As Below, So Above | Mimms Honda Day 2021 @ Three Sisters Circuit

September is usually the month that can’t decide whether it’s done with summer, or isn’t yet ready for autumn. It’s like that transition period between good times in not-bad weather, and the kold seasons of hibernation and/or winter projects. The ninth month of the years also happens to be suitable timing for an “end-of-show-season” show. Dav and co. came back up north to Three Sisters Circuit in Wigan to put on exactly that.

With the Civik being “fully” road-ready with its recently calibrated ECU courtesy of Jesse ‘JCal’ Halford, the event was an opportunity for me to give the car a proper-ish shakedown. So on 26th September, over to Lancashire I went, camera gear and Arai lid in hand, to check out what Hondas other Northerners would bring out to the show.

You might have spotted the title and are wondering what I mean by it. Well, I’m gonna have to admit that maybe until only recently – say, a few months ago – I had a pretty cynical and negative view of the “scene” here in the north end of England. I’ve always had a somewhat bleak perception of how cars are modified up these ways. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that high-quality builds do exist, but I still do think they’re either few and far between, or they just don’t really see the light of day that often.

It’s been a classic case of “greener grass on the other side” and all the sick cars I’ll see online based in the UK, will be down south, up in Scotland, or over in Ireland. I’d say my awareness has expanded, especially since the Mimms event put on at Croft. For years, all I’ve ever really consumed in terms of car-related information has been via the worldwide-web. The events and meets I’ve attended locally haven’t really ever blown me away. I mean, there’d be a few cool things that I’d never seen before and happen to be owned by someone in a neighbouring city/county, but I dunno, here in the UK not many people have the disposable income to invest into their builds (or the patience to save up funds). But this also makes me appreciate those that do have the persistence and patience to hold onto their hard-earned money for those genuine parts, instead of blowing it all on shoddy rep wheels and eBay bodykits.

That leads me on to this nigh-on perfect example of a pre-facelift EP3 Civic Type R.

I hold my head in shame for not taking more photos of this, as it was undeniably one of the cleanest seventh-gens I’ve ever laid eyes on.

EP3 is a chassis code synonymous with the UK Honda scene, unsurprisingly, as the car was assembled on our nation’s land. Unfortunately, a lot of them are either hideous thanks to the owners’ and their bad choices in modifications, or the sills have shit themselves beyond repair.

At Mimms, it was nice to come across one that the owner truly cared about, and it showed. I’m sure the owner told me the odometer read around 80,000 miles, but the paint looks like it’s got half that figure on it.

K-Tuned dress-up bits all over the K20A2.

I booked a 20-minute track session as soon as I parked up in the back corner of the car park (can’t blame Mimms staff for putting me there, the paint was/still is a shambles). Whilst I waited until it was my time to put the stock suspension to the test on the go-kart track, I went for a stroll and browsed the show-and-shine stand.

Carl Plant’s EG Civic has a trick or two up under its bonnet, so don’t let that mellow Carnival Yellow paint fool you.

The car’s front end features moderately aggressive modifications consisting of a Mugen lip, custom canards and foglight blanking plates, along with the classic swap-in of the JDM amber-indicators.

Uber-rare rims made by Work Wheels back in whatever decade, these Pietra Corse items are JDM gold dust no doubt! Looking at other sets online, they featured a centre hub cover that resembled a centre-lock nut, so I’m guessing these are from the mid-to-late 1990s.

Dunno if that was litter or the owner was saving his drink for later?

Pretty unsuspecting interior with a pair of blue Recaro SR4 recliners *hint hint*…

…and a Spoon Sports steering wheel. But peep that AFR gauge made by AEM to the right-hand side of the steering column.

Oh, and the wastegate exit-pipe showing it’s teardrop-shaped tip out the bonnet’s matching cut-out.

This FF terror in fact moves under K-series power. Not only that, but the engine conversion has been treated to a few more molecules of available oxygen by way of a Pulsar GT3071R turbocharger, effectively doubling the stock K20 output to ~400bhp @ 13psi.

I can imagine this boosted EG wakes the driver up better than any type of caffeine-containing beverage can.

On the subject of EG Civics, Nav brought out his Bayside Blue K-swapped hatchback.

