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 competition.

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, (Danix), Shine Racing Service, Bentley Publishing and Upsolute were there, along with StealthTDi and his now famous .Fahrfrumpumpen. T shirts and other merchandise.

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 judging began.

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 spectators.

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 another year!

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!


F1Boston Results:

Fastest team:
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