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Night Sessions – Rich Maguire

12th October 2017 — by Dave Cox

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This week in night sessions…

…Rich Maguire and his STi Gravel Express. No, that isn’t a typo. This was a genuine development car for STi.

Rich had brought himself down to the Fueltopia monthly Offline Meet at the Ace Cafe second Monday of each month if you’re wondering. I had seen it there a few times before and always nodded in approval as I passed it.

On this particular meet, sat there under the sodium arch lights of the Ace Cafe my penchant for fast wagons spiked. Knowing of a cool location round the corner, Phil and I went inside to find Rich. He happily handed over the keys and, we were off.

As this is a STi development vehicle it is running full pink STi suspension, and with a mild tune, around 350bhp. Rich set about making some other improvements both visually and performance focused. 355mm Porcshe brakes, fifteen52 carbon wheels, cusco coilovers, and ABW wide arch kit.

Feeling the car as we drove over speed bumps, the suspension wasn’t crashy at all, you could certainly cruise around in this as well as hoon it around a track. This is exactly what he does with it. He’s even driven it to Gatebil and back. I love the classic lines of this car. The added width and lower ride height really help make it look aggressive.

I wonder if he would let me borrow it for a drive up to Wales?

Oh and if you want to see a bigger feature, check out Dan Fegent’s feature on it HERE

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (SHOOTINGDAVE)
Instagram: @ShootingDave

NewsReviewsTopic

Night Sessions – Dan Guirey

20th September 2017 — by Dave Cox

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this week in night sessions…

…Dan Guirey’s Mk1 Golf. I’d see this car before on instagram, in fact I had seen it at Players Classic where it was ripping around the circuit. It’s punchy livery and squat dimensions made me want to shoot it.

A local meet at Krispy Kremes presented itself as an ideal opportunity. Lashing down with rain meant that the conditions were less than ideal. But I was growing impatient. I wanted to shoot this.

Meeting Dan as he man handled armfuls of doughnuts we quickly worked out a plan. With the car park too busy we headed to a retail park. Not feeling it, I moved on to another location. That sucked too. Back to location 1 but this time Dan had spotted a nice little spot just beyond. Done.

Lights, camera, action! And I mean action, the persistent rain meant that I was using my coat to protect my camera. Being left in just a t-shirt (I should really plan better) meant that I had to work fast. Also handling electronics in the rain is a tad on the sketchy side.

Back to the car. It’s cute proportions disguise the animal that it is. Peel back the wrapper and you will be greeted with a 1.8L 8 valve G60 engine which is turbo charged. The result is an engine capable of 300bhp! Plenty given the car’s weight. Dan is running the car at 240bhp due to handling issues. But don’t you just want a go?

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (SHOOTINGDAVE)
Instagram: @ShootingDave

 

EventNewsReviews

Spanish paddock , part 1/2

28th June 2017 — by Ruben Langa

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A short walk along the spanish drift paddock. Cars, drivers and battle for the first podium spot.

The Spanish paddock grows at a speed that is impossible to follow. This year I have attended two rounds of Open Slalom Drift, our national competition, one in Miranda de Ebro and another in Valencia. In parallel with the second round, the infamous King of Europe. The progression is very clear in the improvement of the cars and drivers.

The first improvement are the categories AM and Semipro. Here, these categories comprise of stock cars which has created a rivalry between atmospheric and turbo that has been forged with time. In the first round, the podium was for naturally aspirated BMW’s, Aitor Galan , followed by Diego Sáez and in third, Aitor Sánchez.

The PRO category is booked on cars with swap, wide direction angle, bodywork of fibre, etc. All types of projects where we found the guys from Drifting Barcelona, a BMW orda with V8 engines. These included Oscar Ruiz’s Subaru Viper, a pilot who has greatly improved in the past two years and Jonathan Hernandez, champion of the OSD last year riding on the spectacular e46 LS (white). 

If we go by the paddock, our attention is immediately drawn to the brothers Caballer, Joan drives a s13 RB25 (white/blue), second last year in OSD, in his Palm can be proud of his second place in the Spanish round of the KOE 3 years ago. Xavier leads a s13 ca18 in Semipro and his driving skills grows day by the day.

If we look for brothers, we find the Angels Team Drift , Ivan Bolaños in SEMIPRO with an e36 M3 and Ruben Bolaños in PRO with an e46 2JZ(white/orange). Ruben came up to the second spot on the podium in Miranda de Ebro after some of the tightest battles that I have seen in a while. 

One of the most established of veterans is Alberto Canedo, facing monsters like the previous ones with an e30 M3 Enekos since my first time on a circuit, below the average of horses but compensating with spectacular driving.

 No more than two steps in and we can find the winner of the first Round, David Infantes. He is a veteran of the Championship, driving an s13 by a small circuit school close to Igualada. One day he surprised me with a PS13 LS (black/green/white). Personally this is one of the best car/pilot combos in that paddock, I couldn’t take as many photos as I would’ve liked because he lives away of my town but he is my favorite for this season. 

Check back very soon for the second part of my coverage with more pilots and photos of the last two Rounds including the King Of Europe.

Bonus pics:

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News

The New McLaren 720S

10th March 2017 — by Dave Cox

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Good vehicle design challenges your predisposition.

