TT Circuit, Assen, The Netherlands, 20th May 2024: As it has become a tradition, all car enthusiasts return to the TT circuit on Pentecost Monday for another edition of JAPFEST! It is a car event with no introduction needed, where the spotlight is shining onto the JDM lifestyle. This year, the weather gods blessed us with some nice morning weather and slight rain showers in the afternoon, but that didn’t take away the fun. The spectators could have enjoyed a paddock with the most custom JDM cars, the parade, burnouts, rev battles, and, of course, the drag races, which this time was one by cars tuned and built by Sneaky Tuning. 

Text: Benjamin Wefer
Pictures: Luisa Blonk/Sebastiaan Thoolen

Japfest attracts the most unique and broad range of JMD cars to one place. From the most daily driver to the rarest and antique or customized one. One eye-catcher was Sebastiaan Thoolen’s 2003 Honda S2000. Thoolen has had this car for a while and stripped it down to its bear chassis. It took him at least four years to build, and every nut has been changed, customized, or upgraded on this car. Like a Js Racing Type GT body kit, Mugen hood, Spoon Sports Mooncraft hardtop, Aeroworks carbon doors & trunk, 1.8m Seibon GT spoiler, and APR GT carbon side mirrors, just to mention a few. Thoolen went the extra mile for this car; it is a stunning build. 

Another car spotted at the scene was Gino de Jong’s Brown Booster. It’s one of the nicest FWD drag cars and has won several best-of-show awards. Gino had just returned from a big race event in the UK called Doorslammers, where he ran a personal best of 9.554 seconds at 152 mph. 

Maruli van Haastert, once again, proved to be the undisputed champion of the Japfest drag race. Around 70 cars enlisted to compete against each other for the king of quarter-mile, but all came too short for Maruli’s Civic named Goldy. Donovan Lim-Apo claimed second place, and Amaro came third. Japfest was also the debut of Amaro’s freshly built Honda Civic. What’s remarkable is that all three top positions claimed were cars built or tuned by the Dutch Tuner Sneaky Tuning, showcasing their unparalleled expertise and success!

Sneaky Tuning is a tuning company that specializes in tuning JDM cars. It has also built entire engines, gearboxes, and engine swaps. Sneaky Tuned cars have been giving other competitors headaches for years, but who is the master brain behind the name? Sneaky Tuning was established in 2008 by Reandly Winklaar, affectionately known as Andy. However, the journey of this exceptional shop began in 2001 when Andy embarked on his turbo engine experiments. His first successful swap was a Honda engine in a Suzuki Swift, marking the beginning of a legacy. We could not resist asking Andy which was his favorite engine. He replied, well, it depends on what the client wants to use the engine for, but my absolute favorite would be the K-series, as it can withstand more abuse on a day-to-day basis. 

And what’s a car show without knowing who got the shinest ride of the day? The Proud Wheels stand was the place to admire the most stunning rides while competing for the best of shine! The top winners are Sebastiaan Thoolen with his Honda S2000, Marco van Rooij with his Nissan 350Z, the beautiful 2013 Toyota GT86 owned by Chayenne Van Zetten, and Simon Buiten with his 1998 Subaru Impreza.

Next to the best of shine, the proud Wheels stand was the place to be for the rev battles. Leo Honders again thrilled the crown with some stunning burnouts. 

The JAPFEST car show had much to offer: various JDM cars, thrill drag races, hot laps, and more. The next JDM car show from 402 Automotive is Go Japan at Louwman’s Toyota World on 14th September 2024