Sore Winners

Blog by Mike Beaumont (@hako.sukairain)

Let’s jump right into this…the first of many opinionated, yet unaffiliated, ramblings on the car culture, car shows, and Driven.

We’ve all heard about, and often had firsthand experience dealing with sore losers. More specifically, those competitors at Driven whose cars did not win an award. This post is not about them. Conversely, I’d like to write about something worse…sore winners. Yes, there are actually people that complain about the award their car received, and bitch that they think it should have been a different or higher/better award.

As we near the closing of this decade, people’s sense of entitlement is thriving. This is not a good thing. Exacerbated by the fact that society is so social media driven these days, most people are seeking that thrill of instant gratification. Recent studies have shown that getting likes, shares, comments, etc. on social media actually causes the body to release endorphins …comparable to a drug.

How does this relate? Well, you can imagine a competitor receiving an award, and the merit / social media accolades that that go along with it. With the following of any major car show, Driven included, the flurry of social media activity revolving around the event photos, videos, and awards is overwhelming. Most competitors are happy with their new trophy…but to some, that isn’t enough. There are many that believe with every ounce of their being that it should have been a “Best in Show” award, rather than being happy with their “Best in Class”. Within hours of a show ending, there are certain people that feel their entitlement warrants an email posing the question (read that as “statement”) why their car didn’t get a Best in Show award.

We had one car at the Saskatoon Driven Show, that won the Class award (in its respective grouping of competition). As a point of note, there was no Best in Show award for that grouping, only a Best in Class award. Though definitely not flawless, it was a solid build. It had many new parts, and upgrades installed since it was at the show last year. I had a long discussion with the owner, and we chatted about what was new and different with the build.

Driven Edmonton 2019. Credit to @ryokokings

I’m going to digress for a minute, as something popped in my head while writing just now. I want to share a similar situation at a different Driven Show this year. There were two stunning cars (same make and model) at the Vancouver show, that caused much debate on which one would receive the Class award, and which one would receive the Show award. In the end, it came down to a few small details that separated the two builds…. again, both were exceptional builds. The owner of the car that ended up winning the Class award was disappointed, to say the least. Again, discussions were had with the owner regarding their build, and why the other car edged out to win the Show award. But, opposite to what you will continue reading below (about the Saskatoon show), this Vancouver show competitor used the feedback as fuel to step up the build. Within weeks of the show ending, that car was undergoing further modifications…the owner took what we said to heart, and is making the car undoubtedly a Best in Show award winner (perhaps even a contender for the top award of the Driven Show…. “Best Overall”).

Circling back to Saskatoon.

Before I go on, I need to point out that there were 4 registered cars in this grouping, of which, this car was the best put together (read that as…not just a wrap, suspension, wheels, a wing, and some other bolt-on parts).  That being said, there were some aspects about this build that made me cringe…they were just out of the realm of my personal taste, and I’d hope that I’m not alone in my opinion. Things like carbon fiber vinyl wrap, poorly finished real carbon fiber, and fitment that needed some fine tuning. Overall, the car was great. The new additions strengthened the look of the car, but when you get your nose a few inches away and really start examining, the fit and finish needed some work. With the car being outside, under the beating sun, the slightly different paint color on the body kit could be noticed. If this car was in the indoor space, perhaps this wouldn’t have caught my eye…fluorescent lighting is weird that way.

Driven Vancouver 2019. Credit to @ne.vadaa (model) & @tylerhiggs (RX7)

This owner isn’t the only one from the Saskatoon show that we had discussions with. We discussed “areas of improvement” with owners who didn’t win awards as well. I’m happy to share feedback with any competitor in the hopes that, like the Vancouver show competitor, it keeps (or re-ignites) the passion of their build, taking what we say and improving. I can’t stress this enough. Time and time again, we see the same competitors at these shows, with the exact same car as the previous year(s).

Getting back to the crux of this post. The owner took the positive and negative feedback about the build…. decided to ignore all the constructive criticism, and write an email bitching about why it didn’t win a Best in Show award. Shit like that makes me wish that awards could be rescinded. It’s like…just be happy with what you got. If you think your build deserved something more, then step up your MF-ing game and come back stronger next year.

You’re entering a vehicle in a car show, and by definition, it will be judged and scrutinized. [More on this topic in an upcoming post]

We give awards to the best of the best and aren’t here to hand out participation awards like Elementary School Track and Field.

Overall, these shows can be a lot of fun, just check your entitlement at the door.

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