Cheese, wine and technology...
Audi Club flags in front of rows of brand new Audi cars were visible from a distance on Stevens Creek Boulevard in San Jose, California. The metallic-colored modern building housing some polished R8, S and RS cars is distinctly Audi architecture. The Audi Club tent caught everyone’s eye as it was positioned near the entrance of Audi Stevens Creek.
Audi Club members and dealer customers gathered to enjoy not only the company of other Audi enthusiasts but also scrumptious platters of Italian and American cold cuts, an assortment of world cheeses, and delicious Californian wines.
Hosting this Saturday’s meet up were Audi Club Golden Gate members Larry Whitney, Clifford Musante, and Andy Immel. Scott Allison, Audi of America Area After Sales Manager attended the event, and representing Stevens Creek Audi were Daren Ferguson (Parts & Service Director) and Simo Luttunen (Foreman). Simo (former rally driver in the Audi 200 quattro in Finland) gave two technical sessions on the brake-pads-to-rotors bed-in procedure and suspension inspection in the hospital-clean Audi Stevens Creek service hangar.
Two cars belonging to our club members were used for the technical orientation: a Panther Black Crystal Audi TT RS and a highly modified Imola Yellow B8 S4. Simo and Clifford took turns in the presentation while dozens of members gathered around the cars. Simo provided the technical background covering the physics of braking, attributes of the materials that make up brake rotors and pads, and the characteristics of braking at different temperatures. And, Clifford from his many years of track experience, added colorful stories relating to different brake configurations he had successfully used. Additionally, after raising the cars, Simo showed us how to look for signs of excessive wear or potential problems in the suspension system of the two cars.
Towards the end of the day, Simo entertained us with stories about growing up in Finland racing an Audi 200 quattro with his uncles and friends. Later in addition to racing Audis professionally, he built and maintained race cars at Audi Sport. Audi Sport developed quattro Gruppe B, quattro S1 Rally, quattro S1 Pikes Peak (1987), Audi Coupe quattro Rally, Audi 200 quattro Rally, and Audi 200 quattro TransAm. Simo is a member of Audi Sport alumni group. Members of this prestigious group are former and active Audi Sport employees, drivers and co-drivers.
We are lucky to have Simo as a lifetime member of the Audi Club. When he is not at Audi Stevens Creek working as a Master Guild Technician and Shop Foreman, you can find him at Audi Club Driver Education events where he instructs high performance driving skills and techniques.
Daren Ferguson engaged Audi Club members and enthusiasts at this event. His passion for cars started very early. At the age of 10, he maintained and fixed the go-kart he owned. Now, he has 25 years experience working as a service manager. Daren commented, “Very excited to meet this enthusiastic group of people; we really enjoy working with Audi Club Golden Gate. Joint efforts hosting events like this at our dealership enhances our relationship with our customers. They come back to our dealership not only to buy or service their cars, but to spend time learning more about the amazing technologies that go into Audi cars. And, we get to know each other better; we really do have a community of Audi enthusiasts here at Audi Stevens Creek.”
Members thanked the hosts for an informative and fun event. We made new friends that day with other fellow Audi enthusiasts and reconnected with others met at past Audi Club events.