Safe Auto at DRIVE Festival 2022
A New Hope
Canadian Car culture has long been underground. An off the shoulder scarf in the wind moving quietly at its own accord not bothering anyone, until. Car culture in this country has plenty of small time events that have grown over the years to support the subcultures of mainstream products with attendance in the thousands. There just isn’t anything that compares to the big American or international gatherings which support car culture as a whole. Shows like Pebble Beach, Goodwood festival of Speed, Car Week in California, we just don’t get them at the same scale. Enter DRIVE Festival.
DRIVE Festival is a weekend long celebration of all things automotive. Everyone is represented from muscle and vintage-to-classic and concept, electric and hybrid-to-custom and import. Manufacturers show up to parade this seasons new models along the race track as well as off road. Not just for the licensed driver, but for the whole family, DRIVE Festival 2022 saw attractions for the coming generations of car enthusiasts. 3 axis racing simulators, electric kids ride alongs, electric vintage style motorcycles and even the Dark Knight himself cruised up with his Bat-mobile.
In 2021 DRIVE Festival had more than 17,000 attendees and 2,500 plus test drives on three test tracks all located inside the scenic forestry of Canadian Tire Mosport Racetrack. For its first year those are impressive numbers. Though we haven’t seen the numbers yet, we trust 2022 DRIVE Festival knocked those numbers into space.
Friday was press day. Easy access and very few if any spectators mucking about while vendors set up and glad hand one another. Manufacturers pitch their tents. Pylons quadren off high speed testing zones. The Fleets Coffee truck finally shows up for on-sight latte service we all desperately need to carry the day on. Friday is a relatively easy day for those involved. Sort of a dry run for the chaos Saturday and Sunday can bring with tens of thousands of enthusiasts storming the gates to test drive electric cars, off-road ATV’s, see historic Mclarens bomb up and down the bespoke hill climb from turns 5 up and down through turn 1 of Mostport.
Safe Auto spent the weekend with BMW True North and our corporate partners Collecting Cars Canada. We were cruising the pits, lapping the skid pad with Continental Tire in the C8 Corvette, and bombing up the hill climb in our 800hp Audi RS6. Did you know gold 22”HRE wheels, though heavy, make decent track wheels….at 200+kmh?
Saturday and Sunday the masses roll up to the gates for 10am in massive lineups. Big wing Scion FRS, Ford F-150 Raptor, Hellcats for miles, Honda Civic Type R (what’s a car show without 200 Civics?), and BMW M3s of all vintage rev their engines and bang off the redline as they roll underneath the entrance bridge to the paddock inside the pit lane.
The Real Fun
Our experience was likely the best of any vendor or guest alike. We cruised the grounds assisted by a golf kart we stole from our friends Windshield Experts (thanks boys) . We enjoyed Nissan, Toyota, and Hyundai in both off-road excursions through the woods to showcase their new lineups, as well as on the back half of the track with electric vehicle test drives for those signed up. Continental Tire took us for a max attack autocross in the new C8 Corvette. Side note: the C8 Vette is quick so buy plenty of tires. You’ll need them. We enjoyed turning our 1000hp Audi RS6 into a hill climb monster. Though its almost 5000lbs, it outpaced more than a few track built vehicle and kept respectable time in the corners. Did you know gold 22”HRE wheels, though heavy, make decent track wheels….at 200+kmh? A few laps were turned out with our camera car setting itself up in front and behind the all new Nissan “Z” pace-car to grab footage for the event.
All-in-all we had an amazing weekend at Canadas largest and fastest racetrack. If you haven’t had a chance to experience supercars, muscle cars, JDM hero’s, off-road monsters, and everything in between we suggest you keep your September weekends open for 2023 as DRIVE Festival is likely to have something for everyone. Canada has a new mainstream attraction for car culture with DRIVE Festival.