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It’s been on the minds of several enthusiasts across the Rocky Mountain Front Range since the beginning of the summer. The late-August buzz isn’t about when classes are back in session, or how football season migrates back on Sundays. Rather, it’s the last big show of the season for Colorado, and exhibits insight on trends and projects that will be attempted over the winter.
DATR — Dubs Along the Rockies — is famous for being Colorado’s premier Volkswagen and Audi event, which has grown significantly in precedence since its conception and first show back in 2001. The 7th annual show happened on Sunday, August 24th, and was hosted at its inaugural location on the Pikes Peak Community College campus in Colorado Springs.
Gates opened early with long lines awaiting entry, and by high noon over 270 Volkswagens and Audis had entered into the 45 different air- and water-cooled judged classes. Attendance boomed with in-state and out-of-state owners and non-owners alike, most of whom had heard about the show through local media spots, radio advertising, and several online message boards. Classes were filled with diverse color schemes, go-fast power modifications, custom engineering and fabrication, and original OEM factory gadgets that were both eye-popping and functional.
DATR has seen a large growth spurt over the last several years, with its many side events including the vast array of participating show vehicles. This year brought on several favorites including owner part-supplied swap meet areas for both air- and water-cooled vehicles. DATR’s pioneering “slow-drags” bracket competition was hard-fought; the rules challenge drivers to be the last to cross the finish line, using only engine idle speeds and creative techniques to slow the car down, without slipping the clutch or using any braking methods. The other crowd favorite was the viscous-roller dyno that ran all day long under the blazing sun; TDIs, VR6 and 8V turbos, Stage 3+ 20Vs, and others were redlined at 6030 feet of altitude to claim power bragging rights.
The key of success for DATR is that the event coordinators have attracted several nationally recognized and regional vendors throughout the last handful of shows. This year was no exception. Local Denver shop Avalon Motorsports and national diesel performance supplier KermaTDI joined forces to present the 2008 show that brought in record attendance and participation numbers.
Representatives from MJM Autohaus, Snow Performance, Emich Volkswagen of Denver, Salta Motorsports, AutoBahn Premier Service, Peak Eurosport, 3Zero3 Motorsports, and BSH Performance Street & Strip were present, handing out promotional posters, free samples and services, and available goodies for VW lovers. Tuning software from Revo, APR, GIAC, and Unitronic was available through the various shops on location. C2 Motorsports teamed up with Emich Volkswagen to present their newest turbocharged concoction, a United Grey MKV R32. Spectators were able to get a complete look over the engineered engine bay and get answers to detailed questions on performance specifications. This year’s raffle was flooded with excellent prizes donated from Virtual World Parts, NPG Racing, GermanAutoParts.com, AWE Tuning, and several others.
Looking ahead to 2009, the DATR staff is working towards expanding the side events to “full-speed” status, but official information hasn’t been released. Rumor has it that the event may move just a quick jaunt south to Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colorado. If so, the event could return to a full two-day event similar to the 2006 DATR. There’s talk of possible track time and autocross events that should attract more performance-oriented VAG owners. That could make DATR 2009 ever more buzzworthy.
For latest news and info on next year’s event log onto dubsalongtherockies.com.
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