Starting Off On The Right Foot | Matty Ferguson’s Honda S2000

Finally. I get to write a feature after the 23 months consisting of Japan stuff, a load of event coverage, a brief bit about an MX-5 specialist and his R33 GT-R, some more car shows, and most recently the introduction of Civik. So yeah, alot has occurred since my last and debut feature I decided to kategorize as a ‘Fokal Point’ article, which some of you might remember involving Josh Harbour and his R32 GT-R. If not, you can catch up on that here.

One of, if not the primary, reasons for me signing up to a WordPress subsription and purchasing a web domain was that I wanted to be able to share my experiences on this planet as a carboy. But I’ve always known – even if not consciously – that the reason magazines and online blogs appealed to me so much were the inspirational glimpses of the people behind the assembly of metal, glass, rubber and plastic.

Yeah, the cars are cool and all that, but the journey people go through alongside their personalised mode of transport is what always captured and captivated my attention. At the end of the day, our vehicles are just the medium through which we convey our feelings brought on by how the car drives or what the vehicle represents.

So when Hamza and I were taking a stroll along the paddock of Croft Circuit during Mimms Honda Day in July of this year, I nearly twisted my vertebrae beyond repair when my eyes were magnetically drawn to Matty’s Honda S2000. The way the car just sat there next to a bright red Audi R8 and managed to detract all of the German supercar’s presence, I knew instantly this roadster deserved more than a one-take glance.

The upload count of shots posted up in the threepart blog should provide clear indication of how much of my interest was piqued by this two-seat Honda from 1999. After the show was done and over with, going through the images from that day, I realised how much Matty’s S2000 stood out to me.

Why, you might be wondering?

Well, I’m gonna let the photos show you exactly why this S2000 is an up-and-coming build that’s about to get even sicker than it already is.

We’d arranged to meet in his hometown near Darlington, somewhere I’ve only been once, and that was for a company training workshop, but that’s besides the point.

I scoped out a location to shoot Matty’s car in that wasn’t too far from where he was based. Early that morning I headed straight to our agreed meeting point, where I was having a little pre-shoot scout. Matty messaged me and invited me to his house as he was still cleaning up the motor since he didn’t find the time to the night before.

I drove over to his, parked my car up and we chit-chatted as he went over his favourite points on the car.

Turns out the evening before that morning was a bit of a episode involving Matty’s friend’s seized brake caliper off of his Mini Cooper S. He almost thought his bone was broken/fractured in his ankle, due to a caliper piston rewind tool going haywire from being used in conjunction with an impact drill (not recommended).

It is what it is though, shit does and will happen. We weren’t working to a strict schedule or nothing, it was a Saturday after all, and I think 8am on a weekend is like 6am on a weekday, so early enough as is.

An S2000 is a highly-versatile chassis, and that is mostly down its outright good-looks. You don’t have to do much to the car in the cosmetics department, since Honda’s designers did a grand job on perfecting the exterior of the car to a point where there isn’t an angle from which you’ll grow tired from looking at it.

Matty informed me of the date he took ownership of his 2005 model-year, hardtop S2000, and I was kinda taken aback by how recent I’d thought it was: June 2020. For some reason, I felt as if the car had been carefully crafted over a longer period of time, going through a couple phases before this one. But, no. Matty bought the Honda in factory trim, still wearing its original coats of Silverstone Metallic, with the only visible modification being a K&N Cone Air Filter.

The S2000 has always appeared cartoonish when viewed from the front, head-on. It’s as if the design engineers intentionally gave the car a personable character.

Now, there’s not much to say about Matty’s car, and that’s in no way me being dismissive, of course. The fact I don’t need to say much about the car, theres’s no need for me to be throwing all these fancy adjectives up just for you to take more notice of the details, so that in and of itself speaks more volume than I ever could. I mean, if you can’t appreciate this awfully simplistic method of modifying, then maybe you’re expecting too much.

Understandably so, with the amount of things we’re bombarding ourselves with via social media, you can’t help but be desensitized to anything that’s truly relatable. Until, perhaps, you stumble across something like this car for the first time ever, IRL, no filter, no bullshit promo, no hashtags. Just a real enthusiast showing how he likes his cars by putting together an example that is undeniably well-finished.

