With Spring comes the new car show season and, if you're a blue-n-white propellerhead, it means MFest and Bimmerfest are on your calendar.
The annual MFest weekend gathering unites the faithful for drag racing, a track day and car show. And once the sun goes down, BMW enthusiasts can indulge in some Vegas nightlife.
The unique mix of cars and clubs almost didn't reach fruition this year. MFest founder, Chris Naguit, divulged that as a result of scheduling conflicts, and the resources required to create MFest Philippines about one month earlier, MFest 8 wasn't officially announced until six weeks before the show. Naguit apologized to this years' Vegas crowd and gave special thanks to Cadillac, the title sponsor, as well as Center BMW and Lexus -two other major sponsors who accommodates his schedule to make the event a reality.
We know what you're thinking - why would Cadillac and Lexus sponsor an event for cars from Munich. It's the automotive equivalent of photo-bombing a family portrait. But you have to admire their balls, and as John Kraemer from Cadillac told the crowd, their involvement in MFest is about reaching enthusiasts, regardless of brand loyalties.
Slek's impressive carbon-bodied BMW Z4M won Best In Show. Powered by a VF supercharger and rolling on RSV Forged wheels with Nitto tires, they weren't afraid to run it on the track
As a result, a number of stock Cadillac CTS-V cars took to the track. Cadillac also brought Johnny O'Connell's Pirelli World Challenge CTS-V R, which went on to lap the Las Vegas Speedway road course in record time. One of their Cadillac Challenge cars also clocked the fastest time in the Tuner Shootout. To top a fruitful weekend, Cadillac finished the weekend by winning trophies for Best Domestic car and Best Vendor, so they clearly made an impression.
Naguit talked to us about the participation of Cadillac and Lexus: "They (Cadillac, Center BMW and Lexus) believe in us and the direction we're going, which is Pure Motorsport. Pure Lifestyle. Pure MFest."
With its new sponsors, the 2014 MFest was open to all enthusiasts, rather than being limited to BMW M owners, as in previous years. Naguit encouraged enthusiasts to not view the festivities as solely a BMW M event. "That stigma is what we want to break," said Naguit. "Some members and fans have either changed cars or added another car to their lineup. We can't tell them not to come because they don't drive BMWs. I think that's very unfair and not what MFest was built on. We welcome everyone."
The only flaw we can see with this statement is that MFest originally wouldn't permit anything but M cars, which might explain the confusion among participants, but times change and everything moves on...
So in true MFest fashion, the event continues to evolve. Yet Naguit was adamant about maintaining the essence of MFest. "It's all about the people and the camaraderie and having a good time," he reminded us.
While this years' event saw fewer vendors, the lineup of show cars (600, according to Naguit) stretched as far as previous events. And as always, visitors came from as far away as the UK, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, China, Korea and the Philippines, as well as stateside attendees from the East Coast and Midwest.
As an indication of its influence on the Las Vegas BMW scene, Eurosquad Las Vegas presented an impressive line of cars, earning them the Best Team trophy.
Unfortunately, we struggled to find anything of note at the show, aside from a dazzling selection of wheels finished in bold or unusual colors. There was a lot of carbon, as usual, and plenty of custom bodywork.
The star of the show, according to both the show judges and many attendees, was Slek Designs' carbon-bodied BMW Z4M with VF supercharger.
The future for MFest looks busy. Naguit explained in his welcome speech how he plans to expand the MFest brand on a national and global scale, with the aforementioned MFest Philippines joined by MFest UK, Italy, China and Korea. At this rate, we might have to make monthly reports!