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our year in pictures, 2017 we salute you

29th December 2017 — by Mark Turner

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I’d like to compare shooting for Fueltopia to white water rafting; exciting, challenging, scary at times, but ultimately satisfying. While we close the books on 2017, I’ll take you for a look back at the past 12 months, the cars, writers, photographers and their own submitted highlights of what has been a petrol fuelled whirlwind.

On reflection, we also want to add a ‘thank you’, yeah you, reading this right now. None of this would be possible without your support, clicks, shares, feedback.

January. – Intergalactic PlanetarE36


With inspiration drawing from Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic, James’s e36 rides on an Air Lift Performance system and 18 inch Rotiform TMB’s.
The incredible wrap was designed by CIAY and fitted by JD Wraps. There’s a feast of upgrades from an M3 CSL duck tail to a custom built EMP exhaust, Corbeau bucket seats, ASD hydro, half cage and more.

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February. Purpose Built Barrel Hunter

Just days away from the beginning of the 2017 Fueltopia Barrel Sprint season, this S14 met it’s demise at Coventry MotorFest when it made a firm introduction with a concrete pillar underneath the ring roads.
Another S13 was sourced and Mark Young at Japs Motorsport took on an impossible task and completed the transformation from a bare shell to a seam welded, 385bhp monster with with a serious weight loss fetish in a mere 7 days

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March. Packing A Punch

Dan Fegent, our O.G snapper, caught up with Perry Stephenson and his Monstrous looking MGB.
At the time of these photos it was running a 4.8 litre v8 (bored out Rover 3.9 V8) coupled to a supercharger from a Sherman tank! Perry believes its running around 400bhp with 600 ft/lbs of torque. A beautiful car that pushes the tastes of the purists to absolute limits

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April. Stunt Festival and Streetfighter Show

The Ace Cafe Stunt Festival featured the Streetfighter Show & the Fueltopia Barrel Sprint. It saw 2 wheel and 4 wheel worlds collide in a perfect display of raw rider & driver talent.
Static displays of bikes and cars were varied & ample. Allowing each patriot of two or four wheel a chance to get up close and personal with each others offerings. Ace Cafe put on a hearty food stand so those could sit and discuss their discoveries & settle their differences.

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May. Getting Ready for Speedway

Andi Gordon jumped on a plane to Slovenia for the first round of the 2017 Speedway Grand Prix series. His third season shooting Speedway for Monster Energy.
If you don’t already know, they race on a dirt oval, they don’t have breaks and it takes balls of granite to even twist the throttle and they fly past in a blink of an eye.
To get creative, expressive shots of Speedway you need to build relationships with riders, mechanics, managers and anyone else who you are going to get in the way of while cutting about in the pits.

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June. Coventry Motofest

Coventry MotoFest, an annual festival celebrating the region’s historic motoring heritage in the heart of Coventry but with the added draw of it being held on the cities public ring road. Think Monaco, take away the sea, double the size and slap on a West Midlands accent and you’re pretty much there.
Crowds lined up on slip roads and cross overs using the landscape as some sort of amphitheatre. It was utterly bizarre and brilliant at the same time.
Under one of the fly overs was a converted car park which was home to our Formula G demonstrations as well as Drift Outlaws.

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July. Players Classic

If you had to ask us if you had to visit one car show, without question, it would have to be Players Classic. It is hard to imagine how they could improve an event like this, but the plans the Players team have in store will no doubt leave this event as another yearly champion of car shows. I mean, where else would you find a lowrider Chevy Impala parked about 20ft away from a McLaren 675LT both of which receiving praise and respect?
In 2018 the event will span two days, with over 800 cars in attendance, 10,000’s applying you know you need something special to get through the gate

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August. 6R4.NET Track Day – Curborough

6R4.net co-founder Nicky Lindon organises a track day that is rolling piece of motoring history, that doesn’t spare the ponies.