If you also thought that yellow one was sleeper status, this one is a proper under-the-radar build.

Sparco L999 wheel with thumb-positioned horn buttons gives me that nostalgic 2000s feeling. Only just pictured in the same frame is the Pioneer Carozzeria double-DIN headunit with the remote control resting in a vent-mount.

OZ Futura Monoblocks are being rocked in a 17″ sizing under car, and they don’t look bad for a size-up wheel setup.

GReddy decal on the hatch representing the Supreme tailpipe exiting below the rear bumper.

Elmo wasn’t ready for the ‘TEC.

I believe Nav has since let the car go to a new owner, but this scale model will remain in his hands as a memory of the modern classic Honda he put together.

A few Mugen-looking bits on this DC5 Integra Type R.

The morning started off good, only to be made great once I saw Mr. Restomod Compulsion’s NA1 NSX parked – by default – in the show & shine line-up.

Voltex wing sits sky-high atop the custom-CNC’d stands.

Real rekognise real.

Pearly whites break up the deep black bodywork.

The angle of attack of the wing has been intentionally crafted with knife-edge precision. Not too tall, with just enough rake.

Stainless exhaust tubes visible thanks to the modified rear bumper and the minimalist diffuser set-up with its carbon fibre support rods.

VIP-style elements in the interior with the Junction Produce leather neck pad cushions. Seems he’s associated with the bloods, too.

Gold sticker = winner winner.

Moving on (it was difficult) from the NSX, here we have a CR-X VTi with nothing much going on, except…

… a snail to provide that supplemental kick up the arse.

Half-size radiator must be doing a good enough job to keep coolant temps in check, even with a load of boost chucked into the mix.

I like how the owner just strapped the turbo onto a custom manifold and left nearly everything else in sight stock. Even the location of the oil catch can is subtle enough to go by unnoticed.

This driver looks like he took a detour through Racoon City.

Wouldn’t normally pay much attention to an FN2 – unless maybe if it happened to be a Mugen 20 – but I like it when video games are used as inspiration for car modification.

Geeky, I know.

The vegans of the automotive community, haha.

Emotion XT7 in bronze WORK well on this OEM+ DC5.

Bonnet was missing, so I went over to have a nosey in the bay.

EP3 electric power steering conversion was odd, but each to their own, eh? It kinda cleans up the frontmost part of the engine bay, to be fair.

First and only big whoops that occurred on track that day.

I’ll insert this interlude amongst all the Honda content.

Mimms Honda Day magnetizes quality, regardless of manufacturer.

The original Gojira can’t get turned away, that would be plain silly.

Not like Mimms would turn anybody away, but the carpet has to get rolled out for JDM royalty.

Nardi Personal Neo Grinta sits centre stage in the driver’s position.

White armor, bronze gauntlets.

Okay, back to regular programming.

A pretty clean second-gen CR-X pictured, with its owner in the right of the frame. Glad he went out on track for a little play, after all, Hondas are for driving!

I had to scratch my head a bit after recognizing the plate on this EK. Turns out I saw it the month before at Japanese Performance Show! Looks kool, especially seeing what it sports under the bonnet. Ride height is also very korrect.

Not a bad choice of wheel, even if I do say so myself. Brakes look a bit dwarfed behind those 16″s though.

Business up front…

… business out back, too, from the looks of it, with the busy busy half-cage rigged up behind the Corbeau fixed-back driver’s seat and OEM passenger chair.

Atleast he’s doing it right running disc brakes in the rear, whereas I’ve left the original drum brakes in place on the Civik.

Old boy brought out his pride and joy, a BB8 Prelude VTi with that fancy four-wheel steering.

I’m not a Prelude nerd or anything, I learned what chassis code the car was based on from looking at the VIN plate rivetted right on top of the front cross member.

Coating on the heatshield looks factory fresh!

Stay klassy…

… or not.

Olly Ward made an appearance, this time entering his EG3 Civic into show & shine.

A 15 inch wheel that’ll look as good as TE37s do on anything, prove me wrong.

The guy leaning on Olly’s Honda is not Olly. I don’t know if Olly was friends with him or what, but the guy obviously has no manners, as he just interrupts me having a convo with Olly.

