Cavallino 26: Friday @ Palm Beach International Raceway

As I left Miami early Friday morning for the second day at PBIR it looked like the day would be a carbon copy of the day before.  To my dismay however, there was some heavy rain as I approached Palm Beach.  It was overcast and it was clear that we were going to experience rain throughout the day, but as the old adage goes, if life gives you lemons…make lemonade.

As I arrived at PBIR the rain had stopped momentarily and I was greeted by a soggy track and puddles of water all over the paddock.  Some people might say days like this are a wash, but I took advantage of the conditions to have fun with my camera and to really bring out the colors of the cars in a way that only a dreary sky can allow.  I decided to walk around hunting for cool angles to shoot and managed to take some really neat photos.

After being at the track for about an hour, a truly magnificent 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione (s/n 16425) arrived at the track.  Painted in the traditional Ecurie Francorchamps livery, this car raced at both the Spa 1000kms and at LeMans. It is an unrestored example and beautifully preserved.

As the afternoon drew near, the clouds began to disappear and cars began to come out of their trailers.  I had never seen some of the cars that showed up and it was a real treat to be able to photograph many of them for the first time.  I was especially thunderstruck (pun intended) by a Maserati Streamlined Birdcage Tipo 61 that was run by Camoradi (Casner Motor Racing Division), a racing team from the 1960s…it was immaculate!

As the clouds grew darker once again two LaFerraris that I had not seen previously made their way through the paddock.  One was a candy apple red that looked absolutely stunning under dark skies and the other was a gorgeous fly yellow with amazing navy blue carbon accents.  I later found out that the yellow one belonged to a person I know through Instagram.

As the rain moved back in, a couple of drivers decided to hit the track.  The V12s came alive and the cars made their way from the paddock.  Racing in the rain is a challenge for any driver but even more so when you’re talking about an analog car worth millions of dollars.

As is the case with every historic racing event, sometimes cars other than Ferraris and Maseratis make it out to the track either to race or just sit for display.  Such was the case this year when a Bugatti Type 59GP #24 made an appearance alongside an Allard J2 #9.  I had never seen an Allard before and I was mesmerized by all the intricate details and the body work.

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There was also an appearance by a Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR.  Definitely a car that you don’t see everyday and one that I never thought I would see since most are in Europe.  It’s much wider in person and the cockpit is super tiny…it was quite a site to behold.

Finally, I wanted to spend some time photographing the intricate details of some of the cars.  Many times these little details go unnoticed and often times it is what makes each car unique in its own way and it really drives home the ‘hand-made’ component that separates these cars from the rest.

All in all, Friday was definitely a step up from Thursday.  There was a lot more activity and the number of cars present certainly made putting up with the rain worth while.  Stay tuned for the recap of Saturday’s show on the lawn of the Breakers, believe me when I say you won’t be disappointed.

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