Today is going to be unseasonably warm for late February in northern Ohio, with temps expected to reach and maybe even crest 70 degrees Fahrenheit. With no snow left in sight and temps that rival May/June, it’s time to start thinking about the car season ahead. And that means rally/driving events!
In past years I’ve not made many attempts to participate in large-scale road rally activities, for a myriad of different reasons. Examples of this have been insufficient discretionary funds, lack of available free time, or simply not having the right vehicle for such an event at the right time.
Last year was different though, as I had my 997.2 Porsche Carrera GTS, and all other conditions were finally right. Alas, that turned out to be a mild disaster but with a happy ending; you can read more about that in my blog post HERE. After that debacle I ultimately ended up deciding to not organize my own rally event in the future, instead passing the torch onto those with more time and energy.
Since last summer I’ve gone through almost a half-dozen car swaps since the ShakaRun took place. Of course, there are those already placing bets as to whether my current car will still be around for either of the two summer programs I’ll be discussing below. 🙂
But I digress. During my research over the recent months I’ve come across two events scheduled for 2018 that fit my schedule and my budget. With the warm weather getting us gear-heads excited for such activities I figured I’d share with my readers a taste of some of the planning already going on for the driving season ahead.
June 2018 will usher in the inaugural rally for Recharge Media. An upstart based in Ohio, formed by some of the members of our ShakaRun fall-out, these guys are passionate about cars on every level. For some time now they have hosted Cars & Coffee type events, with their Cars & Wings Cleveland bringing out some heavy hitters monthly for one of the best on-going gatherings in Northern Ohio.
Starting in Cleveland, Ohio, this rally will incorporate back road driving, public interaction, and other VIP events along the way to Columbus, Ohio and Fort Wayne, Indiana.. What truly sets this rally apart from others is the way they are handling the financial aspects. Hotels and dining will be organized, but each participant will be responsible for their own bookings & costs. This allows folks to tailor their experience to meet their individual budgets, reaching a broader potential spectrum of drivers.
Spots are still available for this event, which is sure to be a great start to the 2018 season. Some of the details are still yet to come, but I for one have high hopes & expectations for what these guys are going to put together, and hope to see friends old & new at this event!
Midwest rally fans are probably familiar with Crown Rally by now, which first kicked off in 2013. Now in their fifth year, this rally has grown into multiple legs/events per year, with their July 2018 event already sold out. My participation plans for 2018 includes their August event, known as Crown Rally 7.
Two of the biggest hurdles in finding a fun rally event for most folks are the cost, and the time off work needed to attend. Finding a bash that wasn’t going to set me back three-grand or more was difficult, and trying to find a balance between my family vacation plans and my rally plans was tough. Luckily, the folks at Crown Rally have just the ticket!
Crown Rally 7 connects Chicago, Illinois with Indianapolis, Indiana and Nashville, Tennessee. Structured similar to other lifestyle rally events, the Crown Rally includes spirited driving, VIP evenings, and swanky hotel stays. This southern event includes a track day at Tire Rack, utilizing their test track for a fun autocross type activity. And at only $2,000 they are one of the most affordable events in the region.
Organized as an event to raise awareness and donations for the Epilepsy Foundation, as well as Kars4Kids, Crown has donated in excess of $100k over the past two years, with no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Participation is therefore not just about fun, but for a great cause, too! Be sure to check them out, and consider signing up for some of the few remaining spots.
Rally events bring out a fun cross-section of owners and vehicles, with everything from limited edition Italian exotics, to German sports cars, to American muscle cars, to lifted trucks, and more! This year I’ll be cruising in my 2008 Audi R8 V8, which already has BC Racing coil-overs and recently added window tint. But the fun doesn’t stop there.
Over the past two weeks I’ve acquired a used Stasis exhaust, and a set of Lamborghini Huracan take-off wheels. The former will be installed soon, shedding some weight off the rear end of the car, and adding some much-needed “noise” to the driving experience. The wheels will soon be shod with brand new Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires in the factory 235/35 and 295/30 sizes on these pristine 19″ silver Italian-made Speedline OEM wheels. Teaser photos of the exhaust/wheels can be seen here:
While there are no other immediate plans for the car, some other cosmetic tweaks mights occur, should my budget allow. These include but are not limited to some side skirt and front spoiler add-ons, as well as a possible side blade door change. Although the jury is still out on the side blade color, please feel free to sound off in the comments section below. How do you think the car would look with glossy black side blades instead of silver? Or what other color might work?
Sidebar: Down the road an entire car wrap has been considered, but the Jet Blue color has actually grown on me, hence the choice for silver wheels to tie it all together.
Finally, here are two photos for your enjoyment. The first is a photo of the car right after the tint was performed, and the second is a photoshop of a random Jet Blue R8 photo, showing what the car should look like once the Huracan “KARI” wheels are installed. Enjoy the warm weather folks!