Real hot sunshine, big blue skies, and racetrack as far as the eye can see, this was the Texas summer day I had been so expectantly awaiting. The third stop along the epic rolling car show that is the Hot Rod Power Tour, landed at the Circuit of the Americas. COTA is one of the newest and most beautiful racetracks in the world. It currently serves as the ONLY location for Formula-1 racing, here in the states. The track resides just outside Austin and encloses about 3.4 miles of the finest pavement on the planet. The grounds include several state of the art facilities as well as beautiful amenities and grounds, easily supporting the nigh 12,000 people in attendance.
As the the tour continues to press on, more and more vehicles turn up. There were most certainly outnumbering hot rods joining the gargantuan caravan, than there are ones saying their goodbyes and retuning home. The steadily increasing volume of the tour has made for nothing but more enjoyment, more stories to be told, and of course more Slam’d rides! The wide open grounds allowed for a proper spread of all the touring vehicles, as well a a centralized zone for vendors and sponsor within the infield of the COTA grounds.
Photos & Words: Michael Phillips
Day four’s event offered a unique, true motorsports feel. Between the surrounding world class track and genuinely race-ready hot rods, experiencers were fully immersed into race car nirvana. Further extending the euphoria was unique experience entitled the Victory Lap, where attendees could pay a reasonable fee to take a well monitored lap in their vehicle around the F1 track. The day also, like the Baton Rouge event, featured a sponsored and announced AutoCross track. This time the track was put on by American Racing Wheels. The top-notch wheel makers had a company custom SRT8 Challenger on the course throughout the day, setting extremely competitive times for attendees to try and match.
The SEMA YEN team were also afforded and extra measure of opportunity. The ten of us were introduced and grouped into a short, sweet meeting with some of the Top-Dogs in the various SEMA Committees, Hot Rod Magazine, and other bodies in the industry. Being fairly green in the enterprise myself, I will genuinely cherish the entire experience of YEN on the tour, but particular this unique time, hearing from some of the most passionate members of the entire automotive empire.
Finally, closing out our epic day four of the the YEN Power Tour experience, was an very impromptu and exclusive networking event. One of the YEN Team members, Jason Wieczorek of Motovicity, invited one of his clients in Austin out to dinner with the group. His client is Andrew Campbell of Dedicated Motorsports where they build extremely potent high power cars. They currently hold the standing mile GTR speed record with one of their Nissan GTR builds. The shop shares space with Finspeed Wheels Manufacture. We toured their state of the art shop, seeing where the magic of taking fast cars and making them genuine monstrosities of unsafe speed, happens. The out-of-the-blue tour was a fantastic opportunity to see motorsports passion in action and to just talk cars with other people who love them.
The YEN TEAM is now prepping for our next adventure, spending our morning at another Technical School stop where we will be talking with industry student about our experiences and the advantage of getting involved with SEMA org for the betterment of their careers and betterment of the industry all together. We then have another big stop in Texas where my camera will be on the hunt for more unique hot rods, and especially those staying Slam’d.
SEMA YEN Power Tour Driver Profile: Aaron Vaccar
Arron Vaccar (like many of the YEN Team Members) is a surpassingly talented and multiple-hat wearing industry guru. He owns and operates a company under his last name, Vaccar Ind. The Vaccar brand specializing in automotive PR and Branding. He has a long history of building show quality customs. His portfolio of work has allowed him the opportunity to do aftermarket product design and marketing, working directly with Auto Manufacturers. These last few years he has build a handful of very custom Ford Motor Co. Vehicles to be displayed at the SEMA Show. He then takes the vehicles with him throughout his industry travels and on tours, to display their unique product design and styling, further bringing attention to the Ford brand. This facet of his work is conducted under the Auto Life Tour. He also has a lifestyle brand called Blood & Grease, which helps to promote and inspire his unique builds. He is currently building a full Blood & Grease themed Focus ST for SEMA 2016. Aaron’s YEN Power Tour vehicle is a 2015 Ford Edge, fully customized by Vaccar. It features a custom airride kit, custom matte paint, custom exhaust, and custom ultra quality upholstery.