Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Taste of Motorsports 2022: A Weekend of Automotive Bliss for All the Senses

We indulged our five senses in automotive bliss for the weekend at Portland International Raceway. The Taste of Motorsports 2022 event kept our bellies full, eardrums tingling, and adrenaline pumping.

There are a lot of unique events in the automotive world, but it’s hard to carve out a niche and keep the car community coming back for more. Taste of Motorsports has been doing just that for 5 years now in Portland, Ore. The event combines track time, quality food, a car show, and so much more into an automotive dreamscape that engages all the senses.

Last year’s featured marque was Ferrari, and this year’s was Shelby American, as the company is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Taste of Motorsports
Grand Prix Motors brought out a skittles pack of cool Porsches; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

There are very few places and times on the planet where you’ll see cars like the Enzo, 959, MC20, GT4 Clubsport, 991 GT3 RS, Shelby GT 500, G 4×4 Squared, Emory Motorsports 356 Outlaw, and so many other cool and special vehicles all in one place.

Until moving to the Pacific Northwest and getting into the car community here, I would have never guessed that the area has the depth and passion for the automobile that it does. Taste of Motorsports offers an impressive taste of that automotive passion. Let’s dive into what the 2022 event had to offer.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Tingling Tastebuds

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

As the name implies, you won’t go hungry at the Taste of Motorsports event. Each year there is a different theme to the food, and this year it was East Texas BBQ — where Carroll Shelby is from — to honor Shelby American’s 60th anniversary.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Attendees were treated to down-home southern favorites like pulled pork, brisket, blueberry cobbler, corn on the cob, and more all weekend. A selection of teas, hot and cold, and fancy coffees helped wash down the tasty grub and keep the spirits high with plenty of caffeine and sugar. Breakfast and lunch are included in the all-inclusive event tickets each day.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Local cocktail and rum manufacturers also offered on-site samplings of their wares. Plenty of alcohol was also available for purchase. But, once any alcohol was consumed, you were no longer eligible to be behind the wheel on the track.

Wood-fired pizzas and other tasty food items were also available for purchase, for those attendees with general admission day passes that don’t cover the all-inclusive food.

Auditory Bliss

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Portland International Raceway does have a strict sound ordinance, as the city neighbors don’t seem to enjoy the auditory bliss that is a straight-piped race car at full tilt. But, there were still plenty of impressive sounds coming from the racetrack this weekend.

On track was everything from fully prepped BMW race cars to a Porsche 959 and everything in between. There was even a Hyundai Kona N going full tilt, albeit with a bit less auditory bliss than other cars on track.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Off track, and near the food, was also a DJ spinning some upbeat tunes all day to keep the atmosphere lively.

The track was hot nearly all day, with a short break midday for lunch. That adds up to a ton of quality track time for all who want it, and lots of impressive sounds and sights all day long.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Jaw-Dropping Sights

Taste of Motorsports
Avant Garde Collection; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

Where else can you walk past a 959 that just came off the track to check out an Enzo with its doors up? The answer is not many places or times, and even less when you consider the other impressive vehicles both on display and hitting the track.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

There were lots of Porsches, an impressive collection of oddball sporty European cars that never made it to the U.S. market, and a bunch of different Shelby vehicles — even two original Cobras. Mixed in with those highlights were Vipers, Corvettes, Lotus, and so many other interesting machines.

The racetrack is also a city park and has a bunch of waterways and nature areas around and within it. While waiting for a ride in a Shelby GT500 Super Snake, I watched an osprey fly overhead carrying a huge fish in its talons.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

This was also the first year for the overland display area at Taste of Motorsports. My custom Lexus GX460 was on display next to a Rothsport Racing rally-prepped 911, a variety pack of Land Rovers from West Coast Rovers, and some seriously decked-out overland machines from Mule Expedition Outfitters.

The passion was just as strong for these off-road machines as the track and backroad carvers on display and on track around the event.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Touch, Don’t Just Look

Taste of Motorsports is about being a part of car culture, not just looking at it from afar. Yes, many attendees brought their own vehicles to enjoy on track, but there was plenty of action for those without a track-ready vehicle as well.

I, for one, am between sports cars, so I didn’t have anything to bring to the track. That didn’t stop me from getting on track, though.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

No, I didn’t get behind the wheel, but I did get to ride shotgun in a bunch of really cool vehicles. Shelby America and AR Motorsports were both giving ride-along opportunities on the track all weekend, both in impressive machinery being driven hard. Many attendees and dealers’ and sponsors’ vehicles were also open to passengers.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

For me, that meant I got some hot laps in a friend’s 991 GT3 Touring and one of the coolest vehicles at the event, Steven Smith’s Gilbert the Race Bug. It’s a ’60s SCCA race car that Smith has been racing for 21+ years, is set up by Emory Motorsports, has 356 brakes, 160 horsepower, and only weighs in at 1,600 pounds. It makes all kinds of good noises, has been kept in immaculate condition, and is regularly driven hard.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Many participants will also let kids and adults alike have a seat behind the wheel of their cool rides. One generous owner let me slide into his Lotus Exige Cup, with 12,000 track miles, which amazingly my 6’3″ frame, size 13 feet, and long torso fit into without issue. Even better was that he encouraged a young child to hop in and check out the view from the driver’s seat.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Another fun activity at Taste of Motorsports 2022 was a slot car race track. Big and little kids alike enjoyed racing on it with super-impressive model cars, at impressive speeds.

Taste of Motorsports
Palatov Motorsport builds insane performance-focused machines; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

Don’t Forget to Take In Deep Breaths

Between the BBQ and petrol, the air was fragrant with the smells of a really good time. There is something special about the smell of burning fuel and hot sticky tires at a race track.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)

Taste of Motorsports 2022 & Beyond

Taste of Motorsports
PDX Garages was one of a few great local vendors displaying at the event; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

Taste of Motorsports is a 2-day weekend event, with action happening from 7:30 a.m. to about 3:50 p.m. each day. It happens the last week of August each year at Portland International Raceway.

Prices range from $25 for a general admission Sunday ticket to an all-inclusive all-weekend ticket, which includes eight track sessions, for about $800. If you want that all-inclusive action for a bit less money, and a bit less stress on your car, two and four track-session tickets were available as well, for $295 and $450, respectively.

Taste of Motorsports
Stephanie and Tom Floyd were amazing hosts to all guests of their event all weekend; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

The organizers plan to keep this event going in Portland for the next few years before hopefully bringing its unique flavor to other parts of the country and possibly the world. I, for one, am already looking forward to going back, and I’m on the hunt for a new sports car so I can join in on the on-track driving fun.

Be sure not to miss next year’s event, which will celebrate Vasek Polak with Porsche as the honored marque. Stay up to date with all things Taste of Motorsports at its website.

Taste of Motorsports
(Photo/Bryon Dorr)
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Bryon Dorr
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Bryon Dorr caught the outdoor adventure addiction through whitewater kayaking, and worldwide adventures to remote places ensued. He crafted his own professional path as a photographer, journalist, and marketing consultant in the automotive and outdoor industries, while full-time overland traveling for nearly 8 years. You’ll usually find him out exploring by 4x4, adventure motorcycle, or sports car while seeking out opportunities to ski, mountain bike, and kayak. Bryon now has a home base in Portland, OR with his wife and young daughter.