Early morning starts can be hard work but when fuelled with the knowledge you’re going to be driven to Castle Combe in a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R V-Spec II Nür, it seems to be effortless.
As I arrive at the M5 services for my Torque GT rendevous, breaking the early morning silence were a group of like-minded fanatics in Evo’s also making their way to JDM Combe.
Then I heard it, the rumble of my Millennium Jade taxi arriving. Even in the low light it looked stunning. A quick coffee and we were on our way, my senses overwhelmed by the sound of this car; it felt as if I was sitting on the exhaust.
As we approached Castle Combe, the proportion of JDM machinery increased considerably. On arrival at the circuit the Nür was ushered to it’s home for the day where it came to a halt amongst the best of the best. It’s company didn’t disappoint.
Once media accreditation was sorted out I was faced with the question…what to do first? A bacon sarnie was fairly high on the list of priorities but suddenly I became very distracted by ‘A BEUT’. Steve the proud owner of this fantastic NSX apparently converted it from more of a track focused car to one which was more suitable for UK roads. Although this incarnation will likely split many NSX purists opinions it was a serious contender for my car of the day.
Cars within the best of the best display were a sight to behold. As well as the Nür and a very special NSX there was a weird and wonderful collection including a R33 GT-R pickup (GT-P), a yellow Datsun 260Z, an intensely pink 350Z, Mugen RR and a gorgeous Celica Liftback 2000 GT (RA28) amongst many others.
After soaking in the initial impact of sheer JDM variety it was off to Camp Corner to shoot some track action, firstly a ‘run what you brung’ session. From low to high displacement, FWD, RWD, AWD, it was great to see a real mix of metal unleashed.
For the Drifting, threatening rain clouds loomed but instead clouds of tyre smoke enveloped the crowds. Fully lit up with rubber flying they flicked out of the apex one by one, what a sight!
Following this, the bleak sky had surrendered to sunlight, enabling all the pristine vehicles on display show and shine. My eyes were hit by an array of blue wings and vents as Somerset Scooby’s were out in force. Contrasting to this, Mitsubishi Lancer Register (MLR) had a superb range of ‘Evolution’ to marvel.
Appreciating the attention to detail the owners devote to their cars presents a unique identity that tells a story of dedication. It’s a great way to present as an individual or group.
Fortunately the rain held off throughout the day. At Quarry Corner I felt much closer to the action as the Drifters rhythmically hooned past at ludicrous angles, often engulfed in smoke.
After the final drift session for the day people started to head home, leaving Castle Combe with a last hurrah of rasping and burbling combustion echoing off into the distance in true JDM style. All in all a fantastic day out!
Words & Photos: Jacob Ashworth