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Spring Matsuri 2018: The Report

Spring Matsuri has quickly become the place to be at the start of each drift season, hosted at Rockingham Motor Speedway featuring two days of drifting, four tracks, a skate park, RC drifting, the first round of the HEL Performance Driftcup and even an after party on the Saturday night!

It’s easy to see why Spring Matsuri has become such a well known event for both the drivers and the fans.

The four tracks across the venue challenge the drivers in different ways, the oval features two tracks with high speed transitions on the banking providing a great chance to run the wall in multiple places on each run.

The Infield track is always popular, it’s one of the longest continuous tracks used in the UK with the drivers pushing themselves to link each corner together.

The final track is the Outer Paddock, on Saturday this custom layout is available to all of the drivers before the Driftcup drivers take over on Sunday for the first round of their 2018 season.

The outer paddock layout started off with fast sweeping corners before progressively tightening toward the end of the track, this gave chase drivers every opportunity to close up on the lead car.

The selection of cars at the Matsuri weekends is always impressive and this time was no exception! There were plenty of the usual S13s, S14s and Skylines, alongside rarer chassis choices like Martin Wonnacott’s JZX100 or Leonard Kepert’s monster of a BMW E46.

Something that stands out at these events is the range of driving talent on track at any time, from grassroots drivers to current British Drift Championship entrants.

If the track action wasn’t varied enough there was always the RC drift track with a huge selection of cars for people to try out on their custom track, every time we looked in it was clear that it has become a popular addition to the event.

Team Extreme ran a few demos each day on the skate park that had been constructed for the event, performing their tricks on BMX’s and Scooters. Mark Webb, professional BMXer and drifter also joined in with the displays.

As the darkness drew in on Saturday the tracks closed but it wasn’t the end of the action, the Outer Paddock came to life with the team battles. Each team featured three drivers running together with the aim of impressing the crowds in order to advance through each stage of the competition.

A couple of hours of great drifting followed before the fireworks ended the track action for the evening before the after party kicked off, continuing into the early hours.

Sunday morning came around and it was time to do it all over again on the oval tracks and the infield, whilst Round 1 of the 2018 HEL Performance Driftcup took place on the outer paddock.

The spectators flocked to the wall on the outer paddock to watch as the Driftcup drivers battled hard throughout the day, running in close proximity to each other and the wall in front of the fans.

By the end of the weekend many tyres had been shredded, a lot of fun had been had by all and everyone left the event with smiles on their faces.

It had been another successful Spring Matsuri, an event that continues to grow each year, we are already looking forward to the next one!

The Spring Matsuri

Since 2013 the Matsuri has taken place at Anglesey Circuit; the north Wales venue is perfect for such an event.

As the event has gained a reputation for being the end of season party before the off season, thoughts had been rushing around the organisers minds as to whether or not a Spring Matsuri would, or could, be possible.

The use of Anglesey at the beginning of the year is not an option for various reasons, so the hunt was on for a suitable venue that could cater for an event to surpass any other.

Rockingham fitted the bill perfectly! The first ever Spring Matsuri would be the biggest single drift event the country had ever seen!

The event would cater for every level of drifter, from first time drivers to former champions and everyone in between.

Added to the main event was round one of the Driftcup series. The feeder series to the British Drift Championship would feature in the outer paddock. The track was designed to get the drivers to show they could use proximity when the battles started.

As at all previous Matsuri, the mixture of cars would allow those with different tastes something to admire and take a look at. There was a host of different BMWs, the usual array of S and R bodied Nissans, Mazdas, a couple of Ford Escorts, plus a few Toyotas.

The infield track would be a very busy place. Plenty of drivers had heard of the high speed, technical nature of the track and wanted to make the most of it.

The outer oval, which was originally designed for Nascar and Indy cars, is HUGE. The area around turn three was transformed into a high speed section that would test the drivers’ ability to the max.

The circuit would, for only the second time in its history, remove a section of the concrete wall at the end of the pit lane. This would allow a track to be designed which would see drivers finish drifting in the pit lane. Not only that, but the outer wall would be the boundary – get this track wrong and your car would experience some serious damage.

Drivers coped with all three tracks with no problems. Clouds of smoke would fill the venue with drivers making the most of the track time available.


We will leave you with a selection of pictures from various photographers, all of which we thank for catching the action.

A full gallery can be found on our facebook page

Keep checking back for details on the next #matsuri