May 16

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Japfest 2011 at Castle Combe Race Circuit Show Report

Japfest 2011…doesn’t need much of an introduction really; the whole day was as amazing as ever. I woke up to the sound of a few skylines driving down the road outside my house, and the day was non-stop Jap cars and thrills from there.

The meeting place was the sally pussy’s pub just outside Wootton Bassett at junction 16 of the m4. Most of the people I met there had been out the night before or hadn’t had much sleep. Many cans of relentless and red bull seemed to be the theme of the morning as we waited for more cars to turn up. There was a stunning orange and black 200sx (more on this one later) a very tidy superclean black s14a, a couple of evos, i think a evo 5 or 4, a celica, awesome yellow and black Toyota starlet, a seemingly drift prepped BMW 318 fast back, you could feel the excitement and anticipation of the day ahead in the atmosphere, everyone was in high-spirits and having a laugh.I think most of the cars there were from the Club jap forum, since they had show space inside Castlecombe it seemed ideal to meet up and go down together. It was a great feeling and sight to be surrounded by all these awesome cars as we bowled out of the pub and onto the M4 towards Castle combe. The roads were nice and empty and everyone took a steady drive down.

It was a good chance for everyone to take it easy and get into the mood, you could see people getting their cameras out snapping photos and video of are impressive little convoy on the way down, there was a very nice variation of cars, some quite seriously modified, others just looking fantastic.

It was a great drive down and when we finally arrived at the track we sailed in straightaway, no massive crowds or waiting around.

Nissan 180sx silvia s13The track action seemed later to start than usual but it was a good chance to see what was going on in the stands, and get an idea of what was going to be there. First thing we did was to head towards the featured and main attraction stands, what seemed to strike me straightaway was the seemingly very heavy focus on the drift cars, there was all the teams there, Japspeed, Driftworks, Team Falken, JDM Garage, a few Garage-D cars . They all had their own stands and they were all quite elaborate and big as well.

Nissan Silvia S15 BDC carSubaru Impreza Drift carIt was a good chance for them to debut this seasons cars, and it had to be said they all looked fantastic, shiny, highly modified -and ready to be crashed, as is always the way with drifting some of these cars didn’t stay to shiny for too long.

Japspeed Nissan Silvia S15 Drift Car

In the main features area it was also very interesting to see the wide range of cars and how they’d all been modified. As you looked around the castle combe paddock area, you can’t help but think and notice how the whole jap-car scene in the uk has evolved and “matured”.

Compared to when I first went and when I’ve been in recent years, the mass majority of the cars you could see weren’t overly showy or wearing ridiculous body kits.

If a car was wearing a body kit, it was there for aerodynamic purposes, alot of the kits weren’t purposefully showy or garish, and they seemed to compliment the car. The other look was a very clean look. i.e. debadged, and smoothed out bodywork. I personally love this look on some of the cars; it has an air of coolness and sophistication about it.

Nissan 200sx sil-eightyAlot of people also seemed to adopt what’s more commonly referred to as the “jdm look”. I really loved all these cars as well. This is a hard look to define, but the best way I’ve learnt to understand it is through looking at pictures of the serious cars in Japan. The best way to describe it is look at all the competitive track cars on track days in Japan, the competition drift cars, and serious motorway racers or “wangan runners” and mountain touge drifters.

Tuning Developments Nissan Silvia S14k Drift CarThe other very distinct style was the “old-skool” look, looking round; it gave me some inspired ideas for what I might do to my Volvo. Some of these cars looked really awesome; they were all slammed as low as possible, running minilites, and deep-dish rims with bulging tires and ridiculous cambers. The stance and presence these cars had were undeniable; I think the big deep-dished wheels reminded me of the old-super-touring cars like the Fords, BMWs and Audis etc back in the 80’s.Retro Honda Civic

I love how it completely transforms the look of these cars, some of the cars you wouldn’t normally look twice at or necessarily notice in the street just looked great, you couldn’t resist it. You tend to get some incredibly unique one-off cars sprung out of this scene. The best place to see these would be sites like stance-nation and rat-look.

If you looked hard enough amongst the seas of unique Scoobies, Skylines, Supras, rx-7’s etc, there was some very rare old jap cars as well, i spotted a few 86’s Datsuns and other obscure cars I never knew about before.

Datsun Nissan 120yToyota corolla ae86 japfestOne car had us laughing for ages, it was quite a nice, matt black drift prepped Nissan s14k that didn’t take itself too seriously. I would love to meet the owner of this car. If it’s yours and you come across this website be sure to let me know!, Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to grab a picture of all the stickers, but I’m sure you get the idea of what the rest of the car was like ;) check it out..

Milf Apprentice Society Drift Sticker s14Caution Parts May Fall Off Drift StickerAnother great attraction was the Tracktive Solutions stand where you could buy yourself a passenger ride in a btcc car round the track, this proved very popular and they also had a few stunning cars on show, the Ginetta G50 race car and what I assumed was probably their Time Attack Car, A stunning, super clean Evo VIII, it was great to see the engine out of the car too, it really is quite something.RedBrick Racing time Attack CarRedBrick Racing evo IX engineMitsubishi EVO 9 Engine Block Redbrick Racing

One group which I think should of been bigger and more in the main area was a collection of Nissan Cube’s. While it’s not the most popular or best car around, it’s got a charming and clean quirkiness about it. I believe these are import only hence the fact there wasn’t many there, but it’s a charismatic car nonetheless, and there was a very clean one which really caught our attention.Nissan Cube Clean Look

Tomorrow I’ll cover some of the track action and further thoughts of the day, in the mean time, enjoy, share and comment- if you see your car up here, let me know!

The rest of my japfest coverage:

Japfest 2011 photos at Castle Combe Racing Track Day, Japanese Performance Cars Photos

Japfest at Castle Combe Race Circuit 2011, Track Sessions, Drifting and Action

Japfest 2011 at Castle Combe Race Circuit Show Report

Japfest at Castlecombe 2011, Europes Biggest Japanese Performance Car Show?


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