Obviously, I don’t mean finished in the literal sense, as whilst I was snapping away with my DSLR on this random research building’s carpark, Matty told me of his vision and this is most definitely not that, yet.

But let’s stick with what we have in the present.

What exactly are we all looking at here?

The “elephant in the room”, for me anyways, certainly has to be the non-Honda body colour. Initially, I’d assumed the “Tahitian Green Pearl” paint code was nabbed from the CR-Xs and EF/EG Civics, and pasted all over the S2000’s panels, but that colour is much more vibrant in retrospect. This shade of blue-green remains quite deep and subdued under direct sunlight, and frankly, the Honda pulls off Emerald Green miles better than the sourced-from Citroen C4 Cactus ever could.

By the way, the colour change was the very first alteration Matty chose to make to his car once he became its rightful owner. Although, from what he told me, it was a bit of a nightmare back-and-forth scenario with the bodyshop not completing the job to a standard you’d expect for the respray of a modern classic sports-roadster. Putting the past aside, the car’s bodywork was of course refinished properly and retrieved back to the hands of its owner for further tweaks to be made.

Fortunately, the low-hanging fog that morning muted all but our immediate surroundings, and the photos came out better than I’d imagined they would. I’m going to come across as arrogrant, but I have to admit that this is the best work I’ve produced thus far in my life as a person with a camera.

Back to the subject in fokus…

Once Matty got his whip back in the home garage, the tone was set for him to begin riffing off and enhance what was already at that point a great-looking car in its new lick of paint.

S2000s weren’t all that tip-toey off the showroom floor with their factory-spec suspension and ride height. Most definitely not as bad as a standard MX-5, but still, there’s always far too much tyre-to-arch clearance with standard cars, unless you’re buying a 911 GT3 or similar.

Matty selected a set of coilovers made by MeisterR, a company that has bases in the UK & USA. The choice Zeta CRDs have brought the ride height to a very acceptable distance to the ground, and tightened up the existing well-balanced chassis giving the driver just enough tactile feedback without compromising usability on the road, helped by the 9kg(F) & 7kg(R) spring rates.

By the way, the owner isn’t some up-and-coming YouTube sensation or a Forex trader’s prodigy. Yeah he’s a young guy in his early 20’s, but he’s still studying part-time whilst working a full-time job in the civil engineering sector. And he hasn’t rolled his car into a garage, tossed them the keys and demand for them to turn it into some kind of Insta-famous riceboi machine. Matty and his pals have all chipped in and carried out the work themselves, that includes fine tuning the suspension to get it cock-on without the tyre chafing against the inner arches and busting a tyre.

So, as you can see, not much is “going on” under the bonnet where the F20C engine resides. Time and resource will eventually come around for the owner to invest some of his attention to the powertrain, but all in good time. As it sits currently, the only alterations made to the engine are its Invidia Q300 catback stainless exhaust system allowing the F-series to emit it’s waste gases freely, but keeping the neighbours happy(ish) with a high-flow catalytic converter made by Berk Technology / Magnaflow.

Oh yeah, and if you didn’t spot it, an oil cap from Spoon Sports keeps a lid on things.

As Matty propped up the vented OEM bonnet, immediately grasping my attention was this piece sitting right on top of the Koyorad “Half-Size” aluminium thick-core radiator. If you’ve followed my Civik blog series, you’ll know that I was a bit miffed how my J’s Racing pressure cap wouldn’t fit onto my Koyorad rad. I was baffled as to how Matty’s fits and why I don’t have the same luck as him, haha 😦

15+ year old rubber most likely were not in the best of condition, so Matty went and chucked on some Spoon Sports polymer hoses for piece of mind.

I can imagine those of you who happen to be S2000 owners too, are interested in Matty’s choice of wheel and their fitment.

And if you happen not to show intrigue, are you okay? The flow-formed RG-D2 wheels by Yokohama Advan are a difficult option to discount when configuring your dream build, regardless of the chassis, they look great on everything! Matty chose to fit up a set of staggered 17″ wheels, 8J at the front, with 9J in the back, offsets measuring ET44 and ET45 respectively.

