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Car Club Festival @ Bira Circuit: Podium Presentations

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Published on Mar 31, 2010

Twenty two niche car clubs from across the country have come together at the Bira Circuit near Pattaya for the Car Club Festival organised by the Super Club Thailand 2010. The idea being for the different clubs, all united by an overriding passion for the automobile, would mix together, showcase themselves and take part in activities, notably plenty of diversified on-track racing action.

The clubs dotted around the infield are made up of the: Toyota Corolla 80, Eleven R.D. Chantaburi Car Club, 2 Drivers Rayong Club, AE Racing Club, Vios Club & One Make Race, Freestyle, Saraburi Racing Circuit 2010, Corona Club Burapha, Chonburi Friend Club, KE Club Chonburi, Euro Club Race, Unity Honda & Corona Club, MR2, VIP Club Thailand, 200 SX & Silvia, Cefiro Thailand, Sport Truck Club, JDM Racing Attack, EG 3D Car Club, Super club My Friends, Toronto Club and the Daihatsu Club. There are plenty of banners on show and some have set up booths and displays and have accessories for sale.

Its a typical hot day at the Bira Circuit- which draws its name from H.H. Prince Birabongse Bhanutej Bhanubandh a famous and quite successful Thai racer who took part in 19 grands prix during the first half of the 1950s - which is located just 15 km north east of the popular seaside resort of Pattaya and is also bang on 100 km south of Bangkok. The clubs are scattered up and down the pitlane and around the paddock, grouped in clusters, identified by the brands or genres they are focused. From the tiny Daihatsu Mira, through to the ever-present mass market hatchbacks and sedans, such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Vios, to a variety of Japanese performance imports including Nissan's Silvia and 200 SX, Toyota's Celica and a lurid body kitted Porsche 944 with flush-fitting headlights, the big-power brigade topped off by an eye-catching canary-yellow Honda NSX. This muscular steroid-breathing collection is on show centre-stage, spread out along the pitlane. Along the way there are body styling kits of all shapes, sizes, finishes and taste, and many racecars, which are the cornerstone of the event, duelling it out for honours on track all day.

At just before 3PM the car clubs come together in a huge parade on the grid, several hundred vehicles forming up in four lines stretching from the start-finish line almost to the last turn with the clubs rallying together with banners for group photos. Its a real array of road-and-race-cars of all sizes and shapes and they soon roll off to complete a lap of the 2.41 kilometres/1.50 mile track which features many twists and a long straight, and with many elevation changes, sharp bends, a pair of chicanes, a double apex bend and under generous run-offs meaning it is quite technically demanding as well as having a few bumps and a surface that soon gets dirty. This though is a parade lap in the truest sense of the word, especially with more than a hundred cars are squeezed together on the track, although it true Thai-style it involves plenty of pedal-to-the-metal.

This massed rolling metal gives way to more racing and more thrills and spills, off track excursions and dust kicked up in clouds as the shadows start to lengthen and the sun sets over Bira. As the light fades the race action wraps up with a crowd-pleasing drifting display, two of the big machines tear up and down the main straight at all angles imaginable entertaining the enthusiastic onlookers with squealing tyres, screaming engines and plumes of smoking rubber. Finally the podium ceremonies take place and they see the race victors rewarded as the darkness, which rolls in thick and fact in Thailand, blankets Bira.

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