Do you know where to go to pick up credentials? Is it at the track or someplace in town?
Arrive early. Earlier the better. Walk the pits early in the morning. The early morning light is the most beautiful of the day, low angle and yellow. Morning back lit sheet metal or engine parts are something special to say nothing of portraits captured in the morning.
Have you checked with the track to be sure you are at the first media meeting. Do not miss this. You will get all the news of the event, meet other photographers and make new friends.
Look for and grab event schedules, entry list, track maps, rumors, innuendo and out right lies spread by other photographers and media types. Check to see if the track is furnishing a lunch. If so where and when? Is the track furnishing cold bottled water. Grab two.
Will the track be furnishing any transportation around the track for photographers? Where do you grab a ride. Take a handful of $ to tip the drivers.
Grab a media room locker and lock if they are available. Great place to store extra equipment rather then leave it in your car or carry it around the track.
Introduce your self to the track’s press staff and leave your card. After the event send him or her a selection of images for the tracks use. This needs to be done within a week of the event. I have even sent images Friday and Saturday night. It’s all about making a positive impression to help insure your welcomed back.
Watch how your fellow media types handle themselves around the track. Go out of your way to get along with any and all track staff. Many of your compatriots will argue or get hot over directions given by track personal. You can not and will not win any arguments with these guys. Just make the best of it till you can get back to the media center to ask for a clarification. Do not get a reputation as a hot head. After all you need a good relationship with these guys more then they need one with you.
After the media meeting head out to you first shooting location. Leave any equipment you will not be using in the locked locker. Take with you only what you will need on location. Be sure to have extra memory cards, camera battery, sun screen/damp wash cloth and water.