There's a gap before almost every competition. After the madness of preparation and last-minute fixes, you pause, take a breath, and get ready to put that work to the test.
At the 25, there's a twist. Once the cars are all gridded up, the spectators are welcomed out onto the track to check out the cars and take pictures of (or with) the teams. It's chaos. But amidst that chaos, there is a calmness to the team's crew and drivers. But beneath that calmness, you can still sense an underlying tension and anxiety: The start is coming. Did we miss anything? Did we forget anything? There are still a few moments left to remedy any oversights.
For the photographers as well, it can be a moment of… not quite tranquility, but maybe a moment of steadiness. Once the race begins, circumstances can change in an instant — a car in the lead can have an incident. Or a team can have an exceptional pitstop. Either way, you feel like you have to be everywhere to catch everything that happens.
During the grid walk, the clock ticks just as fast, but everything else moves a little less quickly.
As the clock continues to tick, some teammates pass the time together on the hot pit wall. With flocks of people out on the grid, the hot pits seem a little bit more like a refuge, at least for the moment.
Tick. Spend time with friends and family.
Tick. Clear the grid.
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