Photography and writing by Nima Katamati. See more of Nima's photography on Instagram
It was opening day of the year, 2016. Snow was still visible on the side of the pavement and course workers were eagerly clearing the track to prepare for the day’s test and set up session. A day where competitive racing teams could test and setup their new vehicles, gathering critical data to help prepare for the upcoming season.
Looking back, I'm not entirely sure I was supposed to be in the paddock area... I did see some signs in German, but I had no clue what they said. I figured that if I acted confident enough, I could manage to fit in. So I pulled out my camera, strutted across one of the open paddock bays, and walked into pit lane where the action was.
Once in, the relaxed vibe was apparent. Many of the teams had invited friends and wealthy individuals to hang out and have a good time. Despite the relaxed environment, crew members were busy at work adjusting and prepping the cars to go out on the track.
Walking amidst all the craziness, I found myself rubbing my eyes. Was I dreaming? Kremer Racing brought what I first thought was their 935 K3, but after a double take, I noticed the new 997 taillights. Turns out it was their brand new Kremer Porsche 997 K3 and it looked amazing.
A little further down I found myself staring at a helmet plastered with a Brazilian flag. My eyes panned over, and it's Augusto Farfus - the Brazilian BMW factory driver who's DTM racing I had watched on laggy live streams back in the States. He was testing out the BMW M6 GT3 for Schubert Motorsport.
In one word, I would describe the experience as overwhelming. Legendary drivers, cars, and the infamous "ring" combined with the intimacy of a non-race day all add up to one heck of a day!