The biggest Japanese car show in Europe drew record crowds at its new Silverstone home, with almost 20,000 visitors, an increase of 20 per cent over the previous record achieved in 2015.
Fans of Japanese performance models flocked to the iconic race circuit on 24 April, to witness an incredible spectacle, filled with amazing cars and a mixture of on-track and static action, as well as a thriving trade area.
Event Manager, Kat Chappell, said: “The show was always going to be busy, with more than 3,000 cars on display and advance ticket sales up 40 per cent year-on-year, but the great thing is the huge amount of positive feedback we got about the move to Silverstone. The venue was extremely popular with visitors, with much better on-track action and improved facilities. We’re excited by plans to add even more to the event in 2017. But, of course, fans don’t have too long to wait until Japfest Rock, which takes place on 26 June.
Among show-goers who made the most of the new venue were the British Drift Championship (BDC) drivers, who once again held the TOYO Tires ‘Drift Kings’ competition to find the fastest and most spectacular drift driver. But this year, rather than compete for out-and-out style and finesse, the BDC drivers elected to use the extra speed and space offered by the change of venue to work together and put on the best show they could for the eager crowds, donating the £1,000 prize money to charity. The overall winner was Matt Carter, who stood out on the day with 107 mph on initiation to be crowned ‘Drift Kings Champion 2016’, but the spectacle was a real team effort. Marc Huxley and Paul Cheshire took second and third places respectively.
Other highlights of the packed out show included a display of 70 FD-Series Mazda RX-7s, sponsored by Essex Rotary, to mark the model’s 25th anniversary.
The new, more central, venue forms a significant part of Japfest’s broader expansion, as the best-known series of Japanese car events in the UK. In 2016, Japfest Rock! (the new name for Japfest 2) returns to Rockingham Motor Speedway on 26 June and also has track time available, while a brand new, third Japfest event has also been added to the calendar, Japfest Motorsport Heroes.
Taking place at the Hop Farm near Paddock Wood, Kent, on 11 September, Japfest Motorsport Heroes will be a special event celebrating some of the most iconic and significant Japanese cars from the world of motor sport, along with their road going equivalents.