Held at Stratotech Park, Tougebash is an event combining both motorsports and a car show together for enthusiasts to enjoy. The event featured “touge” style battles (think Initial D) where competitors would be split into two categories (Solo and Shop Class) and race against each other around a short course. The cars would start from staggered positions and first one back to their respective starting point wins.
In addition to having a booth at the event, my good friends Matthew and Cale of RA Motorsports were both signed up to be competing in the shop class which meant that I was on hand to offer support (forewarning this is also why majority of the photos in this post are of their cars). As much as I love racing, I opted out of competing in this event for a few reasons. Quite frankly, racing with the goal of “bringing excitement back to motorsports with less rigid rules and a relaxed competitive ‘street race/car meet’ atmosphere” didn’t really appeal to me, and “less rigid rules” when it comes to racing generally tends to be a recipe for whatever one step short of disaster is.
Without completely going into a never ending rabbit hole, throughout the day at least one person spun out on every single turn of the short course, for whatever reason the pit lane wasn’t used to stage competing vehicles like we do on regular track days, and the competition was classed based on whether you were representing a shop or just your lonesome self. Heck, even Lightning McQueen went without his team for a week but that doesn’t mean that he should just show up and ka-chow the shit out of everyone competing without the support of a shop.
Now in the case of this event, for the most part, it ended up working out in such a way that majority of the more experienced drivers ended up in the Shop Class, and a lot of the battles were rather close which kept things exciting for everyone in attendance. Okay before I get too carried away I just want to say that this event wasn’t necessarily bad by any means; rather, it just needs some polishing.
I know the experienced drivers will already know this as a lot of us were already discussing this at the event, but for those who do need to hear it, please remember to consider both your tire temperatures as well as track surface temperatures. If your car is sitting on the grid for a while before you go up, your tires and brakes will drop in temperature, so please drive accordingly and within your limits. Also AWD guys, unless your car has launch control and/or you’re making a billion horsepower with a beefed up drivetrain, stop trying to launch your cars. Not only do you bog right off the line like a snail experiencing a seizure for the first time, you also put an immense amount of strain on your vehicle’s drivetrain risking damage.
Racing can be a ton of fun but it can also go upside down real fast. Literally. Jesus isn’t going to take the wheel for you and you can’t just yell out “I GOT FAMILY” and assume that everything will work itself out. For those who want to improve their driving skills before the next August event, there are local track day organizations such as Track Junkies and Speed Freaks who offer driving instructors who can help teach you how to race both fast and safely.
Lastly I just want to give a shout-out to Matthew for the most exciting battle of the night when he went up against Chris Pollard and his LS powered BMW E46 353i in the Shop Class semi finals. 400WHP vs. 130WHP for a classic photo finish boys.
Stay safe everyone.