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Finally, A Car Show Returns to Formula DRIFT Irwindale
BY Sam Du //
December 19, 2022
Photography: Christian Villagran
  • The Performance Car Invitational is a car show organized by Pit+Paddock, focusing on street performance and motorsport.
  • The first Performance Car Invitational took place at Evergreen Speedway in conjunction with Formula DRIFT and presenting partner Radium Engineering.
  • Continuing the collaboration with both FD and Radium, Pit+Paddock launched its second Performance Car Invitational show at Irwindale Speedway during Formula DRIFT Finals.
  • This gathering is the first car show at the Formula DRIFT Finals since 2018.
  • In total, 30 local Southern California builds were invited to exhibit, which included Greg Park’s Ferrari 308, Jonny Grunwald’s Mazda RX-7, and Daniel Song’s Nissan Skyline GT-R.
  • Radium Engineering helped provide hospitality for all the display car owners and presented six awards in the form of Yeti coolers and buckets.
  • Uncharacteristic of Southern California, heavy rain came down at Irwindale Speedway; however, despite the weather, thousands of spectators walked the car show equipped with raincoats and umbrellas.

After our inaugural Performance Car Invitational success in Seattle, Washington, Formula DRIFT asked if we might be interested in bringing the same format and flavor to their Finals event at Irwindale Speedway. With only two weeks to plan, it wasn’t the easiest task, but thanks to our returning presenting partner Radium Engineering and the response from local builders, we were able to throw one helluva last-minute show.

The concept behind the Performance Car Invitational is something that rings true with everything we do at Pit+Paddock, which is “quality over quantity”. Other car shows in the industry are often inundated with too many vehicles, many of which might not do too much to inspire showgoers. Our approach is a little different, where we reach out to industry partners and reputable car builders in the community and invite them to be a part of a curated display. While there might not be hundreds of cars to check out, attendees know the best of the best is there.

We were grateful to have 30 local builders exhibit for seven hours, all while enduring arguably Formula D’s rainiest Irwindale event. Leading the pack was Greg Park and his Liberty Walk Ferrari 308, followed by Daniel Song’s immaculate R33 Skyline GT-R and of course, our very own Dai Yoshihara’s AE86 R. In addition, we had vehicles built by Jonny Grunwald, Joey Lee, Coco Zurita, Auto Tuned, and WRTeknica on the grid.

The Performance Car Invitational isn’t meant to be a competition; however, with the help of Radium Engineering, we were able to award a handful of vehicles that we felt made the biggest impact at the show and received the most love from spectators. Taking the top two honors were David Hour and his sweet red Mazda RX-7 and Bryan Pontifes with his gorgeous 2JZ-swapped Jaguar XJS. In recognition of their builds, they received custom YETI coolers with Pit+Paddock and Radium Engineering logos marked on the sides. Honorable mentions elsewhere in the show took home unique rewards through custom co-branded YETI wash buckets.

With two Performance Car Invitational events under our belt (and Radium Engineering’s), we look forward to 2023 as we plan to collaborate with Formula DRIFT again. We might have a couple of other shows to reveal as well, but you’ll have to stay tuned. For now, take a look through our extensive gallery and enjoy the sights of our last car show of 2022.





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