King of the Ring 2017 Christmas Special

 

 

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Before we start can we please take a moment to appreciate how awesome this little K11 Micra painted up as Takumi’s AE86 from Initial D is? Sir or Madam, you are amazing!!

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The day’s drifting officially started at 9am following a drivers briefing (Qualifying started at 4 so that’s 7 ish hours practise. Even if you don’t compete that’s 7 hours seat time for £100. Not too bad!). I wasn’t driving though, which is good for two reasons:

1. If I was driving I’d probably be writing this from A&E and the internet connection there is terrible!

2. I got to have a nice lay in on a Saturday morning, have some nice lunch and take a leisurely drive up the A13 to arrive several hours late like the celebrity I was destined to be.

Having said hello to Adam and Steve (Not to be mistaken with Adam and Eve) at the gates I ran into Mr Richie Gilbey who said he’d be happy to take me for a run out in his E36 and that his brother Marc was down in an E46 compact.

That E46 looked just like my Quasimodo <3 I doubt many of you will remember him but for some reason I had it in my mind that I could build it into some sort of BDC car in my Mum’s garage with no experience and basic hand tools. We live and learn! Although it would be nice to have some ambition like that back again!

Marc’s is a little bit closer to that than mine ever was though as his has a working hydro and the 2.5 straight six rather than the little 1.8 four banger.

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This particular car had a really unusual purple interior which for some reason I didn’t photograph.

When we went out I took a little video footage which sadly corrupted and some still shots with the DSLR. Taking the stills was an experience. My camera utilises an old fashioned view finder rather than the screen so I was trying to look down that whilst going around. The view finder makes everything look really small and distant. Motion sickness city! How people used to do combat footage in the Vietnam War sitting in the back of a Huey helicopter weaving in and out of the jungle being shot at from the ground is beyond me! Or aerial photographers in WW1, being blown about in bi-planes trying to photograph the enemy’s lines whilst a Fokker DR1 does everything in his power to stop you. I digress, here are some of the shots from in the car!

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(Take a look at the rev counter. Arena cars never drop below 5k. My beloved little road car never gets revved above 3k haha! Drift cars do have to take some abuse!)

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Once back to the pits I popped out and snapped some passing cars:

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Along with Richie Gilbey’s E36 323 saloon!

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Richie is a lot more aggressive in driving style than Marc and seems to have a bit more experience. Both brothers were driving with Westlake Tyres though and it’s incredible how much quicker and grippier the cars are with them. Richie was able to happily keep up with an R33 Skyline and a built E36 328 who were on budget tyres.

Both the Gilbey brothers will do well net year both at King of the Ring and any other adventures they go on. Mark my words!

At 4:30 a second drivers briefing was called which left me to have a look around the pits. This little Volvo was sitting at the back of the line. I think these little cars look great on minilite wheels! This particular one was turbo converted too which is mad! I bet it’s great fun to drive!

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This BMW has an unusual front bumper. E36 original or some sort of aftermarket product?

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Being the Christmas Special there were a few cars sporting Chirstmas decorations. This Vauxhall Omega pick up with a Christmas tree in the back was a personal highlight! Looked amazing going round!

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Nerijus has brought a new R33 Skyline shell. Looking very smart! They yellow stands out well in the dark too which is always good!

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Ian Blackett who photographs DWYB at Santa Pod was down for a laugh.

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There was of course the usual assortment of BMWs:

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Along with the MAPT Motorsport chaps. Always a pleasure to see these guys out and doing their thing!

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Jodie also came down in M 1300 S! I haven’t seen this car in a while! Nice to see it back on the road!

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Time to have a wander up to the show and shine area!

First of all we head to the Final Form stand. Final Form is a sticker and clothing brand run by Luke Paul and Warren Runnicles. It epitomises Japanese early 1990’s style; lots of glitter and edgy fonts. They’ve set it up as kind of a hobby business but I reckon they will get far! The quality of their layered vinyl so far is superb!

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Luke is also the DJ at King of the Ring and I learnt last night that he gets to play a lot of London clubs including Ministry of Sound! Part of this blog’s purpose is to demonstrate that having a hobby can get you to go to wonderful places and meet wonderful people. The fact that he’s been able to DJ at such places from something that started out as a hobby is testament to that.

