• Record numbers of cars and visitors attend Japfest 2016
• All new Silverstone venue proves a huge draw
• British Drift Championship drivers donate prize money to charity
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 Sunday, April 24, 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 director, Phil Weeden 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 for holding it at Silverstone. The venue was extremely popular with visitors, with much better on-track action and improved facilities. We’re now looking forward to an even bigger and better event for 2017.”
Among show-goers who made the most of the new venue were the British Drift Championship drivers, who once again held the TOYO Tyres ‘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.
Other highlights of the packed out show included a display of 70 FD-Series Mazda RX-7s to mark the model’s 25th anniversary, along with the UK’s biggest ever display of Mitsubishi Evo models.
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.