The Norfolk show certainly cut the mustard when it came to smoky drift action, mental track shenanigans and cool show cars
You’ve got to love an early morning start on a Sunday, especially at this time of the year when darkness is guaranteed. Fortunately, Dan turned up in a high vis jacket so there was no losing him. Fortunately, unfortunately, not sure which.
Hopping in the M3 (again, Dan’s Civic still not ready!) it was a pretty uneventful drive to Snetterton, apart from two things. One; the lovely Sproughton Services on the A14. It seems new, had Shell V-Power, a Greggs and a Spar. There’s even a Starbucks drive-thru if you still hate money after filling up your car. And two; Josh Nash’s Focus RS. The track-prepped beauty pulled up at the services, was quickly admired and then we left him behind… only to be passed on the A14 a few minutes later by the same car in triple figures, flames spitting from the exhausts. Apparently he was late for the Time Attack driver briefing. He made it on time.
It was a slightly more unusual show for the MAXERS boys though as it turned out there was a good reason for Dan’s high vis fashion faux pas. He’d been roped into doing the social media for the Drift Pro Championship by our old mate Andy Barnes (built record-breaking Sumo Power GT-R, looks like Jesus), so I was kind of flying solo. Nonetheless, here are ten things I learnt from the good people of Modified Live Snetterton while Dan was off being highly visible.
1. Ford people hate this Escort: That's what the owner said about his creation, which is strange because everyone else loves it. In fact, it won top honours in the Show and Shine, such was the love here. The reason Ford purists hate it ? Probably something to do with the Toyota 3S-GTE engine from the Celica GT-Four now sat in front of the rear axle. Apparently that's good for over 400bhp on 99RON fuel. Jealousy is a terrible thing.
2. A Polo 6N 'Open Air' roof does fit a Mk4 Golf: There's nothing quite like cruising in summer with a big open sunroof... but what do you do if your car hasn't got one? This legend simply pinched one from a Polo and stuck it in his Golf's roof, modestly claiming it was a job that took hours rather than days. It's all wired up properly too!
3. Car shows can reveal to you your dreams: We all play 'dream garage' in our heads at times. Some spawny people even own their favourite three cars (or more). This parked-up triplet was almost my dream garage; an E46 M3, a Mk4 Supra and a Mitsubishi Evo V. Obviously I'd pick my E46 M3, the Supra would be wearing TRD or Top Secret arches and I'd probably swap the Evo for an Impreza - just because I can't help loving Imprezas - but you get the idea. Car shows are great for little spots like these.
4. A 1.6-Litre EcoBoost does fit in a Mk1 Focus: Alex Howe's (@ajhowe26) unusual Time Attack build packs an ST180 Fiesta engine under the bonnet, and with a 290bhp punch it's certainly not shy! Apparently the engine swap was surprisingly easy, with standalone management and aftermarket dials one of the keys to success, rather than trying to use the ST's ECU and clocks. One of the coolest cars on the grid? Possibly.
5. It's fine to get wood: If you smash your downforce-inducing splitter and can't get a replacement, it's fine to employ some of your school woodwork lessons and knock one up out of plywood. Didn't seem to hamper Stuart Simms in the G-R Performance Evo as he still managed to get round Snetterton in under 1min 20secs!
6. Crowds love tyre smoke: Ok, so this isn't ground-breaking news, but every time the Drift Pro Championship drivers took to the track the Snetterton show-goers flocked to get the best view. Whether they were there for driving skill, big angles, revving V8s, tyre smoke or crashes... well, they got it all!
7. You can be serious... and have fun: If you've ever looked in the boot of the Orion owned by @rs_xtrix you've probably smiled at his Scalextric-based diorama. It's excellent. But don't go thinking this car is child's play. A sit inside reveals a very serious sounding install, finely tuned with near-perfect staging to make even Justin Beiber sound half-enjoyable (Ok, maybe not Bieber). He also won the 'Most Inspiring' award in the Show and Shine... presumably after the judge had received a similar demo.
8. The Norris Designs SWEVO is still the boss: Despite having an oil leak creeping into the cockpit, Simon Norris (@norris_designs) pushed on for a 1:10.69 lap to win the Pro Class by over one second. And he reckons there's more power to come from it. Lap records will fall in 2022! Let's just hope he's not abandoning laps to deal with a 'small fire' in the cockpit again though!!
9. Graphics done right is a wonderful thing: Now, I'm a big fan of sticking a coat of luscious paint on a car and keeping the vinyl to a minimum. It's something I think with race cars too; ever seen a WRC car before the sponsor graphics go on? Awesome! But graphics done right can really work. These two Hondas from Norfolk-based Street Elite Cruiserz (@streetelitecruiserz) prove the point and helped them stand out for the right reasons. And the race-rep graphics on the Merc looked the part too... although I still can't help wondering how sweet it might look sticker-free and coated in kandy paint.
10. It's not just Honda boys that like a K20: The high-revving engine appears to be finding its way into everything. Pretty soon there won't be a Honda Civic Type R left with one in. Aside from the Ford Fusion that's done pretty well in Time Attack this year with a K20 in, this Peugeot 205 from Spoox Motorsport (@spooxmotorsport) also employs one. And a rather large turbo. Tidy install too.
There were other things learnt at Snetterton too, like the Texaco-liveried Focus being built by students with autism and ADHD (check out the video below or www.rallysport-eng.com), that a 16-year old can win a drift competition and that Dan has a penchant for cider! Oh, and I can't stop taking pictures of my own car... see Exhibit A below.
Another thing that came to light was trying to film and photograph at the same time ain't easy... so if you can't see your car in the pics on this page then take a look at this rather long video! More pictures below too. Enjoy (we did!).