Englishtown Raceway in New Jersey is home to one of the largest and oldest VW/AUDI shows in the US. Every year the Waterfest organizers attempt to outdo themselves, and this was apparent by the larger vendor area, show 'n shine lot and even more drag racing than ever!
As always, Waterfest offers enthusiasts the chance to connect with old friends, for local clubs to gather and for everybody to discover either a new trend or some trick new parts for their cars.
For many people, Waterfest is the best place to pull the covers off a long-term winter project, and there were plenty on show with this year's show field almost double the size of 2012.
Offering the largest vendor area of any VAG show, the Waterfest vendor area was stuffed to the gills with the best tuners and hottest lifestyle brands in the industry. APR, for example, increased the size of its booth and had plenty of techs on-hand inside the install bays to provide software or hardware upgrades on-site.
The Stasis Revo Group (SRG) was also present with show cars, new products and, of course, installation bays. SRG showcased new products including an Audi Q5 2.0T K04 kit with an estimated 269hp and 328 lb-ft. They also showed a supercharged 2013 Audi R8 Spyder that had visitors drooling for the entire weekend.
Of course, it wouldn't be Waterfest without Unitronic, and the Canadian software specialists brought their usual assortment of crazy projects, girls and fitting bays to keep everybody entertained in one way or another.
Bag Riders had an impressive display of fresh builds, with so many cars we had a hard time choosing which to feature first. But look out for several features appearing at eurotuner.comin the near future.
Black Forest Industries brought its latest 1.8T-swapped Mk3 GTI, which has become famous on the web and we'll have a story on the swap in a future issue.
For the show, this time the paint had been brought to a healthy shine and the car was equipped with a set of BBS RS wheel under subtle fender flares to maintain the car's newfound performance theme.
The Mk3 was definitely one of the hits of the show, with many people following it online as the company developed the new swap kit. But seeing it in the flesh really highlighted how every detail had an OEM appearance.
Another aspect of Waterfest that keeps the fans entertained is the motorsport events. We're talking about the autocross and drag racing events that are held within earshot of the static areas.
Raceway Park is a vehicular playground, with everything from off-road dirt bike courses to a small road course and its famous drag strip. The latter holds racing throughout the weekend, with what often appears to be unfair match-ups lining up on the start line. One that caught our eye was modified Mk2 Jetta staging next to a brand new Audi RS5. As the lights on the Christmas tree flashed green, the Mk2 leapt into life, leaving the RS5 at the line and completing a low 12sec run.
Of course, the Jetta was part of the popular Outlaw and All Motor categories that really get the crowds flocking to the grandstands to watch the action. Tuning shops from up and down the East Coast bring their machines to compete for glory and a growing cash pot. This year's winner of the All Motor class was Ben Zacpentine in his '94 VW Golf, setting a time of 12.551sec at 107.58mph.
With nine cars boosting attendance over last year, the unlimited Outlaw class saw fresh builds and returning champions to battle for honor. Hailing from Annapolis, MD, Tim Mullen took the win with a staggering 9.549sec at 162.31mph in his Lugtronic '97 VW GTI turbo.
With the Englishtown facility located next to an airport, there were plenty of bemused faces when Mr Magoo decided to land his aircraft on the drag strip, mistaking it for the runway. You can see the video at eurotuner.com
For the first time in Waterfest history, Afterfest was held at Raceway Park from 6-10pm. It was an after hours hoonfest designed to reduce the annual burnout contests that take place on public streets and the subsequent police tickets that often blight the event.
Sponsored by APR, the activities included an air-ride limbo, burnout contest, drag racing, dyno competition and an invitational car show that went on well into the night.
One look at the photos will confirm it was a major hit with Waterfest fans and, despite the relentless heat, everybody seemed to enjoy the best part about VAG shows: having a good time!