Brands Hatch 2011 - Modified Live weekender Part 1
On June 25th Modified Live descended on Brands Hatch - one of the best venues on the calender thanks to its massive accessibility and club / trader space. What's more, with Brands being in the south-east of England and right by London we welcomed a huge range of new (local) traders and car clubs including Kent Modified, Street Elite and Definitive Cruisers.
But Modified Live isn’t just about cruising; we cater for all aspects of modifying, car culture and sometimes not even cars. Brands Hatch brought along the Ducati Monster owners club, displaying some of the most-lethal bikes capable of 180mph+ you’ll ever see. Even though Saturday was more focused on the Time Attack and EDC racing, plenty of traders were out showing off their latest products and offering some serious bargains on the day. Corbeau seats brought along their entire range alongside Cosworth who, as well as sponsoring the series, had on display a full Cosworth Impreza engine, big-brake conversion and equal-length manifolds – super high-quality parts with proven performance.
On the Sunday Kleers would be hosting their annual show and shine with no fewer than 70 cars entering, but on the Saturday the Kleers stand played host to a completely different selection of cars – concourse retro and classic motors. Displayed in better-than-new condition these classics ranged from a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air right through to a mint Escort XR3i 100% standard – right down to the original wheels and exhaust. During the lunch time break all of the Maidstone Classic Car club owners even did a few parade laps on the Brands circuit, with commentator Bryn fully testing his classic car knowledge identifying each one for the crowds.
In between the Time Attack rounds Brands Hatch also hosted the Dunlop Ford Fiesta race series – while these may not have anywhere near the power of the TA cars, the racing is SERIOUSLY close as all competing cars follow very similar specs. With upto 20 cars on the grid it made for some properly entertaining viewing, with spins, slides, overtakes and even the odd prang happening every single lap. Happily the two races also dried out the track for the EDC competitors just in time, too.
Towards the Paddock Hill Bend of the circuit was the ever-popular Drift Taxis, including Belinda Challis’ RB30-powered R32 GTS-T. Belinda’s one of the most experienced drifters in the UK and certainly knows how to scare even the manliest of men. For just £10 you could have your organs re-arranged around the Drift Taxi area, an experience you’ll never forget… or get a ‘loved’ one strapped up instead and watch them scream in fear. Up towards the Clearways corner were the main Saturday club displays, with regulars such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Register out in force to support the huge amount of Time Attack Evos competing on the day. If you’re a Mitsubishi owner, the MLR is one of the best clubs to be a part of offering member discounts, cheap show tickets, expert advice and much more.
At 1:30 the two racing trucks hit the circuit, with over 1000bhp each and 2000lb-ft of torque they’re just bonkers to watch. Five tonnes of truck drifting at over 70mph – you don’t need balls to drive one of these, you need a brain transplant. With four rear wheels spinning up these bad boys put on enough smoke to rival even the best EDC drivers – if all trucks on the motorways ran these engines there’d be no more ‘snail overtaking’ round the M25 that’s for sure.
Now it’s all well and good watching the Time Attack cars put in some blisteringly quick laps, but what about if you’re more of a ‘hands on’ kinda guy? Modified Live offered three public track time sessions for those looking to experience the speed of the Brands circuit first hand. All you needed was a helmet, driving license and £20 to get yourself out on track for 20 minutes – an absolute bargain. Track days are WELL worth doing, you may think you’re a bit handy behind the wheel but it’s a much different experience to actually be out on circuit with the camber, gradient, g-forces and sheer width to deal with. It puts into perspective the skill and speed the Time Attack car and drivers face when setting a sub 55-second lap, not to mention the craftsmanship needed to keep the engine and gearboxes in one piece.
If you’ve never been to Brands Hatch before (and you’re obviously a motorsport fan) prepare to make your wallet a little bit lighter. Behind the grandstands on the main straight are multiple Racing Nostalgia shops which feature some of the rarest goodies you’ll ever see. F1 models, GT1 models, t-shirts, helmets, hats, autographed pictures, genuine F1 car parts – it’s a mind-blowing amount of gear catering for all kinds of racing both old and new, and best of all is (if you’ve got the pennies) you can own everything. We’ve got no idea what use an ex-F1 wheel/tyre would be used for, but that didn’t stop us wanting to take one home…
Towards the end of the day with the EDC and Time Attack finals underway, Modified Live had one last unique trick up its sleeve, hosting the annual 2011 British B.Boy championships. Now, if you’ve never seen B.Boys in action or even know what it is, prepare to be blown away. Break dancing is unlike any other form of dancing, it’s absolutely phenomenal to watch. The sheer skill and strength needed to do even the most basic spins looks super-human, let alone sliding head-first along the floor with your legs crossed up. To see videos and more incredible images check out www.ukbboy.info – it may not be car related but it’s seriously impressive, and made for an awesome end to the Modified Live event.