And I can’t not mention one of the greatest tread patterns of all time, courtesy of the Yokohama Rubber Company. AD08RS compound has been equipped to deal with everything input by the hands and feet of the driver, matching up to the staggered wheel sizing with 225/45 and 245/40 tyre specifications.

The Advan wheels’s polished lips gleam as they offset the Racing Hyper Black spoke faces.

Efforts have been made by Matty to ensure that the car appears as low as possible, without giving off that “stancey wanker” vibe. He’s done a damn good job if you ask me.

How is this car still relevant as ever? Honda, bring back an affordable high-performance FR two-seat sportscar, please, before you go all “Greenpeace” on us petrol-junkies.

Back onto the subject of the aero trim applied to the exterior of the car. A carbon fibre ducktail partly left bare to exposed the weave when viewed from the rear, carbon fibre sideskirt extensions made for an FD3S RX-7, and the smoothed OEM “AP2” front bumper & original lip spolier. A Voltex rear diffuser made of CFRP wasn’t in the best of shape so Matty chose to remove it from the car in case the damage went any further, but you can see it photographed here, if you so please.

Without sounding cliche, sitting passenger whilst Matty directed the S2000 through fast and slow B-road bends, I could sense a link between man and machine where both were in harmony as G-forces pulled the ~1270kg mass dynamically whilst the four tyres maintained grip throughout.

I jumped out the car to take a few panning shots as Matty zipped past me on a country lane. Thought I’d get some practice shots in with the local wildlife behind me.

The car isn’t crazily loud, but it sings a tune you wouldn’t want any other way.

When something looks as good as it goes, a sense of temporary bliss comes into effect. This was one of those moments.

Before we called it quits, Matty suggested a cool photo-opp spot not too far out in the countryside.

We drove up to a pair of electric gates that opened automatically, rolled right through all the way down this long-ass driveway, realising that we may or may not have been trespassing, haha.

We weren’t doing no one any harm, so I got Matty to position the roadster in the middle of this random household’s driveway, and let the shutter release.

Next thing we know, a lady in a new Land Rover Defender enters the premises and I’m thinking we’re about to get booted out or maybe worse! But Matty must have done some sweet-talking as I heard her compliment the Honda that was on her private property. She was 100% cool with us being there, we kept off the grass, and that was that, she just carried on for another 5-miles (exagerrating lol) to her doorstep.

Buddyclub LED Sequential Tailights complete the rear-end without over-doing it. To be honest, it’s probably not far off a “modern-day” interpretation of the S2000, similar to what we saw at TAS 2020 with Honda’s 20th Anniversary Concept, only this has nicer wheels…

That’s all I have to say about Matty’s S2000 right now. It doesn’t “break the internet” (yet) nor does it need to (yet). I’m positively sure that the evolution of this vehicle is in its infancy under the careful and particular owner.

Keep an eye out, is all I need to say, both right here on soulfokus.net and Matty’s IG @mattyfer5.

| B O N U S G A L L E R Y |

Sittin’ Sideways | UKDC @ Teeside Autodrome 2021

Lets end on a smokey note. I’ll keep the chat to a minimum, so you can just enjoy the photos!

By the way, I will be setting up a booth this coming weekend for Drift Matsuri, selling framed photo prints along with some stickers for you to rep!

Martin Wonnacott and his Chaser Tourer V set it off as one of the first out the gate in qualifying.
This photo was obviously not taken during qualifying, as Steve Biagioni is following Stefan Stefanov’s smoke trail. I was just eager to post this edit up early on, would make a good billboard eh?
Michael Bennett with a swift entry in his supercharged E36.
Didn’t get his name but this marshall was a cool guy. Danny Whyman’s S13 rear bumper safely kaptured and ready to collect before battles commence.
Almost right-angling with the lock!
Can’t tell if dropping a wheel, or just squatting as a result of the billion foot-pounds of torque on tap.
Another good-looking JZX100, this one driven by Karl Farrar.
Kouki…
or zenki???
This car looked pretty bare in comparison to its current full-livery state.
Ryan Hughes’ S14 gets top marks for aesthetic in my book.
When Tom Van Beek passes by, its commitment through and through.
Mad by name, mad by nature.
Meet and Greet time
D-MAX does it best
Would be cool to see a fully fledged A-Bo-Moon livery on Danny’s Nissan Silvia.
S15 dashboard because style is God
Not much wrong in this shot. That speaker could do with pissing off though.
Battles got underway once everybody had cleared the track.
Brad of Garage500 unfortunately got only one chase run in, as he was left tyreless minutes after this photo
The rear gonna disappear.
Team Japspeed driver Matt Denham being a top sport and giving Baggsy a hand after going off track due to a bit of contact between their cars.
The fight for the remaining spot on the podium
The final bouts of the day involved this pair giving it their absolute all for that numero uno title for Round 4.

