October 8, 2005

Northeast //SFest 2005
Text by Paul Krasusky / Photos by Rich Assarabowski

Over 40 UrS cars, 15 UrQuattros, and 30-odd other Audi's, Porsches, and various niche cars were displayed under perfect sun in North Granby, CT, and surrounded by over a hundred enthusiasts with unbridled energy Saturday, August 27, 2005 for the 4th annual Northeast //SFest. Each year's //SFest has evolved to be more successful, more poignant, more surreal; this year set that barometer higher once again.

I am sure more than a few //SFesters and non //SFesters alike have wondered just what is this Fest thing all about? Is it a religious revival, hippy rally, rock concert, a show about nothing? So what is with the Audi thing in CT at the end of August you ask?

Realistically, it is unquantifiable. The //S cars and other iron were merely the curtains that enveloped us and provided quintessential backdrop to great people having a greater time. Heck I don't think I talked much //S-car stuff all weekend. //SFest encompasses you with endless others as sick and twisted as you, more twisted even. Solace is provided knowing you are not alone in your insanity.

Staffers and early arrivals departed work Fri. and descended upon Orest "Bys" Bystrianyk's residence after dusk. Jeff Postupack arrived from NH with road crew to assist with this year's multimedia and entertainment setup just as Bob Rossato completed engineering tweaks to his outdoor shower creation. I arrived impressed with Jim Pasqualoni from Maine, while Vincent Fregeac pulls up with every bug from Montreal to CT, and moments later Bill Mahoney pulls in fresh from Chicago... having recon'ed Keith Maddock from Michigan somewhere in Ohio in his Miata, and picking up Joe Pizzimenti somewhere in NY en-route.

The Olde Speckled Hen and Smuttynose IPA barrels were tapped and there was much rejoicing.

//SFest had begun.

We awoke to sunrise facing a textbook perfect summer's morning. We were ready. Build it and you will come. And you did. 10:00 and the entrance tent began passing out the //SFest 2005 logo'd tire pressure gauges and //SFest - Shokan logo'd steins to the first 50 to join us.

Jim Pasqualoni ground guided my parking of each of you and by eleven the display was humming along; now I think you see why I park everyone. Little did the crowd know Jim Smith of Shokan had snuck up the back entrance for son Aaron to explode off the trailer in their Sprongl raced vintage A2. I asked Aaron to run it up the back drive for you all as loud and quick as he dared on a cold motor... the cacophony of raucous cylinders ripping through //SFest was quite the aural treat!

Everyone arrived in a steady stream nice and early, highlighted at 1:30 with the dramatic entrance of Brian Purdy's GT3 and Jeff Purdy's 996tt, flanked appropriately by Keith's 993 C4S all the way up from Virginia. Then blasts in Brian Werstak in the titanium forged wheel'd GT2. Festivus Maximus was reached around 2:30 and Jim and I could finally //Fest. Around us by now were a Lotus Elise, 3 MB 500E's (from VA and NJ to boot), a pair of 911SCs with a Boxster, Frank Stadmeyer's R32, Mike Platt & family at their fourth //SFest in a shiny black Omni GLHS, a pair of UrQs, Alexander Van Gerbig's awesome 20vt B3, a V8, Tom Pollock's B5, a B6, Scott Allerheiligen in an Audi of Nashua B7 Avant, a TT with Toureg combo, and a pair of 944's... a 951 and an S2.

Festivus Maximus for sure.

My client with the Ferraris was to arrive again this year but didn't, nor Bob D'Amato in the Cosworth Escort. Lots of new faces this year though, great to meet so many more of you. Everyone fit right in and was real personable regardless of circumstance, and that is amazing. A handful of 4-time //Festers there too, pretty impressive was Bill Mahoney from Chicago. And Keith Maddock and Tim Leonard now 2x from Michigan! The Colorado Mafia even flew in espionage / surveillance personnel, Mikey Pederson joined us via Monterey to elude our attention. Kudos, hope our efforts to brainwash him with suds hamper any proprietary information pilfering from us CTers. There is no longer a question of who the CO mafia don is.

With the raffle table overflowing with a significant depth and breadth of schwag for all we began proceedings around 5:00, with a PA system this year to boot. There were so many raffle prizes I think everyone got something or two or three. We must share our ***most sincere appreciation*** with all of our sponsors, including SJM, Shokan, NEA/TJM, Wagner Audi, Sports Car Workshop, Force 5, Ronal, Stromung, Richard Hoffman, and manymanymany other generous individuals for all of their phenomenal donations - forgive me for who I missed. And for Jim Pasqualoni / Jeff Postupack's efforts in accumulating them. Prizes ranged from Audi playing cards to //SFest polo shirts, Audi hats, various used replacement C4 parts, an adjustable strut tie bar, a short shift kit, and a ceramic coated AAN intake manifold.

Dusk arrived and began to lull all into a false sense of normalcy, only to have the serenity *explode* into 75 cylinders of bristling UrQuattro. Fifteen of the 22 UPG UrQ Preservation Group's attendees from Gary Brown's event across CT journeyed over to us in full caravan. UrQ's lined centerfield, from Florida to Tennessee to Virginia to Colorado to Maine, including the only known '86 imported.

Also accompanying them was the original Mr. eS6+ himself, Tom Saltino all the way from Georgia in his ubersexy UrS4 to UrS6 conversion. Phil Ackley's stunning 20 valve turbo'ed UrQ from VA drew quite the crowed around the engine bay. The arrival of 15 UrQ's was a sight to behold, one of those, "I'll probably never see this again" moments. 15 UrQ's and 40 UrS cars all strategically poised upon rolling landscape near overwhelmed the senseless senses.

Sunset arrived and we disrupted the day's worth of mood music to feature the inaugural Lunatic Audi Fringe Outdoor //SFest Theater. Projected upon a large screen on the cabin's chimney we watched a fine selection of in-car Walter Rohrl footage lapping around der Nordschlief in Porsches, and some Steamboat Winter Driving School highlights, while across the site a large bonfire was lit. Most stumbled their way into tent city by 2 a.m., and awoke to drizzle Sunday a.m. and nearly 20 cars still there.

We packed up, showered, and left no trace on site... a now fourth //SFest an overwhelming success. Success not remotely possible without Jeff Postupack... my left arm. Jim Pasqualoni... my right. Bob Rossato... my "Rossato"... everyone needs one Rossato. More importantly folks... we achieved success not possible without each of you making such effort to contribute to our madness by COMING. It appears we're getting good at this. Scary.

I'll conclude with a quote from Bill Mahoney about the site likely going on the market for sale next year: "even if Bys sells the place we should just show up next year anyway". I'm guessing that might be bad. I fear Vincent Fregeac's recent suggestion will prove true that I will deny another //SFest for 9 months, then plan for 3 months, then //SFest 2006 here we come. If it does it will likely be held in Coventry, CT. Don't ask... but... do stay tuned for more things Coventry.

//SFest. Those who have know.