If like us you didn’t get to see Group B’s in action then this track day brings them up close and personal and with the added bonus of hearing them at Max Attack! Line up’s include Ford RS200’s, the ultra-rare Escort RS1700T and a smattering of kick-ass Metro 6R4’s

Our rally and rallycross Guru, Steve White, even managed to sneak into the co-driver’s seat of Nigel Mummery’s Ford RS200 and brought us some amazing highlights

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September. Night Sessions – Dan Guirey

Let’s set you the scene, a local UK car meet, in the pouring rain, Dave Cox braved the elements to take the opportunity to capture the soul of Dan Guirey’s Mk1 Golf.
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.

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October. Edd Tubbs’ ’32 Ford Pickup

Nestled between an Evo and Mk2 Escort, a ’32 Ford Pickup that made us stop and stare. A labour of automotive love that took 4 years of busted knuckles and passion
In that time this Pickup has been stripped down to its bare chassis, laddered the rear and added a new cross members to allow the inclusion of modern coilovers – pretty neat huh?
In true HotRod style the roof has been chopped 2 inches and the cab channelled by 3”.
A Rover 3.5 v8 is hard to miss as it protrudes proudly from the engine bay. It has been completely rebuilt, re bored new high compression pistons and bearings, fast road cam, Holley 4 barrel, hand built open headers laker style and a Cadillac air box.

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November. Behind the Scenes: Formula G Pilot TV Show

CTRL, the team behind RC Racing TV contacted us earlier this year with a vision of using their expertise gained in producing programs about radio controlled cars to create a new pilot for a TV show all about Formula G. They see it as the new breakthrough in racing and something different to what is currently shown on many motoring channels.
Mat the director said “As soon as we saw the events that Fueltopia did we loved how exciting, accessible and ‘real’ the racing was, we can’t wait to show this to everyone else too”.

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December. Bagged Bull

Add power, attitude and heavily caffeinated graphics to a Scirocco and what you get is a pretty cool VW.
This is a classic father, son story as many a car build, but I think what we got here was something unique and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
A Racingline Performance air intake helps feeds the turbo whilst the Forge Motorsport intercooler helps intake temps stay down. An APR Stage 2+ map brings the final number to 370bhp.

Reviews

Bagged Bull

1st December 2017 — by Dave Cox

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Ben Walker’s bagged bull.

Add power, attitude and heavily caffeinated graphics to a Scirocco and what you get is a pretty cool VW.

I had spotted Ben’s Scirocco on instagram on the way to work one day. Thumbing through the social network platform, it’s bold graphics and low stance easily grabbed my attention. I fired off a message to arrange a shoot and a couple of weeks later, I was on the way to Nottingham.

I’ll be honest, during the run up to the shoot I was wondering whether I actually wanted to make the 300 mile round trip to shoot another bagged VW. I can honestly say, I am glad I stuck with it.

I met Ben in an underground car park under his flat in the city centre. What I wasn’t expecting to find was the fact that this car park could be plunged into darkness! Did someone say light painting?

I relish any opportunity to get the lights out and create some striking imagery of cars. As I was doing so it was pretty evident that this car looked even better than it had done on instagram. The wrap had been designed by Ben himself along with the help of his Dad.

Impressive given the quality of the wrap job and that Ben had never done this before. But it was the classic father, son story that made me smile. I like the idea of figuring out how to do something on your drive with your Dad.

His Dad actually drove me whilst we did the rolling shots and was nice to hear his perspective on the car too. Clearly he was a petrol head and “just likes working on cars with his son”. The two of them occasionally go on spirited drives together and often have mini drag races between lights. LADS.

 

Back to the car, the wrap gives it a Rally car sort of vibe that I really like. With it’s low altitude and big wheels, you could almost imagine this to be set up for tarmac in the WRC. Those wheels in question are forged Rotiform IND’s measuring at 19inches all around.

EventVideo

Behind the scenes: Formula G Pilot TV Show

18th November 2017 — by Fueltopia Events

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Back in July the Fueltopia event team headed to Rockingham Motor Speedway to host their first event at the iconic racing venue.

Taking over the entire outer paddock the Formula G, Gymkhana track was set out and the sun shone on for what was set to be an epic day of head to head racing.

