Thursday 31 May 2012

JapFest 2012 Show report

It's a show report.. of sorts, especially considering the efforts involved with us actually getting in the gate. I'm not entirely sure if the journey was more eventful than the actual show!

Cars congregate to convoy to the show. Yes she made it here and is in centre shot!

12th May 2012 held at Castle Coombe Circuit
Japfest is a celebration literally of all things four wheeled and Japanese. From ricers to shop fresh GT-Rs this small corner of Wiltshire is transformed into a small corner of Japan. The schedule of events is split into professional drifting and members of the public getting a taste of track action.

Without doubt the biggest and best Japanese car show, this year it celebrated its tenth anniversary in some style, even without knowing the attendance it must have had record crowds attending, although am not entirely sure that this was purely down to it being an anniversary show, or just the fact that the weather God's had decided to be kind to us poor pale English folk and blaze down upon us. Whatever it was, there was certainly some of the very best in Jap car culture to feast the eyes on.

Taken from the Japfest official site Ms Skyline on the right. 
Naturally there was a fair amount of crap too.

Touring the retailers is always a bit of a let down as mostly they cater for either lesser cars or are just fine purveyors of 'stickers' and rubbish you can probably live with out. We did find a few gems scattered around and my friend picked up a nice NISMO cap and D1 Rad cap for a bargain price.. No I don't know if the oil cap was a fake, it looked good enough!

To be honest at the time of day when we finally rolled in, it was lunch time. So we had a pretty busy afternoon, me insisting on looking at the club stands and my friend begging to look at some drifting action. I think the balance was about right and before we knew it we had to make our way back to the Skyline Owners Club stand to partake in the cavalcade.

The cavalcade itself was rather fun, we were told we would be doing a slow lap, well yes we did do one slow lap.. Followed by three rather quick ones. It was a real buzz and I think I was still giggling in schoolboy terms the next day. In fact there is the rumour that my friend Dal, tried to merge and be as one with the pace car that was leading them around the track.
On track. I don't normally put in personal appearances on the blog!

To cap a brilliant day out, the club won best stand in show. Although this should not be too surprising as the cars this year were simply stunning.

Some pictures from the day.. Without trying to be too boring.


Have a feeling this is my friend Dal in pole position

Ms Skyline and my ass

Nitros (fine fella that he is!)

taste of the queues

Tommo's smokey lady (slight case of over bombing)

Wednesday 30 May 2012

JapFest 12th May 2012 the boring bit - part one

Show season for me finally begins..

Slightly different format this year, as I had a good friend over to stay at mine. So we could drive up to the show together. Not exactly sure how logical this plan actually was, as the early night got progressively later and the early start stayed exactly where it began, early. Still in only the way that men can do, the chat progressed from cars, to my terrible love life and back to putting the worlds to rights.

Up and away at 6:45 AM we set off on the half hour drive to the main meeting point for a glorious convoy of Skylines in all shapes and sizes. Naturally at that time of day we were rather exuberant, setting off with all of the cars horses, laying down a rubber road to glory. Suspiciously at this point I thought, "was that a hesitation, a sudden lack of power? No'oo, all is well" and we thundered off to the meeting point just outside of Newbury in Berkshire, in, as my friend and comrade said 'ridiculously quick time'. At the meeting point you had the usual men shuffling around coughing, hands in pockets, liberal use of swear words etc. Eventually we set off, naturally (as is my lot) I was caught at the lights pending the slip road, that would take us back onto the motorway (expressway). The light turned green and the hammer went down in anticipation of catching up my fellow comrades.
Complete loss of power, combined with a 'flame out' from the rear. Hazards on I limped to the side of the road whilst most of the others thundered on by (Thanks' for that). Two people stopped and I'm really grateful to them. My friend who immediately said 'I won't leave you, when I told him to go on' and some complete strangers.
As it turned out, all I had done was blow the jubilee clip off, it's worm drive failing, the clip had popped, the silicone pipe then coming away from the turbo. There was nothing else for it than to push it back into place  by hand and totally drive 'off boost' like a normal person.. In fact probably slower than a normal person, oh the humiliation!
Actually, it was a massive relief that it was £1.70 worth of clip and not the turbo or for that matter something even worse!
Pushing the pipe back on was fun, especially on a red hot engine, although the burns are almost healed now.

So our club long gone and us limping along, I had the vague recollection of what junction we were supposed to get off at, which oddly was the one after the one recommended. I had complete faith in what I was told and we did this expecting to see some signage to Castle Coombe racetrack, of which there was none. So quickly fumbling around I found out my phone and as we hurtled down country lanes, set the Sat Nav by shouting at it. Not being one to always follow a robot blindly we didn't really have a choice this time and it merrily took our gleaming cars up a tight, bendy and above all MUDDY lane. We eventually found the queue for Japfest which we then enjoyed immensely for a few hours. Actually I can't complain, at least we made it that far and could stand around chatting in the long 'no motion' parts of the wait and by now were grimly determined to arrive. I then heard from the organiser of our group who I think was hoping we weren't coming as the stand didn't have enough space. Although in the end we were squeezed in and actually had a nice spot. We did encounter some resistance on the way from the Police who tried to make us go in with the public and a rather over zealous gate 'monkey' who was determined to send us miles out of our way. By now I was patient enough to calmly explain, several times that me and the idiot behind me were VIPs of great standing and we were allowed on our way.

Best picture of the drama I can come up with is my friend Dal, cleaning the soot and muck from my exhaust off his pristine white GTST Spec 1.
Ms Skylines Rear and Dal's Rear.... Not so nice.

So drama for the want of a clip and screwdriver. Which I usually carry.. I certainly do now!

Ch, ch, changes..

Hi everyone, I have been away most of May. Interesting times I have endured as well, but am basically unscathed.
I got a year older in the 'merriest' of the months, it rained a lot followed by boiling hot sunshine and to add a challenge to your dear author Google have decided that blogging can be made 'easier' by moving all the buttons around.

So I'm older, non the wiser, but much more streamlined now.

Not being one to complain (oh go on) but it also requires Google Chrome to work... Although it did wring a wry smile from my face as the installer popped up telling me in no uncertain terms 'Your Amazing, Thank you for trying Google Chrome'.

Anyway, probably this will be the least read post ever created in history, although it does allow me to at least 'get going' in Bloggers 'great new look'. Pausing only slightly to swallow down the small amount of sick that Googles marketing team have managed to illicit from me.

Next up... Car stuff.. Oh my, do you think it will catch on?