AS FAR as 21st birthday celebrations go, the 2015 Street Machine Supernats was really one for the books. On the surface Supernats might seem pretty similar to a lot of other events, but there’s something unique about it that has kept people coming back each year for over two decades. Sure, there are burnouts – lots of burnouts – but it’s not just another skid comp. There’s drag racing for the huge variety of cars and trucks that enter, too, but it’s not a street meet, and there’s a show ’n’ shine, go-to-whoa and even a Grand Champion award, but it’s not Summernats.
Whatever’s in the Supernats secret recipe – first cooked up more than two decades ago by organisers Ahmet and Gil – it’s clearly tasty. The event now enjoys huge support from the horsepower faithful, and its new home of Sydney Dragway is the perfect location to bake some tyres, whether going for the big win, or just for the hell of it.
Gary and Jake Myers weren’t just out for a casual weekend skid though; their eyes were on the single golden ticket into the Burnout Masters competition at Summernats 29. But there were plenty of others just as keen to grab that prize, so the father-and-son duo would have to be on top of their game piloting the iconic S1CKO Mustang to succeed.
In the end the judges decreed it was Jake who put on the best show, scoring him that coveted Burnout Masters spot and $5000 prize money. “It was my first event win,” an elated Jake said. “I’d been trying for the past few years. Last year we had a fuel leak that sparked a fire and put us out of the finals. This time around the plan was to save the old girl for the burnouts; that’s what we were there for, the golden ticket into the Burnout Masters.
“We had changed a few things on the car so it was a bit of a test-and-tune on the Saturday qualifying. Dad went out first and then we changed tyres and I headed right back out. I top-qualified on the Saturday night, and it wasn’t a big field in the finals on Sunday so I just went out and gave it my all and it paid off.”
Drag racing fans were given a real treat at Supernats 21: a winner-takes-all Turbo vs Blown Outlaw Shootout, with a huge $10,000 first-prize purse. Anything with doors that ran quicker than 6.50sec was eligible to have a crack at the massive novelty cheque, and the entry list featured such heavy-hitters as Paul Mouhayet in his turbocharged Moits Mustang, Frank Mamone’s supercharged Plymouth ’Cuda Doorslammer, and Custom Bodyworks main man Danny Makdessi in his stunning blown Valiant.
THE Moits Mustang of Paul Mouhayet bagged the $10K first prize in the muchheralded blower vs turbo face-off.
PHIL Kerjean had a killer weekend, finally bagging the Show & Go Champion award after coming very close in past years. As well as scoring wins in the Superskids and Top Graphics/Paint, he spent more time thrashing the tyres than just about any other car there.
CHRIS Stevermuer really went for it in the wheelstand competition, sitting his orange Torry on the back bumper and dropping every jaw in the place.
BOB Gallo’s Supremacy XC Falcon – his take on Adam LeBrese’s SMOTY winner – took out the Show & Shine Champion gong, as well trophies for just about everything else on offer.
GARY and Jake Myers tag-teamed in the S1CKO Mustang all weekend, with Jake piloting the car to a win in the burnouts and a place in the Summernats 29 Burnout Masters.
Danny had been getting to grips with his insane Val since first hitting the track six months ago, and despite being new to drag racing at this level managed a superrespectable 6.70sec pass. “It was only my fifth full pass in the car so I’m pretty happy with it,” he said. “The car ran four six-second passes, including one in the heat of the day, and went 219mph as well, which is pretty good for a car that weighs 3160lb. I’m still learning, but I’m pretty confident it’ll run a 6.40 fairly easily. The 521ci Brad Anderson Hemi, PSI blower and two-speed Turbo 400 is a pretty good combo. The car is off to Craig Burns at SCF Race Cars; it’s starting to flex a bit so it’ll get some attention to the sway-bar.
“I like 10.5 because it’s fun. Nobody cares what you run as long as you’re out there doing it!”
It ended up being a hard-fought turbo-vs-turbo match-up in the final, with Australia’s quickest turbo car, the Moits Racing Mustang of Paul Mouhayet, up against the incredible Gas Racing ’Stang driven by Zoran Gajic. Paul prevailed with a mind-bending 5.75@251mph – smashing the record for both speed and elapsed time for a turbo car in Australia. With something like 4000hp on board, it’s easy to see why the team was so confident in calling people out to race in the lead-up to the event.
The pits at Supernats are always good fun to stroll around, as you’re sure to see something interesting. Some spectators were content taking in the collection of cars, hot rods and custom bikes on display, but for those whose tastes ran more to the industrial side of motoring, there was a collection of highly polished, chromed and decorated trucks standing by, ready to hit the track at a moment’s notice.
We’re not sure if anyone was ready for what happened when the first two prime movers looped around to the start of the Sydney Dragway quarter-mile, but as the lumbering diesel beasts came to a stop it became immediately clear they were nowhere near the staging
beams. Quicker than you could say “there’s no way they’re going to do a burnout”, both trucks’ back four – or was it six? – tyres lit up.
The trucks weren’t exactly quick, at least not until a pair of certified racing specimens rolled up, coughing and burping as they idled roughly in what must count as ‘cammy’ for a nine-litre turbo-diesel. The trucks thundered away down the strip, turbos hissing as the boost came on and smoke churning from their stacks. The timing boards lit up and everyone in the crowd did a double-take – we’d all just witnessed a 13sec quartermile pass in a vehicle originally designed to tow 40-foot containers across the country. It didn’t make any sense at all, and we loved it.
The off-track action was plentiful too, with one of the best-quality outdoor shows on the Sydney calendar. Bob Gallo’s ‘Supremacy’ XC Falcon coupe scooped the top gong – the Supernats Show ’n’ Shine Champion – on the back of awards for Top Custom Paint, Top Bodywork, Top Engine Bay, Top Undercarriage, Top Interior and Top Tudor. It’s highly likely that there now isn’t a show-judged trophy that this hardcore hardtop hasn’t won.
But if you were looking for the biggest success story across all disciplines from this year’s Supernats, it was hard to go past Phil Kerjean.
It was clear from just how much driving Phil did in his awesome TUFFST VK wagon that his sights were set on the Show & Go Champion award.
In past years he’d come second twice, and third, fourth and fifth once each, but this time he finally tasted victory, thanks to a first place in the Superskids, Top Graphics/Paint and Top Wagon in the show judging, and a fourth place in the burnouts. It may have been Supernats’ 21st, but Phil’s VK really came of age this year too. s