Oulton Park 2011 - Season Starter
April 16th signalled the kick-start of the UK show season with Modified Live @ Oulton Park. With hundreds of top-quality cars on display from a huge array of clubs the gleaming sunshine made for an impressive turnout on the day. Modified Live really is a show for all the family, with masses of trade stands and car clubs to suit every genre.
Modified Live also signalled the start of the 2011 European Drift Championship and Time Attack series providing continuous action all day. First out on track was the EDC practice first thing in the morning, and with entry speeds reaching over 90mph the EDC competitors filled the entire course full of Pirelli smoke! Tim Marshall in the SVA Imports 350Z kept the crowd hugely entertained attempting a backwards entry into the first corner – getting it slightly wrong the first resulting in a trip to the gravel! Brett Castle also unveiled his new drift car for the season, a lightweight 2.2-litre Nissan S15 sponsored by non-other than Nismo. Best of all, Modified Live allows punters to get right up close to every car and even chat to the drivers.
A welcome addition to 2011 was some 100+ Minis not just on display but also competing in the ‘Mighty Mini’ and ‘Super Might Mini’ races taking place in between the Time Attack rounds. What’s the difference between the two? Well the ‘Super Mighty Minis’ are for those who’ve either raced in Mighty Minis for a year or any other kind of motorsport. When you see these little beasts in action you’ll soon understand why – often going 4-wide into a single corner racing bumper to bumper all the way round the course.
The opening round of Time Attack saw nearly 40 competitors battle it out in the Club, Club Pro and Pro classes which featured even more diversity in 2011. We’re talking about Mark Pollard’s Metro 6R4, Jimmy White’s VX220, David Jackson’s Escort Cosworth and the trusty (and only) Italian competitor, Antonio Giovinazzo’s Alfa 155 turbo. Naturally the MLR, SIDC, GTROC clubs all turned out in huge form to support those members competing on the day, with the MLR and SIDC even giving out their own awards for the fastest cars on the day.
There was no shortage of action throughout the day, but there’s always those few who need a slightly bigger thrill on the day. Naturally Modified Live is fully prepared for said people, with professional Drift Taxis being provided for those brave enough on Oulton Park’s rally course! For just £10 you could be ‘whisked’ by one of the Pro drivers for an experience you’ll never forget. They make it look easy out on the track, but when you see the skill needed to control a car sideways as 70mph + it gives a whole new kind of respect for the EDC!
As If that wasn’t enough tyre smoking for you, the five-tonne, 800bhp Racing Truck was back again putting on a series of crazy displays during the Time Attack/EDC track breaks. If you think how much smoke a pair of 18in 285-wide drift tyres produce, try imagining what six truck tyres produce with 800bhp shredding ‘em up.
With such glorious weather it was good to see the clubs and punters making the most of it setting up stands complete with BBQs and DJs in every direction. Each club brought along their own array of motors, from retro fords to rat-look Peugeots! The trade area was buzzing right from the start with all kinds of bargains to be had. Whether you needed speakers, CDs, wheels or polished engine bay goodies Modified Live catered for all. Main sponsors Pirelli setup stand by the EDC cars and if you stuck around long enough you could be guaranteed a 2011 Pirelli baseball cap – who doesn’t love a freebie?
Cheshire Police even made an appearance complete with a driving simulator for punters to try out – always good to have the local Police on your side! On the car audio front, the EMMA team brought along an array of brain-shaking ICE cars capable of producing over 150db of noise. Don’t be fooled by their often standard exterior – pop open the boot and you’ll be greeted with a solid wall of speakers, amps and batteries! Some even fill their cars with concrete in the quest for achieving maximum noise.
With scorching weather and action all through the day the UK show season couldn’t have started any better. The weather’s going to be hard to match when we reach Scotland next month, but Knockhill always seems to bring out the sunshine the one day of the year Modified Live arrives. We’ll see you there!