The annual Forge Motorsport Action day has established itself as quite the gathering over the last few years, always hosted at the scenic Wiltshire circuit of Castle Combe, it promises high-octane action with a car show vibe for every possible make and marque you can shake a stick at. In 2018 numbers were unprecedented and the abundance of quality metal from Avon bridge stretched all the way along the primary walk way that extends along the main straight almost as far as the famous Quarry bend. The whole area packed with cars from an incredibly diverse range of Japanese, German, British, French and American models. Basically, if you like cars, you’ll love the Forge Action Day.
Put simply, it was a pretty fantastic day out. Whatever sort of metal you’re drawn to you were sure to find plenty of it at Castle Combe recently.
Nestled in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside, Castle Combe seems like the perfect venue for this no-holds-barred blend of both show and shine meets track attack action. Offering both track and drift demos throughout the day to really set pulses racing, the highlight for many were the lunchtime drift demos from a host of largely Jap machinery, albeit with something rather special thrown into the mix in the form of the Japuar, a 1966 Jag E-type with a 600+bhp Toyota 1JZ engine bolted into it. When you see this power plant slotted in to a largely custom made chassis, it really does make sense, never more so than when it snaps sideways and holds a killer drift all the way through the Quarry bend and beyond – what a machine!
Alas, upon the first lap of drift demo a small shunt occurred between a pair of Team Matsuri Nissan 200SXs, so the first session was nigh on written off due to time constraints and the recovery process. Both drivers were fine though and both cars were already being repaired in the pits by the time we’d made out way back down to Matsuri HQ.
Track action was intense all day long, and if the Drifters weren’t throwing plumes of smoke everywhere you could be guaranteed some clean, apex hugging action from the trackday devotees who also put on a surprisingly rapid show into and out of Quarry. Track car of the day undoubtedly went to Steve Putt, with his frankly bonkers Chevrolet LS3 engine toting Mazda RX-7. This thing was visibly quicker than almost any other machine out there, but that’s not to say the Milltek Sport Civic Type R or even the hunble little VW UP! GTi they bought along weren’t also having equally as much fun.
The real beauty of the track action is people go in in accordance with experience, so whether you’re a novice or a hardened pro there was bound to be a session for you. If only we could replicate the noise of the Goon Squad BMW 1-series, with an S54 M3 engine transplant along the back straight, we probably wouldn’t need to do this write up, as that alone was the worth the £20 on the gate entry price.
Thanks to a huge show and shine arena right next to the main café and mission control, this show really can’t get much bigger than it already is. Cars of the show , for us at least, included Adam Hodge’s incredible Audi R8 V10 on H&R Ultra deep suspension and 20” BBS and the Mk2 Escort that featured a Honda S2000 (F20c) engine swap on Jenvey Throttle bodies. Still, as they weren’t officially entered into the show and shine competition they were merely eye candy for the masses.
Official show entrants included Matt Maddocks’ BMW E30 325i on ITBs which looked incredible, Shawn Preece’s 1000bhp Supra with it’s 3.4-litre stroker kit and a massive turbo, Becky Alderton’s Seat Leon, Ollie Scull’s insane Mini VTEC Turbo and also Liam Miller’s stunning Escort Cosworth, to name but a few, so it was a really mixed bag in the official show area.
Ultimately though, this heaving show was packed to the rafters with stunning metal from a huge variety of manufacturers, much like the Forge parts catalogue, it’s a reflection of how bustling and energetic the UK tuning scene remains. Not being marque specific also means it’s open to everyone, which can only be a good thing as it allows people to observe and digest all sorts of different tuning styles and practices from stanced show machines right through to the most extreme track biased machinery there is in the UK.
With so much to look at, plenty of traders to visit, food to consume and more than enough fast paced action to keep any petrol head entertained all day, we can’t help thinking that the Forge Action Day has a very bright future indeed. Long may it continue because we love this event.