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(Give us a wave Luke!!)

Both own cool cars as well. Luke’s RX8 has featured a lot on this blog.

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Warren’s VIP Lexus hasn’t appeared at all as far as I know. It’s a super clean car! Apparently the plan is to turbo and manual it over the course of time. I always affectionately call it an E-Class, so if you see him say that you like his E-Class!

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It looks very aggressive from the rear as well with the 326 wing and pipes. Photos don’t really do it justice but it looks great in person.

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Now we’ll be heading into the show and shine organised by the gang over at Dirtee South properly. A chap who owns an R32 GTST Skyline with a Marvel character painted on the side said his vehicle “would not frequent such establishments” due to the mud and has often made negative reference to the cars on track! This gentleman believes he is too good for the likes of us which I find amusing as both this BMW M4 and Porsche Cayman GT4 retail at well over £50,000.

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Id imagine Wayne Taylor’s Auto Extreme stunning R33 GTR probably cost a fair few pennies to build too.

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Let’s not forget all the American muscle cars and hot rods we’ve had on the show and shine over the past few years, what about the Hakosuka Skyline? Or the Lamborghini Diablo? Still these cars are obviously far less valuable than Snobby McSnobbingson’s 25 year old Datsun. Breathe Richard breathe!

The first two cars on the Dirtee South show and shine were two Hondas; a modified Integra and a nice original S2000.

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Net along was this really clean S15. A little birdy tells me that this is actually the owner’s second car which is crazy! I’ve never seen one of these without a wing if memory serves. They look really nice without it! I wasn’t too sure on the 350Z wheels at first but they are growing one me. OEM is always good in my opinion!

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Apparently these was a Fiesta and a Seat Leon here but I didn’t see them! (oldest camo joke ever. I’m sorry.)

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The A45 AMG is a fun car. I’m not particularly into hatchbacks but I wouldn’t say no to one!

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Belinda Challis brought her BDC spec R32 down to sit alongside the Drift Her stand. Mark Clarence normally brings his S14a too but sadly it debeaded a tyre on the way and then blew a head gasket.

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By the entrance gate we had a good little line up of cars. Mk1 Focus saloons are few and far between these days.

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Peugeot 306s make great little track cars!

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The Focus RS and ST lines are popular track cars too!

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Behind the club house my top pick of cars were this Tesla Model X:

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This classic Ford Scorpio

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Along with these classic Imprezas!

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I know the second car isn’t to everyone’s taste. Truth be told it’s not to my taste either the whole big body kit, Max Power era is a bit of car culture history and should be remembered and appreciated at these shows. I’m hoping to see some more cars like this pulled out of retirement and restored over the coming years.

Warren introduced me to the young lady and her friend that owned this Corsa (I can’t remember your names I’m so sorry!) She runs a group called Low Riders UK.

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I often see this little Fiesta at King of the Ring as well but have never featured it. Hello!

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The Propper Droppers UK sound off competition was packed! Really nice to see! I popped by briefly but the lighting in there isn’t the best and there were so many people it was hard to get photos. I managed to get one of giant amplifier in the back of a Golf and another of an X-Type Jag (That generation of Jaguar are just cool! Sorry not sorry!)

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I did try to get a few on track pictures. My camera isn’t so great in the dark though so you’ll be seeing many more on these posts in the summer if 2018. I did manage to get one of Richie Gilbey in action.

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A couple of Marc Gilbey came out ok…

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Here is Team MAPT’s Jon Hudd

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A couple more for good measure.

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All in all a very enjoyable evening as always! I’m looking forward to seeing you all and seeing what happens in 2018! Happy New Year!
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2 Comments

  1. I built that fiesta and put a lot of time and effort also its a working project which is becoming a rally car so if you think its a joke then your wrong maybe you should speak to the owner about the car before thinking there was other cars that didnt make it up there and to be honest when will u ever see a better looking fiesta

    1. The camo one? When did I say it was a joke? I made a joke about camouflage, that you can’t see it because it’s camouflaged, but didn’t really comment on the car itself.

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