I’ve no idea what the points were because I can’t remember, nor was I paying attention. However, I was aware enough to know that the 180SX wheeled by Matt Denham took the victory for the day.

And there you have it. Another competition drift event through my eyes and lens. It was a long day, pretty warm for the most part, too. I’m glad to have attended, seeing new cars make an appearance and “old” ones still laying down rubber.

Like I said at the start of this article, I’m going to be posted up at Anglesey for this weekend’s Drift Matsuri. Find me in one of the pit garages and I’ll hook you up with a high-res print, framed by yours truly!

Thanks checking in 🙂

Not Worth the Kompromise | Japanese Performance Show 2021 @ TIC

Shows are always enjoyable, more so after the drought we’ve been through these past couple of years. Not counting Mimms North in September 2020, the last indoor car show I’d visited was Osaka Auto Messe, so yeah it’s been a while.

Never having witnessed Japanese Performance Show (JPS) live and direct, I’d made the decision to check it out. So, after the Mimms Croft blog had been posted, I’d messaged Dav Plaha who also happens to organize JPS, asking him whether it was alright for me to advertise my photo printing services on the Facebook group, seen as though some of the shots taken at Croft Circuit turned out well. What I didn’t expect Dav to say was, “Why don’t you attend as a vendor and sell your prints at the show”. As we know, with life, the spontaneity and unexpectedness of it tends to end up one of two ways. Better than we ever could imagined, or disastrous. Then again, life is full of nuance…

I accepted Dav’s offered suggestion and began planning everything out in my head. I’m not very practical when it comes to planning. What I mean by that is, I visualize all the details in my head, or atleast try to, before actually producing anything tangible. To be honest, I just did things my way, and kept it as simple as possible. I didn’t have enough money for a gazebo or a load of easels to display my sample prints. Instead, I got three fold-out tables and a vinyl banner.

I haven’t got any photos of my stall at the show, but it was very basic. I had my 32″ LCD TV set up, allowing everyone passing by to see either me editing photos, or a preset slideshow of sample images of the cars rolling into the show. My Canon printer was sat beside that, whilst I faffed about on my laptop behind them both. Oh, and the Demio was my display easel for this shot of FEED’s “Touge Maou” I have framed up in my bedroom:

It was an early start on the last Sunday of September, as I had to be at Telford International Centre (TIC) – the debuting venue for JPS – at 6am, meaning I’d set off mine at around 4am. Hamza fell sick a few days before, so I’d be going solo and had to set up at double-time.

Matty Ferguson’s Emerald Blue AP2 S2000

As soon as the shutters around the back of TIC opened up for vendors and display-cars, I made an effort to get the stall situated ASAP. My primary objective was to photograph as many cars as possible before the public were allowed in at 10am. After that time, I made sure I was positioned at the stand so that I’d be able to display and print whatever photos I managed to get.

Whilst it was quiet with no visitors in yet, I run-n-gunned as many of the cars parked up inside.

Adam’s JDM is an IG handle I’ve seen about for a while, and had their fleet posted up not far from where I’d set up.

What looks to be Midnight Purple III on this R33 GT-R the team had brought out, matched up with the classic LMGT3 wheel by Nismo coated in bronze. Whilst not everyone is keen on the awkward shape of the R33, this Skyline manages to pull it off.

I’d definitely like to get to know this R34 GT-R more. At first glance, it looked like an old 2000s-era demo car, due to the alien-styling seen in the painted-over tailights and stretched tyre fitment.

