THURSDAYS at Summernats used to be peaceful, a quiet day for entrants to get their cars scrutineered, set up camp, and for the show car boys to start polishing – the calm before the storm.

Things are a little different these days! While Thursday is still bump-in day for most, the action has already begun in earnest, with the Summernats City Cruise rolling down Northbourne Avenue at midday. There are no formal car displays open, but there will be plenty of toughies to look at around the cruise route.

Things amp up again at 4pm for the Last Chance Shootout, where 20 desperados will duke it out for the right to complete with the big boys in the Burnout Masters.

Rockers You Am I hit the main stage at 7.30pm, before the cars roll in to the main arena for a drive-in screening of The Dukes of Hazzard at 9pm. Then get yourself to bed, because you’re not going to get much rest for the remainder of the weekend!


THIS year’s official Summernats T-shirt is a cracker, starring Bob Gallo’s XC coupe, Nathan Borg’s Datsun ute and Jody Vincitorio’s chopped HQ Monaro. This year’s Street Machine shirt is also pretty neat and features a blown and injected LS-based tower of power, with the artwork performed by Brett Jackson – the same dude who knocked up our rad Drag Challenge shirts this year.


’NATS tickets are still the best-value car festival tickets in Australia, with all the good stuff included in the price.

You can buy daily or season passes online through the Nats Club at or rock up to the ticket boxes at Gate 2 or Gate 7. Tickets are always cheaper online than at the gates, so get in early. Online ticket holders also get priority entry, so buy online and don’t stand in line.


WITH hundreds of burnout blasters attempting to qualify for the Liqui-Moly National Burnout Masters at events all around Australia during the year, the crazy crew at Summernats are planning to give 20 special entrants who are deemed worthy one last chance for the ultimate in burnout glory.

Four naturally aspirated cars will line up against 16 blown cars in the Last Chance Shootout for one of three remaining tickets into the Burnout Masters. So we’ll see everything from 700ci blown big-blocks through to screaming small-blocks, as well as blown, naturally aspirated and nitrous LS engines.

Forget it if you think it’s going to be easy to score a top three spot in this field. Check out these names: Mick Brasher (ULEGAL), Peter Grmusa (ATRISK), Steve Loader (RELOAD), Chris Genter (FROMHELL), Phil Kerjean (TUFFST), Dom Luci (LITMUP), Paul Cook (BLWNVC) and Dave Pendlebury (PROPSI) are just some of the runners.

Mix in MATER, BLACKOUT, KURRUPT, MELTEM, LS2WAR, OUTLAW, 02SKD and UP4IT, and you’re in for a show that they’ll write songs about. It’s the toughest wildcard field ever, and it fires up at 4pm Thursday. What an epic way to start Summernats. 232 STREET MACHINE


10AM-6PM: Judging of cars, Meguiar’s Pavilion 10.30AM-12PM: Summernats City Cruise line-up and briefing 11AM: Gates open to public 11AM-6PM: Anest Iwata Airbrush Art Exhibition, Meguiar’s Pavilion 12PM-1PM: Summernats City Cruise 1PM-10PM: Entrant cars cruising 4PM-5:30PM: Last Chance Shootout wildcard burnouts 6PM-7PM: Cruising the track for non-burnout entrants T H U R S D A Y N I G H T E N T E R T A I N M E N T 6:30PM-7PM: Night Train, main stage 7:30PM-8:30PM: You Am I, main stage 9PM-10:30PM: Summernats drive-in movie: The Dukes of Hazzard, main arena 11.30PM: Gates close