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The 2023 Kies Motorsport Auto Show proves why big events fail

The 2023 Kies Motorsport Auto Show was a let down, with a bad location, little racing excitement, and some bad behavior.


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When it comes to BMW events, I guess I’m an “OG” – I’ve been going for over a decade. They used to be really fun, with cool locations and a great atmosphere. But the demographic of the brand, and the purpose of the events, have changed. It’s now all about social media, making money, and looking cool. And the 2023 Kies Motorsport Auto Show was the best (worst?) example yet.

This wasn’t at some beautiful football stadium, though these kinds of things used to be held there. Not many cars raced, because it wasn’t an open strip like MPACT does each year. And the event was expensive despite the low rent accommodations.

Buckle up…

The location was terrible

And this was the nicer pavement.

We start with where the event was: Atco Raceway. Located pretty much in the middle of nowhere, Atco has been open since 1960, and it looks like it. The parking lot was unpaved, or poorly paved. We had the typical loudspeaker dude in the booth who knows as much about BMWs as I do about hooking a bra back together. “Watch this lone Camaro run eights!” No one gives a shit dude.

Then, the help. The ticket girl at the entrance couldn’t have been more than 24, and when she casually placed her ticket reader on my hood, I just sat there for a moment in shock. Did that really just happen. Please take your device off the paint of my M3.

Everyone at Atco was nothing but class…

No one knew where to send you either, so the line formed out the door and then all the way around the parking lot. Unorganized.

If I never go back to Atco, it’ll be too soon.

Drag racing is dead

G80 M3
Congrats on running 9s, I guess?

“I used to drag here back in high school”. Mr. Family said it, and now we do. Almost every car enthusiast begins their racing journey by zipping down the line. Once we turn 21, we realize how silly it is to run your car in a straight line for a quarter mile over and over again, in the hopes that you’ll be crowned king of Test & Tune night.

With the addition of all-wheel drive, the M3 and M5 are more capable out of the hole shot than ever before, but just because they are good at it doesn’t make it a good idea. Apparently others feel the same: I saw maybe ten cars run? I’d be shocked if more than 20 registered.

G80 M3
Sometimes reaction times were a bit…off.

MPACT is held at Pocono Raceway, where they set the cars up on the long straight and let you pin it to the floor for longer than a quarter mile. There’s much more room to let 700 horsepower cars breathe.

If you get your jollies drag racing, I doubt you’re in an M car, but even if you are, there are better places to “run what ya brung”. Like an HPDE event.

Congrats on running 9s though. I’m sure everyone loved it.

The 2023 Kies Motorsport Auto Show started too late

Thankfully, rain held out.

I start my shows early for multiple reasons. But mostly, it’s because it gives everyone the chance to still have the day with your family. We’re done and dusted by 12PM the latest, and you still feel like you had some good car time with your bros.

When the day starts at 10AM? What a drag. Already hot and humid too, with no shade.

Maybe Atco can’t open until 10, but that’s just another reason to have it at another venue.

No smoking

The only smoking I want to see.

If you like to smoke weed, that’s entirely your choice. It’s legal. If you smoke weed and then drive, that makes you an idiot. But whether it’s at the 2023 Kies Motorsport Auto Show, or some of the others I’ve attended over the past few years, I smell it everywhere.

You know what I’ve never seen? People walking around car shows with open cans of alcohol. Yet weed is all over. Just as illegal to drive high as it is to drive drunk. These are the same people filming themselves smoking a joint and driving 100 miles an hour through traffic, then posting on the ‘Gram.

Remember, it’s not just yourself you put in danger, but other people.

You could spend over $200 on absolutely nothing

G81 M3 wagon
This G81 M3 wagon came all the way from Germany. Yay.

Parking your car at the “car show”? $40. Bringing someone in said show car? Add $20. Showing and racing? $200. Joining a cruise to the event? Add $50. Some of this money went to charity, but not all of it.

No one even saw the cars. Each time I met a friend, it was “Hey, where’d you park?”. What the hell am I supposed to say? By the other M3s?

This was judged as well, or at least I saw trophies given out. But there was no number on my sticker, so how did they judge all the cars? And Brian, the owner of Kies, promised 900 cars registered. Did 600 of them roll out of bed and say “nah”? The lot was half empty.

G80 M3
Hope you found me.

While I understand that events like this take time and effort to plan, Kies is a major vendor that sells a ton of BMW parts. Could this all have been to get you to buy a carbon fiber strut brace?

If I want to hang out with some Bimmer friends, I’ll just email you.

So big, so small

G8X M3
I love when a bunch of Gs get together. But we can do that for free.

I modify my M3 because I enjoy the process, the improved looks, and the occasional high five. But like money, someone will always have more. In this case, it’s an entire parking lot full of more. Walk around the show, and you’ll swear you’re walking in circles. “Didn’t I just see that?”.

G, G, G, G, ALPINA!!!, F, F, G G…

There was no variety. Tons of G and F-chassis cars. Beyond that? I barely saw any E46s. Forget about anything classic. Part of the fun here is variety, which is why I think CCA shows are usually a success. And I do wish they would park the cars in groups, which serve a better visual and allow owners to mingle with their own kind.

F90 M5
How many times can we watch an F90 zoom in a straight line?

I won’t be going to the Kies event next year. If you want to stand and stare at BMWs for a few hours, I’ll meet you at the Starbucks for free.

At least I know you won’t put anything on my hood.

E91 wagon
Best in show runner up for me.
A CS with a roof box is an automatic flawless victory.

2023 Kies Motorsport Auto Show Gallery

F82 M4 Kies Motorsport show
Kies Motorsport show
AWE booth.
Kies Motorsport show
I shot with Johnny last year.
Kies Motorsport show
I have no muffler so whatever.
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Kies Motorsport show
The displays aren’t even nice.
Kies Motorsport show Kies Motorsport show Kies Motorsport show
Kies Motorsport show
This is the type of car that always shows up at drag strips. No one cares bro. It’s not about you.
Kies Motorsport showKies Motorsport show
Kies Motorsport show
M2s are already commonplace. Apparently, the only color you like is Zandvoort.
Kies Motorsport show
Always good to see Sue.
Kies Motorsport show
One of the few classics around.
Kies Motorsport show
Kies Motorsport show
As far as wraps go, this was really cool.
Kies Motorsport show Kies Motorsport show
Kies Motorsport show
Lost buddy?

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