What is SEMA? Originally, the SEMA acronym stood for Speed…
Jerkfest 2015 : A Weekend of #Mayhem
Jerkfest is a questionable name for an event, in fact Circle Jerk Crew is a questionable name for a car club. In New Zealand this club does not need much of an introduction. They have many members rides that have graced magazine covers, picked up numerous awards at shows and have the tendency to generally cause a stir.
Jerkfest is the big annual event for the club. It’s held jointly at the Taupo motorsport park and Taupo town centre. It’s like a mullet; Start of the day is business on the track, end of the day is the party in town.
This is my recollection of the event, well to the best of my ability anyway.
The buildup to the event.
This year we made the decision a month or so out, that attending Jerkfest 15 will be compulsory. Largely due to some of the old school crew headlining the gig, so it seemed like an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. We had failed to attend the last few years due to date clashes with other events. The last Jerkfest we had attended was ‘back in the day’, circa 2012. It was one of the best weekends of our lives. It consisted of, A) an amazing time on the track, and B) an after party for the ages. One that started with an entire motel being booked out. For many, if any, if not all, it ended in the worst hangover of their lives. My liver and other internal organs have hated me ever since and my head still hurts thinking about that weekend. But remember… “Pain is temporary, epic memories last a lifetime.” – Some really epic person.
The Buildup to the 2015 event started gaining momentum a week out. Since our crew was from all over the country, we started a small chat group to get ourselves organised and get some banter going. Building camaraderie up for max lol’s over the weekend. The day before the roadie up FB news feeds were blanketed with Jerkfest related posts. The Hype was real.
We decided to not leave everything last minute and make our way up early on the Friday morning. After a quick assembly point catch up the main leg of the roadie was underway. The entire duration of the trip we were greeted by New Zealand’s finest weather and scenery. We also saw two Hercules planes pass over us. The only real talking point on an otherwise uneventful trip up. Miltary machinery is jaw droppingly awesome. One of the lads managed to capture the footage on his magical portable cellular phone.
Another thing that had us in awe is Mt Ruapehu and the surrounding mountains accompanied by Lake Taupo. With almost no clouds in the sky, this is a sight to behold. In-fact they look even more impressive when they are fully engulfed in snow.
As the Taupo accommodation approached, after what seemed a really, really long drive, we were greeted to a picturesque view of Lake Taupo from our deck.
Being there a day before the event meant we had time to make sure all the vehicles were ready for track action. Then it was time to settle in, relax and have a few quiets and some crack-up dialogue in the sun.
At the track
After an early morning wake up for an eight am start, the crew was off to the track. Automotive eye candy, hit us in the face as soon as we drove through the entry gates. This is one of the really strong points of the Circle Jerk Crew. They have a plethora of rides from a broad spectrum of marques. Some are built to a high standard, some are just crazy low with an epic set of rims. The one thing that they all share is that all the cars ooze personality. Small touches that set their cars apart from the masses.
Here are a few examples of what I am talking about. At Jerkfest you will see anything from this…
Circle Jerk Crew have always had some really rad cars but it’s their wheel game that’s kept them a level ahead. Jerkfest15 had some amazing rims on show. The wheels that had people oogling for the entire weekend were these custom retro-modded 3-piece Mugen M7 wheels. There aren’t many examples of wheels costing almost twice as much as the car they sit on. This is also the most on-point example of ‘the right set of wheels will set a car off.’
While talking about this H-badged car. The origins of the club are based on a bunch of NZhondas forum frequenters establishing a guerilla crew. Naturally this meant that there will be quite a few Honda stunners present.
Jerkfest isn’t just about track duty Hondas though. Over the last few years a whole bunch of ‘lil Jhonnys’ have entered the track day. In fact the drift entrants almost equal the amount of grip entries these days. You have to give it to the Jhonnys though, they knew how to put some aggressive looking vehicles together. Some of them really knew how to peddle too.
