Brands Hatch 2010 - Summertime Special
Modified Live at Brands Hatch certainly lived up to its “Summertime Special” billing with the sunshine coming out to play its part. But the “special” bit was all down to the cars, attractions, hordes of visitors and car clubs who descended on the Kent venue to once more establish this event as a must-visit one on the annual show calendar.
Naturally, one of the main focus points of the event was the incredible on-track action provided by the octane hungry, MSA approved Time Attack series and the insanely sideways European Drift Championship. These two highly contested competitions ensured the Brands Hatch Indy circuit was constantly alive with some of the most spectacular driving action modified car fans can expect to see.
No matter what car visitors turned up in there was likely to be one in the Time Attack series they could root for. From a glut of Cosworths to some marauding MINIs, from an old school CRX to the crazy EVOs of Norris Designs and Redbrick Racing, most marques were catered for including Fiat, Subaru, Mazda, Vauxhall and Porsche. And there was one Lotus in particular that set the track alight, the Exige of Steve Guglielmi in the top Pro Class, who left all others in his wake. In the Club Class it was another Exige, this time driven by Jamie Wilson that topped the times, suggesting perhaps that the lightweight and agile cars suit the tight circuit perfectly. Brands Hatch saw some great additions to Time Attack including a Regal Autosport prepared Corsa and Porsche 911, a big power rear wheel drive Escort Cosworth and even an Impreza wagon. If variety is the spice of life then Round 3 of Time Attack was akin to a vindaloo!
In the European Drift Championship the eight invite-only drivers battled it out through the Clearways section of the circuit, offering a technical challenge for them, but a spectacular high-speed exhibition for the crowds. Reigning Champion Mark Luney looked strong early on in his SVA Imports/Cosworth 350Z and the series welcomed back former Champion Brett Castle in the chrome V8-powered 200SX. But it was Pete Barber in the Hayward Rotary RX7 who clinched maximum points, putting in flawless displays all day and forcing an error from Luney in the final.
That wasn’t all the track action though. Once more Modified Live let a racing truck onto the circuit, the massive power heavyweight seemingly defying science with high speed, sideways antics on the track much to the delight of onlookers. Kevin Horsley in the ScoobyClinic Impreza also took time out of Time Attack to race a motorcycle around the circuit, aiming to put that age-old argument of which one is faster to bed. And, to the delight of car fans, he proved the point nicely.
On top of all this the Sumo Power GTI GT-Rs let rip on the circuit in some exhibition runs. The noise of these incredible cars roared around the circuit, with the speed you would expect from the pinnacle of tin top racing.
Away from the track the petrol-powered fun didn’t stop though. Drift Taxis were once more on hand to give visitors the chance to experience sideways action from the passenger seat. These guys didn’t stop all day, getting through as many tyres in 9 hours as the average person gets through in their life and making sure passengers left with massive smiles on their faces…and maybe some shaky legs!
Behind the main stand visitors had plenty to look at too. The Kleers sponsored Show and Shine competition exhibited some of the wildest and best finished show cars in the UK, with Jason Farrow’s stunning Nissan 300ZX picking up the award for “Best in Show”, amid stiff competition. All kinds of styles were represented, from immaculately prepared Sierra Cosworths to a VIP style Toyota Aristo and lowrider inspired Civic.
Exhibitors continued to support the event too, Cosworth in particular making a huge effort with the cars and products they brought along for enthusiasts to drool over. Others like Superpro Europe and Aerokits were heavily in attendance too and with some scantily clad promo girls walking around in this area aswell, it was a constantly thriving hub.
But Modified Live shows would be nothing without the amazing support of the car clubs and they turned out in force. An outstanding mix of cars were scattered throughout Brands Hatch, from classic hot rods, to slick R34 GT-Rs and even vehicles like Ian “Iceman” Pinder’s heavy bass Astra van. Massive national clubs like the Mitsubishi Lancer Register, Subaru Impreza Driver’s Club, GTR0C and Skyline Owners Club provided some stunning metal for display, as did some of the more varied clubs such as Unlimited Styling and numerous more local ones to the South East. In fact, the turnout of high quality cars and petrol-addicted enthusiasts was immense and set the bar high for the Modified Live shows.
With the next port of call at Cadwell Park, can the north east of England go one better though?
It’s a big ask and we’ll soon find out. In the meantime, clear your diaries for next year and make sure you make the trip to Modified Live Summertime Special at Brands Hatch. If you like modified metal and the smell of tyre smoke, you’ll be in your element!