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The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Twilight Polo at Great Meadow Polo Club

Last week, after countless invites to attend, I finally went to my first polo match at Great Meadow Polo Club.  This same venue hosts the Virginia Gold Cup, and holds their twilight polo matches in an arena near the main grandstands.

Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn

Prior to polo, we visited Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn.  Aspen Dale is one of my most visited local wineries, and is home of the Rockawalkin;' the best red wine I've found from Virginia to-date.  Go pick up a bottle; it's well worth the premium pricetag.

Great Meadow Twilight Polo

Twilight polo is much more relaxed than the Virginia Gold Cup (which I will attend again, even though my first experience was pretty dreadful), and I look forward to visiting again better prepared for picnicking and dressed a little cooler for the Virginia Summer humidity.

Jalopnik at Katie's Cars and Coffee

UPDATE:  This blog post was featured on Jalopnik on August 26th, 2013.  See the full story and comments there. It's been a busy month of exciting things happening this August at Katie's Cars and Coffee in Great Falls, Virginia.  The weekly auto drive-in and show has recently grown in popularity this Summer, thanks to more frequent appearances of extremely rare and expensive cars, such as an original Cunningham C2R that first made an appearance on May 25th (and a return trip on August 17th)...

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...and more recently, two separate  Bugatti Veyrons.  The first made an appearance on July 6th, coming from nearby Volkswagen corporate offices in Dulles, and a second, privately owned Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport on August 10th, which flew in earlier this month on a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight to Washington Dulles International Airport, and has been seen touring its way up the Eastern seaboard.  This is the same Veyron which has been spotted in Georgetown, downtown Washington, DC, and most recently sustained damaged in a collision with a truck in New York City, just yesterday.

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All this attention hasn't gone unnoticed by local automotive enthusiasts of car news website and blog, Jalopnik, and this past Saturday (August 24th), a number of Jalops (active members of the Jalopnik community) met to enjoy a Cars and Coffee event at Katie's Coffee House.  Among the group was Washington, DC based Jalopnik writer, Patrick George, who arrived in a Cadillac ATS on loan to him for review.

The group met in the company of fellow car lovers, and toured this weekend's Cars and Coffee offerings, stopping to chat with drivers, and discuss interesting stories of ownership, and automotive history behind some manufacturers and their innovations.

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The meet was an amazing success, only made better by perfect weather.  The group stood for a picture in front of the classic Bently, and parted ways, until the next time we choose to meet.  A special thanks to Nick for helping organize, who unfortunately was unable to attend.

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This blog post has been republished by J. David Buerk onto Oppositelock.  For the full set of photos, view the album at his Facebook Page. All photography is by J. David Buerk, and is copyrighted All Rights Reserved.

Jaguar Alive Driving Experience

After getting exclusive access to the new Jaguar F-Type at the 2013 Washington Auto Show, my friend Jake and I were invited by Jaguar to a track day in which we could test drive all of Jaguar's top end and most recent models, including the 550HP, $155,000 XKR-S, and the pre-production XFR-S, among others.  Unfortunately the F-Type was still unavailable to drive, although a beautiful orange example from the Paris Auto Show was on hand to demo under the reception tent. Events we took part in were a Timed 0-60 / Top Speed Run, Autocross Circuit, Traction Control Demo Circuit, and Free Drive of any of the available lineup (the XJL was VERY well appointed).  As Jake later pointed out, we drove ~$1,000,000 worth of cars in just a few hours time.

The day started out with being greeted by showcase Jaguars, including a 1967 Jaguar E-Type, with DC plates "ELATED".  The event attracted plenty of exotic cars in the parking lot, mostly Jags of course.

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Not far away was the Orange F-Type V8 S, and one of MANY XKR-Ss (actually there AREN'T many; the XKR-S is a limited production run vehicle with only 100 examples being sold in the United States).

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Our driving experience started out by road testing the XJ, which was very responsive, although the Eco feature that disables the engine in stop and go traffic was a bit strange (we later disabled it).  All the Jaguars had very sensitive brakes - not a bad thing, but something that took a few minutes to get used to.

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Next we were briefed by Lorraine McKiniry, host of Velocity Channel by Discovery Network's "What's My Car Worth?" who gave a history of the Jaguar brand, culminating in the 2013 lineup, and discussion of future plans for the carmaker.  Then it was out onto the track, where first up was my 0-60 / Top Speed run in the XKR-S.  I reached 90MPH with a 5.5sec 0-60 time (unofficial - official times are forthcoming).  The track was uphill on cold, hard tires, so the XKR-S' specified 4.0 - 4.2 sec range wasn't possible given the conditions.  You can watch my runs and see the live telemetry below!

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Next it was on to the Autocross Course and Handling Tests.  I had a more strict course instructor than Jake did, so I wasn't allowed as much freedom on the course as Jake was which was somewhat disappointing.  The result was a top time of 39.6sec compared to Jake's 37.something sec time.  The Handling Course in the XFR-S was much more fun however, mostly because I startled and impressed the course instructor with a massive drift - he wasn't expecting it, but he was shocked that I maintained full control around the entire turn in a textbook drift without the traction control engaged.  His reaction after I snapped the car back in line for the straightaway was "WHOA!!!... OK.... Um... I didn't know you could do that.  That was very good...  Wow!...  You handled that.... really well!..."

Unfortunately I don't have many pictures from this or the rest of the day... because I was too busy driving!!!

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It was an amazing, fun day!  I wish we'd had more track time!  I think our performance on the course would have improved dramatically with just a little more time to become more acquainted with the cars; but this goes without saying!  I also had two people, one of them a Jaguar representative, ask me who I was writing for - I apparently looked like an automotive journalist for this event (not paparazzi, like so many other occasions - I'm so happy!).

Loved it!  I can't wait to do another track day like it!  Now we're looking into other events sponsored by Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and others to experience more!