This car had an aura none of the other’s had. I can imagine this plastered onto pages of an Option magazine back in the days when factory-bodylines were of no interest to any JDM-nutcase. All I know is that it wear an M’s Factory widebody and sports OZ Racing Pegasus wheels wider than HGV duallies!

An old photo of it I found floating around on a GT-R forum

An FD RX-7 I recognised immediately from when I first saw it in the hands of Rotary Revs, an RX-8 specialist who spent a fair few man-hours getting this car to run right. The owner obviously cherishes it and rightly so.

Jack Ellis’ FD3S RX-7 was excavated out the batcave for JPS

One of the most aggressive-looking pieces of powder-coated aluminium you could put under the arches of a car: the Enkei RS05RR.

John’s TCP Magic-kitted FD3S

This RX-7 on the other hand, was anything but stealthy. The car looked great before its makeover, with a unique front-end I’ve never seen on an FD, but the owner must have gotten bored of its original Silverstone Metallic. I doubt he’s looked back ever since this came out the paint booth.

Tom Lingard’s K24 Sunny Pickup

If trucks aren’t your thing, this old Datsun will make you revalue your beliefs.

Valve cover branding that shouts stratospheric engine speeds.

As if one JDM EP3 Civic Type-R wasn’t uncommonplace enough…

Andy Boyle’s EK9 Civic Type-R with the bonnet propped to let us know the B16B is long gone

Immaculate would be an understatement.

Jamie Padfield’s BB6 Prelude

Equipped with a Rotrex blower, for all that power!

Form hasn’t taken a backseat with this 400bhp+ K-Swap build.

Got a bit carried away kapturing all the details in this RPS13.

The ultimate drift-style, show-spec S13 isn’t complete unless Equip 05 wheels are bolted to its hubs.

Aaron Britton’s S30 240Z in all it’s timeless glory

Awkward as fuck angle, but gonna leave it here regardless, because double-barrel tailpipes.

Garage Mak’s Revolution Type 5 aero-kit was donned by this S15 Silvia.

Kelvin Thomson’s S15 Silvia stays true to Nissan’s original design, apart from the aftermarket tailights and Work Wheels CR sized up from the standard 17″s

On the other end of the Silvia spectrum, this straight-laced S15 Spec-R in pastel grey colour also got my attention.

Miles’ R32 Skyline GT-R, nailing the simple “drop and wheels” method

Don’t understand why I only got one photo of this R32, because it deserved much more attention.

This guy (sorry if you read this, but I forgot your name) had his Jazz rammed full of die-cast models. Speaking to him after the show, and it sounded like business went pretty well, but he still had boxes full of stock remaining.

Gurpal’s R34 Skyline GT-R V-Spec in what most would consider the default paint option

As a photographer, FOMO (fear of missing out) is an ailment that a lot of us are plagued by, incessantly.

So, whilst a lot of the shiny bits attached to an RB26DETT can easily put you in a trance, in the back of my mind I was worried about not grabbing enough photos for me to print and sell. As someone who is trying to make business using my skill-set, I find it hard to become fully committed focusing on that side of photography. Maybe some part of me is trying not to let the hobby become work, in case my appetite for the art runs out.

But kompromise is something we all have to do, so I got one last shot of these two R33s inside, and ran outside to the carpark’s entrance gate.

I’m not going to lie, but for me to shoot any and every car was impossible. Initially, I’d planned for me and Hamza to be able to simultaneously photograph outside and also print/edit the photos inside. Unfortunately, that strategy was a flop since I was flyin’ solo, but I reckon I managed to hold it down for the most part.

Nik Lukas’ Subaru BRAT got this policeman chattin’

Must have been a day out for a few of these rare, obscure coupe utility vehicles sold by Subaru, whom actually never sold them in Japan funnily enough, because I could imagine them going crazy for something like this. Imagine one decked out with a sound system in the cargo bed on a Friday night at Daikoku PA.

OEM R35 GT-R wheels on an Elgrand – why the hell not!

Whilst mums in the UK are doing the school-run in Vauxhall Zafiras and Ford Galaxys…

No generation gap here, the DNA of the Inte-R is unlike anything we have seen since the DC5 bowed out in 2006.

I really do hope the next-generation of Integra doesn’t lose touch with its roots, then again, I think I’m dreaming. If Honda of America is taking charge of the project, I’ve a feeling it’ll be a similar outcome as what we saw with the NC1 NSX.

