The Ignition Speed Festival is a collection of people coming together to enjoy grassroots motorsports and automotive culture. With focus around a cause related message, participants and supporters of the Ignition Speed Festival have contributed to help others in our community. In 2019, our boys from Hoonigan conducted a 2-minute interview with one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. His participation in the 2019 ISF sparked a phone call in November of 2019. I remember it well. I was riding in an Uber from the Houston airport to a restaurant in the greater Houston area for a dinner based interview. My phone rang and this infectious voice introduced himself and he began to talk about how much fun he had at ISF in the summer and how he loved chatting with Nads, Kanan and Jimmy from the live stream. He quickly moved on to ask if I would be willing to talk with him and some of his mates about supporting a car show in the fall of 2020. I asked him if he was interesting in cause related efforts and would he and his mates support ISF in 2020 as a contributor to the car show. I had said that if he was willing to do that, I would support their desire to add another event to their calendar. He paused, laughed and said “absolutely, are you serious?, join up with ISF and work with your group?” I said, “Yes”.
I had to go to my dinner but that phone call was the beginning of a friendship that came to an end way too soon. I knew Bryan for a short time but, man it felt like years. He was instantly like a brother. He was a member of the autoX club that my father was instrumental in creating back in the 70’s. He had massive passion for motorsports that mirrored my own. We spoke multiple times per week and his laugh and man-hugs were the best! Every time I had a new announcement for the 2020 festival, I would call him first. His enthusiasm was a confirmation that the content was going to be good. I was fortunate enough to meet so many of those who called him friend and their stories and experiences are all the same as my own. He touched people in a way that very few people are able to.
In February, just prior to the COVID lockdowns, I had the opportunity to spend back-to-back days with him, as we had meetings with C.A.R.T. and then UC3 the next day. I did not expect those would be the last man-hugs I would receive. We had much work to do. I had traveled to California that next week and received a call early on the morning of February 29, 2020 that Bryan had passed away. Bryan was taken away from us way too soon. His laugh, love and hugs along with his passion for cars and all things motorsports will live on with all of us who have been fortunate enough to know him.
Bryan never was able to see all the great work we did. All the great work he was a part of to prepare for the next Ignition Speed Festival, but he lives with us all and for that the Ignition Speed Festival presented by ACI Dynamix is dedicated to his memory!