Japfest, Europes biggest Japanese car show, is coming to town - Castle Combe 14th May 2011

12. May 2011

As we’re an office full of car enthusiasts, Performance Direct, attend a wide range of motoring events each year.  Our Youtube channel, PDMotoringNews, features video’s from a whole load of different motor shows such as Auto Italia, MPH Top Gear Live, Classic Motor Show, Ford Fair, Autosport International, and of course Japfest.  Quite simply we love going to these sort of petrol-mad motoring events so when there is an event such as Japfest 2011 just around the corner the motoring-buzz in the office reaches new levels.
Nearly a year ago, the Castle Combe racing circuit awoke to a beautiful sunny day where nothing but the birds singing could break the silent dawn of that sun drenched morning.  If you’d looked across the circuit with that wonderful natural ambience singing in your ears, all you would have seen the almost mystical blur of the heat rising from the circuit itself.  For Castle Combe it would have felt like the most peaceful morning imaginable.  This would not last.  Not for long at all.
Before the morning had even had a chance to stretch and have a cuppa tea, a distant rumble was heard - probably slightly reminiscent of that famous moment in the film Jamanji where the herd of Rhino’s are heard trampling towards the house.  Much like the film it was a sign that the serene peace was not going to last.  Japfest was coming.  Japfest 2010, Europe's biggest Japanese Car Show, brought with it thousands and thousands of Jap-Mad car enthusiasts all heading towards Castle Combe in everything from classic and delicately restored original Nissan 200sx’s to heavily modified Skyline’s, riding alongside more Scooby’s than you’ll see together outside of the factory itself.  Darting amongst the traffic were several flocks of Mazda RX-8’s, MX5’s, Type-R’s, Supra’s and what seemed like every single owner of an FTO.  Of course you couldn’t travel very far without hearing the almost terrifying roar of several Mitsubishi Evo’s hammering it along the motorway in unison.  It is safe to say that the drive down there was paramount to a mobile Japanese car.  However, if you are driving down I must implore you to follow the highway code and all of the speed restrictions as the police will certainly be there to enforce them.

I was sent along by Performance Direct to film a video report of the show and I must admit that upon arrival I was like a child in a mesmerizingly large sweet shop without the first clue as to what I should sample first.  Track action or club displays?  As they had some drift racing due I was immediately sold on that and I’m glad that I didn’t miss it.  As you can see from this short video, Japfest really is somewhere you can go and see some high class tyre ripping drifting action. 

But what will this year be bringing?  Firstly Performance Direct have a quote station offering some of the best Japanese car insurance deals available anywhere.  Our stand, which is always a pleasant place to be will be staffed by our beautiful Promo-Girls Faye-Evette and Hannah Shine and decorated with a Nissan R35 GTR’s and a very special modified Supra with Scissor doors which I consider to be rather nice motoring ornaments to have on the stand.  Yes we’d all rather see them in motion, ideally via the view from the driver’s seat but it is nice to look over the details too. 

On which note there will be a mass of static car displays with the Redline Power Paddock bringing together the finest Japanese Performance tuned cars from around the UK.  Alongside will be the many club displays which, judging by last year, will pack in over 3,000 cars from around 90 different clubs.  A new feature this year is the Power and Style Awards which should see the best Japanese cars in taking centre stage at the show. 

“What about track action?” I hear you cry – well you won’t go short of some spectacular track displays as Honda Racing, who are top of both the driver and team tables in the British Touring Car Championship, are celebrating by demonstrating the cars around the Castle Combe Circuit.  A new feature for 2011 is the Swift Rallycross Championship team with twenty of the cars putting a demo session on and then relocating to a static display so you can have a good look at them. 

“But you mentioned drifting Rob?”  I did and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed as my favourite feature from last year has not only returned but it’s got even bigger and promises to be even better with six teams comprising of three drivers per team now confirmed.  Driftworks of course return to defend their title against last year’s runners-up Japspeed but also in the mix are teams from JDM Garage and Garage-D with new teams from Skyline Owners and Team Falken likely to liven up the event even more.  I can guarantee it’ll be worth getting to a good position to watch the drifting action. 

You too can have a spin round the track with a pro driver in a BTCC car as Redbrick Racing will let you have a bash in their 2004 Team Dynamics Honda Civics! – Yes, that’s got to be another one for my list.  If a passenger ride isn’t your thing then you can get involved in the action yourself by booking up a track session and see how the famous Castle Combe Circuit feels under your own rubber.  Tickets are available for a range of levels of driver experience on the Japfest website. 

One final question, how powerful do you think your car is?  Do you know for sure?  Did you squeeze those bit extra BHP out or not?  Have all those after-market parts and working every hour available been worth it?  Check your cars power with the official Japfest Rolling Road and you can get an official reading.  Just don’t blame me if it’s not as high as it should be.
So, now you know what it’s all about, and you know that I’m going – why wouldn’t you?  Come and visit our team on the Performance Direct stand, meet our promo girls, check out our cars, then have a chat to our staff and save yourself some money on your car insurance. 

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