The recent NOLA show in New Orleans promised something different for a US audience. As the brainchild of SOWO promoter Matt Bounds and Castle Combe Action Day maestros Forge Motorsport, it offered varied track and show car action – and the kind of weather that UK show-goers can only dream about. Needless to say, we went along to check it out.
For an all-new show, NOLA seemed to hit the ground running. Using the tried-and-tested combination of static show car action and non-stop circuit japery, the 80 degree weather and hot, balmy atmosphere seemed to provide the perfect cocktail for show-goers. The resulting 3,500 that turned up proved that the organisers might be onto something with their track and show-style offering.
The team behind the event are well known to many; Forge has been hosting and running the increasingly popular Forge Action day at Castle Combe circuit in the UK for the last 4 years, whereas Matt Bounds has grown the cultish Southern Worthersee show, hosted in Helen Georgia, into a 27,000 strong festival of all things German and automotive. When the two names came together, many had high expectations. Thankfully, neither party disappointed.
Arriving at the simply stunning Nola Motorsports Park, situated just 15 minutes from the famous Bourbon Street and French Quarter of the Mardi Gras capital, revealed an impressive line-up of cars and traders. On arrival the noise from the track was deafening as the Global Time Attack cars were first out on a shakedown run for their initial timed session. NOLA’s 2.7 mile course is particularly impressive, and a real driver’s favourite, with the high-speed esses proving to be a favourite to many – and a foil for a few!
It was an event that featured a huge variety of track machinery, with an eclectic guest list to keep interest high and lap times low – particularly the Lamborghini Superleggera LP 570-4 of The Flatout Motorsport Group which sounded every bit as good as it looked out on circuit.
With the track staying hot all day, a wander over to the drift paddock revealed the drift guys lining up to shred their tyres during the NODRIFT drift sessions. Drift sessions may be nothing new in the UK, but here at NOLA, the sessions were opened up to groups of all abilities for two days straight, meaning that for the entire duration of the show the noise was loud, the air was black with tyre smoke and grins were huge… just as it should be!
Don’t go thinking that NOLA was just about tyre smoke and lap times through. The car show area was of an equally high standard, with plenty of JDM and Euro metal to salivate over. Better yet, the trade village added an additional useful distraction with names like APR , Milltek , 3SDM , VW of America and BC Racing being just a few of the big names showcasing their wares. The cars on display were a mouth-watering mix of American Muscle and European stanced perfection. There aren’t many shows where you can see the Dodge Viper club parked next to stanced Lexus and aired-out VWs are there, really?
For its first year, NOLA has managed to make a decent notch in the show calendar with an intoxicating mix of action, trade and decent show cars. We’re already looking forward to next year to see how they improve it further.
For more information on the event, please click to www.nola-speedandstyle.com