There’s something to be said for grassroots types of events; you know the kind where there’s little cause for worrying. Instead you’re there to hang with your peers, packing minimal tools, and buckled up behind the wheel for a spirited thrill ride. There isn’t big money involved for winning; instead the winner earns a small trophy and the prestige of being the champ. That, my friend, is what Run to the Coast (RTTC) is all about.
This year marked the second running of RTTC at the former El Toro Marine Base in Irvine, California. The biggest difference over last year’s event is that instead of having one full day of fun, we had an entire weekend. Friday involved a 100-plus mile cruise, which ran up the coast along some of the more glamorous beach cities and then headed inland toward Ontario, where we checked in at Spectre Performance for lunch and an open chassis dyno session. For the next stop, the entire band of street machines headed to K1 Speed for a little indoor go-kart action, and before the day was over, everyone battled SoCal’s rain-beat freeways for one more stop. This time to Total Cost Involved for a shop tour and a barbecue feast that was second to none.
For the next two days, close to 74 cars took part in the Baer Brakes Speed Stop Challenge, Carbon Kustoms Autocross, and Detroit Speed Road Course. The format was simple; everyone was placed in a run group and sent to their designated areas. Once completed, they moved onto the next portion of the event. And the number-one rule imposed: no passing on the road course.
The only downside, depending on how you looked at it, was Saturday’s downpour. While it was a little slippery, it didn’t prevent anyone from getting seat time. Sunday proved to be a whole new day with incredibly clear skies and sunshine; albeit it was still chilly, but nonetheless much nicer. With the improved weather, Sunday’s format was changed slightly, opening up the morning road course session as timed practice laps. This was to help everyone get a bit more familiar with the course, and the RTTC crew reestablished its timers for the afternoon session. Also, all competitors were allowed to run through any portion of the event again to better their times, as long as it was handled in the allotted time.
As we mentioned earlier, there isn’t big money involved here for the winners; however, that doesn’t mean there weren’t great prizes involved. The overall winner, which we’ll disclose in the following pages, earned a trophy and a ticket to compete at the annual Optima Street Car Challenge in Pahrump, Nevada, which is slated after the SEMA show. Other prizes included a set of wheels from Driverz, a choice of tires from BFGoodrich, and a host of other goodies.
At the end of the weekend, everyone had fun, and we all walked away with a smile. Of course, the people in the background are often overlooked, so we want to acknowledge the true heroes of this event. Many thanks go to coordinators Bill Howell, Yancy Johns, and Danny Thomas. These guys are no strangers to these types of events and have already added additional venues for Pigeon Forge and Nashville Speedway in Tennessee, including a Run to the Shore in New Jersey. For more information, head over to Pro-Touring.com and check out the Racing Events and Performance section.