Up until the point of closing-time, I didn’t touch my cameras due to manning the printing stall throughout the entire day. A lot of people who had their motors parked up inside were requesting photos, but because I missed the majority of them roll-in the evening before, it meant that I had to try and get a shots of them rolling out.

If those of you who asked for prints on the day are reading this, please get in touch via Instagram/Email and I might have some shots you can purchase for delivery!

A celebratory limiter-bash from this camo-wrapped FD. Infused with fuel-oil premix, the byproduct of rotary combustion engulfed half of the exhibition hall.

The Champ White quartet about to make a move. Jamie’s Prelude is either too low to be seen here, or he already wheeled it outside, I’m unsure.

Didn’t see this EF Civic all day (as was the case with a lot of the cars in attendance that day) until it was time to leave. Parked up on its ones, I grabbed a couple shots of it.

Buddyclub P1 SF in white matched up with sensible tyre sizing, sitting good under those vented front wings.

EF J-swap?

Nathan Pickett pictured with his DC5 Integra Type R in the distance

A very low, and pretty wide, R33 Skyline exiting the show through the back shutter, followed by Andy Boyle in his EK9…

… which could be the most well-executed Civic Type-R build in the UK, by far.

Then again, he was with good company. The fitment of this supercharged EP3’s CE28s is bang-on.

John’s RX-7 looking like something out of the Gundam series. Never noticed its centre-exit exhaust when I caught sight of the car indoors. Natural lighting does wonders for cars in front of the lens, hence why I was reluctant shooting cars inside the hall whenever people asked for me to do so.

Zanda leaving the event in her Milano Red DC5.

John Watson’s Corolla GL would pass under the radar in its subtle shade of grey, but a very cool four-door nonetheless.

Chameleon reflex paint – known to the JDM lot as “Maziora” paint named after the brand created by Nippon Paint who are also the company that were behind Mazda’s beautiful Soul Red pigment – ensures this 180SX/200SX gets more than one look by anybody in its vicinity. The StreetTrackLife slap beside the tailpipe is a nice touch, too.

The marmite of wheels: TriForce Zelda by Trial Tuning Spirit of Osaka. I think I tasted marmite once and yeah, it tastes like crap, but these rims on the other hand are mighty fine, especially in purple!

With the hall empty of nearly everyone and everything, it gave me chance to snipe some frames with the long telephoto lens and not worry about people/cars coming obstructing the view.

The pumped-up stance of Jack’s RX-7 is clear to see here. Those CarShopGlow LED tailights bring the already timeless Japanese icon up-to-date.

Once again, Jamie’s Prelude Type-S looking highly photogenik.

Roy Milward made a few transformative changes to his GC8 Impreza, notably the new paint and RS Watanabe wheels, of which I’ve never seen under a Scoobie.

The pearl/metallic orange/yellow possesses a great amount of depth that can only be fully appreciated outside in the sun and not under fluorescent artifical lighting.

The TommyKaira aero kit remains underneath the combination of paint and carbon. The addition of integrated intake-ducts in the headlight cluster blends nicely into the carbon bonnet. Also note the shaved rear door handles, giving me flashbacks of the HKS Cyber Evo.

Even with the car aired up, the driver has to carefully avoid scraping that front lip!

All in all, JPS seemed to have delivered on every front. Featuring the best of the best Jap metal here in the UK, I doubt anybody visiting left and felt short-changed. With plenty of variety in terms of manufacturer, style, and era, a balance was certainly achieved to cater for everybody’s interests.

As for me, I wished that I could enjoy the show, rather than being in work-mode the whole time, so to speak. I might consider selling framed prints again at future events, I’ll see where the wind takes me.

Closing out, I’d like to thank anyone who’s supported Soul Fokus. Whether you’ve shared the site or my photos with your friends and fam, or if you purchased a print that now resides on your wall. It’s appreciated 🙂

Katch you in the next one . . .

