Speedmachine @Silverstone: HPI RC with a Dash of World Rallycross!

Wed, 13th June 2018

World Rallycross made its first visit to the home of British motorsport, Silverstone Circuit, set in the sleepy country surrounds of rural Northamptonshire. Well...not so sleepy, with dozens of racing teams, thousands of fans, and a 3-night music festival going on! 

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The Speedmachine motorsport, food and music festival featured the British round of the FIA World Rallycross series as its main attraction, with the WRX paddock surrounded by amazing street food stalls and motorsport-related merchandise sold in the pit garages - which, on a Formula One weekend, would be occupied by names like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel!

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HPI Racing was offered the amazing opportunity to be part of the inaugural Speedmachine event, with a massive 20 x 25m (66 x 82') mezzanine inside the spacious Silverstone Wing complex, which is filled with champagne bars and well-dressed F1 fans on Formula One race weekends! Over 30,000 motorsport fans were expected during the course of the Speedmachine weekend, and we wanted to make it as fun as possible for all of our visitors!

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With a huge area to fill, we went for 3 distinct action zones featuring as many of our vehicles as possible. Each action zone featured different types of HPI vehicles so our visitors could get the full HPI Racing experience - as much as we could offer them in the space provided! The on-road track, off-road trail and Q-Club table were all custom-designed, built and assembled by HPI staff members to make them easy to drive, so visitors would get a good taste of what the different HPI vehicles could do and how much fun they could have driving on different terrain. 

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The first area for visitors to hit was the on-road track, covering a massive 10 x 12m (33 x 39') area! Drivers stood at opposite corners, trying out different models of HPI 1/10th scale drift cars and touring cars to get an idea of what the cars could do on a realistic racing track.

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The challenge on the track was to see how many laps drivers could do in 3 minutes, and for drift cars one of the challenges was to complete a series of corners as sideways as possible! 

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The second driving area was a 30m (100') long adventure trail featuring the realistic scale crawler truck, the HPI Venture FJ Cruiser! The first section featured 'urban' style obstacles like ramps and a tricky seesaw that allowed drivers to get familiar with how the Venture drives on simplified off-road terrain.

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After completing the urban area, then the course led to a lifelike woodland trail that featured real wooden log obstacles, ramps, rock piles and extreme hazard sections like a narrow wooden bridge crossing over a deep canyon gorge!

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For an extra challenge, drivers could try to go around the HPI trail flags, just like a proper scale truck competition would have!

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The final area was a massive 2 x 2m (6 x 6') Q-Club table designed just for the Q32 cars and trucks, featuring the actual jumps and bridge from our famous Q32 Q-Club video! The Q-Club table was just as popular as our other displays, getting families, couples and especially kids to concentrate hard to complete the challenges we set to all our visitors. These included landing jumps, driving over the tire bridge and more! 

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So what about all these challenges? To help tie all the driving activities together, every driving area had a series of challenges that visitors could try to complete.

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This made the HPI Racing display a simple and fun way to learn about RC, join in friendly competition with your friends and family, and really walk away feeling you accomplished something - especially when you finished the Venture trail by crossing a rickety wooden bridge, or landed a jump with the Q32!

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Of course, a wide variety of HPI cars were on show and available to buy, from the new Baja 5R to the hugely popular Dai Yoshihara E10 Drift model. With stickers, challenge sheets, catalogs, posters, pen, bags and more, everyone could walk away with some sweet HPI swag! 

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There were plenty of other displays and activities going on all weekend, so it was easy for visitors to have a full weekend of fun.

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The complete roster of World Rallycross teams was in attendance, from the series-leading PSRX squad with Jonas Kristofferson and Petter Solberg leading the charge, to former Hoonigan Racing Division driver and regular visitor to the podium Andreas Bakkerud in his new EKS Audi drive. Rally legend Sebastian Loeb, driving for Peugeot, was also there to put in a feisty challenge, plus other WRX luminaries Mattias Ekstrom, Timmy Hansen, his brother Kevin Hansen and Niclas Gronholm, son of the quite famous Marcus Gronholm. 

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Support races included the American Rallycross (ARX) cars and the RX2 cars, previously known as the Rally Lites with a different spec. Drift car demonstrations from the Monster Energy drift team and supercar demonstrations also went on all day around the racing track that circles the rallycross track, and if you got in early enough you could book yourself in for power rides from the Jaguar demonstration driver team, as well as rides in various Volkswagen and Renault sports cars.

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The pit garages also served their normal duty for a collection of historic and jaw-dropping Group B rally cars with brands such as Lancia, Peugeot and Ford well represented, as well as a group of classic rallycross cars that hit the track to race in furious dirt-spitting action between the WRX and R2 racing classes!

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To provide food (and in some cases, entertainment) for everyone, a huge variety of boutique food vendors were on hand, ranging from American South-style barbecue, luxury Belgian waffles, chicken wings, bacon butties (sandwiches), paella, Mexican and Thai - all delicious! You could experience a worldwide tour just using your taste buds! 

While all that action was happening outside, inside there was another level of excitement going on! E-sports racers competed in the Dirt 4 championships for a chance to get a race car test in a real rallycross car, Renault hosted a VR driving competition, plus Ford, Peugeot, and VW all had custom displays. And of course, on the main mezzanine, it was the domain of HPI Racing!

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Finally, each day ended with a huge music show, featuring names like Basement Jaxx, Ministry of Sound, Dizzee Rascal, Razorlight, Lethal Bizzle and more! 

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Overall, it was a spectacular weekend for Speedmachine, and over the next few years, it promises to get even better! If you missed it this time, make sure you reserve a weekend next year for HPI at Speedmachine! 


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