370Z ON THE ROAD TO GATEBIL 2015

When Monster Energy invited us to attend Gatebil to unveil the new supercharged V8 370z on the world stage, this was an opportunity we simply couldn’t turn down. With an epic road trip covering 1400 miles travelling through 8 countries ahead we loaded up the 370z and grabbed our passports for a truly Monster journey.

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With a 36 hour trip ahead we left Japspeed HQ in the early hours for the dash south to catch the Eurotunnel across the channel. Due to depart from Folkestone it wasn’t long before we would encounter delays with a 4 hour wait thanks to the recent Operation Stack.

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Upon disembarking the train we soon arrived on the continent before a relatively uneventful journey through France, Belgium and The Netherlands before our first break in Germany. Arriving at our rest stop; a regular service station for a Burger King we stumbled across something very out of the ordinary … a Porsche Carrera Cup Racing Team HQ!

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Arriving at Rudskogen Motorsenter at 9am on the first day of the event we were soon unloaded and setup ready for a weekend of awesome drift action on one of the World’s best circuits. Based in the Monster Energy pit areas the 370z became to attract plenty of attention from the locals.

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The Norwegians came across as a nation of people with high expectations, particularly when it comes to vehicle presentation. So to gain their admiration on the build quality and attention to detail was a compliment.

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With an overhaul of the car’s appearance since the initial unveiling at Autosport International the local people seemed to appreciate the presence of the car. In particularly it was well received that the design of the car isn’t OTT and has been kept relatively sleek, staying true to the OEM design…with subtle changes of course.

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Throughout the event the famous Rudskogen Circuit is filled with a constant stream of drift weapons in a wide range of shapes, sizes and power. High speeds and big entries are the order of the day…all day.

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With an open circuit and opportunity to drift all day, Shane couldn’t wait to get out there and join the party. After the first session, Shane came in off track, soon followed by a local driving a high powered Toyota Supra who was keen to find out more about the car as while out on track Shane came round the outside of the Supra through one of the circuit’s long sweeping corners.

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The evening activity usually started on board the Monster Energy tour bus before making our way to the Aftertrack event. In true Norwegian and Monster Energy style the entertainment on stage consisted of a range of music (Shane did not partake) as well as Bikini contests alongside strippers and pole dancing. Following the show each night took the form of ‘socialising’ with the locals as well as the other teams and athletes.

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The Saturday saw an event everyone had been waiting for…the World Powerslide Competition qualification! Everyone had the opportunity to head out on track and hit every clip as fast as possible while creating as much tyre smoke as they can. Every run would be judged with the best drivers competing in the main event the following day. Shane felt after a day of awesome runs, the decision was made not to enter the Powerslide Competition in order to preserve the car for a full day testing the next day.

The weekend drew to a successful close midday on the Sunday. Unfortunately due to other commitments Shane had to leave early to fly back to the UK. This meant we wouldn’t have a full day out on track however the 370z continued to enjoy the awe and admiration of the crowd in the Monster Energy pits.

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The event came to a conclusion on the Sunday evening. What now lay before us was the return journey back to the UK. With the 370z loaded up we set off on the 1400 mile road trip back to Japspeed HQ in Manchester.

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We enjoyed our experience at this incredible World event and we look forward to returning to Gatebil with the 370z more refined, and better than ever.

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