After the success of last year’s event we at Team Japspeed couldn’t wait to attend Top Gear Live 2012 to amaze the crowds with our indoor drift displays! Over the course of the 25th-28th October Birmingham’s NEC was filled with some of the most exclusive cars from around the world, with used and abused rally cars rubbing shoulders with some of the rarest super cars in the world and one off creations such as James Bond’s very own Aston Martin DB5. Of course, we were more interested in filling the indoor arena with the sound of turbocharged engines and plenty of smoke from our Maxxis tyres!
The event actually started a week earlier for ourselves as we were required to attend a dress rehearsal at the indoor arena, but once that was done and dusted we headed back to the NEC on the Wednesday with our brand new 2JZ-GTE powered Lexus and our 1JZ powered Subaru Impreza in tow.
While the Subaru was to spend its time on display at the Maxxis tyres stand, the Lexus was destined to be abused on the indoor track by Team Japspeed driver Shane O’Sullivan, who was excited to get to grips with a car so very different from his usual RB25 powered Nissan S15.
Shane wasn’t going to be alone on the track as Japspeed team mate Shane Lynch was also attendance, ready to deafen the crowds with the thunderous sound from his VH45DETT powered Nissan S15.
With Top Gear being the most watched factual television show in the world it wasn’t long before we saw something from the show that we recognised; the world famous Kia Cee’d as used by the Stars in a Reasonably Priced Cars.
Team Japspeed mechanic Ant also got to meet The Stig; it has been said that Ant is rarely seen with a smile on his face in photos, but I think on this occasion he came very close to managing it!
Shane also got the chance to spend some time chatting to Vicki Butler-Henderson.
As a result of there being quite a bit of down time between displays, the Shanes definitely didn’t hold back when they were unleashed for another run of the track, with the maximum amount of smoke possible being the order of the day.
With the Japspeed Lexus not having so much as a shakedown beforehand, pitting it head first into such unique conditions was always going to be a gamble, and unfortunately for Shane O’Sullivan he was struggling to get to grips with the 2JZ powered beast. With the car being setup for high speed drifts on high traction race circuits, the balance of the car wasn’t suited to the low speed, low grip indoor arena, and the decision was made for Shane’s RB powered Nissan S15 to be used instead. After a quick brew…
…the S15 was delivered to the NEC in record time! Now he was back behind the wheel of a car he knows inside out, Shane had no problems putting down some great runs and fantastic close proximity twinning with the other Shane.
With drifting’s ever-increasing popularity showing no signs of slowing it’s always a big thrill to demonstrate the sport to crowds who have little or no experience of the sport, and there’s no doubt that we gave them all the right impression with our brilliant displays!
Team Japspeed would like to take this opportunity to give Top Gear Live a massive thank you for giving us the chance to demonstrate drifting to the British public once again. We would also like to say thanks for all the fans that came to the show and supported us as always!