Words: Thom Williams | Photography: Luke Staton & Thom Williams
I think of Raceism as one of those shows that everyones heard of, but to most its just a bit too far for a car show. Sure, everyone goes to Worthersee these days, but thats because of the great things you hear from friends that went the year before. Not many from the UK head out to Raceism, so its a bit of a gamble as to what the show will be like, and you can only base your decision on the photos and videos that come out of the event.
Me and a few friends have been talking about heading to Wroclaw, Poland for Raceism for a few years, but this was the year we finally bit the bullet, booked the flights and worried about the details later. No regrets to report.
The show has had a few venues over the years, but in 2016 and 2017 its been based at the Municipal Stadium, a 42,000 capacity football stadium on the western side of the city of Wroclaw. When you invite 700 of Europe's finest cars AND host a drift event, you need quite a lot of space, fortunately a 42,000 capacity stadium means lots of car parks, which is exactly where Raceism was based. You might be thinking its a shame the event was only outside the stadium, but fear not, as the event actually allows you access into the stadium too. A pretty cool chill out spot if you ask me...
For those unfamiliar, I think its worth explaining exactly what Raceism show is at this point and why its a bit different. Just like RollHard, Raceism preaches an all makes, all models attitude to their events. This is a stance show, not a VAG show. Alongside the sea of flawless European builds stands the Next Level drift event. Just like the show cars, drivers must apply to take part in the event, with only the finest looking drift cars accepted. Watching E46 M3s drift in tandem, running wide body kits and proper fitment is probably the best thing I’ve ever seen.
Unfortunately neither myself or Luke seemed to manage a clean shot of the M3s drifting, so a parked up shot of the famous the Musk Customs supercharged, wide-bodied E46 will have to suffice. Note the door damage, sometimes it gets a bit too close.
A 2 tier parking area separates the Next Level drift event from the stage and show cars, and it really is the perfect arrangement. When you’re done looking around the 700 jaw dropping cars on display around the stadium, you can move along to the balcony edge and watch hours worth of drifting from above. The beauty of the drift event was the variety. You had everything from a competition built V8 AE86, big body Lexus GSs, and even a BMW E28. The course was laid out very tight compared to the likes of BDC and IDC, so a low power BMW was more than suitable and a good crowd pleaser.
Its hard to pick favourites from what was a great line up of cars. Drifting is a great spectator sport regardless of the car itself, but to see cars an inch off the ground with wide body kits and 12" wheels clipping the walls was phenomenal and an all round highlight of my trip.
I can't help but feel like this Lexus LS needs a special shoutout. At first glance its appears to be a bit of a missile, but a closer look reveals a seriously set up car with full custom cage, dash delete with custom switchboard, plastic windows and 4 bucket seats, because i guess the more the merrier?!
I'll admit I spent most of my weekend focused on the Next Level drift event, but its now time we looked at the Raceism show itself and some of the phenomenal cars on display.
Wandering the show, I noticed number plates from as far as Russia, Moldova and Norway to name a few, and it quickly became apparent that this wasn't your average show even for those that hadn't traveled so far. This is the kind of event that you spend your entire year preparing for, the event that becomes your deadline when you start your next build. In the UK, an RWB Porsche can steal the spotlight at any show... at Raceism? 4 of them. Liberty Walk Lamborghinis? 3 of them. Maseratis? 2 of them. You get the gist...
For myself and I think a lot of the guys at Rollhard, its not always about the most extravagant or exotic cars, sometimes clean and simple is the best formula. The below FC RX7 on stepped-up BBS RS is the perfect example of this, and without a doubt one of my favourites from the show. I later discovered on a Porsche 944 with a very similar set up, and seeing the two parked together during the awards ceremony, it was surprising to notice so many similarities between the body styles when the cars originate from opposite sides of the planet.
When hosting an all makes, all models show, it can be difficult to categorise and select winners. How do you compare a Fiat 126P to a Nissan GTR to decide which is better? Sure one clearly has more spend behind it, but thats not necessarily going to create the best overall build. To ensure fairness, Raceism brings together multiple judges from all corners of the globe with different backgrounds and interests. A top 16 is formed following the judges selections which is then narrowed to top 8 and finally top 4. When all was said and done, this Nissan GTR took home best of show. I’m not really a big GTR fan but this is definitely an exception. Imagine driving down the motorway in the middle of the night when this thing flies past.
I did still really like the Fiat 126Ps though.
Its difficult to cover the huge variety that this event had to offer in one blog post, so I think I’ll let the photos do the talking from here on out. One thing I will say is that this was probably the best automotive event I’ve ever been to, and if you’re thinking of going, do it.
Raceism is only getting bigger and I sure don’t want to miss out on what they do next...