Originally published in the Winter 2014 quattro quarterly

COMBINE THE BEAUTIFUL ARIZONA landscape with Audi’s R8 supercar and you have the makings of a spectacular drive event. The Arizona Chapter’s R8 exclusive “Drive to Dine” was held this past October under beautiful blue skies and perfect driving conditions, for one of the most exciting chapter events of the year. This was the first of a planned trifecta of annual R8 events, gathering the chapter’s R8 owners to share their cars and friendship on a fabulous drive.

The early morning gathering took place at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, home to Audi Club Arizona. The Westin Kierland, which has a long standing relationship with Audi Americas, provided a perfect backdrop to the event as the R8s were lined up in “Audi Lane” for the registration and member networking. In the Lane were six R8s comprised of two V10 Spyders, three V10 coupes and one V8 coupe. The line-up, as expected, drew a crowd of onlookers from the hotel admiring the rare collection of R8s. Assisting on the drive were support members for the chapter riding along in two S4s and an S5.

Following the ride instructions and safety briefing, the supercars headed out for a drive to high country. Our destination to Payson, AZ, was preceded by a drive along the Mogollon Rim. Leaving the Valley at an elevation of 1200 feet, we travelled north on I-17 to Camp Verde and then up the mountain to the “Rim” peaking at elevation of just over 7,000 feet. Temperatures ranged from the mid 80’s in the Phoenix Valley to high 50’s on the Rim. The climate and topographical changes were exhilarating. Combining sweeping mountain curves with switchbacks and ess’s, the R8s were in their element. The light traffic on the roads allowed the group to stay together and the view from the back of the pack was impressive.

The travel route took us from the desert floor filled with Saguaros to mountain forests of Ponderosa pines. The mountain vistas were most enjoyed by the R8 navigators as the road required most all of the driver skill and attention. Entering Payson we were back to population, as we made our way to the golf club luncheon destination.

Lunch was held on the veranda at the Rim Country Club in Payson overlooking the vistas of the mountains and the golf course. It was the perfect location to dine following the incredible drive. The exchange of the morning experiences among the attendees provided color commentary to the exciting event and the enjoyment of the drive. We thank the staff and management at the Rim Club, for their gracious hospitality at their private club.

This R8 event is one of the many events creating a buzz about Audi Club Arizona. Along with our member drives and track & training events, the Audi Club Arizona is actively expanding the Audi Experience in Arizona. Another “Drive to Dine” destination this past November included Parker in the western part of the state to meet up with Lake Havasu and Kingman chapter members.

Photos by Gerry Dale

Geography not withstanding, the Arizona Chapter is creating opportunities for all our members in “All things Audi”. For ACNA members outside Arizona we extend an open invitation to join us on our drive events. We are planning ‘must attend’ overnight trips as well to spectacular venues in the state. For those interested, Audis are available for rent at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, so plan a trip and get away to join an Arizona Audi Club event.