The sounds of forced induction and screeching tyres greeted me as I arrived at Donington Park for Japfest Donington 2017, before I’d even parked my car. These were courtesy of the British Drift Championship, whose drivers were offering passenger rides around the loop of the Melbourne hairpin. I thought this was pretty good value at £15, and so did lots of others judging by the queue. Luckily there was a great view for spectators too, with the cars being visible all the way round the loop. It was really impressive to see the drivers holding a drift round the entire hairpin bend.
Walking past the Melbourne hairpin I was excited to see the paddock (and more) full of Japanese cars. I grew up with this circuit: coming to race meetings here as a child fuelled my interest in cars and motorcycles and it is heartening to see it go from strength to strength after a rocky time a few years ago.
Most of the cars in attendance were at the performance end of the scale. My favourites were a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Makinen Edition, a Honda NSX and a Toyota Vitz RS TRD. I also enjoyed the Isuzu Piazzas (love the eyebrows) and Toyota Chasers. Notable exceptions to the ‘performance’ category (although arguably just a different type of performance) were a Nissan Pao and a casino themed Toyota Celsior.
The drifting wasn’t the only track action at this packed show, with the National circuit hosting round 4 of the UK time attack championship. It was great to be able to watch this event and wander round the pit garages as part of Japfest. The time attack championship is by no means restricted to Japanese cars although there were a fair few Subaru Imprezas and Mistubishi Lancer Evolutions.
There were plenty more interesting Japanese cars in the public car park so I took a drive round to have a look on my way out, ending a very enjoyable day at Japfest Donington 2017. I didn’t stay for Little Mix!
Here are some of my pictures from the day: