Ocala Florida isn’t know for a lot of things, but we do have a few good car shows and events every year. Last year, I attended WannaGOFAST for the first time and it quickly rose to the top of my favorite local shows. I had been waiting in anticipation for the show to arrive and it didn’t disappoint. It was a nice, brisk morning in Florida, which was a welcome change from the usual warm temps we had been experiencing. I wanted to arrive at the time the gates opened, but my basset hound Hubert wasn’t going to let me out of the house before I walked him around the neighborhood.
I ended up arriving about 30 minutes late, and I couldn’t believe how many people were already there and the amount of people in line. The line was backed up and people were waiting patiently to get in. Most came prepared with their canopies, folding bag chairs, and coolers ready for a day of racing. Luckily, I had pre-registered for a press pass and was able to bypass the long line.
WannaGOFAST is an event created to allow people to push their cars to the very limits in a much safer environment. Instead of racing on the streets or at a racetrack that might have an 1/8 or 1/4 mile distance, they host these events at small airstrips around the US and setup for a half mile track. Stats are recorded in MPH, not in seconds. This particular airstrip is a private community called Jumbolair, also known as the place where John Travolta lives and keeps his two planes.
After I checked in, I made my way through the gate and checked out some of the vendor booths where they were selling parts, displaying new products, and and even a few offering tuners. They also had a dyno on site where cars could flex their theoretical muscles.
Dynos are cool, but what really matters is the engine revving, tire screeching, ground pounding awesomeness on the 1/2 mile track, so I made my way in that direction. What an awesome variety of cars: the usual Mustangs, Camaros, and Corvettes were all there, but there were a barrage of cars you don’t normally see, especially in the small town of Ocala. There were Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Audi R8s, Vipers, a Radical, and more GT-Rs than I’ve ever seen in one place. All of these cars were super accessible which is one reason why I think the show/race is such a success. You can walk up and down the staging lanes and check out all the vehicles while waiting for their turn to burn some rubber. You could also walk through the pits and see owners fine tuning the cars for their next runs. None of these cars were even close to being stock — most were pushing 500-800hp, with some even surpassing the 1000+HP mark.
I made my way to the starting line and one of the first races was an Audi R8 and a Mclaren side by side, I knew it was going to be a good day. The weather stayed favorable all day too, even helping a Dodge Viper to set a world record for a rear wheel drive car: pushing 227.96mph on the 1/2 mile. It must have had some sort of voodoo magic under the hood, because that mother would scream down the track faster than you could blink an eye.
WannaGOFAST is a 2 day event, but the threat of bad weather dampened the attendance of day 2. Even with the poor turnout for day 2, they still had over 4,000 spectators and 150 cars that would race. They are hosting 8 events this year, so make sure to check out their website and see if they are making it to a city near you. If they are, you will regret it if you don’t go and check it out.