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Japfest Rock! at Rockingham this weekend

Japfest Rock! at Rockingham this weekend

Posted by Glenn Rowswell on 24th June 2016

A special celebration to mark a million Mazda MX-5s, a display of Boxer-engined Subarus to commemorate 50-years of the brand’s famous flat-four engine, a Fast Car pit lane party and live passenger drift rides will be among the treats in store for fans of Japanese performance cars at this weekend’s Japfest Rock!

The second event in the Japfest series, which takes place at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, Northants, promises an octane-fuelled day of track and static action, as well as some unique features that build on the show’s success, after almost 20,000 fans turned up for the first Japfest show at Silverstone in April.

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The gates will be open from Saturday afternoon, with camping and live entertainment at the centrally-located circuit. A disco featuring three professional DJs will run from 8pm until midnight on the Saturday evening, playing everything from funk to garage and house to urban.

On the Sunday, one of the main attractions will be a celebratory 40 car display from the Mazda MX-5 Owners Club. On April 22nd 2016, Mazda produced the 1,000,000th Mazda MX-5 and the MX5OC will have 10 cars from each of the two-seater sports car’s generations on show. Established in 1994, the MX-5 Owners Club has is now the world’s largest owners club for drivers and enthusiasts of the best-selling sports car, with over 6,500 members and a fantastic range of benefits, services, events and offers.

In addition, Subaru celebrates the 50th anniversary of its famous burbling ‘Boxer’ engine. Over 16-million of the horizontally opposed units have been fitted to the brand’s models since 1966, and Japfest Rock! will celebrate this with a special ‘Best of Boxer’ display, including a brand new WRX STi from Subaru UK, Jake ‘Wrecking Ball’ Archer’s fire-spitting Gymkhana-spec Impreza STi and some extremely rare models such as the Subaru Brat pick-up and SVX.

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Another big draw will be the show’s Drift Passenger Rides, which were a massive hit in 2015. The rides are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit alongside a professional drifter and experience true sideways-all-the-way action, all for just £15 for three laps.

The show will also host a legendary Fast Car party in the pit garages, with a live scratch DJ, amazing subscriptions and merchandise deals and some of the best-modified Japanese cars in the UK, including the iconic 1100bhp, 230mph Top Secret Nissan GT-R.

There will also be live feature car photoshoots taking place. Top automotive photographer Chris Wallbank will be coming along to shoot some future feature cars, so if you’ve ever wondered what goes into a Fast Car feature shoot, this will be a great chance to find out.


Also new for 2016 will be the opportunity to take a six-minute flight over the event and surrounding countryside, courtesy of Phoenix helicopters, at a cost of £45 for adults or £35 for children.

Among the day’s further attractions will be a live demo from the VTEC Challenge series racers. The Honda-only race series will be at full-throttle on the Rockingham National Circuit as they demonstrate the thrills and spills of the famously high-revving engine type, found in the CR-X, Civic, Integra, Accord, Prelude and S2000.

The British Drift Championship will also be at Japfest Rock with four full-throttle sessions throughout the day. Expect to see fast-paced and unhinged backwards entries into the first corner, then it’s foot to floor as they smoke their tyres around the circuit.

Alternatively, those wanting to take their own cars on the circuit can do so, with a number of track time slots available during the day – the sessions are for all abilities and last for 20 minutes.

The action sits alongside a traditional Show & Shine, which brings together the best standard and modified cars from the UK’s active Japanese scene, plus a large and diverse range of club machinery and individual entries.

Aside from the cars there’s the opportunity to hunt for parts and regalia within the Japfest Rock! Retail Village. Sandwiched between the track action and club cars, the Retail Village is packed with everything and anything you could need for your car, including Japanese car parts, accessories, clothing and much more.

Finally, Japfest Rock! has teamed up with Wheel Whores to find the best set of wheels at the show. A team of expert judges will be scouting the showground for their favourite wheels throughout the day. The winner will receive a Wheel Whores trophy and goodie bag worth £60.

Discounted advanced entry tickets* are still available for a very limited time, available from the show’s official Japfest Rock! website