|August 25, 2005
Old School quattro Gathering 2005
The second annual Old School quattro gathering in Cumberland, Maryland was a complete success! Held the weekend of August 19th-21st and centered around an autocross at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport, the get-together was designed to celebrate the older generations of Audis that tend to be forgotten by the public in view of the spectacular "A"-series cars produced from 1996 onward. Participants from Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts traveled to Cumberland to meet other Audi enthusiasts, see some excellent examples of classic Audi models, enjoy some great food, and most importantly, race!
Now in its second year, the Old School quattro gathering, originally organized by Cumberland resident Doug Macy, is a sub-event put on in cooperation with National Road Autosport, a local enthusiast club that runs several autocross events at the airport each year. OSq coincides with National Road's "Summer Sizzler" autocross in late August. In 2004 about 8 Audis attended the event, which is largely dominated by sports cars such as Porsches and Corvettes. This year the count was up to roughly a dozen on Saturday, with several more Audis arriving on Sunday. Some drivers stayed overnight to compete both days, while others limited themselves to just one day on the fast and smooth taxiways at Cumberland.
The engine of choice this year at OSq was the 20V 5-cylinder, seen in both naturally aspirated and turbo forms. 20V cars attending included 5 B3 20V Coupes, a 20V turbo ur-quattro, and a 4000 quattro with a 20V turbo transplant. Other cars included a B4 90 sedan, a 5000 sedan, an ur-S4 Avant, and some newer models including an A4 and an allroad.
Saturday started early in the morning, with registration and technical inspection at the airport opening at 7:00 am. The weather was foggy and cool, but the weatherman said that it would get extremely hot and sunny as the day wore on. Hundreds of people eventually arrived at the airport, creating a beehive of activity as tools and tires were tossed about with practiced precision. Once registered, the Audi camp took over one section of the paddock area and began making preparations to race. The morning was a good time for all the Audi owners to get to know one another and share experience and stories. A lot of time was spent peering under the hoods of some of the heavily-modified cars in attendance, and everybody left knowing more about old Audis than when they arrived!
After a brief standard technical inspection and a few laps around the course on foot, drivers were prepared for battle. The first car, a white 1997 BMW Z3, roared off the line at around 10:30. Audi drivers worked the course during the first heat, a good opportunity to get a feel for the course before racing in the third heat.
The course was fast, but very technical, and included an optional turn-around at one end of the course that was a source of debate as to which direction was the fastest. As is usual for autocrosses, the course rewarded drivers who planned several moves ahead and surprised those who looked only a few feet in front of their front bumper. Several drivers were caught out by decreasing-radius turns and by one series of high-speed offset gates leading into a tight turn, causing sharp braking while the car was unstable, which led to several spins.
By the third heat it was extremely hot under the blazing sun causing driver discomfort and making grip an issue as tires and pavement got hot and greasy. Even in these harsh conditions, though, the Old School quattros made a good showing and pulled off several excellent finishes. The quattro system helped keep the Audis under control where others were sliding and spinning tires.
The Audis were scattered across several classes, including Stock, Street Touring, and Street Prepared. Dave Kraige finished 2nd in Street Touring in his daily driver pearl white 1991 Coupe quattro 20V, while Phil Becker finished 3rd in D stock in his green 1996 A4. Dave's time (52.826) was the fastest of the Old School quattros on Saturday, while Phil had the fastest Audi overall (52.288). Fastest time of the day was set at an incredible 45.305 by Greg Honeycutt in his B Modified 1986 Reynard Formula Car.
Unfortunately, a few minor problems plagued some of the older quattros on Saturday. Doug Macy's red 4000 quattro project car - which has a 20V turbo engine - suffered from overworked fuel injectors, a malfunctioning radiator fan switch and handling issues. Meanwhile, Steve Yoder's beautiful black 1990 Coupe quattro 20V lost an alternator belt, forcing Steve and co-driver Chris McComb to remove the car's RS2 bumper to install a new belt and limiting both drivers to only three runs out of six.
On Sunday, Phil Becker improved on his Saturday finish to win in D Stock in his A4, while Doug Macy finished 2nd in C Street Prepared in his heavily-modified pearl white 1990 Coupe quattro 20V. Doug was the fastest of the Audis on Sunday, with a time of 47.784. Sunday's FTD was again set by Greg Honeycutt and his quick Reynard, this time at 42.366.
Full results can be found here:
Once all the racing was done on Saturday, the Audi camp packed up, took some photos, and headed out on a mountain cruise designed by Doug Macy. The route wound through the mountains in and around Cumberland, eventually arriving at the destination, Mike McCagh's farm, which is also the site of Mike's superb collection of Chevrolet Corvettes. The farm was the site of a fantastic picnic that is a staple of National Road autocross weekends. Featuring crabs, kettle corn, and assorted grilled foods, there was something for everybody, and it was a great way to cap off a perfect day of good cars, good people, and good fun.
Plans are already in motion for the third annual OSq event next August, and the organizers hope to see everybody back for more!