The UK is graced with many specialist car shows throughout the year. some small meetings with just a scattering of vehicles parked up in a field, some huge lavish affairs with a attendance in the thousands… Japfest is most certainly the latter! I had never been to Japfest before but on the promise of the best Japanese machinery in the UK and some top class drifting 5am Saturday morning i found myself on the M4 motorway heading to Castle Combe circuit to see what Japfest 2010 was all about.
yes its huge! the above photograph is just a tiny part of the club sections scattered around the Wiltshire track. Just getting through the gate and navigating the half mile of so to the paddock is a 45 minute affair with every Japanese owners club represented at the show the attendance is estimated to be around the 20,000 mark.
Finally arriving in the paddock and hiding my Ford cunningly behind the JDM Allstars stand to avoid having to wipe the phlegm off it before leaving the first port of call was the 'Z' cars area..
The real reason i was lurking around the Z paddock was of the selection of 240/260/280's on display. With hints of Ferrari Daytona MGB and E type jag in the styling i just love the 70's Zs. I normally despise modern wheels on classic cars but the i think the above example really works…
.. The modern theme continues under the bonnet with the L24 straight six replaced with a beautifully installed 1jz Toyota unit.
The outrageous Janspeed 240 of Ben and Dee Stapley..
.. no more 2.4 but a 3.1 litre straight 6.
Triple Delortos K&N's and clean enough to eat your dinner off.
A huge selection of Mazda Rxs on display. From the clean and subtle…
To crazy chrome finish
But topping crazy list was Alex Khateeb's 700hp RX7… you really have to hear this to believe the noise it makes…. 104db limit at Castle Combe…….per-leeze!
My favorite Mazda of the day was to be found squirreled away by the Japspeed pits.. Drift Judge Judge Jordan Butters clean FC just looked…. right!
Wandering over to the track to have a look at the public track time I was greeted with the sight and sound of a race prepared NSX screaming round..
..Try as i might to hunt this car down in the paddock I sadly couldn't find it in in amongst the thousands of cars on display.
There is a growing trend in the UK of moving out of the city in to the countryside right next to a age old race track then moaning to the local council that the noise is stopping you enjoying your cheese and wine party at the weekend. The knock-on effect of this is ever increasingly ferocious noise limits imposed on our race tracks. Ben Broke-Smith fell foul of the 104db limit recording a 107db before the Team drift challenge, an effort to redirect the sound to beat the sound guys DB machine unfortunately failed….
..So more extreme measures had to be implemented before he was aloud to head out on track.
Have you ever wondered what 3rd gear looks like on a R34 Skyline? Well this is what Walton Smith's looked like after the first lap practice for the team challenge..
And this is what team mate and Garage D owner Julian Smith's gear selector looked like on his rather expensive Blitz R34 gearbox after the first lap..Now you would have thought that would be the end of Julian and Waltons day after two gearbox failures on the first lap of practice.. well under normal circumstances you would be right. But this is Garage D we are talking about so expect the impossible!
More from Japfest including the team drift challenge and the Garage D gearbox challenge in part two.