Car manufactures over the last decade or two have been doing this for a while with each incremental update. BMW comes to mind here when they released the last of the E series cars. I remember seeing the 5 series and thinking “Hmm, not sure I like that” but within a couple of days I had totally come round the new design language. And I think it is important that manufactures keep on challenging our ideals. For if they follow the same styling cars will quickly date.

Sure, sometimes it doesn’t work out so well, consider the FIAT Multipla, that remains as ugly now as it did the day it was dreamt up. The same could be said about the Nissan Juke. Ahead of the Geneva motorshow, I saw a few blurry and low res pictures of the new McLaren 720S and I couldn’t really work out what was going on.

Come Wednesday morning my feed was full of pictures of the 720S, more importantly, they were clear and I could finally see what McLaren had been up to. My initial thoughts were that of confusion. I love McLaren, I always have, in my eyes, they can do no wrong. But now I wasn’t sure, is it ugly? Can I even say that?

The first point of contention for me was the “eye sockets” that now adorn the front of the car. From anything other than a dead front they appeared almost garish, like a set of poorly chosen sunglasses. For me it really disrupted the flow of the car. It was an odd choice as I have always thought that McLaren’s headlights have been cleverly integrated into the flow of the design.

Secondly the seemingly continuous change in surfaces across the bodies skin was a bit busy for my liking. From a side profile, it made it difficult to read. Things weren’t looking good, this was not the McLaren I had known and loved.

To be honest, these feelings lasted all of about 24 hours. I watched a few videos on the car, listened to McLaren talk about the innovations they had made and looked at really impressive imagery by Dean Smith and I could finally appreciate the way it looked. It is all in the details with this car, the “eye sockets” are not only there to house the improved headlights but also low temperature radiators. When you think about it, that is quite a clever way of designing the front end, no more large open grilles at the front of the car.

The “fussy” sculpted side is all about funnelling air to the intakes and holding turbulent are closer to the car all in the aid of improving down force. Speaking of which, this car actually produces 50% more down force than the 675LT before it! That is enormous! Not to mention that this car will also do 212mph!!!

McLaren have also developed “Carbon Tub II” for this project. A lighter stiffer tub which improves weight, torsional rigidity and allow for much better visibility. Having had a ride in a few McLaren’s I can say that being able to see out of these cars was never their weak point. To improve it must make it a joy to drive. I am thinking more along the lines a fighter jet canopy. The speedometer folds away neatly when the car turns off and also when you engage sport mode. I turns into a race car inspired rev-counter. Now that is just cool!

What do you think? Are you still struggling with the way it looks? Or have you come round to the new look of McLaren?

Words: Dave Cox (ShootingDave)
Pictures: McLaren – NetCarShow.com

News

The New Honda Civic Type R

8th March 2017 — by Dave Cox

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The all new Honda Civic Type R, what you saying?!

This is a car I have been waiting to talk about for a while. I have known about it for some time now as my day job is creating CGI imagery for Honda (UK, EU and US). So I am keen to hear what you think? How do you like it the new look?

For me, this is the Civic Type R they meant to build last time round. It seems more of a complete package, purposely designed body panels and aggressive looks. The 2015 version was an impressive car but the panels felt like they were just stuck on, like it was a body kit you could buy off the shelf. The vents were there purely for aesthetics rather than being functional. I was also slightly disappointed that it didn’t stay closer to the concept. It is still impressive too look at but if you were to approach from the rear or side and squint your eyes a lot of that aggressiveness went away.

That is where the 2018 model comes into it’s own, who would of thought that it would be pretty much remain so true to the original concept? Well done Honda!

The widened fenders are single pieces now, the bonnet has a very Subaru-esque scoop on it (not a bad thing if you ask me). A feature on the standard Civic 5 door was the large “vents” underneath the headlights. For me they didn’t really have a place, on the Type R, they seem far more justified.

The rear has some new features too. Most notably the 3 exhaust pipes. I am told by the chaps at Honda that the centre exhaust is an external wastegate from the turbo. I could be proven wrong but lets hope I am not. The rear wing is bigger, more aggressive and chunkier. It seem to be in parity with the updated tail-lights which I personally think are a big improvement over the ’15 version.

So that is the exterior covered, I know you all want to know about power, is it more powerful? Yes, well, a bit. A new exhaust system and an updated ECU see’s power pushed a further 10bhp totalling 316bhp and 295ftlb of torque. Nothing insane but from what I hear, the 2.0l 4-pot was pretty good anyway. They have been playing with the ride quality as well. The ’15 version was criticised for being too harsh so Honda have now given differing driving modes; Standard, R+ and Comfort. no ability to customise throttle response with damper settings but Honda isn’t interested in letting you do that. They feel they have set the car up to be the best it can be.

The interior is typically “Type R” with nicely bolstered seats and lots of red trim, shorter gear stick and machined metal gear knob. Small tactile changes to lift the car above the standard version.

So what are your thoughts? I think it is a big step in the right direction, I wish it was four wheel drive like the Focus RS but I won’t let that sully my opinion of it. I just can’t wait to get to drive one.

Words: Dave Cox (Shooting Dave)
Pictures: Honda UK – Richard Pardon – sourced from NetCarShow.com