I won’t say much about this car, because I’m planning on leaving that for a full feature that’s yet to be shot whenever the stars align and the shit weather pisses off.

Self-fulfilling prophecy, as Olly’s Civic DX went on to win the award for best wheels IIRC.

Spoon N1 not looking as disgraceful as the one on the Civik.

Mine melted the rear bumper, so it has hardened plastic stuck to it. I’ve since lowered the tailpipe using rubber hanger mounts with wider hole spacing.

Hopefully see more of this machine and its owner in the near future.

Classic by design.

Plenty Personal steering wheels fitted to a lot of the cars at the show, what is this like the fourth one now???

Very OG 57CR by RAYS’ Gram Lights brand.

Other than the black NSX you saw earlier, this DC2 Integra Type R wore a set of Desmond Regamaster EVO wheels in Satin Black.

The car let off a very aggressive vibe, shame the driver took off so soon as I didn’t see it hang about for long.

OEM Recaro SR3 seats retained whilst TRS harnesses are hooked up to anchor points behind.

The only EF that caught my eye at the show.

Could it have been the OZ Racing split rims with gold centres and plain lips…

…or maybe it was just the ShirtTuckedIn decal on the rear side-window.

Whatever it was, it looked damn spiffy.

That time came around quick, where Dav picks up the mic and announces the award-winning contestants.

I’m shit at remembering names, but congrats to you, Restomod-Man, and your NSX taking the prize home yet again for 2021.

As the show started to wind down after the awards ceremony, I made a B-Line for the reception to book yet another track sesh in the Civik.

Check out the clip of some of the good laps from the day 🙂

A few FD2 Civic Type Rs came out to represent the 4-door VTEC klub.

FEEL’s stainless muffler tucked under all cosy beneath the FEEL’s rear diffuser with integrated LED fog/rainlight.

Infinite Power.

18″ CE28 by RAYS Volk Racing with polished lip guarding the Brembo caliper and disc assembly.

Under the cloudy sky, Premium Purple Pearl didn’t look as great as it could.

A lad in another red (actually red, should I say) EK hatch was lapping the carpark trying to find a spot, and he kept eyeing up my car and the empty space beside it. He eventually pulls up beside mine whilst I’m sat in the car charging my phone before I hit the track so that I was able to pair up my Hondata app to monitor coolant and oil temps whilst giving it a rip. He approaches me and for whatever reason sensed that there was something amiss with mine, so I popped the bonnet and revealed the non-surprise (I mean, it’s a K-swap, it’s kinda expected in this day and age).

Seeing someone else get excited about the Civik – whom I’d known for about 35 seconds – was cool, especially considering the sorry state the exterior was/is in. But, then again, it’s what lies beneath skin-deep that matters most, and Hondas are renowned for their inner workings. I’m going to begin the chassis/suspension enhancements in 2022, to start tapping into that FF potential.

Hope you enjoyed the read and pics, continue for more!

| 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 🙂

The H Factor – Part 1 | Mimms Honda Day @ Croft Circuit 2021

Has it been too long? I’d say so. But this piece is gonna dazzle you. Mimms can always be relied on to summon the best of the best Hondas. So, sit back comfily and enjoy the views from my eyes a few Sundays ago.

Mimms. If you’re not familiar [shame on you], here’s a quick profile on the name. Dav Plaha is the man behind the idea of organising VTEC and non-VTEC congregations, up and down the UK. It all started in the mid-2000s, when Dav and his Civic Jordan used to pull up to Mimms South services off the M25 motorway that perimeters Central London. Back then the meet was rounding up some 50 or so cars; the main event can now see capacity numbers reaching ten times that number.

The turnout was that good at the last Mimms held late 2020 at Three Sister’s outdoor kart circuit (see my previous post), the decision was made to organize another in the North of England. Only this time, at a proper racetrack, on a British summer’s day, and more of those sweet Japanese modern classics we all know and love.

Hamza and I walked from where my car was parked in the non-Honda / visitors area, to the paddock and were welcomed by a lot of things painted in Champ White. The colour synonymous with Honda, thanks to the victorious F1 car that [probably] made Japanese F1 fans stream tears of joy back in ’65. We’ve seen how melodramatic they can get over there, especially when it comes to national pride. No wonder, the Japanese people are known to put their heart and soul into almost everything.

