Cadwell Park 2010 - Summer In The Park
Modified Live - Summer In The Park - Cadwell Park Race Circuit 1st August
Show Report By Andy Mills
With Modified Live events spanning across the East, North West, South East and Scotland it was high time the North East got in on the action. The stunning Cadwell Park venue offered the perfect mix of space for show cars and car clubs, plus the exhilarating circuit to let the European Drift Championship and Time Attack series loose on, so ‘Summer in the Park’ was born.
As the first Modified Live event at this circuit it was a new experience for everyone involved, from the competing drivers to the thousands of visitors that turned up. Judging by the reactions though, it was a more than welcome addition to the calendar. From the track perspective, the circuit (which is often likened to a mini Nürburgring) provided the dips, climbs and bends to test the Time Attack cars to the maximum. While the drivers may have started off cautiously, keen to not make a costly error on the technical circuit, the desire for Championship points soon took over. Suspension settings were finely tuned, boost pressures were wound up and the result was a spectacle of speed that only Time Attack can offer. With Impreza’s flying out of Mountain and supercharged MINIs echoing their highly stressed superchargers through the banks and trees of Cadwell Park, the spectators were treated to high octane action throughout the day.
Steve Guglielmi in his aerodynamically tuned Exige set the fastest time of the day in the Final, his 1:31.903secs lap now the benchmark for Time Attack at Cadwell Park. He was closely followed by Gareth Lloyd’s Car Planet Racing EVO, which means the two drivers are now in pole position for the Championship having both won two rounds each. That should make for an exciting Round 5 at Snetterton! Other highlights in Time Attack were the performances of Daniel Gannon in his E36 BMW in the NA Class of Club Class and of Bo Nielsen in his Astra VXR in the FWD Class. Both drivers pushed their cars to Class wins and once again showed the crowds that you don’t need a 600bhp 4WD Japanese car to be competitive. In fact, Cadwell Park once again proved how the tuning world can make the most of a huge variety of cars with everything from MINIs and Fiat Coupes to Supras and Skylines attacking the clock with huge competency and speed.
For those who like to see a little more tyre smoke though, the European Drift Championship was only too happy to oblige. Running a Touge format for this round due to the narrow track, the EDC cars were sent through a challenging series of bends at a larger starting distance from each other than usual.
It didn’t stop the action though, the tree-lined course soon filled with the sound of V8s, screeching tyres and clouds of Pirelli smoke as the chasing drivers tried to reel in the lead car. Paul Conlan in the Sumo Power S15 looked to be in hot form from the beginning and he proved to have the consistency to go with his speed and angles too. Meeting Pete Barber in the Swinton Insurance/Hayward Rotary RX-7 in the final, Conlan’s first leading run edged him ahead, but he was then gifted the win when Barber over-cooked things trying to make amends and span out on his leading run. This was Conlan’s first win in the EDC and was hugely deserved. However, when it comes to the Championship, Mark Luney’s 3rd place finish in the ever-impressive Cosworth/SVA Imports 350Z means it’s now between Barber and Luney for the crown.
With Time Attack and EDC spending so much time on track there was very little time for anything else to take to the circuit. The Ghost Rider motorcycle display team did get in on the action though, performing stunts all through the circuit while being chased by a Police bike! Needless to say, they weren’t caught!
When the competing cars weren’t on circuit, they were in the open pits, giving visitors the chance to get up close and personal to the cars and drivers. The EDC guys even had their own sessions in front of the crowds, answering questions about the sport and giving an insight into what drifting at Cadwell was like. Beyond that were the car club areas, with many local groups such as the Max’d Car Club making an appearance as well as national clubs like OEM+. Interestingly there was a massive turnout of new age Fords at the Lincolnshire venue, a host of Focus STs and RSs looking great parked together.
There was a competitive element in the showground as well though thanks to the Kleers-sponsored Show & Shine. As always the standard of show cars was extremely high with not only sumptuously painted and extensively modified exteriors, but with some highly creative interiors and spotless engine bays too.
Judged to be the best all-rounder however was Rob Sarson’s Toyota Supra, a testament to the work that has been put into every part of the car, from the immaculate engine bay to the eye-catching paintwork. At every Modified Live event there is always a staggering standard in this competition, and with cash prizes and Kleers detailing packs for the winners there’s no wonder. Let’s hope that Modified Live at Snetterton will cap off what’s been a great show season and give all these show cars one last chance for glory in 2010.
Cadwell Park may not be the most glamorous circuit in the UK but it’s certainly one of the best. Fill it up with the massive amounts of horsepower, huge plumes of drift-inspired tyre smoke and hordes of tuning enthusiasts that Modified Live brings and it just gets even better.
This may have been the first time the show has descended on Cadwell Park, but if the excitement and spectacle created is anything to go by, it certainly won’t be the last!
We look forward to welcoming to the final BIG ONE : Modified Live End Of Year Finale - Snetterton Circuit, Norfolk - 10th October 2010.