Whats up, there.
Within the (not that) well-known phrases of Aaron Lewis, it’s been awhile. Actually, it’s felt like an eternity since I’ve final carried out any actual Speedhunting in earnest. Positive, there was a time out at Dubshed, however that was purely for my very own amusement.
A part of this has been all the way down to life being a bit completely different in 2022. I’ve been working as a full season photographer in Method E, photographing three different Irish motorsport championships, and taking pictures commercially for a bunch of manufacturers. Then there was a marriage, which when mixed with the opposite issues, took up a shocking period of time.
There’s additionally the hard-to-admit incontrovertible fact that I simply haven’t been feeling it on the subject of modified autos and automotive tradition for some time. I’ve been deep into this world for nicely over a decade, and I felt like I had reached full saturation level with all of it.
Issues that ought to have excited me, simply didn’t anymore. This was worrying as a result of those self same issues had been thrilling others, so I felt I wanted to step away for a short time.
It was shocking then, that an American YouTuber could be the one to try to drag me again into the fold. Nicely, not Adam LZ himself straight, however his first worldwide competition, which might be held at Mondello Park right here in Eire.
Though I do attempt to stay underneath a rock as a lot as doable lately, I used to be truly conscious of Adam and his YouTube channel. I wasn’t, nevertheless, conscious of simply how in style he’s with a world viewers.
To place issues into perspective, the LZ Fest shattered the attendance document at Mondello Park. It attracted extra folks to the venue than another drift, British GT, British Touring Automobile, British Superbike and FIA Sportscar occasion ever held on the circuit up to now. For a race circuit which has been open for over 50 years, that’s a reasonably spectacular feat.
This explicit occasion was organised by long-time buddies of Speedhunters, Drift Video games, they usually should have pulled in each favour they had been ever owed to lure so many high-profile company throughout a stormy Irish Sea for the weekend.
I felt that this needs to be the occasion to reignite that flame inside me for one thing I’ve spent so lengthy with earlier than. On account of scheduling, I may solely afford to attend one of LZ Fest’s two days, however I used to be decided to make it work.
With no consumer pressures, I used to be solely in attendance to shoot for you and I. It was time for some quaint Speedhunting.
If there was ever an indication that this was going to be an excellent day, Phil Morrison‘s GT1-inspired Lamborghini Murciélago rolling menacingly up the pit lane and out into the present automotive paddock was in all probability it.
The naturally aspirated V12 has been outfitted with ITBs and mated to a handbook 6-speed gearbox, and that’s earlier than you get into the real Reiter Engineering GT1 wide-body, which has been completely crafted and smoothed onto the automotive. Actually, it is likely to be one of many best possible issues I’ve ever seen on 4 wheels with my very own eyes.
The Drift Video games stand itself was host to a reasonably robust collection of automobiles, however these two PS13s had been the picks of the bunch for me. The darkish silver instance is certainly the OG Spirit Rei automotive.
Triple8 Customs introduced alongside just a few previous Speedhunters function automobiles, and a sure future one as nicely. With a turbocharged Honda K24, that is an S15 I can’t wait to shoot on the highway quickly.
Our buddies at Juicebox, in their very own phrases, tried to place one thing skilled collectively for the primary time. They succeeded. I do suppose we’re overdue a barbeque, nevertheless?
Josh Greene was speculated to have his newly-built S15 right here, however he managed to interrupt the gearbox when leaving for the occasion. You possibly can preview the automotive on his Instagram account, nevertheless it’s one other S-body you possibly can anticipate to see right here quickly.
It’s a reasonably large deal when UK manufacturers make their means over to Eire, and it’s one thing which I feel ought to all the time be appreciated. A good mixture of Euro and Japanese automobiles definitely added selection to proceedings.
Eire remains to be very a lot a haven for Japanese automobiles, nevertheless. It’s been some time since I’ve seen a Nissan Pulsar VZ-R within the steel, and this one was a peach.
Whereas the drifters had been the star points of interest, they solely had restricted operating on the Saturday, and within the rain. LZ, the Shanahan brothers, James Deane, Collete Davis, Becky Evans, Jimmy Oakes, Driftworks, NightRide and Low Origin had been simply among the sport’s ambassadors for the weekend. From what I’ve seen and browse elsewhere, they placed on one hell of a present on the Sunday.
The present itself remained my major focus for the day.
I nonetheless can’t consider this many individuals confirmed up on a Saturday (famend for being the ‘quiet’ day of a Mondello Park weekend) and within the worst climate possible. It didn’t cease raining all day, however the precipitation had no have an effect on on anybody’s temper.
In a form of sadistic means, I actually take pleasure in taking pictures automobiles within the rain, though I don’t take pleasure in getting moist. No firm has but to create clothes or outer layers which can be Eire-proof.
The principle decrease paddock featured the bigger portion of static automobiles for the day. It additionally prompted the realisation that Eire actually, actually loves 4 doorways. There’s a separate publish within the making on that specific topic.
It’s been a very very long time since I final attended a devoted Japanese automotive present in Eire (the Juicebox BBQ doesn’t rely as a ‘present’, for my part) so it was a pleasing shock to see how all issues JDM have been progressing.
For essentially the most half, there seems to be a a lot increased commonplace of Japanese automobiles being constructed. Higher components getting used, higher consideration to element, and higher concepts and execution. That there seems to be much less and fewer reliance on reproduction wheels is one other good factor.
This S2000 on Enkei NT03+M wheels with Nitron suspension and a giant ol’ Garrett turbo is operating in extra of 500hp on the rear wheels.
Selection in approaches was spectacular, too. This PS13 on small wheels and that includes a giant ducktail-type spoiler was all types of unbelievable.
As was this 180SX on a set of traditional bronze RAYS Volk Racing TE37s.
I observed much more Japanese automobiles on air suspension at LZ Fest. I feel this will solely be an excellent factor, significantly when attempting to tug off huge, deep, polished wheels.
I simply hope they (all) have their driving heights and pressures dialled in, as how they roll is simply as vital as how they air out. This S14A was a little bit of me.
A Rothmans-liveried MkII Ford Escort is all the time going to be in style right here. I’ve by no means smoked – I feel it’s an terrible habit – however race automotive liveries simply haven’t been the identical since tobacco promoting was banned.
One other welcome sight, a Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution.
I recall Cian that includes one not too long ago, however I can’t keep in mind the final time I’d seen one in individual. The white O.Z. Racing rally wheels with all-terrain tyres are simply such an excellent mixture right here.
It’s an analogous scenario with this suspicious-looking Hilux with TE37Vs and Hoosiers. I’m unsure they’d be a lot use round a chilly, damp Mondello Park, however they set off inside alarm bells that scream ‘greatest to not f*ck with this.’
A lot the identical as automobiles with parachutes, or previous males driving automobiles with gasoline pumps louder than your exhaust.
I in all probability wouldn’t have anticipated a 2JZ in a Ford Capri, nevertheless.
Regardless of the climate conspiring towards us on this explicit Saturday in September, it was a prelude to what was a genuinely particular weekend for Irish automotive tradition. I’m not fully certain if it was simply me that felt it, nevertheless it was a welcome shot within the arm.
Be happy to browse the remainder of the occasion gallery under at your leisure, whereas I get caught into the subsequent story on this sequence. Oh, and earlier than somebody factors it out within the feedback, sure, a specific Audi is completed, and sure, we’ve already photographed it.