Come celebrate 10 years of Designer Night at the Races™

Its time to celebrate 10 years of Competition, Camaraderie and Charity as the first 2016 Designer Night at the Races™ presented by Lacks Enterprises events are open for registration.  Its hard to believe that the first event was 10 years ago, March 22, 2006 at Dromo One in Orange California to be exact – and the Lacks team has been there for every one (you can see the pictures from the past events here).  While its been just four short months since the 50th event, we are sure there will be a ton of questions to be answered like “Where?”, “When?” and “Can I bring a guest?”.  So read on to as we do our best to answer them all, including:

  1. What kind of trophy will there be for the Spring Car Show?
  2. Am I going to be stuck with a bunch of slowpokes in the Plastic Plate Enduro?  
  3. And ultimately who will be Fastest Design Studio in the East?
  4. And don’t forget, can we break the 2016 record for cancer donations?

But most importantly READ EVERYTHING as there are some special 10 Year anniversary items buried in this post that you WILL NOT WANT TO MISS.

2016 Designer Night at the Races e-flyer


You can download the flyer here: Desight Night at the Races – May 2016 flyer

The answer to the basic questions are easy:



  • 5:00pm – Registration Opens
  • 6:00pm – First Kart Practice Session
  • 6:30pm – Food is served
  • 7:00pm – Car Show Judging is completed
  • 9:30 pm – Trophies awarded

Guest Policy:  OK, as we have started to have some issues – I felt the need to be very clear about the GUEST POLICY. We have always openly welcomed guests, however, as we have become pretty much full to capacity, allowing a guest to race means a designer gets left out of the fun.  So guests are welcome to come and cheer, share some food and drinks and hang out  but they MUST register with your email address and mark the box not racing so we can manage the food and drinks).  The event is designed specifically for the design community and we would like to keep it that way – not to be elitist – but because we have limited space to race.


So in addition to this being 3 days of awesomeness that is racing gokarts (the Competition part) against people you went to school with (the Camaraderie part), it is important not to forget that we are doing this to support the fight against cancer (the Charity part).  We have a couple of pretty important announcements about that.  First, we would like to announce that the Bridgestone Winter Driving School has graciously provided a Free Second Gear Safety Class ($495 value) that will be given out – 1 each evening.  We also have some coloring books from Jennifer Zimmerman (check out Jennifer’s page here) and some secret awesome Lego


Not sure yet how we will do it (auction or random drawing) but someone will be able to go skiing in Steamboat Springs and drive some performance vehicles on snow and ice next winter. And some will be building their very own Lego Ferraris and others will be alleviating stress with some coloring.  Best of all?  Its all a benefit for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center!


Speaking of the Winter Driving School, I went this past winter (Part 1 here and Part 2 here) and it is a 5-star recommendation.   Note! this class is fully transferable, so if you win and want to give it to your teenage son or daughter, significant other, grandmother or anyone else you think would benefit – you can.  SPECIAL NOTE.  The school is not owned by Bridgestone, it is a naming right like “Ford” Field.      So winning this event should not run afoul of any company entertainment policy because a) The Center for Driving Sciences is not a supplier to any car companies, and b) you will be making a contribution to charity in order to win it.


Bridgestone Winter Driving Class

Second, we are happy to announce our support of the newest and greatest Detroit automotive event, the AutoModo Film Festival (as mentioned yesterday).  There are some great films this year and some celebrities from this year’s films will likely stop by the our little events.  In addition, we will have some tickets to give away, again based on your contributions to charity, so bring  some cash or a credit card with you.


One of last year’s Celebrity Appearances at the AutoModo Film Festival

While we won’t have the 10 year anniversary shirts on hand for donations (that comes in the fall), we do have a limited number of the 50th anniversary shirts from last fall left over.  Make a $25 donation to charity and get a shirt! Last year we raised over $3000 to stamp out cancer – let’s pull together and see if we can’t beat that record in 2016!


As in the past spring events, we will be having a mini-car show outside in the parking lot.  The Staff will be posing with the cars for pictures and in keeping with the tradition, the car show winners get the biggest trophies.  So bring something cool and awesome – our winning criteria is typically pretty obscure, so trailer queens rarely win.  In the past we awarded trophies for “Best Patina”, and “Car I most want to drive for the weekend”.  So break out that 66 Triumph from winter storage (car or motorcycle, we don’t discriminate) and come join us for some bench racing in the parking lot.


Last year’s Car Show Trophy was pretty cool

At past events we added some competition events that have nothing to do with karting, like the Racing Simulator, and this year is no different.  Welcome to the Slot Car Challenge.  Yes, at the Kart 2 Kart events (Tuesday and Wednesday) we will be having slot car races while waiting for track time – AND THE POINTS COUNT toward the Overall Championship (which gives the people of my weight a fighting chance to win something).

ABC Slot Car Track concept

Finally, we wish to thank out generous partners who have done so much for the Design Community in Detroit – namely  Lacks Enterprises, Plastic Plate, and Autodesk.  Without , their awesome support we could not plan and organize these events.  And since I always forget to mention what we do at AACS, you can read more about us here and even get a free download of our report on Lighting and Interior Electronic Trends.  UPDATE! As of today we have two new partners that are supporting our push for Competition, Camaraderie and Charity.  ABC Group is providing the food and drinks and Spectrum Industries will be choosing the Car Show winners.


One final, final note.  I hear from many that they don’t want to come and race because they are “slow” and “not competitive”.  While I admit there are some really fast people who attend, there are also some really, really slow people (you know who you are).  Take a look at the picture above at some of the faster people rooting for some of the slower ones.  There are 40-50 people racing each night, and the advantage we gain with having so many is that we separate people into groups with people of similar skill levels and lap times.  No matter who you are, I assure you it will be a great time and you will talk about your experience for days and weeks afterwards, whether you race or just hang out and cheer others on.IMG_9734

Oh, I almost forgot, here are the answers to the questions at the beginning:

  • What kind of trophy will there be for the Spring Car Show?
    • Its a secret but it will be COOLER than COOL!
  • Am I going to be stuck with a bunch of slowpokes in the Plastic Plate Enduro?
    • If I have anything to do with it, yes!
  • And ultimately who will be Fastest Design Studio in the East?
    • Based on early interest, watch out for the Ford Team this year, they are DUE.  Plus they were the winners of the original trophy in 2006!

And here is the link to register. 

About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, partner in The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and serial entrepeneur. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 30+ years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the Sports Car Club of America, spends time working on his numerous project cars and supports many local charities.
This entry was posted in Designer Night at the Races, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s