WRC ORLEN 80th Rally Poland
Poland
Starts: Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 8:00:00 AM
ERC Bauhaus Royal Rally of Scandinavia
Sweden
Starts: Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 12:00:00 PM
Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
Sweden
Starts: Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM

Fri 28 Jan 2022

Photo of the Year: Winner Announced

Paulo Maria has taken a clean sweep of honours in the inaugural World RX ‘Photo of the Year’ competition, with his images securing first place in the fans’ poll in both the ‘Action’ and ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ categories.

Paulo Maria has taken a clean sweep of honours in the inaugural World RX ‘Photo of the Year’ competition, with his images securing first place in the fans’ poll in both the ‘Action’ and ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ categories.

A shortlist of ten shots was compiled in each category from the submissions of our World RX regulars, with Maria’s ‘Through the Barricades’ snap of Johan Kristoffersson, Kevin Hansen and Niclas Grönholm at Montalegre (above) and ‘Swedish Silhouette’ of Kristoffersson and Timmy Hansen on the Nürburgring podium (below) claiming the most votes.

“We have an extremely talented bunch of photographers in World RX, so I’m very proud to win this competition,” the Portuguese photographer said. “Our job is to tell the story of the race weekend, which is all about capturing the details and for that, preparation is key. We’re always learning, and it’s important to lean on your previous knowledge and closely examine every aspect.

“‘Through the Barricades’ is 100 per cent about adrenaline. I’d seen that particular angle from action cameras on TV before, and although I don’t usually like to shoot through guardrails, in this instance, they offered the perfect frame and enabled me to really convey the thrill of being there to all the fans. I think every single spectator at the track would have loved to be in that position.

“‘Swedish Silhouette’ then encapsulates the human story of the year, and the mutual admiration and respect between the leading two actors of the season. When you have issues like strong sun or fading light – both of which we encountered at the Nürburgring podium that day – it’s up to you to overcome them and find a solution by being more creative. What’s the saying? When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I love backlit pictures, and this one worked out perfectly.

“Emotion is such an important element of motorsport photography, celebrating human achievement and success. Our sport is about cars, yes, but it is a human being that drives it, human beings who engineer it – and the podium represents the crowning glory of all that hard work both inside and out of the cockpit.

“It’s often tempting to leave after getting the shot you need, to return to quickly get on with editing, but this picture shows what is possible if you stay right to the very last moment.”

Second place in the ‘Action’ category went to the ‘Upended Audi’ of Euro RX3 driver Marat Knyazev at Spa-Francorchamps, captured by Belgian photographer Johan Hendrickx, with Dániel Végh claiming third spot for Krisztián Szabó’s ‘Send It’ moment in his GRX-SET Hyundai i20.

In the ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ section, Jakub Nitka was runner-up for his ‘Brothers-in-Arms’ portrait of Kevin and Timmy Hansen in Catalunya, with Michael Jurtin third for immortalising the moment when newly-crowned Euro RX1 Champion Andreas Bakkerud received a special surprise at Spa in ‘Birthday Boy gets Caked’.