The French town of Angoulême just might have leapfrogged all the way to the top of this Automobiliac's must-visit list after seeing the eye-popping photos and write-up by Ian Wilson over at Motorsport Retro. Not only are the selection of cars at this historic racing festival fantastic but what really gets me going is how close the photographers are to the action. I have often complained about the boring flatness imparted upon racing photos by the mammoth telephoto lenses used by today's motorsport photographers. This is of course necessitated by the extreme safety measures that keep even pro lensmen fairly far from the trackside. Here in Angoulême, the photographers are close enough to use wide angle lenses just like the Klemantaskis and Alexanders of yore while the cars whizz by right under their noses. The results are nothing short of thrilling, and the photos feel just as vintage as the cars they are capturing. See the whole photoset at Ian Wilson's picasa album. Additional pics from last year can be found here.
Last but not least, here is some onboard footage from a prewar car, looking quite at home racing through the streets of this ancient town. It really feels like a step back in time!
All photos: Ian Wilson - AutoGraph racing
Hat tip to Off Camber