Tom Marshall turned up in the team ATJ s15 and threw down some tyre scorching runs. This guy is no pretender, he’s a contender for this years D1NZ Pro championship. Quick phone video to show you what we are talking about…
Small clip from toms practice today in the s15
Posted by ATJ DRIFT on Friday, 6 November 2015
Watching the pros make drifting look like an art form warms the soul. But there is massive entertainment value in watching grassroots drifting. The sponsor-less drivers doing it off their own back, because they are addicted to; Nailing that/or those corners, is the heart of the sport. Add a bunch of the novice drivers on the track and it makes for some exciting viewing. You vouch for the drivers, you want them to make the corners and not hit anyone else in the process. At the same there is a minuscule part of your body that hopes they get super close. It gets the feels going. A+++ will watch again.
In-between the drifting #mayhem, there was a decent field of grip drivers. Unless you are driving a vehicle on the track, it’s probably not the most entertaining thing to watch. Polar opposite to that, being behind the wheel on the track is anything but mundane. It gets the blood pumping, sort-of like a really expensive energy drink. It’s been a while since I had been on the racetrack. With a new engine set-up in my car I wanted to figure out some limits of the car. See how late I can brake and how fast the vehicle is able to accelerate out of the corners. Generally up-skill and figure out what is most effective with the new package. It’s all in an effort to make me a better driver on the street. In a way it is a defensive driving lesson. A lesson achieved through aggressive driving, if that makes any sense. For anyone wanting to learn more about their car, and advancing their driving skills. Get on the track as often as possible. It’s the only place where you can test your abilities without putting anyone else in harms way.
Before the day came to an end there was some light hearted drop flag drag racing. A few challenges were laid down, hearts were broken or egos were inflated at the drop of a bra. Hopefully next year all the entrants participate and make this an equally big part of the day. Going heads up, street style drag racing, just brings the premium memories flooding back. At one stage I thought I had run out of people to race, as I had lined up by myself at the start point. Later, I was told there was actually an Evo 4 next to me, but hidden due to its next-gen camouflaged vinyl wrap.
Jerkfest has evolved over the years, from being an all out boys weekend, to a family friendly one. It’s good to see some of the kids getting involved early too. Like the meme says ‘raise your kids with a car addiction and they wont have money for a drug addiction’. If you are honest it should read.. ‘Raise your kids with a car addiction and they wont have money for any other addictions.. Ever.’ #carlifeornolife.
As much as cars are the common denominator that bring us all together, it’s the people that keep us together. The greater CJC massive are a top level bunch. The clubs built on the foundation of friendships, and it’s ‘second family’ atmosphere. In-between any racing, time was spent catching up with mates from all around the country.
This year was very special as the ‘godfather’ of the club graced us with his presence…
… Some say he is the Stig. Some say his fried chicken recipe has 11.5 herbs and spices. But what we all know is that he is good sort of the highest calibre. He has played a massive role in shaping the club into what it is today. Many members look to his guidance for all things cars or business. On the subject of people behind the scenes. Every successful track day has a group of individuals that make it a reality. They give up their own time and money to put events like this together for the love. Here are three of the major contributors that made this event possible.
Big shout out to all the other members that helped put this years event together too. It was a streamlined affair with no boring bits. A high standard set for the people taking the reigns for the upcoming year. No pressure to those filling the boots of the large dutchman.
In regards to the evening night activities, lets just say my insides hate me even more. My head hurts thinking about this years event even more than the Jerkfest 2012. Highlight was meeting some rad new people in real life not just the net, whilst spending time with the OG’s. The CJC circle keeps getting bigger and better at the same time.
The crew has already started planning and counting down to next years event. On that note I would like to leave you with the rest of the pics, and a parting paragraph. Jerkfest 2015 was a brilliant event. One that encapsulated all the things that are good about our passion for cars, with none of the negatives. If this article or the pics have piqued your interest on the CJC, check out cjc.org.nz to stay up to date on the clubs upcoming events. To wrap it up, I will leave you with a quote from a famous person…
“Life is more than sunglasses and hit movies. Reality – that’s the main event.” – Sly Stallone, aka Rambo, aka Rocky.
Till next time! 😀
Photos taken on a SONY A7R. Blatant Plug: A huge thank you to James at Sony Wellington for the loan of the 70-200 f4 and a 55mm f1.8 lenses for the weekend!