Not only was this venue a first for Formula G, we also held a competition to give drivers and supporters the chance to design the track. Some great designs were entered but our winning track was drawn by Philip Staniford of Monkey Drift.

Photographers and Videographers are common place in the paddock and track side at events, capturing all the action, but on this occasion we sent Fueltographer Dave Cox to Rockingham to capture a behind the scenes look at what, new to full scale motorsport broadcast media team CTRL was getting up to at round 4.

CTRL the team behind RC Racing TV contacted us earlier this year with a vision of using their expertise gained in producing programs about radio controlled cars to create a new pilot for a TV show all about Gymkhana. They see it as the new breakthrough in racing and something different to what is currently shown on many motoring channels.

When first looking at this project, Mat the director said “As soon as we saw the events that Fueltopia did we loved how exciting, accessible and ‘real’ the racing was, we cant wait to show this to everyone else too”. Kitted up with 5 cameramen, 3 high rise platforms and our very own Nigel Pope on the mic, we were extremely excited to see what this could become.

The team was there to capture everything they could and turn it into a pilot TV show soon to be released on national channels.

On completion of the project Mat is looking ahead to an exciting year and working together with the Fueltopia event team. “Making the pilot was a blast” he said” the whole Formula G team and the racers have been awesome to work with and we are ready to share the excitement and serve more of this up to viewers in 2018″

So make yourself a cup of tea, click the link below, enjoy the next 24 minutes of Formula G Round 4 action and if this makes you want to join us as a driver or spectator next year drop Becci our event manager an email with any queries and follow our facebook page for 2018 updates

 

 

 

Reviews

Edd Tubbs’ ’32 Ford Pickup

19th October 2017 — by Dave Cox

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Heading to Players, I wasn’t expecting to find this…

In a sea of stanced Euro cars, I spotted this ’32 Ford Pickup. Nestled between an Evo and Mk2 Escort was Edd’s creation. A labour of love that took 4 years to create. And it’s still not finished!

As I mentioned in my coverage of Players 11.0 it is a challenge to give every car the proper attention it needs at an event like this. As you walk around, only the the visually impressive stop you in your tracks. And that is unfair. You could walk past something like this.

Sure it might not be slammed, running a fire breathing, methanol drinking, quadruple turbo’d V8 but it does deserve your attention. Look at the dash, notice anything strange? “OH yeah!” That’s right, it’s right hand drive. And that is just one of the small details that adorn this car.

As mentioned, Edd had the truck 4 years. In that time he had it stripped down to the bare chassis. He then had a it straightened to remove the 3/4″ twist that it had. Buckland Automotive was enlisted to help and the also laddered the rear as well as adding new cross members. The chassis modification was so that modern coilovers could be fitted.

Edd set about chopping the roof 2 inches and channelling the cab by 3 to aid that hot rod look. And get this, the bed is the original 90 year old piece! He just refinished the floor in maple and yatch varnish. Power is taken care of by a Rover 3.5 v8. It has been completely rebuilt, re bored new high compression pistons and bearing, fast road cam, Holley 4 barrel, hand built open headers laker style and a Cadillac air box.

His handy work hasn’t stopped there either. He even turned his attention to the interior. He fully rewired it, has auto meter gauges the start button is WW2 new old stock used in hurricanes and spitfires. The shifter and linkage boast a knuckle duster top. With the bench seat re-trimmed in cream with diamond double stitched centres.

The exterior is resprayed in VW tornado red over a black base and lighter red base, his brother and himself rubbed the paint work through to reveal the base colours (over one evening /night till the early hours of the morning) then it was clear coated over that the next day.

Are you smiling yet? I am, doesn’t this sound like a fun project to work on. Running modern coilovers and wearing modern paint, one could argue that it was at the right car show.

Edd will tell you that the car isn’t 100% finished. He had to push to finish the car as he had a £50 bet on with a friend. (My kind of bet). He has also promised to take his nephew to prom in it. I don’t know Edd but I feel that it gives some sort of insight into what he is like. I said it was a labour of love and it would seem that his close friends and family are also invested into this build.

I love that.

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

NewsReviewsTopic

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