Our official SBK Fast Dates World Superbike and Ducati Corse girls at Brands Hatch World Superbike were (left to right) Gemma Gleeson, Aaliayah and Monica McDermott who we found at the London based motorsports oriented model agency Universal Models.
Fast Dates Racebike Pinup Calendar News
Fast Dates Calendar and Models Share the Spotlight
and Action as We Shoot at Brands Hatch World Superbike
By Jim Gianatsis
Brands Hatch, Great Britain, August 6-7th 2005 - This was an exciting year for the shooting of the next 2007 Fast Dates Calendar. With no SBK World Superbike round taking place in America this year, I figured the time was right to shoot our next Calendar at one of the European rounds. The Brands Hatch race track located just outside of London in Great Britain seemed the purfect choice -an English speaking round with easy access to model agencies in London (to find us some sexy new models!), an easy direct plane flight to Heathrow Airport (10 hours from our base in Los Angeles), and I could extend my trip for a few days to visit London and the surrounding countryside.
Another positive was the fact Brands Hatch is a legenday racing facility dating back to the 1920s with a rich history of grand prix, sports car and motorcycle racing. And it is known for pulling a huge crowd of British sportbike fans numbering some 100,000 strong, twice the amount of any motorcycle race ever held in America! I really wanted to experience and be part of all the action and excitement that a World Superbike round at historic Brands Hatch had to offer.
The timing of the Brands Hatch SBK round was purfect as well, taking place the first week in August, 3 weeks after the winding down of our big LA Calendar Motorcycle Show. The recent terrorist bombings in London during July were not a concern to me, as the British police had quickly taken control of the situation and captured any of the responsible terrorists who weren't killed in the blasts.
Calendar Angels Monica and Gemma were front and center on the grid for the start of both races on Sunday wearingSBK shirts, and were seen and had their names mentioned on the SBK world TV feed to 2 billion people worldwide!
I passed on going to the MotoGP at Laguna Seca this year (the location of all out Fast Dates shoots since 1996), for a number of reasons. Media credentials at a MotoGP are next to impossible to get/or very expensive to purchase to shoot a Calendar. Add to that the MotoGP teams are notoriously difficult to work with when it comes to shooting their bikes on a race weeeknd. Plus two months earlier I had already photographed World Champion Valentino Rossi's Yamaha M1 with model Robin Cunningham, so I had the top bike in the MotoGP Championship already photographed. And finally, I just didn't want to fight the crowds at Laguna Seca which is a given nightmare if more than 25,000 spectators show up.
Ready for action! The beautiful Monica, Aaliayah and Gemma get ready on Pit Lane on Friday afternoon after practive to shoot with all the top factory superbikes for the next edition of Fast Dates.
And, with Fast Dates being the officially endorsedCalendar of SBK World Superbike, I certainly wanted to go where we were wanted and appreciated, both by FGSport the organizers of World Superbike, and by the factory race teams who welcome me (and my beautiful calendar models) with open arms" "You want our bikes where and when? Just tell us and we will bring them to you!"
The Angels with World Superbike race winner Chris Vermeulen and the Ten Kate Winston Honda CBR1000RR.
Another first for us this year, besides the trip to Brands Hatch, was the fact we are now shooting the calendar photos digitallyfor the first instead of on film. All of our Bike and Model photos on this trip were shot with the new medium format $23,000 Hasselblad H1 Digital camera system. Each picture is a huge 80 MB file and the camera's digital back shoots while wired in to a battery powered computer hard drive which holds up to 850 shots. Then later, back at the office the piuctures are downladed to our Apple G5 computer for review and editing. It's convient in that there is no longer any film to change and process, but it has its disadvantages as well in the electronic files are easy to loose and difficult to archieve over a long period of time with the changes in technology and computer systems.
Left to right: Kel Edge interviews Saturday's Superbike Superpole winners Troy Corser. Karl Muggeridge, James Toseland and Regis Laconi, along with Superstock pole sitter Sebastian Charpentier in the Paddock Show. Our girls Monica and Gemma make the picture purfect. Click to go BIGGER.
2006 SBK Fast Dates Calendar World Premier!
The European World Premier of the SBK World Superbike endorsed 2006 Fast Dates Racebike Pinup Calendar took place in the SBK Paddock Show during the Brands World Superbike Weekend. Right along side the top factory riders holding their press conferences and signing autographs for fans, our beautiful new Fast Dates Calendar Angels Monica McDermott,Gemma Gleason and Aaliayah were there with me to meet everyone and autograph the new 2006 Calendars. Assisting us with the sales of the FastDates.com Calendars in the Paddock Show during the Brands Hatch weekend will be British FastDates.com Calendar distributor John Withrow of Crossbow-Calendars.com, giving the beautiful models lots of extra time to pose for photos with fans.
We were also excited to have both Monica and Gemma serve as their official SBK World Superbike Spokes models in "Live Timing on WorldSBK.com" uniforms at Superpole and on Sunday's race grid, plus assist Team Ducati Corse as umbrella girls for reigning World Champion James Toseland and his runner up team mate Regis Laconi.
Throughout the weekend we were based out of Team Ducati's Hospitality Pavilion in the Race Paddock, and in their Race Team Transporter behind the pits. There's nothing like being able to relax in the rider's lounge in the race transporter, and having Ducati's private chefs cooking you lunch and dinner each day.
Monica and Gemma brighten up Superpole on Saturday as American Ben Bostrom prepares to get away on the not too competitive Koji Renegade Honda CBR1000RR.
World Champ James Toseland jammi' on keyboards at the Sunday night Paddock party.
Sunday Night Paddock Party
Adding to the excitement at the Brands Hatch weekend was thenow traditional Brand's Sunday Night Paddock Party for the race teams and media. The part took place in the SBK hospitality tent and featured World Superbike Champion James Toselan'ds band performing live, with a DJ spinning tunes between their sets. In case you didn't know it, James is a skilled concert pianist, who also jams and sings with his own rock band. The party included an openbar where the Championship sponsor's Corona beer, plus wine were free flowing.
My Calendar Angels, being the beautiful girls they are, needed me to drive them back to our hotel in spectator race traffic so they could dress up for the party. Two hours later we were back with the girls curled, mascared and dressed to kill. Needless to say, they were the hit of the Paddock Party with guys 5 deep around them trying to talk them up, dance with them and ply them with drinks.
I had a great time getting to know some of the riders better like Chris Vermeulen and his cute girlfriend Toni. Noriyuki Haga joined as ar one point. And even Troy Corser's wife Sam, a former Fast Dates Calendar model, wo had just given bith to their second baby the weekend before. Race winner Dad was back home in the hotel babysitting so mom could come out to party.
Come 11pm Gemma was bouncing off the tent ceiling on the dance floor on the shoulders of Arne, one of the team mechanics. Monica by this time had consumed some 4 bottles of wine and had crashed out on the back seat of our rental Mini Cooper. We finally closed down the party at 1 am. I had to pry Gemma away from James Toseland who was chatting her up in the parking lot, stuffed Gemma into the Mini with Monica still sound asleep in the back and we headed back home to the hotel after a really exciting Brands Hatch World Superbike Weekend.
I hope you enjoy these photos, as well as our great calendar shots when the next edition of the 2007 Fast Dates calendar premiers a year from now. And if you ever go to a European World Superbike round, make sure brands hatch is at the top of your list!
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