Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Completely Tyred Out

How Many Do You Need For A Racing Wall?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


You know the familiar tyre walls you see when you’re watching Formula One racing? The ones that are strategically placed around the track, calculated to take the impact of an out-of-control car travelling at more than 300km an hour?


If you've never actually noticed them before, they are always placed behind the orange-and-white barriers, which in turn are strategically placed around danger zones, especially near the gravel traps on corners.


I have to confess that I’d never given their construction a thought, until I shot these sequence of images just before the 2008 Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

I was driving around the Albert Park circuit an hour before it was closed for the race - and kept stopping to shoot frames of the everyday street circuit that the world sees each year in March as the opening grand prix of the season.


That’s when I stopped and took note of exactly how the tyre walls are constructed. Each tyre is carefully placed on top of the other and as you can see from the photograph below, they are chained together for better qualities of shock absorption.

You'd better hurry - they're going quick. Real quick.


Visit the creative team behind That's My World Tuesday.

43 comments:

imac said...

Nice one David,Yea UK doing well this year with Jenson Button.Who's got all the top drivers then.lol.

Artist Unplugged said...

Fabulous and interesting photos!!!

Louise said...

These certainly make interesting, artful photographs! Do we get to see the cars next week?

lakeviewer said...

I never even thought about all those tires. Do they actually work? Thanks for the tutorial you sent my way. I shall practice diligently.

jinksy said...

Never seen so many in one place, in my en-'tyre' life - not even round my midriff.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

How fascinating! And you make even ordinary tyres a beautiful post! Love these photos!

Ananda girl said...

I love formula one racing. My father used to race Austin Healy Sprites in G-Class... not formula one by any means... but we did see the grand racers when it was their turn. My siblings and I grew up in the pits. The sounds and the smells are in my mind like mom's Sunday stew. Ha. One of my biggest thrills in life was meeting the great Sterling Moss when I was a child. Thanks for the nice memories!

Sylvia K said...

Always learn something new and interesting from your posts, David! These are great shots! Have a great week! I'm with Louise, do we get to see the cars next week??

Daryl said...

Oh this is fascinating ...

Hilary said...

I never tire of your unique perspective.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I've always wondered how many tyres make up a wall.

CJ xx

Maggie May said...

I have learnt something today! Anything you snap seems to make a good photo!

kim said...

You perfectly captured my favorite part about taking pictures -- it tends to take you into the finer details of a scene, so much so, that even sans camera one can't help but see more than they did prior to becoming a shutterbug.

aims said...

I wondered how that one set of tires stayed where it was!

You never think of these things when you watch these events.

Eddie Bluelights said...

You could shoot your big toe and it would be an interesting photo!

I never gave this a miments thought although I have seen some terrific impacts into the side at frightful speeds. Now I know what took the shock and gave enough to protect the drivers. Really interesting. Eddie

French Fancy said...

This is one of those things that I never stop to think about - but you have a much more enquiring mind than me about stuff like this. Interesting (and very unusual) photos.

74WIXYgrad said...

I guess that's one thing NASCAR doesn't have with the SAFER(steel and foam energy reducing) barriers: A colorful cushon for the cars.

Mary Elizabeth said...

Very interesting, as all you post! I had no clue of all these tyres settle around.
Thank you!
Have a wonderful week.
Mary Elizabeth Now and Then.

Nessa said...

David, you make everything look beautiful. I love the colors in the last one.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Cool post as usual, and love the way you turn the mundane into art.

Leslie: said...

It's amazing how you find "art" in absolutely everything!

erin said...

fascinating post...see i learned something else new.
thanks for sharing.

Ivar Ivrig said...

Very creative. It is definitely better than concrete :-)

Thanks for sharing. Have a happy Easter

Mojo said...

Such a simple concept. Around here they've opted for a steel-and-foam "soft wall" at the speedways. You'd think this would be a lot cheaper and at least as effective. After all those F1 cars don't hold up quite so well as a stock car in an encounter with the wall, so these would have to be pretty effective.

Thanks for yet another unique look at the world David!

Martha said...

Interesting, I never knew that the wall was made of tires.

Dr.John said...

Loved the pictures and it is always good to learn something new.

katherine. said...

verrrrry interesting.

I once got to be the passenger on the track at laguna seca. At high speed and with other cars an arm's length away I was hoping if we crashed it would be into the tires not the wall....

we didn't crash...whew! Thank God.

Moannie said...

What a creative post, David. I think you must have a third eye.

Guy D said...

Lots of good cushion there, great captures as always David.

Have a great week!
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Babooshka said...

The mysteries of the mind and how we see the world. You in a very unique way. We have tires arounf the lake here. I only noticed them after I photographed it and they have fascinated me since, why are they there. Never "tyre2 of your puns either.

Corey~living and loving said...

I never really thought about it...but it really is a great idea to absorb the crash impact.
cool shots, David!

Janie said...

Huh, i wouldn't have guessed the tires were chained together, but I guess otherwise they'd go rolling if hit.
Great photos and enlightening info.

skywind said...

Oh, color clear, crisp color. Very nice. Thank you for your photos.
Health information
Humor & Fun World

SandyCarlson said...

So that's where my tires go when the mechanic puts them out to pasture. Love the angle of the first one, David.

lynn said...

That's a lot of tyres!

Cath said...

And striking colours too!
How are you enjoying the racing? "Challenge" photography that I would say - cars at speed. ;0)

Arija said...

Not being a petrol head it is not something I normally wouldhave seen or wondered about, but the way you present it, I even found it interesting.

Shadow said...

that's a HUGE amount of tyres....

Annie said...

Great photos David. Love the color. Love that second last one!

Lakshmi said...

loved the colours and patterns..i like the way you come up with some unusual ones..thanks for sharing

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Neat, David! You had me wondering on this. Enjoyed seeing it...

Sheila :-)

Me and my puppies said...

Ouch! It still looks like one could get hurt.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

As you know I'm an F1 fanatic David and I have seen these tyres hit hard a few times over the years. It's not until that happens that the chains become obvious. I'm envious you got to drive the track!