SEMA Cruise, SEMA Ignited, and FormulaD drifting demo draws in industry and public for outdoor spectacle.
One of the major highlights of the SEMA show each year is ironically after the show itself. As the world's largest custom car show comes to a close on the final day after a grueling week, an announcement comes over the loudspeaker that has the walking dead wandering the show floor perk up with anticipation. The voice over the P.A. says "the SEMA Show is now officially over," and the next "unofficial" event starts as thousands of engines fire up and the wildest custom builds the aftermarket has produced begin to roll-out onto the streets of Las Vegas.
While the gathering has traditionally been one of the SEMA show's best kept secrets, the organizers saw an opportunity among the massive crowds capturing the madness on camera. With that, a couple of events were spawned. The first is the SEMA Cruise, where all show cars must pass through the front driveway that is lined with thousands of spectators in the grandstands. The event is open to the public and they take off work early (or possibly quit their jobs) to get out there, making it a huge attraction for locals and tourists not lucky enough to get inside the SEMA show.
Then the SEMA Ignited show takes place in the lot adjacent the Las Vegas Convention Center. A variety of vendors, food trucks, and hundreds of SEMA cars gather together for one low ticket price. But SEMA likes to do it big and the attractions don't stop there, and include an outstanding drifting demo that was put on by the Formula D pros on the parking lot circuit.
After the smoke cleared, SEMA judges rounded-up the finalists for the Battle of the Builders award. Fans came out in force to let their cheering be registered for who would take home the prize, and since it was a televised event, maybe even get their 15 minutes of fame in the process.
Photos: Dave Pankew / Motor1