With the Speedhunters team out in full force at the Spa 24H and Linhnbergh shooting rally antics at the XGames, I decided that my Speedhunting weekend should take on more of a grassroots direction. On Saturday morning I packed up the camera, a few cold drinks and made my way to Buttonwillow Raceway.
Speed Ventures was hosting an open track day, and I knew that we were long overdue for some of this coverage here. Not a sanctioned race or time attack event, but a typical weekend track meeting.
After all, it's these grassroots gatherings that really expose the automotive culture of a given area. This is people out enjoying their cars at the most basic level.
Despite typical summer weather in California's Central Valley, with afternoon highs passing 100 degrees farenheit, there were still plenty of drivers who came out for a weekend of action of the famous Buttonwillow 13 configuration.
The funnest thing about attending a track day has to be looking over the machinery. There was a huge variety of cars in the paddock, from track day favorites like the BMW M3…
…to this radical looking (and sounding) pro-touring style '69 Camaro.
Could you have a track day without the Mazda Miata? Absolutely not.
The same goes for any of the recent offerings from Lotus. Track days are part of their DNA.
Other entries weren't quite so typical, this Volvo for example.
A GC8 Impreza bakes in the sun following its track session. Even with the uncomfortable weather, it didn't seem like many cars were having problems with the heat.
Here in California, Porsches will never overcome that midlife crisis stigma. Hey, If this is part of getting older, I'm not complaining at all.
After tinkering around with my own S30 project for a little bit, I was happy to see this L-powered 240Z out there. Inspiration!
The S2000 is another one of those track day standbys. Here's one wearing one modeling a Mugen hardtop and set of Emotion CR Kais.
Yes I have a terrible case of automotive ADD. I might have an old Datsun that needs some loving attention, but that doesn't keep from me from thinking about how fun it would be to own an M3.
E36 or E46 – it's all good.
GT500 at speed across the featureless landscape of Buttonwillow.
A very clean example of the second generation Honda CRX suited up for track duty.
Is this the world's most aggressive looking Miata? Very likely.
Another one of the many tuned S2000s out at the track. No useless modifications here.
This AE86 seemed a little "loose" around certain corners. Sometimes you just can't help it I guess.
This all-business Porsche is a fine point to close out part one.
I'll be back very soon with more from the Buttonwillow wasteland.