Every year we look forward to the SoCal R32 GTG and track day. Recently renamed Fastivus, the event epitomizes Volkswagen enthusiasm with plenty of shared camaraderie. It's the perfect weekend trip for any hardcore VW R32 owner and, best of all, it's one of the only grassroots events that's supported directly by VWoA. The attendance record was shattered this year with 159 Mk4s and Mk5s. This is impressive considering the R32 isn't on sale anymore. Out-of-towners from AZ, OR, WA and Canada made the long trip to join the festivities.
Day one started at the K1 Speed indoor kart track. With the R32s parked like a car show, owners were given the opportunity to vote in the people's choice show 'n shine. The afternoon also included a karting competition and an enormous raffle with more than $33k in prizes!
Sunday was a long day at California Speedway's inner road course. The technical track proved both fun and challenging for the registered drivers. The R32s were divided into five different groups by skill level. And if you'd never been on track before, The Barber Driving Experience was on-hand to teach novice drivers technique and etiquette.
Despite the huge field, track time wasn't an issue and every driver had more than enough sessions to push their limits. Most people retired early to save themselves and their Rs!
We also took the opportunity to take a VWoA Mk5 GLI on track for a brief spell. In with the experienced group, we were surprisingly able to keep pace with many R32s, passing a few and only giving way to a faster turbo car. It proved how much fun any of VW's current product can be after a few well-chosen mods.
Along with VWoA, two sponsors contributed to improve the event. HPA Motorsports drove 25 hours from Canada to be there. They proudly displayed turbo and new supercharger kits for the Mk4 and Mk5 R32, as well as its Mk4 R32 that won last year's eurotuner GP (et 1/09). VF-Engineering also continued as one of the longest-running sponsors.
Next year's event is already scheduled for May 29-30, 2010. For more photos of the event, visit www.eurotuner.com
VWoA Represents VWoA debuted the both Mk6 Golf TDI and GTI 2.0T at Fastivus. The Performance CC (et 2/09) from SEMA '08 also made its first appearance since Vegas. We had the opportunity to drive the CC and although it was built for show purposes, we took it to some local canyons, while VWoA brought the two Mk6s.
Equipped with an APR stage 3 upgrade and H&R coilovers, the CC had a decent surge of performance but its one major drawback was the auto transmission that would take too long to shift.
The car wasn't built for canyons and although the ride was solid with reasonably quick steering response, the 20" tires were rubbing on the body.
Despite its pitfalls, it's a breathtaking show car with its one-off body kit, aluminum accents, Lamborghini paint and upholstered Recaro interior executed by VW's Design Studio. -Sam