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…

Cadwell Park TrackDay – The Orange Peeled Off

Last summer on a visit to Cadwell Park, I joined Luke who, at the time, owned a homebuilt kit car. Now, I have never been keen on kit cars, especially the Lotus 7/Caterham “style” variety. It must be something to do with my awkward feeling towards replicated designs. This topic is something I could write on and on about, so I am going to stay on course for this one.

This particular machine Luke built in his garage is an MNR Vortx, space-frame tube chassis, fibreglass lightweight body, driven by a 1.8 BPZE engine from a Mazda MX-5 NB/MK2. The basic concept is excellent though, as I experienced in the passenger seat that day at Cadwell Park, which nestles in Lincolnshire, UK.

This blog post won’t revolve around his car however, as I did not get the best of shots in retrospect, but other cars were out there blasting around the 2.18 mile course which is actually designed for motorcycle racing; picture narrow track width and grassy runoff areas.

Waiting game…
Okay, I am going to have to open with this beauty. The FD RX-7 you see in front of you is a full RE-Amemiya GT kitted spec. The highlight of the car was the colour and unfortunately my photos do not do its aesthetic quality any justice in my opinion.
It was well put together and style like this is rare to come by, definitely in the UK anyway. But it sure is a treat when you witness something as wild, but simultaneously disciplined in the way it stands. I chatted to the owner briefly, I can remember him having some teething issues with a new single-turbo setup, which is a shame but I manage to catch a glimpse of the rotary ripping out on the field.
I do wonder what the status/condition the car is in at the moment…
Good luck trying to find a trackday where an MX-5 isn’t present. I mean, how could you NOT want to drive one of the purest sports cars ever created, on a racetrack?!
Future historic legend; flipped the FF (front-engine front-wheeled-drive) game on it’s head.
There were two EP3 Civic Type-Rs out that day, both equipped with this hatch mounted GT wing. Part of me sees the appeal in it, part of me realises it kind of looks out of place…
Maybe here, with the trimmed rear bumper, the spoiler’s toned down wing-stands suit the chassis more so. Downforce times call for downforce measures I suppose.
Luke getting a feel for the track more than the car, as he had already made some familiarity with it at a previous shakedown which did not go quite as he planned. Good to see him stretching its legs with confidence, albeit the day cut short because of an electrical gremlin…
The highlight of the car’s performance was most definitely its ability to change direction almost immediately. The G-forces you experience are atmospheric, and made me wonder what on earth F1, or even entry-level Formula cars for that matter, feel like.
One off incident occurred that day, which luckily was not too serious, driver was intact and physically sound after bouncing his Ariel Atom off the tyres midway through the day.
Taking a wander in the paddock area where both drivers and cars take a breather, I took a closer look at some of the motors attending. This K20 swapped EK9 was very nice and cleanly done. What is most impressive though, is the fact that the driver had one prosthetic leg, so the car was kitted to enable the driver to operate the clutch by hand control! Incredible.
This ‘RWB’ styled Porsche was cool. I know very little about these German powerhouses, but I have always felt that they have been held with high regard and respect as sportscars, so there must be something to them…
It did/does look good out there though, and it sounded even better.
One-make duel. For French cars, these hot hatches are not all that bad.
This Starlet Glanza is a very uncommon sight, so it was a breath of fresh air seeing it being thrown about. The deep turquoise colour suits it perfectly.
Track check up; the safety/pace-car M235i BMW for the grounds made its rounds.

I hope to return to Cadwell Park in the near future. The entire place has a cool vibe about it. That wraps up this “throwback” post. Getting out there and shooting more track events is one of my aims this year, so, until next time…

DriftCup UK 2018

Never really grew up with much, if any at all, drift culture involved in my car life. My initial exposure to the artform was probably as cliche as it gets: Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift. My brother introduced me to Best Motoring as early as I can remember, Japanese guys sending cars sideways, in both factory and tuned forms. It’s almost as if it was in their DNA, without sounding cheesy.

