by James Preston
Welcome to 2020 - officially the shittest year of the last decade.
I don't want to give you the whole typical COVID rant, we all know the story. But there is one thing that's very important to say. For many show organisers, their full-time job has been taken away from them. They have tried reorganising shows for different dates, moving venues, trying everything they can just to run an event. Unfortunately, almost all of them have been cancelled. It's crucial in times like these that we support them in whatever way we can. That goes for everyone struggling in our community.
With that being said, can you believe we actually managed to attend a car show? And not just any car show either, this was Ultrace.
What is Ultrace I hear you say? After a decade running under the name Raceism, with the many many adversities 2020 was throwing up - Adrian (the boss man) and the team thought it was finally time to put the name to rest. With the fight against racism growing ever stronger, it was extremely difficult for the guys to explain their own name and what it means. Showing solidarity and intolerance to any form of discrimination, the guys launched ULTRACE. The combination of ultra and race, symbolising the next stage of their plans and finally putting to rest the misunderstandings.
2020 was supposed to be the year for Ultrace. Adrian had plans to take this event to a whole other level. We had been sitting eagerly watching the updates coming through on social media. Plans had been put in place to bring over a whole host of cars and their owners from all over the world. This was the true meaning of Ultrace. Bringing car communities from all over the world together. What you need to know about Adrain is, he is truly passionate about creating an event that combines the automotive industry with street culture. For him, it's all about building an atmosphere that immerses you in the event. Everything from the music, the dancers, the stage and the branding; it all makes you feel like you are a part of the event. It almost feels like a celebration of everything that is great in the car scene. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that it was going to be the greatest event Adrain had ever put on. Of course, until Mr COVID changed everything.
Despite losing almost all the plans Adrian had made for this year, he didn't let it stop him. With the show being pushed back to later in the year, the weather became more unpredictable; indoor space was needed. Adrain always had the venue in his mind as a suitable backup but was worried it would be too small. With predicting the crowd to be considerably less this year, 2020 was the right time to deploy the backup plan.
Ignoring the, 'what could have been?' - Here's what actually happened at Ultrace 2020:
First of all, a massive congratulations is in order for Adrian and his team for pulling off an event in a time where we really didn't think it could be possible. Not only did they have to work with the ever-changing laws and rules but they had to change up everything to make the event happen. Not to mention the huge risk of the show being cancelled on the lead up to it.
Located in the city of Katowice, the venue for this year was the Spodek Arena (fun fact: that's Polish for saucer). It hosted a huge indoor space that had lights from Blade Runner, a floor shinier than Terry Crews head and the outside looked like god himself had sat on it. As far as indoor venues go, this one was pretty perfect.
No matter what, Adrain always manages to pull off a huge stage. This year was no different of course. With a huge ass backdrop, the stage spanned almost across the entire back wall. It also cleverly incorporated some very fitting artwork depicting an F40 falling into a pool with the tagline, "2020 be like." It also had a tv in the middle of it. Why am I writing a paragraph dedicated to the stage? Because that's the level of dedication Ultrace put into all the details.
We mentioned the street culture that Ultrace incorporated into their events and this year it came in the form of a live performance from local rappers as well as a live DJ on both show days. Ultrace hosted an after-party on the Saturday night which took place just outside the venue. It's touches like these that separate Ultrace from your standard car show to being a proper event!
So let's talk about some of the cars:
And what better place to start than a mid-engined V8? To top that, it's a mid-engined V8 Volkswagen Caddy. Adam Mucha, owner of Fly Garage picked up the much deserved first place at the show. This caddy is a collection of absolute madness.
The engine is the 4.2l V8 out of Audi A6 and has a whole host of cool features, one of my favourite has to be the repurposed fuel cap that now takes up the job as a cold air intake. The amount of fabrication to make this work and work well is insane. I'm not even going to pretend to understand how he made it work.
There is all manner of cool features like the roll cage that not only runs around the cabin but right down the inside of the bed. It has various US Rabbit parts, a custom tailgate, hydraulic handbrake, bucket seats; nothing has been left untouched. It really is one hell of an epic build.
Bartek Sobania's bagged Audi 100 C1 Coupe S. This isn't his only Audi either, he also had his bagged Audi 100 C1 GL on display. With no detail was left untouched, we fell in love the first time we saw it on the Rotiform podium.
Moritz Enderle's widebody 997 took on yet another new look for this year. He's ditched the peach for grey and it looks awesome. I reckon this is probably our favourite set up he's had so far. He also had the hard decision of this years judging.
I did find myself having a soft spot for some of the smaller builds on show, and I mean smaller.
Kai's first gen Honda Prelude is super cool. Old school JDM done right.
We just want to say thank you again to Adrian and the guys for putting in all their time and effort to give us at least one event this year. It was great to see all our friends - old and new.
Who knows what next year will have in store.
Photos & words by: James Preston