When you look at the West Coast Challenge as a whole, it had something for everyone; it was a very active, participant-friendly event. Sure, you could watch, but you could just as easily be having a ball doing some driving, too. CEO of NMRA and NMCA, Stephen Wolcott, probably made the most telling remark I’ve heard about this event. I asked if there would be a similar event next year. His response? “Because the people had so much fun, we’re gonna try to do a couple of events in the future.” Let’s hope it happens, because the highest compliment this writer can pay NMRA/NMCA on their initial West Coast Shootout offering is this: Next year, I want to be behind the wheel and not behind a camera lens. Yes, it was that much fun.
Although he left us some weeks ago, the presence of recently departed Baer Brakes owner Todd Garthshore still loomed large over the event, especially at the Hotchkis Autocross and Baer Brakes Speed-Stop Challenge, which were held in close proximity to each other. What can we say? Todd was an important part of the auto aftermarket industry, a friend, and all-around nice guy to many (myself included), and also responsible for making plenty of fast cars stop short. To honor Todd’s legacy, a “silent” autocross lap was held in his honor, complete with checkered flag flowing. Todd finished his race, and it was great to see him appropriately—and affectionately—honored.