Nowadays, especially because of the Internet, the passion for drifting, as both a sport and an automotive ‘scene’, has spread to all pockets around the world. Even managing to worm its way into Wigan, UK. This was my first time attending a dedicated drift competition event, which appeared to have more focus on the drivers and cars, instead of acting as an all-in-one festival type of event as can be seen with the more commercially popular shows. Less circus, more circuit…

Low Supra; such a graceful silhouette
Sileighty chassis S13 will always be my all time favourite from the Silvia selection. This Vertex kitted example caught my eye.
Very unusual sight. A Porsche 944 is definitely something I did not imagine encountering when I was picturing all the machines that would be competing before arriving at Three Sisters Race Circuit. No idea why the ‘PORSCHE’ decal is out of line on the door, but I’m feeling the mismatched wheels.
One of the more serious-looking entrants I spotted that day with the tailpipe looking like a bazooka.
Back to front. Hardcore boyz don’t need rear bumpers. And check out that front camber; nuts!
The format of the race was a basic lead-and-chase run. The classes of cars were separated so that similar power and tune cars were pitched against each other to keep things fair. Judging drifting is subjective but only to an extent, as clipping points and proximity act as measurable markers for high skill and precision, which win you points.
The drift section was short as only the first 3 corners of the track are used from the pit-exit, but this allowed for higher frequency in runs and gives chance, to those who need it, for seat time in a competitive environment.
I loved seeing the less powerful machines, particularly those in NA tune, being pushed to the absolute boundaries. This Corolla was cool-looking.
If I remember correctly, that S14 rocked a R35 powertrain, so it sang some beautiful songs as you can imagine.
Here comes trouble. This RB26DETT-powered non-GTR R34 Skyline was dominating every session, it just goes to show how capable the chassis is, even in FR layout. To be honest though, this was far from stock so my comment is near enough irrelevant with this machine.
Coming in hot. I liked this take on the E36 coupe BMW, makes me wonder what it would look like with those headlights in combination with a full front face… The front and rear quarters don’t really flow, but that adds to its quirky character.
ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN – DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME (ON THE STREET…)
Very well styled. The S13 coupe Silvia does grow on me from time to time, this is a great looking model if done right

‘Lancaster Insurance’ Classic Motor Show 2017

Me and my cousin made it out to the NEC in Birmingham to attend the Classic Motor Show in one of the biggest venues in the UK. This was also exposure for me to cars I would not usually be interested in so I thought why not venture into the unknown. I think it was my narrow mindset that led me to presume all I would see is a bunch of Minis, Jaguars, and Fords. But, the photos you are about to view completely dissolved that idea, and I was pleasantly surprised!

As soon as I saw this Lancia Delta Integrale HF I was that excited, I forgot I had my DSLR, so unfortunately for you, this picture shot using my Samsung Galaxy A3 camera will have to suffice; fortunately for me the momentary chance of sitting in this mint example is forever burnt into my mind.
I think if I remember correctly, the seats and door cards had plastic wrap protecting them, which is no surprise since this was an import from Japan. Everything was built to be used as I could tell from the Recaro recliners and MOMO steering wheel w/o an airbag, but at the same time, the tan/beige interior softened the feel of the car. There’s more to the “Evolution” nameplate besides Mitsubishi Lancers you know…
I bet you can’t guess what this Mazda 20B rotary was planted in…
Impressive indeed. Pipey McGraw from Muttley Racing built this E-Type inheriting a very unorthodox power unit. I guess it was a good job I went to the show, as this kind of Jag was not one I had expected to witness! As amazing as it was, the car now runs off of a BMW E9X M3 V8, which isn’t a bad substitute to be honest.
Brap-o-clock.
European manufacturers know/knew how to put together a road-going hatchback that could teach a few higher-price-tag machines a thing or two when it comes to tackling a back country road. This 106 Rallye is no exception, damn, I would even openly admit that it is my favourite Peugeot!
The DeTomaso Pantera is a car with very niche appeal. Something about the silhouette of these mid-engined monsters, combined with their classic Italian flair is something to be admired.
A proper rallying legend on display. Easily the one of the best looking liveries of all time. It is a shame that this photo was the best I got.
Modern metal, BMW switched up the vibe with this F90 M5
My pick of the show was this gem. I know pretty much nothing about Mini Marcos except that I won one on Gran Turismo back in the day, but this GT is very quirky and looks like it would drive well. The concept of the car: hyper-lightweight, minimal body overhang, a seemingly appropriate width-to-length ratio, and a simple naturally-aspirated engine. I say, that is the winning formula.
This Morgan Aero8 caught me off guard, with its elegant color co-ordination along with those OZ magnesium centre-lock wheels. And they are factory-fitted of all things?!

JAE 2017

Continuing on with the modified Japanese car scene, this final instalment fast-forwards two years on from the 2015 show. This time round, the venue the organisers chose to hold this even more vast event was Newark Showground down in the East Midlands near Nottingham. I remember being at the show, and being overwhelmed by the number of cars on display, along with the intense heat that summer. I also found it funny looking back at these photos, noticing the repeat sightings of certain cars that I had shot during the 2015 JAE. Hope you enjoy this set, this bunch is what caught my eye.