Drivetribe: McLaren P1 GTR v Aston Martin Vulcan
Drivetribe’s full film
Fraktiv’s behind-the-scenes slo-mo reel
From Formula 1 to endurance racing, my engineering background means I love being around cars. So when the opportunity came to make the trip to Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire, the UK’s only banked oval, to film a duo of track-ready supercars, I didn’t need a second invitation.
Friend of Fraktiv, cameraman Ben Cornish, had invited us along as at the time, we were scheduled to shoot some camera tests in partnership with Racing Heart Films for specialist industrial, scientific and media industry camera manufacturer IDT Vision, using their latest O10-4K series camera, capable of 1,000fps at 4K raw. With stats like that, Ben connected us with the editorial producers at motoring social media website Drivetribe (the Hammond, May and Clarkson spin-off from their Amazon Grand Tour series), who were pretty interested in what the camera could bring to the party.
On a slightly overcast May morning we arrived at the circuit, armed with the camera, numerous lenses and a car full of kit to allow us to get the most out of the system, whilst filming two at-that-point unknown track-day cars. As the vehicles turned up in their respective transporters, the first thing that stood out was the pit crews and copious amounts of gear and tyres that accompanied each car. We were definitely in for something special.
As the cars were ever so carefully coaxed from their trailers, we caught our first glimpses of what we’d be working with. First onto the tarmac was a custom McLaren P1 GTR, in full racing livery, looking…well actually, quite small, though nonetheless impressive. As the McLaren was wheeled to its pit garage, the second trailer was unloaded, and a dark green monster soon sat silently on the pit apron. For those of us – me included at that point – not au fait with the latest in hyper car developments, there was a moment of mild confusion. I could tell it was an Aston Martin from the familiar insignia, but what was this particular beast?
As the car was wheeled into the neighbouring pit garage, the bodywork gave little clues, save for the inscription “Aston Martin Prototype VP1” written on the floor bodywork. I had to ask… “It’s a Vulcan”, said a mechanic, “one of 24”. That was me told. So there we had it, £4 million-worth of hypercars, with Drivetribe’s capable camera team, my 1,000fps IDT camera and a wonderful drone crew, courtesy of our friends at CineCloud.
Filming shortly got underway, with a mass of GoPros fitted both inside and outside the cars, and after a few laps, the camera crew vehicles joined the driver/presenters to bag some car-to-car track shots. In the meantime, the IDT camera was put to work capturing details such as wheel and exhaust closeups whilst the cars were in the pits. Soon though, we were out of the circuit, shooting the cars navigating Rockingham’s tight infield section at full speed. With a buffer of just less than a second, my camera-work had to be highly accurate and stable, so my preferred technique ended up being slider whip-dolly moves, with the odd focus pull thrown in for good measure. Sadly, worsening weather called a halt to on-track action as the cars were both running slick tyres, although the IDT camera – being weather-sealed and pretty much bomb-proof – could have gone on all day. With the cars back in their garages, we headed back for some more closeups – from puddle wheel-spins to simple rain failing on bodywork – and before we knew it, the shoot was over.
The edit itself ended up having a pretty long gestation due to Drivetribe sadly calling an end to shoots like this one and laying off their talented staff (this may well be one of their final commissioned films), but we’re very happy with the finished film…even though Drivetribe forgot to give us a credit!
The full article on Drivetribe is available here: McLaren P1 GTR vs Aston Martin Vulcan – The Ultimate Track Car Shootout