Monday, June 20, 2016

What happens off the track? Check out the Singapore (and Malaysian!) car culture and scene through the eyes of an S2000 owner...

So its been sort of an "off season" period for me while my car gets a bit of odds and ends sorted after the last De Garage track day held at Sepang. I've never been to a wholly Malaysian run track event and this event turned out to be pretty crazy with literal door to door type racing even when I was simply trying to get a bit of seat time. Needless to say I definitely erred on the safe side and opted to let the more aggressive drivers by especially since the track was rather damp.

Check out some pics of the turnout below with rare cars like a Nissan Pulsar Gti-R showing up :)
Conditions weren't great as evidenced from the spray off the track...



My friend Neo turned up in his spanking new Toyota 86 stripped out track toy which was prepped by Kenny Lee

We can really see from the crazy variety and number of JDM rides, how the folks in Malaysia really love their Japanese rides despite the ever dwindling availability of new sport models from the manufacturers.

This brought a bit of flashback to the JDM Teh Tarik 3.0 session held in KL that 2 other drivers and I braved torrential rain to attend which gave me a hint as to the amazing fellowship and bonds that JDM rides were able to create among the Malaysian enthusiasts.

Sorry for the dark pictures but the lights had somehow gone out and it was raining throughout the time I was there so do forgive the poorer quality of pics. I hope this gives a feel of what a fun night it turned out to be thanks to the warm welcome by the Malaysian car owners!

The three merry Honda adventurers!

Here are the Malaysian rides, no idea what was the actual turnout but it seemed to us that it could well be roughly 300-400 cars :)
More Supra love! Bryan Chin has a widebody beast of a Supra :O
Spotting the older GTRs is always special
This FD RX7 got plenty of love from the crowd...

 Thanks Bee of for inviting me!
Getting back from that trip led me to wonder if our local scene could ever muster that kind of strength of turnout and as it turned out, the opportunity for the Singapore scene to step up and represent came just barely 6 months later in terms of the SIN Underground meet, an "underground" style meet that welcomed cars of every style and make to come forth and be showcased. The organiser was Three Angles Production helmed by Simon and Chris and when they came to me asking if I could invite a few friends, I knew it was time to make some calls and I set to work!
Here is the all important sticker that determined if each car could gain parking entry to the specified area of where the participant cars would be allowed in.
I lost count of the number of people I sent messages individually to invite to this event and I faced questions of every kind imaginable They included how this event was probably going to be killed by the authorities, how it would ever be able to attract all but a small crowd due to the dying scene and tons of others doubts that I just frankly tossed aside and soldiered on with sheer grit.
So what was the result you might ask? Get a load of these videos I took personally you needed any further convincing how insane the turnout was!
The estimates of turnout just blew my mind! I personally handed out 760 stickers and I couldn't get my hands on enough because the demand was constantly increasing with respective groups continually asking for 50 to 100 more stickers every other day. The support was mind blowing and it never even abated through the night with cars queuing up for more than 2 hours to get into the venue as seen in this video here...
Check out the slick shots done by the photographers showcasing their talent... (I'm unabashedly biased so I'll showcase the S2000s first haha!)
Need more JDM love in your life? Check out this wicked video on the JDM rides present here!
Here is my video on a walkaround of that absolutely massive crowd of people and rides...
There are way too many pics and videos to cover this entire event because the overall attendance was a mind blowing >1000 cars! Bikes and vans were in attendance but even excluding them the estimate was of about 1500 cars showing up. Here is a quick sample from my friend Dion and my newly found JDM pal all the way from Germany Ron Ronsen with the handle Fast Emotion Pictures both snapping the best of the crowd...
Click on their links to see more pics!


Here's a special shout out to my fellow S2000 brother Alib who came all the way past the checkpoint from Johor Bahru to bring his fellow R34 Skyline & Supra friends to attend... Loved having you guys join us!


There is no way this kind of massive turnout combined with the relative lack of disruption by rowdy individuals or authorities could be viewed as anything but a huge success. I'm utterly humbled by the trust shared by the enthusiast community that heeded my call when approached by the men from Three Angles (I knew it would be awesome from the start like I said it would!) and this will definitely build on better and bigger over the coming years. This heralds a new era and a breath of revival in the automotive enthusiast community that has be sorely lacking and I'm so amazed to be part of it...
I'll leave you with what I consider my favourite picture which to me totally captures the feels...
Here's my sincere thank you to the following for their trust and credits for their media work:
Three Angles Productions - for hosting such an epic event
JDM Life Singapore - superb effort to keep the JDM love alive
Dionysus Yeo - raw talent with the camera bro
Ron Ronsen - totally love your pics!
Perotography - official media for the De Garage trackday - for the invite to the JDM TT 3.0 meet, when is the next one???
Dice Photography - for braving the rain to take a shot in the dark of my ride
Zen & Alib - for the S2000 pics of our group