Thursday, 29 March 2012

Picture of the Week: Audi R18 e-tron quattro

When someone starts talking to me about hybrid cars my eyes start glazing over but when Audi recently unveiled their new Audi R18 e-tron quattro I started to think hybrids can be interesting.  This car was seen at Sebring in Florida and it will make its racing debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa on 5th May.  Toyota will also be at the event with their TS030 hybrid challenger and here's hoping that Audi and Toyota will make performance hybrids acceptable in the same way that performance diesels have now become the norm thanks to endurance racing.   

The Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Sebring

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Monday, 26 March 2012

Miami Beach

The first FIAWorld Endurance Championship race at Sebring was a huge success, with a large, enthusiastic crowd witnessing one the best 12 Hours of Sebrings in the sixty year history of the event.  Because I didn't finish until 3:30am on Sunday morning I decided not to try and get a Sunday flight from Miami but opt for a Monday trip back to the UK and visit Miami Beach and Key Biscayne.

Miami Waterfront from Key Biscayne
The first stop on my Monday lightning tour of Miami was Key Biscayne.  Driving my rental Mustang over the bridge to the Key I was greeted with clear blue skies and white sandy beaches. I headed to the southern most tip of the Key, Cape Florida located in the Bill Baggs State Park.  $4 entry was duly paid and I headed to the car park next to the beach.  As it was early on Monday there were very few people around, which suited me down to the ground, and I went for a stroll down the beach towards the Cape Florida lighthouse.
The Beach at Cape Florida, Key Biscayne
A flock of Brown Pelicans flew overhead as I walked down the shoreline, a beautiful sight of this strange looking seabird.  




I took some shots of the lighthouse from the beach and then walked off the beach to see if I could get access to the other side of the structure.  I noticed a sign saying the lighthouse would be unlocked by a park ranger for tours at 10am and as it was 9:55am I decided to join the tour and have a quick history lesson.






After the tour I headed back to the car to drive the 7-miles to Miami Beach, famous for it's Art Deco architecture and lively culture.  The drive took me past the Port of Miami where seven or eight cruise liners were moored waiting for their next load of passengers who would holiday in the Bahamas or Caribbean.  On arrival I decided to drive down the main strip before parking up and walking.


The hotels and buildings were straight out of the 1930s and most had been recently painted with pastel colours that shone in the spring sunshine.    







After a stroll for the mile or so along the front I turned right onto South Beach.  The beach is miles and miles of wide golden sand with plenty of space for people to lounge and grab a sun tan.  Dotted at regular intervals are the Beach Patrol stations where the lifeguards sit and wait to be called into action if a swimmer gets into difficulties.
South Beach
South Beach
 After a pitstop at a local bar I headed back to the car for a long roundabout drive back to the airport.  The bits of Miami I saw were very nice but it isn't my sort of place to go for a holiday.  Florida is too flat, a bit like Lincolnshire with sunshine, and Miami Beach too touristy. I'm glad I went for the day and at least the sun shone. 


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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Picture of the Week: Key Biscayne Cape Florida Lighthouse

I am lucky enough to travel the world with my job but most of my time is spent at airports, hotels or race circuits.  However sometimes I do get some free time and this was the case last Monday when I spent the final day of my trip to Sebring, Florida in Miami, a city I have never visited.  I took a trip out to Key Biscayne and I timed my visit perfectly (totally by accident) with a tour of the Cape Florida Lighthouse.  This shot was taken in the lens room at the top of the 100ft structure and I love the light and the shapes in this shot.  

In the Lens Room of the Cape Florida Lighthouse
More on my trip to Florida later in the week

Friday, 9 March 2012

Florida Bound

On Sunday I fly to Florida for the first race of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship.  This my first trip to Sebring and my first trip to Florida since 1994 when I visited a certain well known theme park inhabited by a big rodent situated about 80 miles north of where I'm going.  


While Disney had a certain appeal 18 years ago the highlight of that particular trip was a two day detour to the islands of Sanibel and Captiva on the Gulf Coast.  A beautiful part of the world and walking along the 9-mile Bowman's Beach was just magical.


Unfortunately this is a working visit but I will endeavour to post as many times as possible during the trip and I do get to spend a day and a night in Miami before flying back to the UK at the end of the trip, which is another of the world's cities I can tick off the list.


Keep up to date with the FIA World Endurance Championship at www.fiawec.com 


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Picture of the Week: The Eiffel Tower in Mono

At the start of February I started a new job as the Media Delegate for the FIA World Endurance Championship which has meant travelling to France for meetings once a week.  One of the benefits of this is I've had to opportunity to stay in Paris and see the sights at night.  On the last trip I walked to and from my hotel past the Eiffel Tower and was able to capture some nice images of one of the world's iconic tourist attractions.  Of course I tried to take something slightly different from the picture postcard view and here are my efforts in B&W.





ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION.

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