I've owned a DSM or GVR-4 since 2005, and have never been to a Shootout. After being, I'd say it's one of those things DSM guys should at least see once. I probably won't go every year, but if I do go again I'd like to actually run my car(s).
I drove 1837, and my wife drove 820. Both cars made the nearly 1,000 mile trip without issue, which is what I'm happiest about. I've missed the Shootout in past years because I never felt like my car was ready. Making the jump to take 2 VR-4s on that trip exponentially increased my chances of a breakdown, so I'm just glad we got there and back in one piece.
The best part of the Shootout was meeting some of the guys from the forums. I got to meet Juan, and BS with him for a while. Also go to meet Tom, and check out his Galant. I saw Nelson and Nate's cars, but never could catch either of those guys actually with them. I met a bunch of other guys too, who were all super cool. The people are truly what make this a cool event.
As far as the cars go, they were awesome. It was really refreshing to see dozens of clean DSM builds, not hacked and beat half to hell. Of course, there were a plethora of Evos, and some GTRs as well...Many of which easily had tens of thousands of dollars dumped into them. The kind of money some of these people have invested in these cars is just astounding. Granted, some of these are shop cars...But still.
The Galant VR-4 turnout was pretty weak compared to what I've seen in the pictures from past years. There were probably ~10 Galant VR-4s there total, including my two. Among the super clean ones were Nelson's 584/1000, Brad's 1459/2000, and Tom's 1444/2000. Also caught 816/1000 doing some autocross in action. I believe Jeremy (vr4play) took first in the max effort event. There were no organized Galant pictures, nor did the owners even really get to park together to my knowledge. Without Mike V organizing the show, I guess not many fucks were given
The things that sucked were the hotel prices, and just being in podunk Norwalk, Ohio (no offence if that's your home/shit/whatever). Food options are limited to a few fast food joints, and a couple decent local places. The hotels (motels, actually) which would normally be a $60 dollar a night place are like $170 a night on average. So, you're literally paying double to stay in some dumpy motel because you want to go to the Shootout. Gotta pay to play I guess...
On the plus side, E85 was plentiful. Also, judging by the AWD doughnuts people were doing in parking lots...And the party at my hotel, the cops seemed to give zero fucks what anyone did. So, there's that.
Overall, it was a great time. Not something I'd probably spend $1K and make a 14 hour round trip to attend every year, but something I think everyone should at least experience once if you're a Mitsubishi enthusiast. You won't find a bigger gathering of clean cars and cool DSM people anywhere in the world. I'm not disappointed I went, that's for sure.
Normally, I take a ton of pictures. But, there was just too much going on to capture it all, and I wasn't in the mood. Here's a few pics/videos I did take:
A few shots of the trip up, and a shot of 1837 rolling through the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel
The twins safe and sound at the hotel:
Summit Motorsports Park. Definitely one of the nicer tracks I've been to.
Red Demon at Buschur's shop for the car show on Friday:
vr4play's 816/1000 and some shots of the auto X event.
Quick vid of 816/1000 auto Xing: web page
Crappy vid of Nate in his VR-4 making a 1/4 mile pass: web page