An A80 rolling on bronze Super Advan 3R wheels came in, at which point Hamza began to get very giddy. Blame Gran Turismo.

All the while, something else sitting on bronze caught my little eye…

Black EK9 Civics possess an aura that’s difficult for any other fast-hatchback from the 1990s to equal. This one had a steering wheel looked abit like the one found in the NA1/NA2 NSX, but no yellow Momo stamp means it probably isn’t. Spoon Sports tinted side-mirrors are a nice touch too.

“@do1jonnyt_crx” turned up in his, well, CRX. You’ll recognize it from my last Mimms blogpost. One very clean, well-kept motor. You can here Prince singing in your head everytime you get close to it.

BHP Imports brought over some cool stuff. This S660 was one of them, wearing a load of JDM bits and bobs. My fave would have to the be the HKS Super SQV blow-off valve. Such a cool design, looks like it came right off of a pod racer or some shit. A bit more ride height drop and it’d sit with a mean stance on those Advan RZ wheels.

I spoiled the shot, but look! An original Phoenix Yellow DC2 Type R! Not wrapped, not rattle-canned. A ridiculously tidy Integra, with barely any miles. Yeah, these cars are made to be driven, but nowadays you can see why appreciation is shown for these cars. They will go down in history, no doubt. Why, you ask? Because imprint in rear bumper.

A few more steps taken down the paddock, and yet another Type R in the same colour as a healthy egg yolk. This EK9 got some hand-me-downs from a kouki DC2. The stock, OEM+ look is cool ‘n’ all, but we came to see cars with more personality…

This is the sort of Honda you [hopefully] came to see. The vibrant red R8 was getting very little attention from myself and people around me. A teal AP2 S2000 is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen, but I’m assured it’s something I’m glad I’ve come across.

An all-round, thought out setup, not far from perfection. K&N air intake chilling under the vented bonnet, presumably because of the exhaust-side of the engine room reaching higher-than-desirable temperatures.

One of the greatest wheel designs at all four corners, displaying a calculated wheel and tyre fitment.

Is it yet obvious how much I was drooling over this S2000? It was hard for me not to click the shutter, every angle was a money shot. You’d probably have done the same, if we share the same taste.

Alright, alright, I’ll stop there. Only because I’ve run out of photos of it. @MattyFer5, give yourself a pat on the back, if you do in fact see this.

I’m gonna break off here, I’ve got enough for a 3-part article, so if you haven’t seen your car yet, its most-likely coming up in future posts. Also, attention spans are sparse these days, me included. Event coverage isn’t easy for me to write much about, as I try see as much as I can, darting from one car to another. I’d like to write more feature-style posts, solely devoting a space to one car. The owners are the one’s who deserve the stage, not necessarily in the typical pretentious “influencer” way, but in a form where their thoughts, ideas, and stories can get shared with us fellow enthusiasts.

Make sure you keep an eye out for the next part – bookmark the site!

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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…

Kutting Angles at Anglesey | Drift Matsuri Day#1 2019

I may as well just kick off the site in 2020 using last year’s event coverage photos. You might have already come across some of what I uploaded onto Instagram, but I thought that since its been a few months, its only right that I give you the full overview of Drift Matsuri held at Anglesey Circuit Trac Mon over a weekend in October of 2019. Plus, the site has been a bit dormant thus far in 2020.

The purpose of the event is a kind of end-of-season finale for anyone and everyone who worships the rear-drive platforms to let loose on what is essentially a weekend-long, free-run event, or what I like to call a ドリフェスタ (dorifesta); matsuri meaning festival/holiday in Japanese.

My mission objective, if you like, was plain and simple: to capture as much of the action both on and off track throughout the couple of days I had in the scenic Welsh isle. I had the opportunity to shoot the final round of Driftcup a few weeks prior, and that kind of opened my eyes to drifting culture here in the UK. The experience I gained from that prompted me to continue shooting drift events, and Drift Matsuri appealed to me from the get-go because of its casual vibe.

I arrived in the early hours of the morning, rushing past cars in the paddock, weaved through trailers and transporters as I headed towards the control tower, literally just in the nick of time for the mandatory media staff briefing. Lecture endured and liability waiver signed, I ran back downstairs to exit out onto the wet car park where all the automobiles were being prepared for the festival celebrations.

