On October 22nd the Gila Bend Municipal Airport will be seeing something other than air traffic. Omegamotorsport is bringing NoFlyZone back to Arizona (NoFlyZone Arizona) for a full day of side-by-side half-mile races on the 5,200 foot runway. The event won’t have specific run groups so drivers will be able to take on any other vehicle at any time. Both lanes will be equipped with Speed Trap equipment so drivers can assess their runs, TORCO race fuel and a food vendor will be on site so both vehicles and humans can satiate their hunger, and the racing is even open to motorcycles. Spectators are welcome but the event is very honest about the fact that this is a participant-oriented day. It will cost $200 to enter your vehicle for the races That will cover the driver only and payment will need to be made ahead of time. Anyone else involved needs to pay $10 at the gate for entry. I will have the great pleasure of attending this event and will post coverage here.
For more in-depth information visit the event website at http://www.omegamotorsport.com/copy-of-noflyzone-arizona
To preview rides (you REALLY should see what’ll be there) and stay up to date with the event visit the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1402899893126786
NoFlyZone Arizona Coverage Wrap-up
I was always interested in racing as a sport. I’ve always had a yearning to be behind the wheel nailing the corners of a road track somewhere. I want to hear the exhaust screaming and feel the car lurch forward as I bang through the gears. The ironic part is that I’ve very rarely attended any racing events. And the only experience I have with driving a stick is a friend throwing me the keys to his Civic and telling me if I wanted more alcohol I was going to have to learn to drive it. I don’t know if I learned anything that day, but I did end up scoring the booze. I just hope I didn’t ruin a clutch or a flywheel somewhere along the line. So, when I saw the advertisement for half-mile side-by-side racing on a runway in Gila Bend, I knew I wanted to go. When I realized how close it was I decided that I was going to go. I reached out to the event organizer; Tony Lopez from Omega Motorsport Events. He was very accommodating and obviously passionate about the event. After emailing back and forth for a couple days, it was set. I’d be going and covering the event for Carshowz.com. (Side note: Shooting for this site is enabling all my dreams to come true!!!)
The days leading up to events that I cover are always filled with excitement and nervousness. Experiencing various parts of contemporary car culture is extremely intoxicating for me so one half of me is pumped. The crippling fear that I am somehow going to completely screw up the coverage or disappoint the owners of the vehicles follows directly on the heels of my positive thoughts. I always get over that feeling the day of but the days leading up to it are filled with a myriad of emotions. Adding to my concern was that the event website made very clear that this was an event for the participants and although spectators were welcome, they were not going to be the focus. Most events I attend are basically the opposite. That made me nervous. When I got there though, all my apprehension fell away.
The entrance to the Gila Bend Municipal Airport was flanked by two retired military jets and entry to the event was swift and efficient. Checking in for my media vest was even better. And things only got better from there. NoFlyZone Arizona may not have been set up for spectators, but the tech area was an enthusiast’s drool-fest. Want to walk around a Ferrari F12? A Supra with its oversized turbo hanging out in the wind? Maybe a Porsche 911 GT3? I know; a 1600 HP GTR! Go for it! That’s not even mentioning the plethora of American muscle that was highly represented. Corvettes, Camaros, Challengers, Chargers, and Mustangs were everywhere. As I was walking around checking everything out and figuring out where I needed to be I hear two guttural roars in the distance. I turned around to watch a Corvette and a Mustang go flying down the runway. I put myself in the “median” of two runways to begin and started honing my panning shots. Unfortunately, I was using a lens I wasn’t used to and kept the Vibration Reduction on for the first 30-45 minutes. Basically, that completely negated all of the panning work I was doing. I am so mad at myself because I missed the one and only chance I got to capture the F12 make a run against the Ferrari 488. It was extremely frustrating. I realized my mistake and corrected it. Then I moved to the other side of the runway for a different perspective and eventually found myself right behind the launch point. The sweet smell of Torco Race Fuels (they were on site to provide all fuel needs) filled my nostrils all day. Tony had also arranged for an ice cream truck and a food vendor. Unfortunately, I missed the ice cream truck, but I did nab one of the last chicken baskets from the food vendor. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. As a matter of fact, that statement holds true for my entire experience that day. The participants were able to flow from a race right back into the lineup or into the tech area. The process from lineup, to the burnout spot, to the launch area was no nonsense and efficient. From an outsider’s perspective it seemed like a perfect race setup. The line got a little long at times, but it was fair and the participants who wanted to run had ample opportunity to do so. It’s hard to put into words what it was like to stand mere feet away from performance vehicles as their engines were put through their paces. It’s rare for me to actually witness tuned engines using their kinetic potential as opposed to remaining at rest and fully polished. For me, it was a fantastic day and I would encourage anyone who can to attend an event hosted by Omega Motorsport Events to do. They absolutely know what they’re doing and they absolutely crushed NoFlyZone Arizona. Very well done to Tony and everyone who helped put this event together. Please enjoy the coverage I was able to capture and please forgive me for the shots that I missed. (I will say that some runs were so damn fast that my panning skills were just not up to par enough to be able to capture them)
NoFlyZone Arizona Photos
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