Posts Tagged ‘Skyline’

It seems apt that our first event of the new year involves drifting, after all, the first 2 blog posts ever to appear on Garage Awesome back in the middle of last year, were both drift related, and has always been a firm favourite with the Team.

The venue and event we decided to head to was Santa Pod and the first “Drift What Ya Brung” day of the year. Santa Pod and the DWYB team have been a major player in the grass-roots level of UK drifting, providing both weekday and weekend sessions throughout the year for all drifters from the first time novice right through to the stars of the British Drift Championship and JDM Allstars events.

Santa Pod

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Alongside the main Trax event, the final round of the JDM Allstars was running. This is an event that, if you’re a regular reader of Garage Awesome, you will know we have covered before and is possibly our favourite drift series, so there was no way we were gonna miss it or lump a report in with the main show, so with Coop and his camera poised and ready, we bring to you Round 5 of the JDM Allstars!

First thing to mention is the slightly disappointing amount of time the guys had out on track, through no fault of anybody in particular, but the Trax schedule is so tight with public track time that when the unfortunate happens, like a engine or box giving up round Brooklands, which coincidentally was what did happen, it severely effects the schedule and JDM Allstars qualifying round was the one to suffer.

Champion, Luke Fink

USA drift hero; Chris Forsberg, was billed as the main attraction, and led most people to believe he would be competing against the JDM regulars but, bar a few demo runs, he was mainly breaking driveshafts on the Japspeed S15 in the live action arena, which is probably for the best as the standard of the drifting was really high!

The JDM Allstars weren’t without their own problems though, fan favourite Stiggy Evans managed to put a nice hole in the Pinto block on his cheeky Toyota Starlet, Pawel Trela also had car issues and failed to qualify and the big upset of the day was that championship contender, and Donnington Park round winner Dan Chapman failed to qualify after England’s unpredictable weather put pay to his run with a covering of rain on the circuit.

M5 Powered E30

The Polish contingent were out in full force, with Marcin Mospinek in his E30 amazing the crowds swinging it from one side of the track to the other to set up his entry, along with fellow BMW driver Marcin Skwierczynsk in his M5 powered E46! Piotr Jankowski and Maciej Bochenek joined them in the qualifying last 16.

Other drivers to qualify included odds-on favourite to take the crown; Luke Fink, Jon Calvert, the rear wheel drive Scooby of Walton Smith, the infamous S13 of Anthony Scott, Brad McQueen, Matt Chiappa, Skyline driver George Tilling, Irish drivers Dwaine Mckeever and Alan Mccord and the E36 M3 Turbo belonging to Steve Will

With the runs being judged on a single run, because of the time constraints, it certainly wasn’t an easy call to make on any of the rounds, and although commentator Bryn was doing his best to keep up with the action, I’m not even sure he knew exactly what was happening, although even if he did, Silverstone failed to recognise there were people on the outside of the circuit so we were unable to hear him!

S13 Drift

Eventually, after some tight battles, it left us with four drivers to take the round win, and with Dan Chapman out and Luke Fink making it through, the Aussie driver had already wrapped up the overall title.

Fink made it through to the round final after beating Maciej Bochenek in his semi final, setting up a final with Jon Calvert who beat another Pole, this time Marchin Mospinek. Mospinek took the advantage in a very close 3rd / 4th place battle

The final was everything the last drift of a series should be, seeing both Fink and Calvert produce crazy speed and angle and on the second run, the pair got so close I think Luke could have read the mileage on the clocks of John’s car, honestly one of the closest and most exciting runs I’ve seen whilst watching drifting.

The end of an epic season of drifting for the JDM Allstars, one that we’re going to cover even more of next year here on Garage Awesome, sees Luke Fink claim the championship, and Jon Calvert taking the round win, his second of the year!

Pic Credits – Rich Cooper

What better way to follow up our article on JDM import cars than to bring you a feature car that is exactly that, a JDM Import ride! Garage Awesome went to meet up with Nissan Skyline owner Ben Morton to find out all about it!

Firstly, the car doesn’t have 1000bhp, nor does it have everything that unbolts made of chrome or carbon, nor does it have one-off, speciality paint, hand mixed by virgins with shavings from a unicorn’s horn, it’s just an honest, well presented Skyline, and one that follows Garage Awesome’s ethic of not being snobby or elitist when it comes to picking cars we feature on the blog, we like honest cars with proud owners!

R33 GTS-T

Now we’re not saying Ben’s car is a nail, far from it, as we stand looking at it we can’t help but notice just how much presence it actually has as a road going vehicle. Just like the Civic and Integra we looked at last week, there is just something about it and when it appears in your rear view mirror, you would happily move out the way to let it past, a theory that was proved instantly as on location a group of local kids all had a good look around and taking photos on their camera phones!