One of the first cars I caught on camera was this S13 descending down out of a pretty legit looking HGV. If coffee didn’t wake up you up that morning, then Baggsy’s LS-engined Silvia warming up had to have done the trick – even at idle engine speed.

An E-Type I’ve never come across before, especially in this fashion! I had no idea how much went into building this until after the event when I watched Larry Chen’s YouTube video where he visits the Somerset-based shop run by Charlie Seward, the man responsible for such masterpiece. There’s a pretty in depth article about the 1JZ-monster over on Speedhunters aswell, I suggest you look it up (after you’ve read this article, obviously)

This Silvia in a lovely blue shade caught my eye, so I ran up on it only to be pleasantly surprised at how well it all flowed together. The body panels are all mismatching parts from various kit designers, if I remember correctly from what the owner told me, but you wouldn’t have thunk it! He offered to lift the bonnet up to reveal a 1JZ front and centre of a stitched & tubbed bay, with a sizeable BorgWarner turbo strapped to its custom manifold. I doubt this car is run on the road with those two screamer pipes jutting straight up and out through the holey bonnet, but if you can get away with it you might aswell since the reg plate is still screwed on…

The circuit was divided into three course layouts – one of which was called the ‘touge’ course that had cars running up the Corkscrew followed by the left-straight-left section at the peak of the track before making their way down via Rocket. I can’t remember the course names given to the other two; doesn’t matter, ‘touge’ was where it was at, with double-file queues forming from both directions (pit-exit and the tailend of the downhill after Rocket corner).

Blood Brothers. Retro Speed Shop brought out this pair of pure FR klass.

Following on the scarlet theme, here we have Adam’s DMAX-kitted S15 sat on Work VS-KF. The wheel fitment, in my eyes, is spot on – as is the entire build to be honest, very street-friendly, something most can relate to.

Wish I got more shots of this S14 in all its crispy-white Rocket Bunny Boss Aero goodness. Shame really, didn’t manage to catch it out on track neither. Would have been nice to hear the RB26 come to life!

Motorsport is an enjoyable experience, even from the perspective of the spectator. But watching drivers take corners with an absolute ‘balls to the wall’ attitude, for no other reason than to fully exercise both chassis and spirit, definitely fires you up in a different way compared to competitive drifting. Maybe its to do with the fact the drivers are out there just to have a good time with like-minded people – okay, perhaps oneupmanship does come into play at times when a chase between two cars gets a little heated – but for the most part, Drift Matsuri is just a relaxed party atmosphere in a circuit environment.

What are the odds more decals have made their way onto the glass of this clean 180SX TypeX since the event months ago? Somehow the orange coloured centres on its Work VS-XX wheels work (pun intended) really well on this OEM bodied Nissan.

It was really cool to meet James and his ‘Hi5’ turbocharged BP-Z3-swapped Hilux Pickup. After only seeing videos of it online, actually witnessing it not just sat in the pit garage, but for it to be slung about on Anglesey was a sight to behold. It is basically an MX-5 in terms of running gear, with the very practical 1st-gen Hilux shell allowing James to throw a set of wheels/tyres in the back for when the amount of fun has exceeded the life of the rubber.

I don’t think any car on the day had as much flamboyant style and charisma as this duo. And if I had to choose a favourite? Impossible. [S13]

For those who, for whatever nonsensical reason, cannot stand the antilag noise or tyre smoke from a bunch of cars sliding their weight about on a racetrack, can always enjoy the coastal views by going for a stroll along the perimeter of the circuit like I did. There are some decent photoshoot spots the further away from the track you venture. I actually took a couple photos of the two you can see above. One looks like a helipad. Whatever they were constructed for, I could imagine using them as platforms for a mint landscape frame.

I’ll close this post out with a few shots of the night session. Unfortunately I got back to the track later than I planned, as the nearest shop was miles away. That was a really challenging environment to shoot in but I enjoyed the brief few moments where a conga-line of cars came steaming around the first corner, charging past the onlooking crowd up on the banking, leaving behind nothing but clouds under the floodlit part of the track.

Keep an eye out for the Day#2 entry, where I find some cool looking things that I missed on the first day…