Bloomington Gold 2016 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is in the books. While rain dominated last year’s show, it was nothing but sunshine each show day this year. The IMS location still reigns as the top location for a Corvette show. The combination of Corvettes and 100 years of IMS history can’t be beat.
Being a 2nd year event, the Bloomington staff made a few changes for 2016. The long entrance lines off of 16th street were gone, but the awkward no left turn into the speedway remained. The Goldmine was moved near the main entrance and adjacent to the autocross from its distant location last year. More Corvette-only parking was added near the main entrance as well. This made for a pretty cool sight while entering the main show area by surrounding you in a sea of Corvettes. Overall we liked the updated layout. Navigation of the show can be a bit of a challenge simply due to its shear size, but can be easily managed if you’ve got your show program by your side. Numerous shuttles were available throughout the weekend to help get patrons where ever they wanted to go which is a nice touch to ensure that everyone can see everything they want to see.
Just like last year there was constant activity out on the track as patrons took their turns circling the 2.5 mile superspeedway pretending to be Andretti, Unser, or Foyt. The Spring Mountain driving school was back again giving Stingray ridealongs on a portion of the infield road course. Over at the autocross anyone could sign up their own car for a run or they could ridealong with professional drivers like Danny Popp. Danny’s crazy modded 1972 LT-1 Corvette dominated the track all weekend. The noises emitted from its side pipes echoed throughout the IMS grounds. Those sounds should be bottled and sold online.
This year’s GoldCollection paid homage to 1966 Corvettes. Significant cars included the famous blue Penske L88 racer and 2 L88 prototypes visiting all the way from Germany. Also included were highly awarded and low mile coupes and convertibles. One red on red Benchmark coupe was actually found on eBay before hitting the show circuit. Our good friend Paul Koerner anchored the GoldSchool seminars once again this year. Vendor and swap meet spots looked to be up in quantity from last and everyone hung around until late in the day on Saturday. Out front, the Corvette Racing and Chevrolet tents showed off 10 or so 2017 Stingray’s, Z06’s, and Grand Sports.
The main events of Certification, Survivor, and Benchmark judging took place on Friday and Saturday. Some minor changes to the show field layout made it easier to navigate for participants, judges, and attendees. This year most all of the midyear Corvettes were right in front of the pagoda which made for great photo ops throughout the weekend. You can see most of those C2’s in this week’s Midyear Monday post.
The awards ceremony continues to be one of the coolest ones we’ve seen. Show owner and president Guy Larsen personally hands out the awards to owners in their cars right on the yard of bricks at the base of the pagoda. On a hot and humid June weekend, it was nice to hang out in the pagoda’s shade for a while.
2016 was this blogger’s 30th trip to Bloomington Gold. The new location is simply awesome. We really hope it never leaves this location. The facility is first class and the driving events take the event to an entirely new level. It really is everything a high end Corvette show should be. Weather was on the hot side, but no one complained as there was plenty of shade and air conditioning to go around. Vendors selling the beverage of your choice were plentiful and courteous. We still like the new Thursday through Saturday show schedule. For the 2nd year in a row we’ve seen most vendors hanging out to the end of the show before heading home. Having Sunday as a travel day is a nice perk to have especially if you’ve got a long trip ahead of you like we do.
Last year we stated that the Bloomington Gold team had a hit on their hands and we still hold that opinion. After a couple of difficult years in Champaign this show is definitely on its way back up with unlimited potential. We know the BG staff will continue to evolve their product and give us more to look forward to year after year. Hats off to the entire BG team for a job well done.
If you follow us on Facebook and Twitter you already got a sneak peek at some of the happenings in Indy last weekend. If you didn’t, don’t fret, because we’ve got you covered with our Bloomington Gold super gallery below.
Keep it tuned here throughout the week for more coverage from this year’s Bloomington event.