One week, 33 cars, many winners

Old 11-07-2011, 06:02 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Default One week, 33 cars, many winners

It's 8 a.m. Eastern time (5 a.m. West Coast time) and myself, along with 70-odd Canadian automotive journalists, are eagerly gathered around a stage inside a hangar at the Niagara Airport in picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., waiting for the green light to get ourselves into some fabulous new vehicles and out on the road.

As Richard Russell, the Chairman of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC; you might have seen the acronym beside winning vehicles in print or TV ads), gives his opening remarks, he reminds us to heed municipal speed laws, to make sure we are safe out on the track and to have fun.

Then it's a mad dash for the keys. I stand there, a little overwhelmed as I try to take it all in. I'm a new member of AJAC, even though I've been writing about cars for almost a decade, and this is my first year at the Canadian Car of the Year Awards (CCOTY) program, commonly referred to as TestFest.

What is TestFest? It's an annual event that brings together automotive manufacturers and their new vehicles to one location, for a week, so auto journalists can drive them back-to-back, evaluate them, and then determine which is the bestof-the-best based on rigorous criteria. Furthermore, it's a program designed to provide consumers with sound, comparative infoon vehicles that are new to the market.

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