Ben has always wanted a Skyline and with his heart set on a Midnight Purple GTR, he began saving up. As his target approached, like most lads his age the thought of moving out and getting a mortgage popped into his head, a thought helped and encouraged, no doubt, by his long suffering girlfriend, Sarah. Rather than give up all hope, Ben managed to make a compromise, they got the house, and settled in, but as Ben’s right leg began twitching for an accelerator to floor, he decided a new car was in order.

With the Skyline GTR not in reach, and after a 306 GTI-6 and a series of ropey runabouts, Ben found himself a Series 1 Lotus Elise. Although it quashed his hunger, it really was impractical; the lack of space, the twitchy ride and lack of comforts meant that through the winter it sat still, in favour of his trusty 206, which is still in the fleet returning Ben with 45+ MPG when it comes round to the end of the month, saving his credit card from taking a beating by the ‘liner’s 15-20mpg!

Ben's Skyline

That’s not to say Ben doesn’t use it everyday, unlike the Elise it comes out in the rain, it’s driven to work and has enough room for Sarah’s weekly shop. Comparing it to the Elise is very difficult explains Ben, ‘although the Elise was fun to drive, the noise and power of the Skyline, along with its chuckable handling for a big car, means that I can do a lot more and enjoy it a lot more’.

As the house ate the GTR money, Ben opted for the R33 GTS-T model, now for those not familiar with Skyline’s model coding system, the GTR runs a 2.6ltr twin turbo engine and 4WD system, the GTS-T, like Ben’s, has the slightly smaller, but not small, 2.5ltr, although the same amount of cylinders remain, giving it that distinctive straight 6 sound!

The twin turbo set up on the GTR changes to a single turbo on the GTS-T and the 4WD becomes two, in the form of rear wheel drive, helping to explain why it’s becoming one of the drifter’s favourites.

Part of the reason Ben’s car has such a road presence is to do with the choice modifications that it has received, both in Japan and over here in the UK. The bodykit, for example, is bigger, with the rear bumper and side skirts being pinched straight from a GTR, the front bumper is also from another model, this time the uber-rare 400R model, all tied in with the GTR boot spoiler, it has that GTR look at a fraction of the cost, right up Ben’s Street!

Bens R33 GTS-T

A Set of 19″ Kei RSS alloys and spacers help to give it a bit of aggression and the 340bhp at the flywheel is achieved by simple, but well chosen, bolt on mods including a Kakimoto Racing exhaust, including de-cat. and a front mounted intercooler and an air filter, both provided by ARC. Although a heavy car, Ben has scattered lightweight carbon fibre parts including the vented bonnet and smart Ganador mirrors, allowing him to run down into the low 14 second quarter mile and with plans to get some smaller wheels for the back to aid with traction and a few extra under bonnet goodies, we’re pretty sure it will see a mid 13 second pass very soon.

As the heavens open on us, we just have time to poke about inside and as usual with Japanese cars it’s very dull and plastic-y. Fortunately Ben plans to liven it up in the future by adding bucket seats and racing wheel, in the mean time however, he will have to make do with looking at his smart looking gauges from Defi, keeping an eye on the oil temp, and pressure and the all important boost pressure!

It just goes to show, if you want something, there is always a way to achieve it, and Ben really has created a stunning machine, well within his original budget just with a little compromise, and hopefully gives you all a bit of inspiration to send us pics of your car, so you can be telling your story to the web! Contact us by joining our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/garageawesome.

Pic Credits – Rich Cooper

Garage Awesome spent the weekend in a field, in a tent, surrounded by a whole host of different show cars, thousands of hyped up petrolheads, a million wasps, guys dressed as girls, and girls dressed in next to nothing! Throw in some temperamental weather and some of the quickest standing quarter miles and it won’t take long to work out that we spent the weekend at Santa Pod for Ultimate Street Car!

Anyone who hasn’t been to Ultimate Street Car or “USC” really is missing out. It’s such an experience in every sense, with so much packed into one weekend; it has earned itself a reputation as the biggest modified car festival in the UK.

For the first weekend in August, Santa Pod Raceway opens its gates to thousands of modified car fans, cars loaded with beer, tents and in some cases fancy dress, for 3 days of full-on action with an immense amount of things to see or get involved in, or to chill out, camp with your mates and check out the fastest cars on the track, or the stunning cars in the Show and Shine arena.

Vauxhall Nova Saloon

USC is primarily a chance for you to test your car’s performance over a standing quarter mile section of tarmac. Santa Pod has some of the most experienced staff, and professional and accurate timing gear you’re likely to find here in the UK. Run What Ya Brung or “RWYB” is a familiar term to most, and if not, the concept is simple; turn up, Pay £20 race your car over a 1/4 mile, get a printout of your time and stats, then brag or get mocked by all your mates as to how fast or slow your car is! Not got a 700bhp Skyline or a stripped out hot-hatch? No worries, you can go down in your Nan’s Rover 25 providing you have your driving licence and the car isn’t dangerous, but remember, if you’re expecting to get to the end in a car capable of over 110mph within that space, you’re gonna need your helmet too!

