Mothers Chrome Expression Session 2015

There are only a few events in New Zealand (NZ) that cover all walks of automotive life. The Chrome Expression Session event for 2015 most definitely fits into that category. It hosted two days of automotive festivities including drive your mates sessions, exotic sessions, drifting, skid pan, burnouts, drag races, show and shine, and special guests. If that wasn’t enough, gourmet burgers and free V energy drinks were on hand to fill that hunger and quench that dying thirst.

The weekend event held a similar timetable for Saturday and Sunday starting with a nice long drive your mates session. As stated in the drivers briefing, this was suppose to be a casual stroll around the track, of course that was not going to be the case. With the weather unpredictable throughout the weekend, it was only a matter of time before someone lost their pride and joy.

There were a large number of Silvias out for the day with the S-Chassis group having roughly 23 cars. Of course there were many more around the course of the weekend, however they were not affiliated with the S-Chassis NZ division. There was a diverse presence of Silvias, that being rookie drift cars, competitive drift cars, virgin marys, dirt free show and shine cars and even grip spec silvias. A whole lot of Silvias to fill each part of your automotive curiosity.

As well as jaw dropping Silvias you could see high performance muscle cars, rotary powered cars, custom utes, old school muscle, high end exotic, and any kind of Japanese car available in NZ. I have to say, NZ is a very lucky place when it comes to cars, if you’ve heard of it, there is probably one registered for use on NZ roads somewhere around the country.

After a few hours out on the track, I headed back into the pits to check out what was on display in the show and shine section. This was an easy way to get your car parked close to the event without paying $5 extra for outside parking and to have a chance to win some prizes! The turnout was huge and filled up the entire gravel area with neck breaking cars to die for.

As the Demon Energy National Drifting Championship (D1NZ) ended back in February this year, I haven’t had much of a chance to see any drifting action. As this is the main thing I shoot, Chrome gave me that chance to get back to my roots and into the swing of things after a couple months break from the camera. There is just something much more exciting shooting cars sideways to me than shooting grip racing events.

Before we leave the subject of D1NZ and drifting in NZ, I’ll let you know that right now all the teams are prepping for the next season of drifting over the winter. Here you can see Joe Marshall from team ATJ peddling his newly converted S15 front ended 180SX. The winter in NZ gives D1NZ competitors time to fix up their cars and upgrade/develop what packages they already have. Although some teams are going all out and starting scratch with new cars and power plants altogether. Next season of D1NZ will not be one to miss!

Chrome is a good event to wipe of the dust and get the car out for a weekend of harmless fun. Not much happens over the few months of winter here in NZ, it’s one of those events that gets the ball rolling before summer. The drivers had to put up with the winter weather however, which did lead to a few unnecessary crashes over the weekend. But, you learn from your mistakes, right?

There are plenty of drivers looking to hook themselves into the D1NZ development series. Blair, the pilot of this V8 powered Nissan S14.5 is no different. With a few years of drifting under his belt I’m sure we will start to see him on the big screen at events all over NZ during the summer automotive season. Keep an eye out

If you didn’t think there was enough entertainment throughout the day, you could see the few D1NZ drivers in attendance having a couple low key practice battles. Having the track open to any paid entrant throughout the day meant that anyone could have a go at tandeming with some of NZ’s best drifters. Something that I’m sure wouldn’t be forgotten anytime soon. You could have a go at closing in on their tail, or have them edging closer and closer to your wing mirror.

Some of NZ’s most powerful road cars also had a go out on the track. Obviously it’s not a Silvia, but with over 1000hp at the wheels it still deserves love from the internet. You can also see Black Army Motorsport’s (the people who brought you the blue Subaru front swapped S14) newest creation 180SX sitting neck to neck with the R34. That’s not because the 180SX can keep up, they are just following the mostly disregarded drivers briefing guidelines.

If sticking to the guidelines isn’t your thing, how about chasing some Evo and WRX tails on the long straights Hampton Downs has to offer. It was funny actually, seeing cars go head to head. The outcome of most battles was a surprise especially when I saw a stock looking Toyota Vitz take on turbo and rotary cars and not only keep up, but overtake a few in the process.

The wet weather in the afternoon saw a few close calls, we saw an old car in front of us lose it, spin one way and then the other trying not to hit the car next to him or us behind him. Thankfully the only damage was the grass he spun off onto. After that mishap I think he played it cool for the remaining hours of the day. Most drivers had a good attitude and kept the shenanigans to a minimum, creating a good atmosphere for other drivers.

The skid pan at Hampton Downs is like a big undercover shopping center car park, without the car parks or the big poles holding the roof above the ground. A massive area for drivers to brush up on their skills before heading out onto the track. Although with no tandeming allowed over the weekend, it did make for a somewhat boring viewing area. Usually you would see two or three cars out there at a time producing ear piercing noises from the polished car park concrete.

Another event that S-Chassis had a dominant presence at. I wouldn’t say we are a selective car club, more of a community and a group of friends with a passion for the same things. It’s a great feeling when you can go up to a complete stranger and hit it off with them all because you drive the same kind of car.

After a good weekend of antics it was time to pack up and head home. Chrome is now done for another year and what a fun and exciting event it was. Plenty of entertainment for the whole family. Although the conditions weren’t the best, the drivers still managed to use litres upon litres of petrol as well as clock over collectively hundreds of thousands of kilometres. A good event all round, thanks to Premier events and the 4&Rotary group. Until next year.

Words and Photos thanks to:

Shaun Constable | Ambition Works

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