I can’t remember which year the annual Anglesey Drift Matsuri event started (I’m thinking maybe 2013?) but I know that I’ve been to every single one since its inception. I’ve also only ever driven at two of them which, if it was any other event, would be quite frustrating. In the case of Drift Matsuri though, it’s quite the opposite. The weekend is an ideal end of season wind down and social event, where a lot of people come to finish off their cars for the year and enjoy the party atmosphere.
Living only two hours away, I set off at midday on Saturday in order to catch the last few hours of open pit lane drifting before the traditional night time demo and competition.
Looking back, I think I’ve taken a different car to the event every year. I’m not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing but, considering I’ve slept in all of them (it’s far too windy to be pitching a tent on the Anglesey coastline at this time of year) my VW Passat estate that I used last year was definitely the most suitable for the job. Nevertheless, this time round I’d be using my Y32 Cedric for the trip.
The 326POWER Yabaking 1-Piece wheels are a recent addition and I’ll be sure to do a proper photo shoot and feature with the car when the bodywork has been brought up to scratch. Measuring 18×9.5J-2 and 18×10.5J+10, I had originally requested them in GT Silver but 326POWER Japan bossman Haruguchi insisted that I fitted a set in Matte Black. I was very apprehensive when I took them out of their respective boxes but, after fitting them to the car, I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much they suited the dull grey paintwork.
Anyway, enough of that; Cedric made the 100 mile-or-so journey at 70mph without any dramas (the speed at which the fuel gauge drops is no longer alarming but it’s still depressing) and I immediately started to wander around the pits.
The first car I found was James of off Driftworks’ 1972 Toyota Hilux, fitted with a 1.8 lump from a later model MX5 that had also been treated to a little TD04 turbo. This was the car’s shakedown after it had been finished in a bit of a hurry the night before but the overall execution was of course absolutely fantastic. I’ll have a little feature on it to post shortly but, in the meantime, you can check out this video of it that Driftworks have just put together.
Also in the Driftworks garage was the DW S15 which had been plagued with SR20-related problems in the run up to the event. The guys seemed to have got it sussed but…
…when I arrived the rocker cover was off and there was talk of snapped rocker arms and shims that had gone AWOL. Not ideal.
This slightly battered but very cool looking KP61 was a personal favourite. Everything from the wheel choice to the slightly rusted door and mismatched bonnet brought so much character to it.
It clearly wasn’t a drift car but I enjoyed looking at this GS300.
I’m presuming it was on air ride but I wasn’t too fussed as it actually sat really well. I hope it looks similarly as good at driving height.
This S14 looked like it may have been on air ride too but, unlike the GS300, I wasn’t sure how to feel about it.
I had to give it kudos for the 1048 Style stickers though. Not too many people seem to be aware of Toshiya Ichiraku’s (the business brain behind Rauh Welt, or at least he used to be) other brand.
Unfortunately Nathan’s day was plagued by engine trouble which was a real downer for him.
The StyleCase squad were out in force…
…with both Ryan‘s MX5…
…and Chris‘ MX5 up to their usual tricks on track.
I’ve seen this AE86 a handful of times now and I can never get enough of that candy red paint.
The Team Bustin’ Loose pits had it all really. I couldn’t really capture it in the above photos but there is a bunch of sofas on the right and a hot tub on the left…
…both of which were accompanied by this vintage motorbike parked outside. I know nothing about bikes but I knew enough to know that it was awesome.
Now this wasn’t something I was expecting to see: a Daihatsu Charmant.
The last time I saw one of these in the flesh was at Todoroki‘s infamous garage near Osaka, Japan so it was cool to see one on UK shores.
I’m sure I heard some whispers about this Charmant running a V8 but I’ll reserve judgement until I know for sure!
Matt Denham is such a talented driver but he always seems to have the worst luck with his LS-powered RX8. I don’t think I saw the car with all four wheels on the ground at any point during the weekend which was a real shame.
Another lovely AE86.
I can’t recall ever featuring an E60 BMW on here before but something really drew me to this one (presumably the dish on the rear wheels, which was pretty impressive for a stock body car).
Random shot of a 326POWER Manriki rear wing on Keith Bart O’Shea’s S13. I’ve got more stock of the new style versions of these on the way and they’re due to land early to mid-December. You’d better reserve one now if you want to guarantee getting your hands on one when they arrive.
As night took hold I spotted this E46 parked up. I know that having fibreglass-everything isn’t anything new in competition drifting any more but I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a drift car with a one-piece bonnet and front wings clamshell arrangement. Pretty cool.
The Driftworks DW86.
Truth be told I didn’t watch too much of the night drifting as there were much more pressing matters to attend to…
…including the aforementioned hot tub, obviously.
After a very quiet and subdued evening, the morning was with us far too quickly. Julian Smith‘s Advan-liveried ER34 looked great.
Huxley‘s S14 parked up ready for another day of abuse. Unfortunately he blew his gearbox a few hours later which meant game over.
AE86 gang. Due to Anglesey circuit’s location the Matsuri is hugely popular with Irish drifters, who in turn tend to bring a lot of 86s with them.
A very functional (and BN-Sports Blister-equipped) S15 running a VR38 GTR setup.
It’s quite refreshing to see such a highly specced car with a fairly clean and simple exterior, not to mention the wheels fitting under the arches.
I sort of wished there was a better bonnet solution though, although I guess this would take a lot of time and work to clear the VR38. I feel a subtle bulge or similar would be a good shout.
The interior was about as simple and functional as it could have been, too.
In all honesty though, I preferred this street style S15 that pulled in for a tyre change as I was about to set off home. The MB Battle/CST and WORK T7R combo was very strong, along with the full complement of Origin Racing Line aero.
I also spotted these two on my way out. The E46 in particular had a pretty wild wheel fitment setup, especially at the rear. Once again, I’m presuming this was on air ride but this was at least a good demonstration of how mad you can go when you don’t need to worry about driving the car at this height.
And that was it, the last drift event of the year. Actually, just as I’ve written that I’ve remembered that Rockingham are holding another Meihan event shortly, so I’ll be sure to be at that to get some more photo and video coverage.
The drive home from Anglesey was absolutely horrendous thanks to a completely jammed M56 but, on the upside, I spotted a few full blown rally cars sat in the same traffic as they made their way to and from the Welsh WRC event. Shout outs also go to the people who yelled various things at me in traffic, usually regarding Cedric. Cheers.