DRIFTING, DRAGS, SKIDS AND PLANES, WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT FROM A CAR SHOW?
Boasting jet cars, jet planes and with drifting to top it off — the Ardmore Showdown played host to a variety of events at Auckland’s Ardmore Airport
Planes racing jet cars, and drift cars locked in some sort of Manji battle with helicopters, this stuff is not your usual car-show entertainment — unless you found yourself at Ardmore Aerodrome for Wings vs Wheels — Ardmore Showdown on February 15.
Holding racing at Ardmore is not an unusual concept: the New Zealand Grand Prix took place there nearly 50 years ago on the once-available circuit section. However back then it was Chris Amon, Jackie Stewart and Bruce McLaren doing the racing in open wheelers — this time the only open wheeler we saw was a stock car racing down the drag strip, and anyone entered could put their car down the line and race their friends in flag-drop-style drag racing, not unlike Drag Wars in the first Fast and Furious film.
Throwing a drift section into the mix, the airstrip was lit up with cones to provide a course for the upcoming grassroots drivers. A wild mix of Holden VN Commodores, Honda Civics and S-chassis cars brought skids to the people, dicing cones up down the redundant runway. A burnout section ensured the smoke was taken care of by the likes of ‘Mad Max’ Flower in his turbo 26B-powered FD RX-7. However the rear end caught fire thanks to a bit too much excited, burned rubber, and so the car’s burnout sadly ended prematurely.
Moving to the larger, more central runway, the battles were played out between a helicopter and Nico Reid, Sky Zhao and Ricky Lee. They threw their cars sideways down the runway, but the helicopter still managed to beat the drift team as it also weaved its way up and down the track.
The next battle took place between Steve Zahorodny’s jet drag car and a classic Striker jet fighter. A bit of human coordination was needed to get the timing right, and the drag car was released as the jet plane soared above. It was hard to say who won …
SPITFIRES SHOT OVERHEAD AND STUNT PLANES LAID DOWN TOSSES AND TUMBLES AS SMOKE POURED FROM THE REAR
Spitfires shot overhead, stunt planes laid down tosses and tumbles as smoke poured from the rear, and the Showdown also included a show and shine, which was well attended by many of the local car clubs. The likes of the NZ Fijian Cars, Chosen Few and Auckland Evolutions had displays, with a wide range of high-powered vehicles on show.
Despite the planes, the 26B skids, jet-car drag racing and the classic flag-drop drag racing, Ardmore was one of the most relaxed and laid-back events we have attended this year. It will be interesting to see how the organizers can come up with a bigger, better version for 2016.
The classic Enkei RP05s on this Evo III brought back memories of older times
These go-karts were going scarily fast, and we saw some interesting engine set-ups on the little frames
Two generations of white-on-white Evolutions, proving the classic combo is here to stay
Brent Crookes has given up drifting and drag racing for stock-car racing, and after a few modifications for straight-line driving he managed to gradually make traction towards the end of the field Popping out a few more flames than usual, the Zahorodny jet car spat flames longer than the car’s chassis!
Troy’s Soarer was sitting tidily on a full set of Work Equips
This sleeper Galant plays host to an SR20, and slayed cars all day
Sky Zhao’s newly fitted Do-Luck kit gave fresh life to his LS7-powered 350Z