Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Japfest 2 2014

Words and Snaps by Sam

Japfest 2 is a celebration of Japanese performance cars, held annually at Donington Park circuit in the UK. Introduced in 2010 in order to supplement the now monstrously huge original Japfest show which is held earlier in the year at Castle Combe circuit, Japfest 2 now also promises to be an event well worth attending for all those into Japanese cars.

So far each year has offered a great day of fun, so last month POWAA Garage went along to check out what this year had to offer.

We arrived at the show at around 11am after a bit of a wet start to the morning, but were inspired to arrive at a well packed car pack, which in all honesty we could have spent most of the day having a poke around! Filled with some gorgeous cars we couldn’t help but show you just a few examples on offer, like this low and wide Nissan Silvia S13...

And this rare and original looking white Tommi Makinen edition Evo 6...

Although not Japanese, we just had to stop to have a look around this Noble M12 GTO. Powered by a twin turbo V6 which produces over 350bhp and takes the hand-built British supercar to 100km/h in just 3.5 seconds, and with no driver aids, this really is a driver’s car!

Another car from the car park that caught our eye was this smurf blue Plasti-dipped Impreza STi, the smooth matte colour offsetting its aggressive lines and styling perfectly.

After we’d completed our tour of the car park, we decided it would be a good idea to get tickets and move on inside the show before we ran out of time! Once inside, our ears were immediately greeted with the sounds of screeching tyres, and our noses with the smell of burning rubber. In the world of popular Japanese car culture this can only mean one thing... drifting!

One of the main attractions of Japfest 2 over the last few years has been the ever-popular drift taxis; letting all those willing to part with an extra £10 (on top of the entry ticket price) experience the thrills of getting thrown sideways in a high powered drift machine.

Another huge attraction at Japfest 2 has been the inclusion of track time. Luckily this year was no different, with sessions throughout the day providing great entertainment for both drivers and spectators alike.

It’s always nice to see some of your favourite cars performing out on track and luckily for me, I got treated to just that, like this track spec MX-5...

This mean looking RX-8 was also a beautiful sight, and with that rotary engine screaming to over 8krpm, it would have been hard for anyone to not have been fixated whenever it passed by!

Of course being one of the UK’s biggest annual Japanese car shows, Japfest 2 had much more to offer than just track fun. With so many car clubs in attendance, there was lots more to see and many more cars to check out.

This club of Nissan Fairladys had a pretty unique theme going on, with the newer generation models such as the 350z and the 370z all flanking and facing their older generation predecessors, as if to salute them...

Although, perhaps the biggest club of the day was the Mazda MX-5 club, MX5Nutz. It just goes to show how popular these fun little machines have become in recent years.

What was also cool to see was the variety of styles which have been adopted for the model, really reflecting each owner’s personality such as this stanced, desert sand coloured example.

Or how about this even more extreme “rough look” creation, featuring a custom retro-looking front end?

Or if that’s not your kind of thing, then there’s always the slightly more traditional JDM look...

Talking of Mazdas, there were also a couple of really special models at the show this year. The first was this time attack monster RX-7, which puts around around 500bhp and competes in the Time Attack UK series at the hands of driver and owner, Umar Masood...

So if that’s the first, then what’s the second? Well that would be this ultra-rare Cosmo. All Cosmos came factory fitted with 3-rotor engines but as they were designed to be more of a luxury car than an all out performance machine, it meant that unfortunately they were also all fitted with automatic gearboxes. A bit of a waste for such an engine, huh! However what makes this example particularly special is that it’s been fitted with a manual gearbox in order to extract the most from that delicious sounding 3-rotor, perfect!

Although obviously not a Mazda, another impressive car on show was this seriously mean looking R34 Skyline GT-R from EP Racing. With its yellow body and carbon fibre front end, you can see why they’ve decided to call it Project Bumble Bee.

Of course, if you happen to be more into the classics, then there were a few of those on show too, such as this ever increasingly popular Hakosuka Skyline *drool*.

Or this period styled Datsun Sunny...

All-in-all Japfest 2 is a show which offers something for everyone who has a passion for cars, whether that be classics, imports, modified monsters, track weapons, drifting... you name it, it’s all there. And as such, we hope Japfest 2 is a show which will continue to grow over the next few years and will continue to offer more of the same!


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