With RWYB action happening all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, USC provides loads of time for you to be able to get out there and test your car, and the USC goers made every use of that, with the track busy at all times, they even ran for an extra hour Saturday night, providing everyone with 11 hours of track action!

We watched a whole variety of cars make their way down the track, some very, very impressive cars, and some… not so! A lot of the really quick cars seemed to be in the form of Peugeot 205 and 306’s from tuners; Pug Performance and Pug 1 Off, with at least a couple of 205’s down into the 12’s. Vauxhall Novas and Corsas were also going strong, with well established transplants from the bigger Cavaliers and Calibras being commonplace, the C20XE and C20LET powered hot hatches were again knocking out 12 and 13 second quarter mile times, often embarrassing some bigger, more powerful machinery.

Other vehicles that ran included; big V8 American vans, an insane motorbike powered, 3 wheel, Bond Bug, some classic Mk1 and 2 Escorts, Nissan Skylines and GTR’s, a fairly disappointing Audi R8 and the Pod goer’s favourites the Mitsubishi Evos, Subaru Imprezas and Sierra Cosworths.

skyline

Away from the main 1/4 mile were 2 other areas of action! The main action arena played host to Podzilla, Santa Pod’s in-house monster truck, stunt shows and the freestyle motocross guys who would occasionally appear over the top of the banking, pulling off mental tricks and drawing a big crowd! That arena at night turned into a stage for the Flame Out competition, which we did cover, but in all honesty it was total pants, with 3 cars turning up, all with spark plugs rammed in the exhausts, bar one, who had his mate and a fag lighter! Fortunately, all was not lost, as BritishMods came to the rescue, as we walked past on our way ‘home’ they had lined up 3 big-power Skylines, with some of the guys on lookout, a proper, monster flame out competition began with awesome results. Well done, top work guys at www.britishmods.com

After the cars had cooled and the keys hung up for the night, the main part of USC’s popularity became apparent, that is the massive nightlife it has to offer. Two stages running live shows, stupid games and guest artists and DJ’s including for 2010; Roll Deep, DJ Luck and MC Neat and modified car show regular Richie Don kept the crowds happy even when the weather turned bad on the Saturday night. It almost goes without saying that no USC nightlife would be complete without the ladies, and the Fuel Girls and Max Power babe squad didn’t fail to disappoint.

Jet Car

Returning to the track and to end part one of our USC Highlight reports, is a legend of Santa Pod, one that, no matter how many times you see it, it’s still impressive… FireForce!

For those who don’t know, and I’m pretty sure there can’t be many of you, FireForce is a Jet Funny Car, a lightweight frame with a Fibreglass bodyshell draped over the top, all powered by a Skycrane Helicopter Jet Engine producing thrust with the equivalent of 10,000 BHP!!!

The noise this thing creates is insane, as soon as it starts up, everyone flocks to find the best vantage point they can to see it go, and go it does, running the 1/4 mile in less than 6 seconds at over 300MPH! Driver Martin Hill must have some serious skill, and balls to pilot of such a savage machine.

So, that covers USC Part 1, we just couldn’t fit it all into 1 report so expect the second part very soon, including the best from the Show and Shine, Drifters and the European Sports Compact series, only from Garage Awesome.

Pic Credits – Ollie Novell

During one of the Hottest weekends this Summer and our second trip in as many weeks, Donnington Park played host to Round 4 of The British Drift Championship

With The first 3 rounds already throwing up lots of surprises, problems and challenges for the drivers the course layed out at Donnington was set to do the same

With only a few incidents to report it really is a testament to the skill of the drivers in both Pro and Semi Pro class and after a few of the vehicles being involved in major incidents only a week before, its amazing to see them out there, fixed…and giving it full beans!

Mark Luney Wins BDC RD4

The Pro Class win was eventually taken by Mark Luney in his Toyota Supra from Simon Perry in the ever popular Bright Pink Skyline

A Mention has to Go to Team Green star Matt Carter who managed to clinch the final podium spot….driving not his own but lady semi pro drifter Danni Murphy’s 200SX

The Semi Pro class was just as well battled, with some of the best drift battles most of the sunbathing crowd have seen all season…in any of the championships!

Ian Phillips Wins BDC RD4 Semi Pro Class

Eventually it was the Championship Leader Ian Phillips in his Nissan Skyline R33 from Robert Finn and rounding out the top 3 was the the Silvia of Round 2 Winner; John Glaister

All in all a top day out, seriously some of the best drifting seen this year, and the support for this championship seems to be growing and growing and the leaderboard for both classes is nicely set for the final rounds at Knockhill circuit in Scotland on the 25-26th September….We cant Wait

Picture Credits – Rich Cooper