Ah good old Japfest… where to begin, this is the third year we have covered this event on Juicebox. It’s sort of the be all end the entire car scene as a whole at the end of every year. Everything and anything can come out of the woodwork and be on display, many a time I’ve been shocked, left scratching my head wondering where the fuck that did car come from. That feeling is one that I’ve always loved about the Irish car scene, we as a tiny little country was saturated with awesome cars from Japan that you never actually know what’s hiding down a dodgy little back lane, or hiding in some farm somewhere in Kerry…. With the “road car” scene falling down around us… it’s ironic that the drift scene is flourishing, we are spitting out some of the best drivers ever… going up against some of the world’s best.
So with an unpredictable Irish summer that we have already been pissed off with, we were very sceptical if it was a good choice to make it out to the V.A.G. meet in Fermoy Co Cork, I’m glad we made a positive choice… If you don’t know this already, or aren’t from this country, in Ireland, the scene is heavily split into a few groups, but it was nice to see the Volkswagen/Audi scene going showcasing some of the best examples this country had to offer all packed inside Cork Marts Car Park, something we just had to cover….
Ah, where to begin…. if you didn’t know this by know, Ireland has a very very impressive AE86 following, when the flood gates from Japan opened back around 00, we pretty much imported any type of AE86 we could get our hands on and this continued for about eight years, right up until the country’s economy shat itself. Any proper day like the one that is somewhat annually held at Mondello brings some of the most awesome pieces of Japanese steel from around the country and this was as good as it gets.
Just before round three of Prodrift this year I got a phone call, now if you are from Ireland you know the deal with the weather, It has been easily the worst summer in History, you can probably count the summer days we have had on one hand, on the other end of the phone was Dean Kearney, he had been asked to do a Demo down in the south of Portagul at one of their biggest car events. This was not the first time the Irish had gone down to do this type of demo, it had been on going year after year but this time around I was asked to document it. A small look out the window and I was already convinced to pack my bags and get in the van.
The second round of Prodrift took place at Punchestown. This year all of the elements were very un-Irish. The track was long and fast as hell, and the heat was definitely borrowed from Spain or somewhere warm for the weekend. Getting scorched in the unfamiliar sun was something you couldn’t really complain about as cars did one or two laps of a set of tires. It was a nice sight to behold indeed.
After a somewhat silent winter it was nice to see the crowds and drivers arrive at Ennis. We all know what the recession is doing to the car scene, every Evo, skybus and Silvia has been replaced by TDI power, which in ways has brought some interesting stuff as people explore new car platforms but the fuel prices and Tax has and loss of jobs has crippled pretty much a mega chunk of the Irish scene. This is why I have to give the utmost respect to any driver competing this year….
Sunday the 15th of January saw another drift practise day at Mondello park. The best thing about these drift days is pretty much any type of contraption can be seen on the track along with skill level.Pretty much anyone with a rear wheel drive car can enjoy an open pit all day and a tyre changing service. With the rising cost of tax, petrol and pretty much everything else in Ireland, we are seeing more and more cars hitting the track never to return to the road again.
So its a new year, and weve taken a little sort of break from the website, mainly because life got a little hectic. What better way to start the new year with a bit of drift action. We trucked down towards Watergrass hill for the driftfest which has been gaining some serious steam each time this event. It makes for an exciting watch as pretty much any type of rear wheel drive car can be seen tearing it up with a driver of any skill level.
I unfortunately never had the opportunity of Meeting Casey Furlong myself, but from what I have been told from close friends he was the center of attention, a person who brought drifting and fun to a farm yard just outside of Tullow in County Carlow. This was the second memorial day held for him, the yard itself runs a drag and drift day almost every second week for people to let loose on each other or themselves with whatever type of car they feel. What I love about this place is the freedom, its almost like the last little slice of chaos this country has to to offer without things being too out of hand. Every decent day that is held in the yard has never dissapointed and this second year event to remember a close friend of the organisers went down a treat.
Its hard to think that another year of Prodrift has passed us so quickly. To be fair we were off to a fantastic start with Ennis weather wise. The typical Irish early good weather which results in a summer of rain as punishment, this didnt stop competition and even though Juicebox didnt make it to two of the events the finale in Mondello more than made up for it.
