TDI Fest 2004
Labor Day weekend is fast becoming TDi Club members. favorite holiday of
year. This year the TDi Fest, held every Labor Day weekend since 2000, found
itself at the Sheraton in Braintree, Massachusetts. Being just south of Boston,
TDi folks from all over had the opportunity to experience a little New England
flair while visiting the area.
Events began Friday afternoon with a tour of Bentley Publishers. These folks are
the providers of our beloved .Big Red Book. shop manual. The visit was not
complete without a pizza party and talk from Art Lebrun.
After registrations were well under way, (with Derek well under the weather) we
had an unofficial dinner across the street at the Rock Bottom Brewery. Where
else would you expect to find a bunch of hungry TDiers?
The .official. Meet .n. Greet began at 9PM on the outside patio of the Tap Room,
the restaurant at the Sheraton. Good weather prevailed for this event and for
the rest of the weekend, with bright sunshine and very comfortable temperatures
Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday morning started early with the arrival of the Loud Fuel truck carrying
hundreds of gallons of Biodiesel. There was an informative table set up to help
educate those unfamiliar with the properties and benefits of the bean juice.
Loud fuel reported a total of 400 gallons of B100 sold that morning!
If folks weren.t out lining up for their fill of Biodiesel, they were sleeping
in . resting up for competition at F1Boston, the indoor kart racing facility
located about a mile from the hotel. After registering and learning what the
rules of the track were, TDiers were divided into 10 teams of 4 and sent to the
.dressing room.. Each driver.s outfit consisted of a very attractive head sock,
helmet, neck brace and a full body jumpsuit.
After about an hour of .tag team. endurance style racing, Team 3 emerged the
victors. Team 3 also boasted the fastest lap recorded during the race. See the
appendix for a list of winners.
The race was over by lunchtime, and the rest of the afternoon was left open for
folks to choose from a variety of tours into Boston. This year's Fest organizers
wanted to plan time for families to enjoy family-oriented activities, so
Saturday was the day for exploring Boston's offerings of tours and eateries.
Choices ranged from the Sam Adams Brewery to the Freedom Trail. A road rally
course was also planned and available for those interested. Those not interested
in leaving the hotel area enjoyed the afternoon hanging out in traditional GTG
style with light wrenching and heavy chipping going on .till dinnertime (and
beyond!). Some folks also got a jump on preparing for Sunday's Show .n. Shine
Sunday was a jam-packed day and things started off with brunch at the hotel. Art
Lebrun from Bentley Publishers presented a history of the diesel engine,
complete with .show and tell. items of interest. .Suck, squeeze, bang, blow. is
now a household expression . it describes the four cycles of a diesel engine!
Tech sessions started right after brunch, both inside and out in the parking lot
. topics ranged from SVTWeb's various project cars, stock vs CAT fuel filters,
and maintenance and performance tips just to mention a few. A raffle was held
for items donated and displayed in the registration area. Some of the items
available this year were quarts of 505.1 spec oil, A4 filter kits, fuel
additives, and various New England souvenirs.
Outside various vendors were on hand to promote their products. Metalnerd,
TDIparts.com (Danix), Shine Racing Service, Bentley Publishing and Upsolute were
there, along with StealthTDi and his now famous .Fahrfrumpumpen. T shirts and
As lunchtime approached, so too did the time to begin judging the Show .n.
Shine. Our judges this year were VWDerf, BeetleGo, and CoolWht, and they did not
have an easy time of it at all! The categories judged were A3, B4, A4 Golf, A4
Jetta, PD Jetta and PD Passat. This year had the largest representation of the
A3 class ever! All were stunning examples of pride of ownership. That did not
stop most from frantically attending to the smallest of details minutes before
There were some very interesting entries in the .Other. class this year .
SVTWeb.s V6 TDi 4 Motion Passat wagon drew crowds, along with the TDi powered
Synchro camper, and Sprinter Van!
While the Show .n. Shine was being judged, ever so quietly at the far end of the
parking lot, Jonathan Bartlett set up for the slow speed autocross planned for
the afternoon. .Slow Speed., while a new concept for many TDi folks, proved to
be quite challenging and entertaining. The course consisted of several sharp
turns and even required .reverse. for the best course times! Who knew a Sprinter
Van could be that .agile.?
Our competitor with the best time also entertained us by running the complete
course backwards! The award for Best Co-Pilot of the autocross should go to one
of the smallest TDiers in attendance . Little Miss Stealth TDi's screams of joy
(which oddly sounded like turbo whine) as she went through the paces amused
Sunday night.s banquet, the culmination of the weekend.s activities, was a great
time once again to gather and chat with fellow club members. Fred gave us a
.State of the Union. address, sharing ytd forum stats and other interesting
tidbits. He also presented gifts of appreciation to members of this year.s Fest
committee, complimenting them on a job well done. The call also went out to
those interested in hosting next year.s Fest . start thinking NOW! These events
take time and lots of energy and creativity to be successful.
Fred then turned the mike over to Jonathan Bartlett and a bow . tied PeterV to
begin the awards presentations. See appendix for this year.s categories and
winners. It was good to see so many new folks joining in and really becoming
part of the TDi Club community.
The TDi Club Benefit auction followed, emceed by Gewilli, who along with
Jettafock as his .Vanna White., had entirely waaay too much fun! Fortunately, I
think all in attendance had just as much fun, and we were able to raise a
staggering amount of money to keep the forums up and running at least for
When the auction ended, we all realized that we weren't quite ready for this
time to be over. Thanks to Ruth .n- Dave, we were treated to a video recap of
what many believe to be the highlight of the entire weekend . the F1 Boston kart
race. (Copies of this CD were available for a minimal charge as well.)
With midnight movies held every night and the impromptu .Losers in the Lobby.
event (?), TDiers showed just how inventive we can be when it comes to having
fun! The Boston crew proved that the .TDi Fest. weekend can be a family event as
well as the best GTG of the year. Good luck to the next crew, wherever you are!
Team #3: Tom Pedersen, Joselito Tongson, RIchard Oravec, Dan Geisz
Fastest lap: Dan Geisz, 15.665 sec. (track record 15.147)
Slow Slalom Autocross:
Second and First best runs, tie:
Adam Ritschel, 57.25, no cones, and David Jedlinsky, 57.25, no cones.
Tie breaker: David, first place, (three run average 62.573)
Adam, second place, (three run average 74.847)
Third best run, Third place: Matthew Luft, 61.09 sec, plus one cone, 66.09 sec.
Show and Shine
People's Choice Eric Webber - V6 TDi 4 Motion Passat wagon
PD Passat First Place: Tom Walker
Second Place: Jeff Patnaude
PD Golf no entries
PD Jetta First Place: Dan Fockel
Second Place: Jeff Damewood
New Beetle First Place: Tomasz Laskowski
Second Place: Karl Roenig
A4-Golf First Place: Hamsterdiesel
Second Place: TDI in RI
A4-Jetta First Place: Peter Storey
Second Place: Tom Pedersen
B4-Passat First Place: Scott McGinnis
Second Place: no entry
A3-Jetta First Place: Scott Farrell
Second Place: Alco
Other First Place: Mike Sullivan, VW Westfalia syncro TDI
Second Place: Mike Collins, Dodge Sprinter van
-by Hamsterdiesel, with appendix stats from Jonathan Bartlett