Modified Live 2012 Round 3 - Brands Hatch
For Round 3 of the Modified Live series we’ve travelled back down south to the Brands Hatch Circuit – one of the biggest and most-exciting venues of the whole season. Being based on the outskirts of London, Brands Hatch welcomes a massive amount of car clubs, traders and display stands to the 1.2-mile circuit who wouldn’t usually be found at other venues – in fact, Brands Hatch has more car clubs signed up in advance than ever before. Sunday morning as (predictably) brought along a bit of drizzle, but with clear skies in the distance and the plucky British attitude it’s guaranteed to be a good day regardless.
Part of what makes Brands Hatch such a popular venue is just how open the track’s layout is. With all the clubs and traders located along the elevated Brabham Straight nearly the whole Indy Circuit can be viewed from any area – perfect given the huge number of punters already booked in. As soon as you enter the circuit you’re surrounded by clubs including the Lancer Register, and as you make your way down to Paddock Hill Bend there’s a whole range of audio cars courtesy of EMMA and Four Masters along with the Drift Taxis are back offering passenger rides for anyone wanting to get even closer to the action.
As with all Modified Live events, the lunchtime break is the perfect opportunity to witness some very special displays and at Brands Hatch there’s one of the best yet – ex Formula 1 race cars. Not only are these on display in the pits allowing fans to get as close as possible, they’re also being driven in anger round the circuit unleashing over 1500bhp of fury from their highly-tuned V8 engines. Who needs to stand at a soaking Silverstone when you can hear al the action just a few feet away at Brands?
To give you an idea of just how highly tuned these F1 legends are, each engine can only handle a maximum of 4 hours over 9000rpm (the Judd V8 revs to 11,500rpm) before it needs rebuilding. Any longer than this and you’ll be throwing a rod through the side of the block… not a good idea given a basic refresh costs a cool £60,000. What’s more, each engine also requires the fluids to be warmed up and pumped round the coolant/oil system to prevent any damage when firing up the engines – it’s not hard to see why this is the most technologically-advances sport in the world.
Time Attack sponsors KW Automotive have brought along a huge stand to Brands Hatch, their ‘big-rig’ displaying a whole range of different coilovers alongside demo cars including a BMW 1M, Range Rover Evoque and even a Porsche 996 turbo. Along with this, for Brands Hatch KW has brought along the RaceRoom driving simulator – a stand allowing up to 12 people race head to head in super-realistic conditions using a RaceRoom game frame and steering wheel/pedal. What’s more, KW’s expert engineers are on standby for those competing in Time Attack offering advice and fine-tuning to those drivers wanting to extract every ounce of performance as they hammer round the circuit – now that’s what we call service.
Joining KW is a huge range of sponsors and traders including F1-sponsors Petronas Lubricants, aftermarket tuners Kobe Performance, exhaust specialists Milltek and even seat manufacturers Corbeau. Car clubs are out in even bigger force today, varying from regular owners clubs such as the Lancer Register, GTR.co.uk and SXOC.co.uk right through to the Outlaw Jap Club and Beds Modified. What we love about the Modified Live events is the space each club is given to setup and display a huge array of cars, allowing them to bring along DJ setups, BBQs, car plinths and much more. With over 30 clubs in total on display it’s a day’s work just to get round ‘em all and the level of modification for 2012 is the highest we’ve ever seen – huge respect for every owner putting in so much effort on the day.
Kleers once again hosted their Show and Shine competition with Brands Hatch attracting a huge number of competitors in a wide range of cars. ‘We’ve got about 30+ competitors here’ explains Adam from Kleers, ‘but a lot of these guys don’t usually bring their cars out in this weather, so it’s a real privilege to have them all here supporting the Modified Live show.’ Kleers award prizes for the best cars within certain classes, including Euro, Jap, OEM, Retro and of course Best in Show. As well as trophies, each winner gets a goodie bag filled with cleaning products from Kleers – definitely worth entering if you think your motor’s good enough.
There’s a huge amount of action happening throughout the whole day, kicking off with the European Drift Championship at 10am followed by the Time Attack series. In addition to these, both the Civic Cup and Pickup Truck Racing Series are running providing a huge amount of entertainment for the crowds – with all the cars nearly identical in spec the only thing separating these competitors is driver ability. Throw in a slightly damp track and you’ve got some seriously fun racing to watch. In between the relevant series, fans can get up close and personal with all the cars competing be it along the paddock where the EDC is based or right in the pits for the Time Attack class. No other event lets you get so close to so many awesome machines, not to mention asking the drivers questions about what it’s like driving a 900bhp Evo 6 in the wet.
During the lunch break it was time for some demos – first the two F1 cars followed by the 5-tonne, 1000bhp racing trucks. What a sight and noise, we’ve never seen so many people running towards the track at once. These V8-powered monsters absolutely scream round Brands despite the weather, with the aerodynamics and wet weather tyres being the only thing keeping them on the circuit (and a little driver skill, of course). This truly was a once in a lifetime event to see, and we look forward to welcoming them back again in the future.
Luckily for all the 30+ clubs attending there’s a dry circuit and sunshine by mid afternoon, relief to everyone especially those who have been busy cleaning their show cars only to have the rain undo all their hard work. After the lunchtime displays the Civic Cup and Pickup Truck series take to the track once more battling wheel to wheel lapping in the 52-second barrier, not bad when you consider that’s Club class lap times but in head-to-head racing format. Also happening throughout the entire day is the Modified Live drift taxis – simply turn up, buy your ticket and jump in a professional drift car for the ride of your life although sick bags aren’t provided for those with a weak stomach... This is what makes the Modified Live Show such a great series, you don’t just get close to the action; you get involved with it too.
By the end of the day we’ve been rewarded with even more sunshine, and after all the hard work the circuit’s voluntary marshals have put in to provide us with action they’ve now got the chance to jump in with the EDC drivers during the presentations to give them a glimpse of what professional drifting is all about. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for attending and supporting Modified Live regardless of the weather. We’ll see you at Anglesey for rounds 4 & 5 with a bit more sunshine.
For Round 3 of the Modified Live series weve travelled back down south to the Brands Hatch Circuit one of the biggest and most-exciting venues of the whole season. Being based on the outskirts of London, Brands Hatch welcomes a massive amount of car clubs, traders and display stands to the 1.2mile circuit who wouldn’t usually be found at other venues – in fact, Brands Hatch has more car clubs signed up in advance than ever before.