On Thursday, we ventured to the top of America’s Mountain for Day 2 of the official practice and qualifying sessions. As we described in Day 1’s recap [link out], the classes are divided into three run groups, and the course is divided into three sections. Every day of practice each group gets a dedicated section of the course. Starting at Devil’s Playground (elevation 12,780 ft.), the third leg of the course extends to the top of Pikes Peak at elevation 14,110 ft. Taking on the top leg of the course were all the motorcycle divisions, including Sidecar, 1205cc, 750cc, 450cc, 250cc, Heavyweight Supermoto, Quad Modified, Exhibition Powersport (including the Z-electric bikes), and the Vintage motorcycles.
Dynos⎯You're either all talk or you know for a fact what your ride puts down. After weaving their way through the crowds, gawking at various cars and popping off the rev limiter a few times to turn heads, entrants pulled up to the garage where techs hopped into the driver’s seats and carefully backed up the cars onto the dyno. The cars are then strapped down, fans are turned on and the techs rip off three different runs. The reading is then written onto the running list of makes, models and horsepower. Typically, dynos are used for tuning tools, much like a tape measure is used for building something with precision, but they also double as fabulous competition power measurement devices. Even then, with so many variations and often inflated power readings these days, it's difficult to truly know how much power a car is capable of. Instead of comparing scurrilous dyno sheets, dyno competitions offer up an opportunity to compare real life numbers, while minimizing the variables. This leads to that unquestionable requirement for facts that are a prerequisite for a true contest.
With summer on its way out, most of Colorado’s big automotive events have come and gone, but we often hear the saying that the best is saved for last, and Triple Crown Drift Week August 15–17 was no exception. TC Drift Week was a three-day drift and lifestyle event right in our own backyard. Drifters, crew, family, and friends all gathered at one of the most capable local venues—PPIR. With four different tracks, a gymkhana course, drift kart, autocross, and the main drift track, the event wasn’t lacking in tire smoke.
With more than 2,000 registered cars expected to be at this year's Big SoCal Euro Gathering, it was evident that this event was going to be no less than extraordinary. There’s no doubt that such an event requires a distinct venue with sufficient space to accommodate thousands of cars and spectators. The obvious choice was Qualcomm Stadium, which is home to the San Diego Chargers and can hold more than 70,000 raucous fans. The stadium has the second-largest parking lot in the United States, allowing it to host the great number of European cars that arrived.
It’s very cold as the snow packs down in Colorado, but not in the Lone Star State. Hot Import Nights is one of those events that we all dreamed about going to when we were in middle school – when neon under-glow and altezza taillights were in. Things have definitely changed quite a bit. Going from ridiculously big vinyl graphics to clean, stanced-out, and tastefully modified rides, the import scene has changed for the better, and this is one event that really captures the movement.