For 2019, CJC Gripfest was held at Manfeild Circuit in the sunny Manawatu district. It’s our first time hosting an event here as in previous years we’ve held it up at the Bruce Mclaren Motorsport Park in Taupo; but boy oh boy did we have a great turn out of grip racers and spectators invading from all across the country! They came from as far as the deep South to the top of the North Island, definitely a big thumbs up to those who made the long trek up for the day to spectate/race and we would also like to give a big shout out to Garry and his team at Playday On Track for helping us out on the day too!
Leading up to Gripfest, Facebook messenger group chats were on full tilt with a flurry of messages buzzing about:
Bro there's more Honda's attending Gripfest than at NIMM.
Hector is going to be running 3 Honda Civics with spoon engines. And on top of that, he just went into Harry's, and he ordered 3 T66 turbos, with NOS.
Skrrt skrrt before dallimore cuts you at turn 1.
What colour nail polish you using in turn 3?
Fingers crossed my car better not catch on fire again fml.
There were a few call outs thrown around with the usual banter bois, but it was all in good fun. I love how everyone bands together and organize their convoys and meetups to drive down together.
Nico, aka El Presidente and the CJC committee crew have been working hard behind the scenes for months to secure the venue for Gripfest this year. Being quite the distance from the usual Mid-North Island Taupo spot that hosted Gripfest over the past 3 years, we definitely had our doubts whether the event would be a success, but we ended up completely selling out leading up to the event. There was even a waiting list for people who wanted to race! Gripfest is known to many as the track day that brings out some of the countries best shed build race cars and there’s no better place to showcase it at the track for a little grudge action match up!
Richard showcasing his newly finished supercharged EP3R, rumor has it that you can hear the supercharged whines of the Honda Gods when he accelerates down the front straight! To the right is Sue’s EK sleeper, supercharged K24… These Supercharged K Swapped things are like a weapon and a half, I can only really describe it like bringing John Wick with a pencil to a knife fight.
Throughout the day we had lots of spectators line the pit lane walls with their main accessories in hand snapchatting and instagraming away. Racers were split up into 3 groups, Slow Group (First timers, novice drivers), Medium/Fast Group (Slightly over confident on red bull drivers) and Mcchesney Speed Group (Basically big balls guys with really, really fast race cars) there was some serious race cars out on the track, like a 550+ HP supercharged V8 E92 BMW M3, 590+ HP RB26 Silvia, 540+ HP Lancer EVO 2 and of course, a bunch of K-Swapped civics just to name a few. The field of cars were filled with lots of Honda’s, a few Signature Class Toyota’s and a couple of Porsche’s!
The day went smoothly apart from a few hiccups along the way… Well, whats a track day when cars aren’t breaking shit? Here’s a few fine stories for you.
Example A: Ol Dallimore is well accustomed to breaking things lately, at JERKFEST 2K18 he smashed a particular gearbox to bits in his EK9 [DCV1N]… This year however round 2 he got his gear lever pretty good!
Example B: Ryan’s Supercharged M3 was hauling ass so fast on the track that he lost his front left wheel! Completely sheering the the studs clean off on the last turn coming onto the front straight, some people sighted his wheel some 20m into the air and over the fence!
Example C: Ol Mcches was taking passengers out all day, one particular individual couldn’t go out his passenger door, but instead rolled out the drives door and collapsed on the concrete, followed by Mr Bemrose (R’s Garage) jinxing his car by chanting “ONE MORE LAP! ONE MORE LAP!”
The ‘one more lap’ resulted in Ollie’s EF having to be towed back into the pits! It ended up being that the radiator had popped off it’s support and was rubbing on the alternator belt which caused an electrical cut through the whole car stopping it dead on the back straight.
Overall, it was a bloody good weekend. It was good to see old and new faces at the track. The drink up at the motel after Gripfest was definitely the best part where a lot more interesting things happened, which definitely can’t be written up here… Let’s just say you gotta be there to be in the know!
Until next time! Thanks for Reading!