The RTR Experience at Holley Ford Fest

The RTR Experience at Holley Ford Fest

The inaugural RTR Experience at Holley Ford Fest was a whirlwind of excitement! Smiles on faces, the scent of burning rubber, and the exhilarating thrill of speed – these are just a few snapshots from the first RTR Experience. 

For those unfamiliar, RTR Vehicles isn’t just about building vehicle packages and designing components; we’re about redefining your definition of performance. The RTR Experience was a testament to that ethos. Both new and seasoned automotive enthusiasts converged upon Beech Bend Raceway for a day of adrenaline-pumping action. From drifting to autocross and even off-roading, we showed our pre-selected group of participants how we push our vehicles to the limit. 

This wasn't just a show and tell though.  We stepped aside to let our enthusiasts get in on the action. We didn’t just put you on the track and say have fun, we gave each participant professional guidance from the pros themselves. With the likes of Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa, Billy Johnson, and Autumn Schwalbe sharing their expertise; attendees not only experienced the thrill of motorsports but also honed their skills under the watchful eyes of the best in the business. Before we dive into this article, check out an exciting recap video of the RTR Experience at Holley Ford Fest.

The day started with everyone arriving at our basecamp setup so they could get checked in, handed credentials and debriefed on all of the activities we had planned for them. Each participant was given a commemorative event t-shirt and lanyard with a hard card that outlined the full event schedule on the back.

Before we hit the track, all of the participant's Mustangs had to undergo a tech inspection along with a track walk of the autocross course. 

For the first experience, we didn't ease our enthusiasts into it.  We immediately threw them in the passenger seat with three-time Ultra4 Racing Champion, Vaughn Gittin Jr. Vaughn took participants through an intense off-road course demonstrating the Bronco RTR Fun Runner’s impressive off-road capabilities and catching some air time to get their adrenaline pumping. 

After the offroad portion of the day was complete, all participants joined Billy Johnson and Autumn Schwalbe at base camp for driving instruction in preparation for the autocross and drag racing event. The RTR Experience ensured that participants received guidance from highly skilled drivers with extensive experience on Ford's vehicle platforms.

After the driving instruction session was wrapped up, it was time to grab some lunch with Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea DeNofa. We brought in a catered lunch from a local taco spot which didn’t disappoint!

Autocross Instructor

Billy Johnson

Billy Johnson is an IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS champion and World Endurance Championship driver. Billy was also a test driver for Ford Motor Company and Multimatic Motorsports during the development of the Shelby GT350/R, 2016 Ford GT, Ford GT GTE/GTLM, Mustang GT4, FP350S, Mustang Performance Pack 2, and the new GT500.

It was time to head back over to the track for some ride-along sessions with Vaughn and Chelsea in their 2024 RTR Spec 5-D Mustangs. This was the first time Chelsea’s Spec 5-D was out in public since being converted to the 7th-generation Mustang chassis. Bigfoot even joined them for a lap around the track! 

To keep the fun and energy high after the drift session we setup a quick meet & greet with autograph session lined up for our participants featuring Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea DeNofa. Before everyone headed over to the autocross track we wanted to grab a few photos of our participants with their Mustangs! 

The drivers navigated a challenging course in their own Mustangs, guided by the expert instruction of Billy Johnson. A majority of our participants hadn’t been on track before so they were a bit reluctant to take their Mustangs out on the track. Watching their progress throughout the day was remarkable. Many, initially hesitant to push their vehicles to the limit, had newfound confidence and excitement. It was a transformative experience, changing perceptions about what their Mustangs could do and, more importantly, what they as drivers were capable of.

As the sun set upon the Beech Bend Raceway, the RTR Experience left an indelible mark on all who attended. It wasn’t just about mastering different motorsports disciplines; it was about the joy of driving, the thrill of learning, and the bonds formed over shared passions. Participants left with not just improved driving skills, but memories and friendships that would last a lifetime.

At the end of the day we gathered all of our RTR Experience participants on the track to thank everyone for allowing us to share our passion with them and give out a few awards. We created 4 awards from aero discs that were used on our 2024 RTR Spec 5-FD Mustangs that compete in Formula Drift. The awards were for Furthest Traveled, Most Improved Autocross, Ready to Rock and Cone Killer.

RTR Experience

Award winners

Ready to Rock award

For the person who showed up with the best attitude for fun-having!

The next day we set up an early morning cruise through the backroads of Kentucky for everyone to enjoy before they drove back home. We brought out our 2024 Mustang RTR Spec 2 and Vaughn’s personal 2020 Mustang RTR Spec 5.

We stopped off at Peninsula Marina in Glasgow, KY to snap a group photo and enjoy the view.  From there, we cruised the winding back roads on our way through Mammoth Cave National Park before heading back towards Beech Bend.

The RTR Experience at Holley Ford Fest was a vivid reminder of why we love cars – not just for their speed or their looks, but for the sense of freedom, community, and sheer fun they bring into our lives. For Mustang enthusiasts, it was a reaffirmation of why their choice of car is more than just a vehicle – it's a lifestyle, a passion, and a source of endless adventure. 

Feeling some FOMO? Join us for the next RTR experience!

Sign up to be notified!

Mustang Touge: Night Shift Reading The RTR Experience at Holley Ford Fest 1 minute Next 2024 Mustang RTR Unveiled

1 comment

Mike Nocher

Mike Nocher

That is so awesome u guys have put together the RTR experience hope to attend at some point for some funhaver action first hand. Been hooked since FD long beach live love the event and the hospitality in the pits from the team funhaver crew ! Best wishes for the program going forward us fans are gonna love having this chance of a life time !

That is so awesome u guys have put together the RTR experience hope to attend at some point for some funhaver action first hand. Been hooked since FD long beach live love the event and the hospitality in the pits from the team funhaver crew ! Best wishes for the program going forward us fans are gonna love having this chance of a life time !

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.