Why Club de Ultrace is Europe’s Cultural Car Show Hub

Photography: Mario Christou

  • Ultrace has grown exponentially over 16 years and is now Europe’s premier car show, held at the Tarczynski Stadium in Wrocław, Poland.
  • Initially focused on stance and drift cars, Ultrace attracts one of the widest varieties of build styles from all over the world.
  • The Next Level Drift crew added live demos to the Ultrace mix, allowing many to admire the sport and its cars up close and personal.
  • The CSF 911 and Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute were among the plethora of high-caliber attractions throughout the show.

Forget what you already know about car shows and open up your mind, because Ultrace is unlike any other car show you’ve ever experienced. Yes, I’m aware that’s a bold statement, but after years of experiencing some of Europe’s finest events from Players Classic in the UK to lakeside luxury in Wörthersee, Austria, and the party mayhem of XS Carnight in Berlin I can confirm: Ultrace has reset my idea of what a car show should be.

You may have already seen our conversation with CSF’s Ravi Dolwani about the CSF x Pit+Paddock booth at the show, but let me take you on a deep dive into Ultrace’s significance in Europe and what it is about the show that makes it so special and so important in the car scene.

Humble Roots

Most parking lot meets tend to stay as just that, no matter how long they go on for. You might gain a few more friends and followers along the way but it’s hard to jump from ‘just another takeover meet’ to a fully-fledged car show. Yet that’s exactly what the Club de Ultrace has managed to do in spectacular fashion.

Back in 2010, Ultrace was no more than a small group of friends with slightly modified cars having parking lot hangs. Adrian Kapica and his crew gained more traction than a drag slick though, and by 2016 were hosting the first iteration of the show known the world over as Ultrace with its previous name: Raceism.

Now I know what you’re thinking, believe me, I am too, and yes that’s an incredibly questionable name for a car show. Tell someone you can’t wait for your upcoming Raceism weekend and you’re bound to get a dirty look or worse. It’s hard to find content from the early days of the show, but compare photos of the Tarczynski (pronounced tar-chin-ski) Stadium in 2016 to now and you’d think it was the first hour of setup day this year.


A Shift in Perspective

2019 saw Raceism absolutely explode in popularity, and it was about time to do something about that name. Kapica and company rebranded in 2020 and secured a new venue to celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary. 2021 brought with it the show format as we know it now, under the Ultrace banner.

By this point it’s not just the show that had grown in size, but the extended friends and family of the organizers who were pitching in and adding even more appeal to the event. Design work for the brand by Khyzyl Saleem (also known as The Kyza), guest judging spots by the Players crew from the UK, and killer builds—JP Performance’s builds and Poland’s first-ever RWBs—on display ensured the show lived up to the hype.

Style and Substance

A car show is inherently about style, and I don’t think that can be argued. Not when it comes to a stance-oriented show at least. After all, the name of the game is to stand out with a ride that reflects your personality as the owner and/or builder – the appeal of cars shows is that we get to do it together.

Ultrace is a prime example of that, bringing together the most diverse and far-reaching mix of cars I’ve sampled at a single event. Whether you love Euro cars, which of course make up the majority on display, or JDM rarities there’s almost every make, style, and year of car on display.

There aren’t many events you’ll go to where you’ll be able to find every generation of BMW M3 on display, as well as every generation of Nissan Silvia or GT-Rs ranging from a Hakosuka to an R35. How about multiple wide-bodied, bagged Toyota GR Yaris’ next to a Toyota Varossa on Volk GT-Cs and a livery straight out of a 360p Formula Drift YouTube clip? Or if there’s no replacement for displacement, there are hemi-equipped Dodges and Ford Mustangs parked opposite BMW M5 and Mercedes AMGs squaring off for which Western nation builds the best muscle cars.

Bringing the Next Level to Ultrace

And yet, the strangest mix of cars wasn’t on the show circuit but instead in the stadium’s car park. This area has been taken over year after year by the Next Level Drift crew and turned into a non-stop generator for tire smoke and screaming engines.

I don’t think a year’s gone by without content of some door-to-door drift trains at Ultrace; something about the arena just encourages some really nasty drifting. Maybe it’s the crowd; hundreds if not thousands of spectators lined the upper levels of the show to watch tires get destroyed.

In the UK, the most common drift cars are BMWs at this point. E36, E46 and even E9X chassis have become the easy choice for newcomers, with both cars and parts easier to find and cheaper than the usual JDM favorites. Not M3s, no chance, but any small coupé or sedan with a 6-cylinder under the hood does the job just fine. When a beat-up S13 costs nearly $10,000, it’s hard to justify using it as a missile after all.

Next Level drift at Ultrace really did take things to the next level, with a crazy mix of both classic and unexpected drift chassis being driven hard. S13 and PS13s were going door to door with E30s and E46 M3s, whilst a 1UZ swapped R32 and an ER34 Skyline sedan were going crazy with some of the smokiest runs of the weekend.

How about a “hotboi” BMW drift train, with an E28 on Work VS-KFs and a Mercedes V8-swapped E34 separated by an E36 that looks straight out of a BN sports catalog Being an E38 owner myself, my favorite car to watch going round was Don Musk’s BMW 740i. The land yacht was doing runs four-up in comfort, pulling some of the most civilized skids of the weekend.

Becky Evans and Jake Crouch were representing the UK in their S15 builds, and a few passenger laps with Jake reminded me of just how much fun it is to be in control of an out-of-control car.


After years of seeing Ultrace content flood my social media feed every summer, 2024 finally felt like the time to make the trip over. My mind is still blown, not only from the show itself but from everything surrounding it. The culture, the meets, and an evening with the Pit+Paddock x Bilstein E91 GTS Tribute and CSF 911.

Ultrace may well have been on your radar in previous years, but after 2024 it should be at the top of your list of events to visit. Fantastic weather, great hospitality, and amazing food. Add to that what might be the world’s greatest car show and you may as well start looking at flights for 2025.