What I love about Japfest is the amount of racing and activities that are on throughout the day as well as the show thats inside the paddock. It can be a somewhat overhwleming task to cover everything as you have time attack, Prodrift, drag racing and track time on all at the same time. There’s something for everyone.
It has to be said that Japfest 2011 was such a good day, not because team need for speed came to town… which don’t get me wrong was a good part of it too, the amount of people and cars that showed up was really something. It just goes to show that the scene is still holding it down regardless of this economic bullshit. Everyone should give themselves a pat on the back for effort. The car park usually has just as much interesting machines as the show your attending, that’s why here at Juicebox we love lurking the car park to see what the people are driving.
So we decided to get a bunch of friends together and have a Juicebox BBQ, a sort of thank you to everyone who has been down for the website and what we are doing over the last year or so. Things have been growing strongly with the site and its scary to think of just many people are down with the Box. The weather was on our side in what has to have been the worst summer in a very long time but we managed to get a good cross section of cars which that pretty much represented what the website is all about. As someone stated in the comments from the heatwave coverage, here at Juicebox were all about Photoshopped wheels on second hand cars from a dealership. Take a look and you will see what we mean.
Like we were saying in part 1 it really seemed like the standard has suddenly rose for the quality of cars in the country at shows. Looking around you had a good variety of super clean interesting builds like this IS bagged on SSR Vienna’s. What an amazing car, its nice to see people go down the VIP route, something that hasn’t been explored to much yet in Ireland.
So it has to be said Heatwave 2011 actually turned out a lot better then we had expected. Its no secret that Ireland is filled with nice cars. Properly built clean cars exist and many times over the years going to shows these cars would never be on show, in fact most of the time it would be the exact opposite, with only a handful of cars on display which would make you look twice. Not taking away from the work of some people but the car scene has definitely changed and it was only a matter of time until the shoes would reflect this. It was certainly a different line up of cars compared to lets say 2005!
So its that time again where we take a look at what you drive to the shows, this gives a good look into whats going on out there and usually you end up finding some cool stuff which you wouldn’t see inside a show itself.
So since there is a nice gap in between the next Prodrift event, Mondello had another track day for drift practice, owners could pay 140 euros to drive on the track all day in pretty much whatever they choose. These days are just as if not more interesting then some of the professional events down to the fact that the track is a mix of Decent and learner driver’s so things can be very unpredictable. Most cars come home with at least one love tap or maybe two…
The weather looked gloomy all day, and many feared rain. Somehow or another nature decided not to be horrible as usual leave drifting alone for the day in Fermoy. The gloom and dull weather didn’t stop some epic battles taking place which in turn made the crowd forget about the dullness and greyness. Instead drifting put a smile on peoples faces and that’s what its all about.
This year the weather was looking super dodgy, we didn’t get a chance to make it down on Saturday but on Sunday morning as we hit the road it was already looking to be a shit day. Somehow the rain staid in the clouds and it turned out to be another awesome day in Cork. The Drift Ireland guys basically had the entire “show and shine” type of area from last year to themselves apart from one accord. Nickys Trueno is out of this world sexy and was hidden in between Pete’s GS pimp wagon and that beautiful 180 we should do a feature on.
With every decent car Event Ireland, it usually means a somewhat decent selection of cars that have been driven to the event by you, the car enthusiast. This time we went lurking the car at Prodrift Fermoy to see what you guys showed up in, its a g glimpse into what the scene is like at the minute and most of the time we find some good and some bad gems lurking amongst the crowd.
Waking up early Sunday morning and looking out the window to see another day of glorious weather was a rare feeling. Just as things got underway the track claimed another car as we saw a collision between Damien Short’s Corolla and Nick Quealy and his R32. Sadly for Damien the 86 would not make it back onto track for the rest of the event.
It was 5am on a Saturday morning and the phone was vibrating with a text from Martin Ffrench. Walking out of the house and seeing his Altezza all loaded up on the trailer looking gleaming and ready for action was enough to wake anyone up. The car was ready for the first round of Prodrift which was to be held in Ennis Co. Clare. Hopes of a dry weekend slowly started to fade as we made our way through the Tipperary countryside and darkness started to disappear and reveal some horrible Irish clouds . This was looking to be another typical weekend just like the one at Ennis back in 09. To our surprise we drove right through the rain and out the other side…. mother nature was down for some drifting on that weekend and gave us Ireland some of the best weather it could have ever asked for.