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 automotive fans fell squarely into the latter class, and the outcome 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 quite than emulating what’s already one in every of Australia’s largest and best static automotive exhibits devoted to Japanese makes and fashions, this one occurs at – and on – the monitor.
However not simply any monitor – 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 might think about to no matter ‘automotive metropolis’ your youngster self promised you’d construct whenever you had been a grown up. I can’t consider any strategy to describe it apart from a multi-million greenback automotive playground.
The Bend most likely deserves its personal story a while, however at the moment it’s all about JDM Velocity.
Melodies Of Momentum: The Sounds Of Our Individuals
As I discussed, this can be a dynamic occasion versus a purely static one. As a result of whereas admiring a well-built automotive 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 sophisticated RB26 or 2JZ? Listening to these Japanese legends roar and seeing them put their energy to the bottom.
The selection was large, offering an actual spectacle when the monitor 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 notably pleasant, and a reminder that enjoyable isn’t at all times measured in horsepower.
The occasion wasn’t with out its share of drama, although. The intermediate periods within the afternoon had been abruptly halted by an engine bay fireplace in a Subaru Impreza WRX – a stark reminder of the inherent dangers that include pushing automobiles arduous, even when it’s only for kicks. Fortunately, nobody was damage however, nonetheless, the sight of a automotive gutted by a hearth at a social gathering was heart-wrenching.
Regardless of the incident spirits remained excessive, and when the monitor reopened the high-RPM soundtrack returned.
For house owners eager to dip their toes, effectively… tyres onto the tarmac with out the stress or dangers of racing, quite a few relaxed cruise periods had 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 slicing laps on an international-spec circuit?
Quick, Livid & Shiny: The JDM Automotive 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 as of late even in inventory type, ‘V8TZA’ has been fully reworked – a powerful feat contemplating the shortage of off-the-shelf elements accessible. The quantity of customized fabrication work invested on this challenge is actually inspiring.
Only a stone’s throw away from the present, the extra relaxed automobiles and occasional area 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 facet 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 sooner or later sooner or later.
After initially rolling my eyes after I found out the DJ had assembled the last word Quick & Livid playlist to pump by way of The Bend’s PA system, I’ll admit that nostalgia did lend itself to the light-hearted and playful vibe throughout the present. Big moveable screens across the venue additionally supplied a top-notch live-stream of the motion, each on the primary circuit and within the drift area.
Talking of drift…
Tokyo Tailem Bend Drift
What would a JDM-centric occasion be with out it? Fortuitously, South Australia’s drift scene was glad to become involved.
Excessive-speed entries and tight battles had been fought out on the venue’s newly accomplished devoted drift monitor, whereas the extra enjoyable aspect of the game was represented with expression periods on the big skid pan.
The drift competitors drew an array of each contemporary and expert drivers from far and vast. Paint was swapped from beat-up previous taxis and powered-up econoboxes, proper by way of to competition-spec drift machines.
The roughest-looking machines demonstrated a number of the occasion’s most outstanding automotive management, a reminder of drift tradition’s roots.
Sundown Salute: Echoes Of JDM’s Livid Finale
With circuit racing, drifting, a number of automotive exhibits, 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 most important, or quickest occasion on my calendar, however it doesn’t have to be. All it must do is keep true to its imaginative and prescient of bringing the South Australia Japanese automotive group nearer and having enjoyable within the course of.
It’s true – in case you construct it, they will come. JDM Velocity wasn’t simply an occasion, it was a celebration of every little thing we cherish about Japanese automotive tradition, distilled right into a single day.