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General writeup on the 1st annual Rocky Mountain RX-8 Club meet

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General writeup on the 1st annual Rocky Mountain RX-8 Club meet

Old 06-12-2004, 08:06 PM
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Details about the 1st annual Rocky Mountain RX-8 Club meet

Day 1:

We began our first day of the meet with a rally at McDonald Mazda in Littleton, which is a South suberb of Denver. McDonald had cleared the majority of their main lot and set up a large tent, a half dozen long tables, lots of chairs, and a huge barbeque grill. We got the registration/membership/raffle table set up, hung a big "Mazda RX-8 banner" and a couple of "RX-8 Parking only - others will be towed" signs, and the members started to arrive.

Over 15 of our members showed up over the next hour or so, and a total of 5 new members also arrived and signed up for the club... so all in all, we had 20 RX-8s come to the meet, and maybe 40 people. All this in our first year - and the club only formed January! Can't wait to see how many come next year! We also had a few folks show up who were just interested in the car and are considering buying one, one of which took a test drive and came back hooked - of course. :D What better sales tool for Mazda too... get a bunch of fanatical RX-8 owners together and let them just talk about the car with anyone who is interested. I know I would have been convinced to buy one, had I been on the fence about it!

So we spent from 9AM-12noon talking with each other, eating the burgers and hotdogs provided and cooked by McDonald Mazda, and finding reasons to give away prizes provided to us by Mazda corporate. These included the Yamaguchi RX-8 book, AutoArt 1/32 model of our georgeous cars, Mazda RX-8 thermal mugs and thermos bottles, and Mazda shirts. We had so much stuff (THANKS, McDonald and MAZDA!) that EVERYONE got at least 1 prize, and many got two or three - and just about everyone got what they wanted!

Of course, quite a few of us (myself incuded!) spent some time taking apart our cars to discuss the mods we've done with other members. For instance, I took my ECU cover off and fielded at least an hours worth of questions about the CanZoomer Stage 1.1 that lives there, many of which came from the sales staff at McDonald Mazda!

At about noon we had the much-anticipated RAFFLE drawing. (Tickets cost $5 each or 5 for $20) Thanks to the generosity of a bunch of different vendors, we had some REALLY nice prizes. Check it out:

1st prize: An RX-8 Borla Exhaust from Borla, value $600.
2nd prize: Mazdaspeed PianoBlack B-Pillars from CanZoomer, value $180.
3rd prize: A Gift Certificate from SoCalMotorsports, value $100.
4th prize: Clear corner lights from Rotary Extreme, value $50.
5th prize: Clear corner lights from Rotary Extreme, value $50.
6th prize: Clear corner lights from Rotary Extreme, value $50.
6th prize: An RX-8 center armrest cover from Zeta Products, value $45.
7th prize: A Rocky Mountain RX-8 Club polo shirt from Polak Graphics, value $25.
8th prize: A Gift Certificate from Lily's Cheesecakes of Longmont, CO, value $25.

Too cool for words... this prize list is going to be a tough act to follow next year!

So this pretty much took care of the rally part of day 1. We gave everyone about a 1/2 hour to get gas, then hit the road for the mountains in one long caravan of 18 RX-8s! Man, what a sight... 18 RX-8 all in a long string headed up C470 bound for the mountains! You should have seen the attention we got! :D

It was pretty hard to stay together, but we managed and arrived at the base of Squaw Peak road. We then had a wonderful drive up a georgeous mountain road, marred only by one slow-moving mini van, who pretty quickly figured out he was holding up the long string of 18 hot sports cars in his rear view mirror. He graciously pulled over, and we were able to all enjoy a "vigorous" drive up the mountain. Our pace-setter, Serff, did a marvelous job of not only picking our route out in advance, but also pushing just fast enough that we all enjoyed our cars and the drive without scaring ourselves to death.

We stopped twice on the way up to take pictures - what a sight, 18 RX-8s in all of the colors, parked alongside a beautiful mountain road! - then arrived without incident at our mountain-top destination: the cute little town of Idaho Springs. We actually managed to find a short access road where we could all park together in the now-familiar long string of RX-8s! Lunch was at a cute place called "Skippers" and was hosted by Skipper himself, who looks exactly like the name would imply. The food was good, the company excellent, and a good time was had by all.

We finally wrapped up and headed back down the mountain at about 5PM. Most folks split off at this point and went home, but a half dozen or so of us who were planning on tracking our cars the next day all headed to the group hotel for a little classroom time about track driving, provided to us by our own DPLoher. He's been driving track events for the last 7 years and actually owns a race car, so he's very well qualified to teach us novices! We wrapped up about 8PM and headed home for the day, tired but happy.
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Old 06-13-2004, 05:13 PM
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Day 2:

Day 2 began with a rally at the Continental Divide race track near Mead, CO, which is about 25 miles North of Denver. This particular day the track was open to anyone to "Test and Tune" which means just about anything can show up to run the track. In our case, there was a large crotch-rocket motorcycle club there learning about how to race their bikes, and the roughly 6 RX-8s, one 2nd Gen RX-7, and one WRX STi that came from our group. There was actually a georgeous supercharged S2000 there too, but he just came to hang out with us.

Everyone who came to run the track paid our track fees ($90), then went out on the track after DPLoher and followed his '8 a bit to see how one does a "line" through the corners. After a few laps he pulled away, and we practiced on our own. Next, we rode with him one by one to show us how it's done. Lemme tell you, if you think you know how to drive, you MUST take a ride with someone who knows how to race! It's an eye-opening experience! Ok, I thought I was gonna wreck out or die, but he had it perfectly under control the whole time. :D

3 of us RX-8ers (DPLoher, Doccable, and myself), one RX-7 (Rotogeezer, who drove all the way down from Wyoming to join us and run his 2nd gen), and the abovementioned STi ran the track that day. We were also joined by 3 or 4 other club members who came to watch, but I lost track of who was there due to being so focused on the track. We spent about 5 hours on and off the track, and it was AWESOME. If you have neven run a track before in your '8, I highly recommend you do so... you have NO idea what this amazing car will do until you run it on a track.

After the track, IGOZMZM, Doccable, and I headed back to my house to install the Borla exhaust IGOZMZM won from the raffle and just generally tinker with our cars. We had a great time, and this hands-on work, plus dinner after about another 3 hours, was the perfect capper for an EXCELLENT weekend.

Overall it was a nearly perfect weekend. Comments from members made it clear that a great time was had by all. The best testimonial came from just about every one of our out-of-state folks, who all commented independently that the 8+ hour drive to the event was totally worth it. :D

Next year we plan to do a few things differently and better, such as better organization for the drive to the base of the mountains, and more plans on day 2 track day. We welcome your suggestions for improvements and different activities.

I sure hope everyone had as good a time as I did. It was great meeting all of you in person, and my only regret was that I didn't have more time to talk with everyone. Can't wait for next year! :D
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