BMW Team RLL’s Connor De Phillippi at VIR.
Whelen Engineering Racing’s Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani at Road America.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron in an official pose…
… and Montoya and Cameron in an unofficial pose.

Sometimes the best shots happen by accident.

While photographing Alex Zanardi, who was making his Rolex 24 At Daytona debut, longtime friends and similar one-off drivers Fernando Alonso and Rubens Barrichello saw him in the paddock.

What followed were some of the most memorable images of the year.

BMW Team RLL’s Alex Zanardi studio portrait.
Alex Zanardi in his wheelchair at ROAR Before the Rolex 24 test.
When Zanardi, Barrichello and Alonso reunited… Photo: Michelin North America
… And after Barrichello, Zanardi and Alonso reunited. Photo: Michelin North America

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