Paul Walker Tribute Day 2014
Saturday 18th January 2014
From when it was announced, Santa Pod's decision to collaborate with Royston Modified to host a tribute to actor Paul Walker was clearly a popular one. Santa Pod and Royston Modified Car community worked closely together to create an event that was both sympathetic and celebratory, Santa Pod and its huge supporting cast toiled for weeks to create an event that would not just honour the popular actor, but by donating the proceeds to his chosen charity, Reach out Worldwide, do a great deal of good as well.
Santa Pod is a large venue but there had to be careful planning to get all cars parked on tarmac at this time of year. The show was an instant sell-out, so expectation from those fortunate enough to get a ticket was high. The snaking queues of over 3,000 modified machines started at the crack of dawn as convoys convened at the Santa Pod gates, just waiting for the chance to get inside. As the doors officially opened, literally thousands of modified car fans from all over the country began flooding in to what would become one of the biggest Modified “car parks” ever seen at the venue.
The show car area was filled with some of the hottest rides from all over Europe and one of the true stars of the show was the Mitsubishi Eclipse from the original Fast & Furious film where Paul first rose to fame. This was joined by other replicas from the various films, as well as a selection of Lamborghini Aventadors, which really attracted some attention!
The films themselves were playing in the Fuelers Bar throughout the day which provided an opportunity to see Paul performing in what was undoubtedly one of his best and most loved acting roles.
Despite a wet start to the event, the track opened at lunchtime, but fittingly, just before the planned minute silence at 1pm, the sun broke through the clouds and shone on all those in attendance who lined the bank and grandstands for this memorable moment. After a few words the venue fell completely silent, before 2 of the Aventadors took to the strip and completed a quarter mile pass. From that point on, the track was in full swing with all manner of exquisite custom machinery being driven in anger on the track. Paul would have been proud that this was all in his honour!
Overall, the Paul Walker Tribute day proved to be an unparalleled success, raising thousands for his fantastic charity. The total amount raised so far has reached £28,274 but may exceed £30,000 once all donations are in. Santa Pod and Royston Modified Car Club hopes to arrange an official handover with a representative from Reach out Worldwide to present the donations.
Commenting on the event, Santa Pod's commercial manager, Caroline Day said, "This has been a wonderful day for the UK modified community, and I would like to offer my congratulations to all who attended for putting together an excellent send-off for Paul. It's been a real team effort, and we really couldn't have done it without those who contributed, donated and volunteered their time to make the day happen, particularly Royston Modified Car Club, the Santa Pod staff and marshals, The Drift Rides Team, Mission Motorsport, The Commentary Team and all of our caterers and traders."
View photos from the Paul Walker Tribute Day on the Facebook gallery.