THE burnout comp at Red CentreNATS proved to be a cracker of a show. There was plenty of local talent keen to compete on a larger stage, with many making the trek down from Darwin to face off against the interstate competition.
Like most skid comps these days, the field was split into two classes – your regular Burnout class and the invite-only Burnout Masters, which boasted a star-studded line-up of experts in the art of tyre destruction. But spectators might have been hardpressed to tell when the regular guys finished and the masters started up. There was plenty of smoke, big tip-ins and smashed tyres from every competitor, and a huge variety of cars – and I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single VN Commodore bouncing the V6 off the limiter.
The pad looked pretty big to me, but that didn’t stop quite a few people tagging the wall. The best effort in that particular endeavour would have been Denham Schulz in his silver BMW – not your usual choice for a burnout car, but having been one beneficiary of the #lsallthethings campaign, the little Bimmer now had no troubles turning the tyres.
After hitting the pad pretty fast and tipping the car in, no amount of accelerator-mashing from Denham could stop the rearward motion and the car backed into the wall hard enough to crease the quarter. He still made the finals, albeit minus the bumper and with some sketchy panel work to pull the dent out a little.
A lack of wind caused quite a bit of havoc, as the smoke hung around making it almost impossible for people to see where they were going – not good when you’ve got 9000rpm on board and trying to guess where the lumps of concrete are. Matt Purnell took a tail-light out, as did Warren Gersekowski in his gorgeous Morpheus Purple HG ute – a real shame for such a beautiful car. I was leaning against the concrete block when he hit it and I felt it move – and those blocks weigh 21 tonnes!
The guys with smaller cars made the most of it, usually heading back up the chute to chuck a few donuts in the narrow run-in to the pad, but it takes a special kind of crazy – and skill – to try that with something a bit larger. Fred Watson had no problems whipping the FEAR Monaro around, and that’s probably one of the reasons he finished on top in the Masters comp, in a very tough field.
The minor placings were filled by Ryan Pearson in HOLDON – who probably used more fuel cruising than he did doing burnouts – and Darren Green in LX383, whose blown small block Torana whipped into the pad hard before blotting out the sky.
There was some real quality on show, with great skids from David Cufone, Darran Williams and Cliff Brockwell, so it was a well-earned win for Fred Watson, who was absolutely stoked when it was announced.
He still wants that Summernats crown though – now more than ever.
In a great win for the locals in the regular burnouts, Kristan Butler and his yellow MENACE Corolla put on an awesome show with impeccable control, plenty of smoke and a well-presented car. He edged out Clayton Farmer’s candy red Commodore ute and Adrian Froon in SKIDVAL to earn an invite to Summernats. A very deserving and popular winner.