For 10 years, Canadian Sport Compact Series has been organizing events where automotive enthusiasts get a chance to show what they’ve got. This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Beach Burnout at the Grand Bend Motorplex in Grand Bend, Ontario. The event had competitions for drag racing, drifting and time attacks along with a judged show and shine. This was my first time attending an event like this so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but it dealt with cars so I wanted to be there.
The first thing I encountered upon my arrival was the Scion registration tent. As sponsors of the event, they had professional drivers giving complimentary rides around the track in the brand new Scion FR-S (you can read my original article about the car here) and letting drivers take a shot at the drag strip in a 2013 Scion tC. I could probably write a whole article about my experiences with both cars but for the sake of brevity I will just say it was excellent and the FR-S is now one of the top cars on my wish list.
While pushing the tC to its limits at the drag strip, I learned a bit about drag competitions. I learned about the various classes competing and some of the common modifications that people will make to their daily drivers before making a run. While it was a neat showcase of power and fun to participate in, it didn’t excite me as a spectator sport so I moved on to see what else was happening.
The sound of squealing tires led me to the drift competition. With my only exposure to drifting being national event coverage in magazine and samples from movies I was expecting cars with wild graphics gracefully sliding around the track sideways. While there was a single professional drifter that fulfilled my expectation, there were over 20 aspiring drivers who were excited to get a chance to try their hand at this sport in a safe environment driving whatever rear wheel drive vehicle they could get. Sure, I was impressed by the professional driver but I was more impressed by the guys who kept coming back for more attempts after ending up way off the track.
Not far away, I could see much more polished cars vying for the fastest lap time. The competition here was much tighter than it had been in the drift challenge. It was exciting to watch the variations in the lines being taken around the track by each driver and I really enjoyed seeing a mix of polished, professional cars and rougher, independent rides.
The show and shine area was my final stop for the day. The hoods of all the cars were propped up, showing the finely detailed engines. Some cars had only slight changes to them while others had undergone much more radical modifications. It was here that my collector sense kicked into full gear. Most of the new parts on the cars were items I have seen before but some stood out. The serious tuners like to hunt down exotic parts from the Japanese market where they can get limited edition parts including wheels, headlights, body panels, seats and stereo components. You could see an owner swell with pride when you commented on how nice the car looks.
Most of my exposure to this type of car has been either through the media or shaking my fist at the kids who think it’s cool to try drifting around corners in the neighborhood. This was awesome to see how supportive the community is and to provide a safe environment for drivers to push their cars to the limits. I was really excited to see the sponsored cars right next to cars that were just starting their careers. When I look back through old car magazines I realize this culture has been around for a long time. Just like the cars that competed back in the 60s, 70s and 80s have become collectors items, I expect many of the cars I saw today will be desirable collectibles in the future.
I took advantage of the day to play around with my 3D camera set up while I was at the track. If you have a pair of red/cyan 3D glasses handy then put them on and I hope you enjoy the following photos from the track as an added bonus.