Time Attack UK x Modified Live 2020 @ Cadwell Park

The pause we’ve had to endure for months finally came to an end last month, when TAUK was back in full throttle at the hallowed grounds of Cadwell. Technically, the season started one month prior, kicking off Round 1 at Oulton, but I didn’t attend, so for me, the UK event calendar started in August. I hadn’t set foot or wheel at a track since the Zummy event at TC2000 in February. Definitely felt a bit stale from the lack of carboy activities throughout the spring/summer, nevertheless, ticket booked, I headed over to my favourite UK race venue.

Just like last year, 2020 also saw rainfall, only, not as much but with a shit load of fog. From a driver’s persepctive, hampered visibility and unfavourable surface conditions are two obstacles you’d rather not have to tackle. This issue most likely compounded for those teams who had less seat-time this year in order to get their machines dialled in, due to track days and race circuits being shutdown.

Before I give you Time Attack content, I’ll throw these photos down of what I feel like were “best in show” at this year’s Modified Live. The turn out was, well, different to last year. I feel like it wasn’t necessarily the volume of attendants, but more so the lack of appeal for me personally. I doubt my tastes have changed in 12 months, yet I was slightly underwhelmed with what showed up this year. However, there were some cool things parked up, take a look:

Appropriately, it was this FD RX-7 that was first to catch my eye as I walked up to the “show and shine” area. I encountered this car over at Rotary Revs earlier this year, as they were who put most of this build together. RE-Amemiya; ings+1 Z-Power wing; FEED carbon handles. That’s a holy trinity, tainted by the wheels, but we’ll let it slide…

I know zilch about French hatchbacks, but this hot little pocket rocket – the Renault 5 GT Turbo, IF you’re unfamiliar – was too vibey for me to just walk past. Look at the interior design! Bar the massive wheels, I’m surprised this example wasn’t still MAXPOWER’ed to death. Instead, the owner kept it relatively plain-clothed, only changing the exterior by replacing the front and rear clips with an aftermarket piece. Oh, and that vented clam-shell bonnet. Okay, maybe there is a little 2000’s era styling still left. Power and weight in low dosages can be an enjoyable recipe, and I bet this car will prove me right.

A near-enough OEM LanEvo 5. These cars will never go off, but at the same time I wouldn’t consider the design timeless. It occupies a weird in-between, something like a car that will remain a modern classic for many years to come. Even wore some nifty, functional-looking wheels made by 5Zigen.

I did notice that the number of Hondas was down from last year this time round. A white EK did make an appearance on some NB MX-5 (?) wheels. To most people, this Honda Civic is just that, on old Jap hatchback. But, even though I’ve never driven one, I have always imagined that handling one at speed is akin to controlling one’s own limbs: natural. I think this sentiment of mine has a lot to do with the Best Motoring episode where Gan-San pilots an EK9 on the absolute edge.

Three very wise men, leaving their FK2 Type R Civics in stock form. Honestly, aesthetically, I don’t know what you’d be compelled to alter on one of these. Compared to say, the EP3, the design department went to town with this generation. Exactly how it should be.

A couple drift demos were brought out during the day between sessions, entertaining the crowd and all that. I was stood at the end of the pit-straight at first, and then realised a minute later that I was shooting completely in the wrong spot. Things got a bit lairy at the “Gooseneck” downhill chicane.

After seeing Tegiwa’s NSX at this year’s Autosport International show, I knew I had to witness it blast past me once I found out it was the outfit’s Attack instrument of precision. This chassis looks right at home out on a track, especially being equipped with an NSX-R GT “F1 style” inlet snorkel. Unfortunately, the K24 engine let go on the day, but the team more than likely have something in their arsenal to bring back the car in a form superseding what it once was. The best the team could manage to achieve was a 1:48:025, before the motor gave up the ghost.

Another sight to behold was yet, of course, another FD RX-7. This one though, was running every minute availabe during the qualifying session I watched. Regardless of its non-rotary nature due to the Honda heart-transplant, this car is definitely one that has been set up with pure function in mind, whilst remaining as gorgeous as ever. Mazda, we’re still waiting for the revival…

At the highest point of the course.

A few more stuff that I piqued my interest walking parking area. This time, I was unable to get access to the paddock, which is where I would rather spend most of my time at an event like this to be honest.

If you have made it this far, thanks for checking in. I’ll leave you with some more photos without rambling over them…