The fifth-generation Camaro has only been around for a couple of years, but it has already developed a huge following of modern muscle car fans. In that short period of time, Camaro5.com has managed to enlist over 45,000 members to its forum board who all share a common love of GM’s newest iteration of the iconic classic.
The disadvantage of being an online community is separation. With members strewn across the country, it’s a geographical challenge to find a way for them to interact in a non-electronic way. Last year the powers that run the website decided to organize a gathering. It took place at the South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Georgia, and was called the Camaro5 Fest. It was a huge hit, so it’s not surprising that they decided to do it again, this time a bit further west in Chandler, Arizona, at Firebird International Raceway. Of course, from what we’ve seen, the location doesn’t seem to matter much because if there’s one thing new Camaro owners love to do, it’s drive their Chevys as much as possible. With over 800 Camaros in attendance, we saw license plates from Florida, Washington, Virginia, and just about everywhere else. All gathered together to hang out, check out cars, and wear down tires.
The two-day event started on Friday with four aspects of competition: drag racing, autocross, road racing, and a car show. The big deal was the Pfadt Engineering–hosted High Performance Driving Event (HPDE) held on one of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving tracks. Over 70 cars got the chance to hit the course in a safe and controlled environment. There were even driving instructors available to help drivers improve their skills behind the wheel. Both Friday and Saturday featured an autocross set up and hosted by Pedders Suspension. The drag strip was continuously busy with both, first-timers and veterans running their Camaros down the 1320. For those not quite up to trashing on their Camaros (yet) there was huge car show area with a dizzying array of new Camaros and few classics as well.
All in all it was a weekend any gearhead could enjoy, and the folks at Camaro5.com managed to offer something for everyone and present it in a fashion that, at least to us, seemed to go off without a hitch.
Count us in for next year!