Tuesday | 24 Jan 2023

Makai wins Photograph of the Year award

Hungarian photographer Gergely Makai has won the ProGrade Digital Photograph of the Year award for the second time, topping the fan vote on WRC.com.

His stunning shot of Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja flying through Isegami’s Tunnel at FORUM8 Rally Japan last year came out top of our fan poll from a shortlist of 10 fantastic entries submitted by the WRC’s best photographers.

"It is a huge honour for me to have been chosen by the fans to win Photo of the Year for the second time," said Makai, who previously won the award in 2016.

"This picture was taken at the season finale in Japan last year. I reached my 150th WRC event as an accredited photographer in 2022 and Japan was my 151st rally.

"I knew during the recce that I had to capture that tunnel section because never in the history of WRC had we had something like this before. It was a special moment when the rally cars appeared at the beginning of the tunnel. The lights were really tricky - that’s why it looks so unique in that photo."

Colin McMaster finished runner-up

Makai dedicated his award to former WRC PR & Communications Manager Mark Wilford, who sadly passed away last September.

He added: "I received my first [Photo of the Year] prize in 2016 in Sydney. Mark Wilford was there from the WRC Promoter - I wish I could still hear his voice as he congratulated me, and I accept this prize in his memory.

"I would also like to give a big thanks to the support of my family. Without them this picture couldn’t have been taken."

In second place was Colin McMaster’s image of Tänak battling his way through the deep fesh-fesh sand at Safari Rally Kenya. Bastien Baudin's shot of Thierry Neuville, also in Japan, bagged third.

Third place went to Bastien Baudin

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