A few of us settled for boredom throughout our pandemic-induced lockdowns, however others used the quiet time to assume, plan and construct. A gaggle of South Australian Japanese automobile fans fell squarely into the latter class, and the end result was a brand new occasion for the native scene.
After profitable occasions in 2021 and 2022, JDM Velocity returned for 2023, greater and higher. This time round, I made the journey down from New South Wales to test it out.
The JDM Velocity staff have taken inspiration from Adelaide’s much-loved All Japan Day, however moderately than emulating what’s already one in all Australia’s largest and best static automobile reveals devoted to Japanese makes and fashions, this one occurs at – and on – the observe.
However not simply any observe – Australia’s latest and arguably most interesting racing facility, The Bend Motorsport Park.
On arrival on the expansive venue in Tailem Bend, simply an hour’s drive from Adelaide’s cityscape, I used to be instantly impressed.
Actually, this place is closest factor you may think about to no matter ‘automobile metropolis’ your baby self promised you’d construct while you have been a grown up. I can’t consider any solution to describe it aside from a multi-million greenback automotive playground.
The Bend in all probability deserves its personal story a while, however right this moment it’s all about JDM Velocity.
Melodies Of Momentum: The Sounds Of Our Folks
As I discussed, it is a dynamic occasion versus a purely static one. As a result of whereas admiring a well-built automobile when it’s parked up is cool – and JDM Velocity means that you can do that too – movement, sound and odor takes them to a different stage.
What’s higher than spending all day taking a look at a cultured RB26 or 2JZ? Listening to these Japanese legends roar and seeing them put their energy to the bottom.
The selection was enormous, offering an actual spectacle when the observe got here alive.
From high-powered Nissan GT-Rs and Mitsubishi Evos to humble-yet-plucky Honda Civics, everybody was united by their love of Japanese automobiles.
The sight of kei automobiles zipping across the circuit was significantly pleasant, and a reminder that enjoyable isn’t all the time measured in horsepower.
The occasion wasn’t with out its share of drama, although. The intermediate periods within the afternoon have been abruptly halted by an engine bay hearth in a Subaru Impreza WRX – a stark reminder of the inherent dangers that include pushing automobiles exhausting, even when it’s only for kicks. Fortunately, nobody was damage however, nonetheless, the sight of a automobile gutted by a fireplace at a social gathering was heart-wrenching.
Regardless of the incident spirits remained excessive, and when the observe reopened the high-RPM soundtrack returned.
For house owners eager to dip their toes, properly… tyres onto the tarmac with out the strain or dangers of racing, quite a few relaxed cruise periods have been organised all through the day.
Not solely was it a little bit of enjoyable for the drivers, however the rolling circus proved to be successful with spectators. I imply, who doesn’t wish to see a Daihatsu Hijet reducing laps on an international-spec circuit?
Quick, Livid & Shiny: The JDM Automobile Showdown
If the circuit motion was the beating coronary heart of JDM Velocity, then the present and shine was unquestionably its soul.
This Autech 260RS Stagea was the unlikely shining star right here, its boxy traces, stylish mods and flawless paintwork incomes it the coveted ‘Better of Present’ award.
If pressed to decide on a private favorite although, it must be this Toyota Cressida.
A uncommon gem nowadays even in inventory kind, ‘V8TZA’ has been utterly reworked – a powerful feat contemplating the shortage of off-the-shelf elements out there. The quantity of customized fabrication work invested on this undertaking is actually inspiring.
Only a stone’s throw away from the present, the extra relaxed automobiles and low enviornment proved to be a treasure trove of automotive jewels. Sponsored by Boss Espresso, this laid-back setting added an genuine JDM contact to the day.
I’m positive I wasn’t the one one who loved this side of JDM Velocity as a lot as the primary present.
I spent a little bit of time trying over SecondStrike’s chopped-up Corolla wagon. I can’t wait to see this drift construct operating partitions and clipping apexes in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later.
After initially rolling my eyes after I found out the DJ had assembled the final word Quick & Livid playlist to pump via The Bend’s PA system, I’ll admit that nostalgia did lend itself to the light-hearted and playful vibe throughout the present. Big transportable screens across the venue additionally offered a top-notch live-stream of the motion, each on the primary circuit and within the drift enviornment.
Talking of drift…
Tokyo Tailem Bend Drift
What would a JDM-centric occasion be with out it? Happily, South Australia’s drift scene was joyful to become involved.
Excessive-speed entries and tight battles have been fought out on the venue’s newly accomplished devoted drift observe, whereas the extra enjoyable facet of the game was represented with expression periods on the massive skid pan.
The drift competitors drew an array of each contemporary and expert drivers from far and large. Paint was swapped from beat-up previous taxis and powered-up econoboxes, proper via to competition-spec drift machines.
The roughest-looking machines demonstrated among the occasion’s most exceptional automobile management, a reminder of drift tradition’s roots.
Sundown Salute: Echoes Of JDM’s Livid Finale
With circuit racing, drifting, a number of automobile reveals, music and nice vibes, JDM Velocity had all of it. The climate cooperated completely too, offering a welcome respite from the area’s current chilly snap.
JDM Velocity might not have been the biggest, or quickest occasion on my calendar, however it doesn’t must be. All it must do is keep true to its imaginative and prescient of bringing the South Australia Japanese automobile group nearer and having enjoyable within the course of.
It’s true – should you construct it, they will come. JDM Velocity wasn’t simply an occasion, it was a celebration of every thing we cherish about Japanese automobile tradition, distilled right into a single day.